What is a Web Page?

A web page is a file on a computer written in HTML format. HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup
Language. This computer file contains both web-specific code and also "content" which is what
actually gets displayed in the web page.
!ontent includes text pictures tables links lists embedded "ideo embedded audio etc. The code will
always include HTML elements which define and organi#e the page. Most modern web pages will also
include formatting code known as !$$ %!ascading $tyle $heets&. $ome pages might include more
ad"anced things called scripts such as 'a"a$cript or (H(.
HTML can be created using any text editor such as )otepad. Howe"er when you sa"e an HTML
document you must sa"e it with either the extension ".html" or the extension ".htm" so the computer
knows it is a web page. *se +$a"e As, from notepad and sa"e it as you see in the image below-
What is the difference between my notepad file and my web page file?
)one actually. They are the exact same file. HTML files %that end in .html or .htm& can be displayed
two different ways. .f an html file is opened in a text editor such as )otepad the html code displays. .f
an html file is opened in a browser %such as .nternet /xplorer or 0irefox& the code is interpreted by the
browser and the content is displayed in the browser window as a web page.
What is an HTML element?
An HTML element is a component of an HTML document. .t is typically comprised of a start tag an
end tag and some web content in between the start and end tag. 0or example the 1a2 element places a
link into a web page.
What is a tag?
A tag is an html "command" that tells the browser to perform some action. The start tag is surrounded
by brackets such as 1a2 and the end tag looks the same but with an additional forward slash such as
13a2. Most HTML elements ha"e a start tag and a separate end tag.
What is an attribute?
Most tags can include attributes and attribute "alues which further define what the browser should
display. 0or example in the start tag 1a href4"page5.html"2 the "href" is the attribute being defined
and the "page5.html" is the attribute "alue.
What is content?
!ontent is e"erything that is actually "isible when a "isitor "iews our web page. To our "isitor none of
the HTML or !$$ code matters6 they are interested only in the content. .t is our 7ob as web designers to
present that content to our "isitors in the best way possible.
8on9t worry if this is confusing right now. .t will make more sense as we go through some examples
and you start creating your own pages.
Here is a sample basic web page with a lot of the things we 7ust discussed labeled in red. The only thing
"isible to a "isitor of this page would be a link that reads "$earch here" that would go to :oogle if
clicked-
Basic Elements of a Web Page
To pre"ent us from ha"ing to type the same basic elements each time we create a new web page we use
a template ; or skeleton ; that contains a blank page with no content. <e can then 7ust add in our own
content. =our instructor will pro"ide you with this basic template file but it will look something like the
following-
A escription of the Basic Elements
8>!T=(/- This tells the browser what "ersion of HTML or ?HTML the document is using. This
should be before any tags in the web page. The most commonly used 8>!T=(/s are "strict" and
"transitional".
1html2 and 13html2- These are the first and last html tags in your web page. They tell the browser you
are writing an HTML document.
1head2 and 13head2- The head tags surround all the special elements such as !$$ styling that do not
get displayed directly in your web page. The head elements are always abo"e the body tags 7ust like a
person@s head is on top of their body.
1body2 and 13body2- The body tags surround all of the content %text images links tables etc.& that
will be displayed in your web page.
/ach of these elements can be used only once per web page.