Pages on the Internet are written in HTML – HyperText Markup Language.
Hypertext means that the text can contain links to other pages on the Internet. A reader does not have to simply read a web page from start to finish, in the way that we would normally read a book or magazine. The reader can click on a link and end up somewhere completely different on the Internet. So, the flow of reading is non-linear, that is, it is not a simple straight flow from start to finish.
Markup Language means a language that contains information about itself. By marking up text, we give some extra information about the words on the page. An example in the Real World is the use of a yellow highlighter pen on an essay or article. By highlighting important words and sentences, we effectively mark up the text and say, “this piece of text highlighted in yellow is important”. Our essay then contains two types of text – text that is important (i.e. that highlighted in yellow) and text that is not so important (i.e. text that is not highlighted). We may go further – by highlighting our essay in different colours, or underlining words. In this way, we have given some extra information to the page by distinguishing between different types of text.
In HTML, we mark up text by the use of tags. These tags give some information about the text they are applied to. They allow us to give the web page more meaning than if it was just text on its own.
What Are Web Standards?
The Web is a growing technology, as is HTML itself. In the early days of the Internet, all sorts of ways were used to write HTML. This was good for experimenting with new ways of achieving what web designers wanted to create, but also meant that different web browsers struggled to display the web pages in the same way as each other.
Nowadays, there are clear Web Standards for writing HTML. These are important to stick to, so that every browser will display your web pages just how you wanted them to be displayed, and every web designer is using exactly the same language for writing their pages.