Behind The Scenes of a Website: HTML and CSS

Outside of the web design and development world, there are millions of people using the internet every day with little knowledge of its inner-workings. We're not saying that's a bad thing, just as many people don't know the intricacies of the cars they drive or the appliances they use.

However, we know many people are just as curious about how things work as we are here at the nest. Curiosity drives us. So to all you fellow knowledge seekers, here is a little peak into the makings of a web page.

The most essential element of a web page is the HTML, an acronym for hypertext markup language. HTML elements define information. They tell the browser, "look at me, I'm a paragraph", or "I'm an image". These elements are the essential building blocks of the web, and allow search engines to differentiate pieces of information.

The beauty is in its simplicity. Those simple tags allow information to flow all over the internet and connect us all. They give hierarchy and importance to certain pieces of information. They allow screen readers to assist the vision-impaired to use the web.

There was a time when these elements were taken for granted, and rather than simply defining information, they were used to style pages as well. This caused clutter. Thankfully, a group of internet pioneers got together and decided it was best to keep the "looks" of a web page separate from structure. Enter CSS.

CSS stands for cascading style sheets. They supply a website with it's aesthetics. Everything from the size of text to the colors of the background can be defined through CSS. But it's not pure vanity that CSS supplies. It can help make websites more user-friendly, make articles easier to read, make sites adapt to the size of devices and much more. The real power comes in the bandwidth CSS can save over lots and lots of images. This makes websites load faster. 

Both HTML and CSS are continually evolving, making for a more informative and stylish web. In our next entry, we will take a look at a few technologies that allow the web to be more dynamic. Until then, here are a few resources regarding HTML and CSS for the extra curious reader: