Learn HTML5 - Getting Started - Basic HTML5 Code Overview

This section is designed for coders who already have good basic knowledge of HTML4 and CSS. You can learn HTML4 with my app, Web Design Basics, for the iPad.

Check out my HTML5 Coders Bookshelf (coming soon) if you'd like to learn by the old-school reading-a-book method.

Basic Concept of HTML5

The HyperText Markup Language was developed primarily over a ten year span from 1989 to 1999. In 1999, coders settled out with a tweak to end up with HTML 4.01.

One problem with HTML 4.01 was that it had a really long, difficult to memorize opening DOCTYPE. If you've seen the movie Office Space, this might well relate well to the "TPS Report." DOCTYPEs are great, in theory, but the one for HTML4.01 (and XHTML later on) were, in my opinion, a huge excessive waste of bandwidth. Read about the new HTML5 DOCTYPE (link coming soon), which is a lot easier to use, and much more coder-friendly.

HTML5 is a permanent code skill for the foreseeable future

I've been coding HTML for nearly eighteen years now, and the basic knowledge I learned from online tutorials back then, eighteen years ago, about HTML still apply today.

A web page that was coded with the HTML versions used ten, fifteen, or even twenty years ago still work in almost all modern web browsers (even that brand new Chrome, Firefox, or Safari update).

In my estimation, it's likely that HTML5, and its enhancements, will be used until 2025 at least.

(My true hope is that we can publish the research on the cure to cancer in HTML5.)

HTML5 as a Set: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

When you read about something being made with HTML5, it typically means that its not only coded with HTML, but also uses both CSS and JavaScript. These three technologies are generally learned together, although sometimes a coder might be good at HTML and CSS, or good at HTML and Javascript. A few coders are good at all three, but it's probably best to make some friends who are good at what you're a little weaker skilled on.

Getting Started with HTML5

When I started teaching HTML in 1996 there were probably fewer than ten guides. Mine was the first truly interactive one that I knew of, and it lead to teach a million people to code in English (and a few million others in unathorized translations).

There are already a wealth of tutorials, guides, and even apps on web design, a lot specifically on HTML5. If you don't know HTML at all yet, check out Web Design Basics for iPad.

I'm spending my time right now focusing on Web Design Basics 2 (it doesn't have an official title) which will be the bridge the gap between The Basics (in my current app) and HTML5.

There's a lot to learn between your first few lines of HTML and CSS and understanding HTML5, so I'm hoping between my two courses, Web Design Basics and Web Design Basics 2, that you'll be able to start your journey in HTML5.

Next Steps

At this point, I'd suggest three things:

  1. Grab your domain name and web hosting package. I have a page discussing ideas on getting a good .com name since millions are already taken. My Guide to Choosing (Domain) Names When Everything Else is Taken.
  2. Head to the Coders Bookshelf (coming soon)
  3. Code.