Basic HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) Vocabulary Rules

Element: an individual component of an HTML document. HTML documents are comprised of elements called “tags” and “attributes”.


Tag:  Tags identify the different parts of an HTML document so a web browser will know how to display the page.

Tags are always contained inside of a set of tag brackets: <the open tag> </this tag is now closed>. A closing tag is exactly the same as the opening tag but it has a  /”.
There are two basic types of tags in HTML: Semantic tags and Structural tags
Semantic tags give meaning to the content they enclose. So, an example would be  the paragraph tag, used for creating…wait for it….PARAGRAPHS in the web page! This <p> is a  paragraph tag. The tag identifies the type of content it contains (a paragraph). You would create a paragraph like this:
<p> This is my paragraph. This is my paragraph. This is my paragraph. </p>
Remember: we must add a </p> to close the tag. An element that is not closed may not display properly.
Structural tags are used to organize the HTML document. For example, using  a <div> </div>tag will divide the page into logical subsets of content.

HTML tags are either “block”  level elements or “inline”  level elements.

Block level elements have a line break after the closing tag. Block level elements can contain other tags and elements as well. Example: <ul><li></li></ul>
 Inline level elements are placed next to each other (like they’re on the same line) and  they do not have a line break after the closing tag.
 Inline level elements cannot contain other tags.
These would actually display side by side.
HTML is not case sensitive, but is usually written in lower case.  HTML completely ignores line breaks, tabs and spaces, so if you want to use extra space to make your code more readable while you’re developing, that’s OK because the browser will just ignore the extra white space.
Attributes are additional values that configure the elements or adjust their behavior  to meet user needs.
The CLASS attribute gives us a way of classifying similar elements. It can be used for semantic purposes, or for presentations.

For example: <p class=”paragraph” > would give us a way to classify all of our paragraph presentation styles, so every paragraph is formatted the same way:


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I developed Image and Aspect because I believe that professionals need to have an impactful web presence. One that showcases their unique talents, skills, and abilities as well as their values and style. A presence that focuses on social engagement and connection.

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Diane M. Metcalf, M.S.

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Article Name
Basic HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) Vocabulary Rules
HTML documents are comprised of elements called “tags” and “attributes”. Learn about the two basic types of tags in HTML: Semantic tags and Structural tags.
Diane Metcalf
Image and Aspect