Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER ADVANCEMENT / AUG. 08, 2014
version 6, draft 6

How to Build HTML / CSS Skills

HTML code

HTML and CSS aren’t just the languages of the future, they’re the languages of the present. With more and more people and businesses making the inevitable move online, sooner or later, a knowledge of coding is going to be beneficial in all kinds of roles, in all kinds of industries.

There are 571 new websites created every minute of every day and as more companies turn digital and more people create their own online CVs, portfolios, blogs and websites, this will only increase.

With the internet protruding further and further into both our personal and working lives, we’re only going to become even more surrounded by it. Elements of coding are soon going to creep into job roles that previously wouldn’t require it.

So if you’re looking to future-proof your skills, learn to build a website, become a developer or digital marketer, or are generally interested and want to learn more, here’s how you can build your HTML and CSS skills:

Terminology and Definitions

IT professionals and developers are seen as geeks, not because of what they know or do, but because of the way they talk. They use a lot of terminology and jargon that sounds like a foreign language to people who don’t work in IT. Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to avoid that when building HTML and CSS skills. However, don’t be scared, we’ll take it one step at a time, and the more involved you get, the more comfortable you’ll become with it all.

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and is the language used to create webpages. Web browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc) use HTML to display text, font formatting, hyperlinks (links to other websites or pages) and more.

CSS, on the other hand, stands for Cascading Style Sheet and this is the language used to format web pages. Web browsers use CSS to display the design, look and formatting of web pages and websites, including design colours, fonts, page layouts and more.

The Best Way to Develop Skills

The best way to develop any skills in anything is to learn by doing. This concept is amplified when it comes to HTML and CSS. So it’s time to roll your sleeves up and dive into the deep end.

First, you’ll need a text editor to create your HTML and CSS documents in. For Windows, Notepad++ is the way to go and, for Mac, Text Wrangler is your friend.

Next, get yourself a domain name from TSO Host or Go Daddy. A domain name is your web address. This can be anything from your name: www.yourname.com, or your passion: www.iloveshoesandhats.co.uk.

Once you have a domain name, you’ll need to host your website. There’s plenty of places that will provide cheap hosting, TSO Host being a favourite of mine in the UK and possibly Go Daddy in the US.

Now you’ll need a way to transfer your HTML and CSS documents from your computer to your host’s servers, where your website lives. My service of choice for this is the FireFTP extension for Firefox.

Once you have a decent text editor, a domain name, a host and an FTP client, you’re ready to build a basic website in HTML and CSS. (If you’re not keen on spending and are looking for HTML / CSS skill-building on a shoe string, a text editor will do.)

HTML / CSS Resources and Training

Now you’re set up, there are plenty of online resources that will guide you through your development of HTML and CSS. You can use these to dip in and out of or to read from back to front if you’re super-keen. Get coding today by starting with the following: 

Patience Is a Virtue

It won’t happen overnight, but great things rarely do. Stick with it, take it one step at a time and work your way through those resources, building bits and pieces on your website as you go along and you’ll be a mini Mark Zuckerberg before long.

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