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By Amrit Hallan
Posted Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I often hear and read about various web authoring tools available that can help you create the coolest web pages in a jiffy, for example, FrontPage2000, Dreanweaver, CoffeeCup etc. But let me tell you one thing, there is nothing like using a simple text editor for creating web pages, and believe me, you can come up with better pages through hand-coding.

Most of GUI-based web page authoring tools have their own fancy ways of generating the HTML code, and by the time they are through, you have a page three times the size of what you would have had, had you simply written the HTML commands. Mathematically, if you generate a page through FrontPage2000, for instance, and it's size is 30 units [bytes, kilobytes], you can have the SAME look by hand-coding, and the size will be 9-10 units. Yes, this is the amount of junk code generated.

On the Net, size does matter.

When for the first time I saw the source-code of an HTML page, I got so scared that I quickly closed the window. Then gradually, my web developer friends talked me into learning the ropes line by line, and within a week, I felt like an HTML dude. I'm not exaggerating. It really is so easy.

So if you are psychologically ready, and would like to give it a try, follow these steps and in about 10 minutes, you'll have your first [if you have never done it before] hand-coded HTML page. Don't get disheartened with the look, I understand you could be used to the fancy-frills of your tool. Just remember one thing, an HTML page is mostly made of tags. There is a beginning tag: , and an ending tag . Note the forward slash in the ending tag. In this first article, we'll be discussing the basic tags. In the proceeding articles, we'll go deeper and deeper.

Another thing before we progress: get hold of HomeSite, if you can. It's a very neat HTML coder - very humble. It let's you run amuck with your hand-coding, but now and then, provides help in the form of drop-down menus, so that you do not have to memorize all those spooky options associated with HTML tags. It automatically pops out the closing tag so you don't miss it. Check it out at (

== Step 1: ==

Create a separate directory where you are going to store your file(s).

== Step 2: ==

Open your favorite text editor. I would suggest for this first file, use NOTEPAD because it loads very fast, and no matter how many copies you open, it doesn't act fussy.

== Step 3: ==

Write these two lines first, as they are visible here:

Your entire web page is going to exist within the confines of these two tags. I suggest you write the closing tag as soon as you write the opening tag so that later on, when there are too many tags, you don't get mixed up.

At this moment, you can save the file in the new directory you just created. Remember while saving, if you are using NotePad, that while writing the name of the file, for instance, firstpage.html, you have to enclose it within quotes in order to save it as an HTML page: "firstpage.html".

NOTE: Due to character per line limitations, some of the HTML text may appear broken, but when you are typing in your text editor, press enter only when you have typed the closing tag, for instance, .

In the following two sections, you get to get your hands dirty with pure viscera of HTML.

If you liked this lesson, please forward it to someone you feel would appreciate it.

Send your comments and feedback at

About the Author
Amrit Hallan is a freelance web designer. For all web site development and web promotion needs, you can get in touch with him at ( For more such articles, visit ( and ( You can subscribe to his newsletter [BYTESWORTH REACHOUT] on Web Designing Tips & Tricks by sending a blank email at


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