HTML, CSS and Javascript for Beginners

HTML and CSS are critical in the website building process, but where does Javascript fit in? Here’s everything you need to know about these programming languages.

While many business owners opt to have their website to be built by a professional, website design is still important for them to understand. When building a website for your business, design and functionality should be at the for front of your mind. The last thing you want a prospective customer to do is to get sick of using your website due to poor design or long wait times and leaving the page. But how can you make your website the best it can possibly be?

Well, there are multiple ways that you can go about that, with the easiest (time-wise) is to simply hire an expert to build your website for you. The value of going this route ultimately comes down to how much money you are willing to spend. And your worry is not just reserved to the cost, but also the time-intensive nature of website development.

If you do not have the budget but are interested in building your own website anyway, there are options that are still at your disposal. For example, you can use a website builder site like Mailchimp to craft the perfect website for your business or reputation that neither breaks the bank nor give readers a bad impression of what you have on offer.

What is a programming language?

A good way to help you understand programming languages is to think of it as a language that your computer is able to understand. It is essentially a list of instructions for your website to follow, and the more complex the instructions are, the more complex the result will be.

The way programming languages work is that you would input a certain command. For example, if one were to type print("Hello world") as part of the programming, you can actually add and grow websites and programs. If you add this particular line to the website's code, it will type the phrase "Hello, world" back to the sender. In another example, it goes like so:

  • print("What is your name?")
  • name = input()
  • print("Hello" + name)

This produces a minor conversation, where the website or program attempts to glean your name from you and, upon receiving it, addresses you by the name given. If all of this is done as it should be done, then you should have a functional response to these commands.

What is HTML?

HTML, also known as HyperText Markup Language, is a system that is used to tag text files in order to insert effects related to font, graphics, color, and hyperlink effects on websites. HTML is of vital importance to any good website design, so if you think you can get away with not understanding HTML while still trying to make a website, well, think again. HTML is honestly at its best when you use it in conjunction with a programming language like JavaScript, for example.

Now, this next point is only tangentially related, as it touches upon whether HTML can even be considered a programming language in the first place. There are a number of arguments on this, with many on both sides arguing their cases. While many accounts regard HTML as a programming language in and of itself, this stance is not without its disagreements.

One of the key arguments against HTML being considered a programming language is to do with the argument that HTML lacks any variables or conditions, meaning that it is simply not possible to be considered in this way.

Does every website use HTML?

HTML is a mainstay for all websites on the Internet, serving as the building blocks for them. It does not matter how simple or complex the website is designed, HTML is a vital component that no website can do without.

What is CSS?

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a type of programming language and style sheet language. Essentially, where the purpose of HTML is to mark up the text being put on a website (such as through font and color changes), the purpose of CSS is to give that text structure, whether it be via a website on your desktop computer, your mobile phone, or elsewhere. This entails providing not only the structure for the HTML to be placed, but also to design your website however you deem fit (though we do strongly recommend that how you see fit to design it is actually a good idea).

Much like HTML, CSS is a necessary component of any functioning website. If the website did not have a CSS, at that point it simply does not exist. Even if you only stick with the default CSS for a website, that is still a CSS. Without HTML, you won't have the text itself. Without CSS, you won't have the structure to display HTML's accomplishments.

Does every website use CSS?

CSS is required for any and all websites to function normally, as it is a basic building block of any website (and indeed, every website). If you are designing your own website, it would be vitally important that you come to better understand how CSS works, and how it can be made to work for you.

What is JavaScript

JavaScript is a type of scripting or programming language that many websites use for the more complex aspects of said websites. Examples of these complex features include animating graphics on the website, updating content, videos, etc. JavaScript is significantly more difficult to wrap your head around than either HTML or CSS, and as such, when you go into learning it, make sure that you are taking it all seriously and pay close attention to even the minor details of the process. Having a good understanding of CSS will not be enough to help you better understand JavaScript, and this becomes especially true for if your only experience is working with HTML.

Does every website use JavaScript?

While JavaScript is not quite as ubiquitous as HTML in terms of presence on websites across the Internet, it is pretty darn close. At the beginning of 2022, it was reported that 97.9 percent of websites utilize JavaScript in some form or another. However, it should be noted that this percentage does not take into account what percentage of JavaScript use is for the basic functioning of a website, rather than for something entirely incidental to the improvement of the website. It also means that disabling JavaScript locks you out of quite a few websites, at least in terms of accessing them at their most feature-full and stable.

HTML vs JavaScript vs CSS

Actually comparing HTML CSS and JavaScript can be tricky in and of itself, and this is mainly due to the fact that HTML is not really something that you choose in lieu of JavaScript or CSS, but rather, in addition to.

As discussed above, HTML is a necessary component for any functioning website, so you will inevitably have to include it regardless. In fact, it's really hard to compare any of the three of JavaScript HTML CSS, as all three contribute significant benefits to good website design. By using all three of these features, your website will be that much better off as a result.

HTML cannot practically exist without adequate CSS, and the same is true in reverse. JavaScript, unlike the other two, is technically not a mandatory thing to put into your website, but it is considered to be important enough that nearly every website design on there right now has JavaScript utilized, even for only a minor thing about the design or functionality. And while they are of such vital importance and synergize so well together, their potential impact is significant, with each language being used only to enhance the other functions.

While websites are by far the thing that seems to utilize these things the most, that does not mean that it is not used in other areas. For example, if you look at Gmail, you will see plenty an HTML email getting sent your way. Not only is HTML an important thing for a good email client, but CSS and JavaScript are of the utmost importance as well. If all three are not embraced adequately and well, it is not likely that your email client will be even able to take off, let alone succeed.

Build a beautiful website

No matter what your company may be, there is no denying that a well-designed website makes all the difference. Don't think that you can slap a poorly made website on the Internet and expect it to pay off. If you do not put effort into making a good website, you may find that any prospective customers you may have will not have the patience to deal with your website. Common things that turn people off from staying on your website include broken links, slow load times, and a garish user interface.

If you don't have the first idea of how to build a good website, don't worry: there are plenty of people who offer their expertise in website creation and development. However, if you don't have the budget for a professional website development team, or you simply want to have control over the process, there are other options, such as Mailchimp's website builder (among others, like content blocks). However, if we had to pick one feature to be the best that Mailchimp has to offer, we would probably choose the CSS Inliner Tool.

What this does is that it allows people to convert their email's HTML for free by converting the email's HTML in this box by clicking Convert. This will provide you with a more email-friendly version of your email, and one that you may be more comfortable to send. On top of all that, you do not need to worry about the possibility that one aspect of your email, particularly the media queries, but the Inliner Tool will thankfully solve that.

If you are interested in checking out just what Mailchimp has to offer, don't be a stranger — check it out here.

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