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HTML-CSS History

HTML-CSSLearn basics of HTML-CSS

HTML (or Hypertext Markup Language) is a standard markup language designed to deliver elegant structured web pages and formatting content. It is easy to learn HTML/CSS with community, because we have all you need to improve HTML coding skills. Our guide is specially designed to handle any difficulty level of HTML and CSS, and our resources (live streaming channels and videos) will help to solve issues or inspire to start a project with us. In case that you need an HTML code advice for your current project, you can chat with other HTML programmers in our community and find quick solutions for your HTML code. Welcome, and start learning today!


Introduction to HTML/CSS Programming Language

HyperText Markup Language, called HTML for short, is a format that contains text content, and markup data that indicates the type and meaning of that data. For example, blocks of text can be labeled as headings, paragraphs, or links, and references can be made to external images and other content to be embedded alongside the text.

Cascading Style Sheets, called CSS for short, is a presentation language that styles the appearance of content. For example, it can control the fonts, positioning, and colors of text.

HTML and CSS are two separate languages. It is considered best practice to not mix them. Although it is possible to define CSS inside of an HTML document, this undermines the benefits of using a separate styling language in the first place.

Instead, HTML files should only represent the content itself, and CSS files should always represent the appearance of that content.

HTML/CSS History

At its inception in 1990, HTML was only intended to provide structure for text-based documents. It had a concept of multiple levels of headings and of body text, but not much else.

HTML 2.0 was released in April 1994 and approved by the W3C as a standard in September of 1995, and it brought images. Developers were given very little control over how images were displayed. In fact, image tags supported only two attributes: One for the image source (providing a URL than the image could be downloaded from) and one for the alt text (a message to be shown to the user if the image could not be displayed for some reason).

HTML 3.0, released in November 1993, added tables. They were only ever intended to be used to present “tabular data”, meaning data that is inherently two-dimensional.

The intentions of the W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium, the organization responsible for publishing web standards) were ignored by developers, however. Web site creators quickly adopted tables as a means of control page layout. Indeed, tables provided nearly the same level of control that traditional publishers enjoyed.

HTML 3.2, published on May 5, 1996, and recommended as a standard in January 1997, introduced design elements such as fonts, colors, and background elements. This development marked the birth of the modern web designer. Suddenly, web pages were no longer about pure content alone, and presentation became king.

Browser developers, eager to capitalize on this trend, began introducing their own proprietary formatting tags. The companies behind the browsers saw these tags as a way to lock users in and cement their position in the marked. These browser-specific tags were marketed as improving users’ experience.

Some proprietary tags went on to become part of future HTML standards, but many did not. Examples include Netscape’s <blink> tag and Internet Explorer’s <marquee> tag.

The use of HTML tags to control the appearance of web pages let to a number of problems. Many of the contortions that web developers subjected their pages to in the name of page layout caused accessibility problems for disabled users. Browsers interpreted HTML code differently, causing pages to display differently across environments. Content relying on proprietary tags sometimes didn’t display at all. The latter problem was exacerbated by tags becoming “orphaned” whenever a competing specification won out as a standard, leaving the losing specification behind.

The W3C finally conceived of a better way. They would return to the roots of the web by completing divorcing content from its presentation. The process kicked off in December 1996 with the release of the CSS Level 1 Specification.

CSS was the brainchild of Håkon Wium Lie. Lie then worked with Tim Berners-Lee, creator of HTML, and later went on to become CTO of Opera Software. Lie’s was one of many style sheet proposals made at the time, but his and Bert Bos’ proposals contributed the most to what we now know as CSS.

The roots of style sheets go all the way back to SGML, the predecessor of XML that originally inspired HTML. However, none of the existing technologies like DSSSL or FOSI were flexible enough for the dynamic, modular nature of the world wide web. It was the desire to allow a document’s style to span multiple files that led to the cascading nature of CSS, where one style could cascade across multiple sheets.

The creation and standardization of CSS originally fell under the W3C’s HTML Editorial Review Board (ERB), but it eventually became influential enough that it’s own committee was formed in early 1997, the CSS Working Group, then chaired by Chris Lilley.


Here’s our top five favorite tools for working with HTML and CSS.

  • Thimble by Mozilla is a web-based IDE for web page creation. It allows you to write and edit HTML and CSS inside your browser, instantly preview your work, and host and share your content at the press of a button. Great for beginners.
  • jsFiddle is a place to edit and share small snippets of code. It’s great for tracking down bugs.
  • Cloud9 Cloud9 is a powerful cloud-based IDE. Write, run, and debug your code all inside your web browser. Workspaces can be made shared publicly, or kept private.
  • Google Developers Google Web Developer Tools is a complete set of libraries, frameworks, debuggers, and optimizers for web pages. They will help you build fast, beautiful websites.
  • HTML Kickstart HTML Kickstart is a bundle of lean and mean read-to-use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript components. It will help you build websites quickly and efficiently.

HTML/CSS Best Books

HTML/CSS is essential to learning how to code. There are tons of html tutorial online that you access and learn html coding. With the html help resources, you can easily become the HTML ninja. But, true knowledge comes from books that discusses many concepts in detail. We have listed below three categories for books. They are beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Check them out, now!

  • Book cover

    HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites

    by Jon Duckett

    Every day, more and more people want to learn some HTML and CSS. Joining the professional web designers and programmers are new audiences who need to know a little bit of code at work (update a content management system or e-commerce store) and those who want to make their personal blogs more attractive. Many books teaching HTML and CSS are dry and only written for those who want to become programmers, which is why this book takes an entirely new approach.

  • Book cover

    HTML5 and CSS3 All-in-One For Dummies

    by Andy Harris

    HTML5 and CSS3 are essential tools for creating dynamic websites and boast updates and enhanced features that can make your websites even more effective and unique. This friendly, all-in-one guide covers everything you need to know about each of these technologies and their latest versions so that you can use them together. Building on the bestselling formats of the first two editions, this new edition teaches you the fundamentals of HTML5 and CSS3, and then presents ways for using them with JavaScript, MySQL, and Ajax to create websites that work.

  • Book cover

    HTML and CSS for Beginners with HTML5

    by Mark A Lassoff

    There isn't a web site out there-- whether it be, or the site for your local high school-- that isn't written in HTML. If you do any level of web development-- from editing pages on a Wordpress site to designing original pages from scratch, understanding and being able to code in HTML and CSS can give you a level of control, and power over your designs that you've never experienced before.

  • Book cover

    Head First HTML and CSS

    by Elisabeth Robson, Eric Freeman

    Tired of reading HTML books that only make sense after you're an expert? Then it's about time you picked up Head First HTML and really learned HTML. You want to learn HTML so you can finally create those web pages you've always wanted, so you can communicate more effectively with friends, family, fans, and fanatic customers.

  • Book cover

    HTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide

    by Elizabeth Castro, Bruce Hyslop

    Need to learn HTML and CSS fast? This best-selling reference's visual format and step-by-step, task-based instructions will have you up and running with HTML in no time. In this updated edition author Bruce Hyslop uses crystal-clear instructions and friendly prose to introduce you to all of today's HTML and CSS essentials.

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    HTML & CSS: The Complete Reference

    by Thomas Powell

    Written by a Web development expert, the fifth edition of this trusted resource has been thoroughly revised and reorganized to address HTML5, the revolutionary new Web standard. The book covers all the elements supported in today's Web browsers—from the standard (X)HTML tags to the archaic and proprietary tags that may be encountered.

  • Book cover

    Advanced Professional Web Design: Techniques & Templates

    by Clint Eccher

    Advanced Professional Web Design: Techniques and Templates (CSS & XHTML) is the must-have book for advanced designers who want to expand their skills and improve the quality of their designs. Learning CSS technology and continually improving one's design and developer skills is becoming increasingly essential for every Web designer in today's marketplace.

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    Pro CSS and HTML Design Patterns

    by Michael Bowers

    Pro CSS and HTML Design Patterns is a reference book and a cookbook on how to style web pages using CSS and XHTML. It contains 350 ready–to–use patterns (CSS and XHTML code snippets) you can copy and paste into your code. Each pattern can be combined with other patterns to create an unlimited number of solutions.

  • Book cover

    Mastering Integrated HTML and CSS

    by Virginia DeBolt

    This unique approach to learning HTML and CSS simultaneously shows you how to save time and be more productive by learning to structure your (X) HTML content for best effect with CSS styles. You’ll discover how to create websites that are accessible to the widest range of visitors, build CSS for print and handheld devices, and work with a variety of CSS-based layouts.

HTML/CSS Projects

There are tons of HTML/CSS projects out there. Any website you open uses both the elements, and there is no way to run away from the technology. Below are some of the amazing website build using HTML/CSS.

Lesintegristes is a French-language web development blog.

Explore this project!

Eyestylesllc is the home page of a trendy eyeglasses retailer.

Explore this project!

Slconstantia is the website of a French athletics group.

Explore this project!

01tec is the professional website of a German IT consultant.

Explore this project!

Fortherecord is the online home of one person’s 45rpm record collection, and a neat CSS showcase.

Explore this project!

Mikemai is the professional web page of Mike Mai, a full-stack product designer.

Explore this project!

HTML/CSS Community

  • W3C

    Is the first place you need to visit if you are looking for a community for HTML. They take care of every single feature and functionality of HTML/CSS. There are other communities on the internet that you can work with. Both small or big works together to bring the best in HTML/CSS potential.


  • Josh Clark

    Josh Clark is a web design futurist, with a vision that extends far beyond today’s hardware. He founded Global Moxie and authored Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps. He is also an expert in mobile strategy and user experience. He has a Twitter account.

    Josh Clark’s Twitter
  • Chris Coyier

    Chris Coyier is an entrepreneur and an expert in CSS. He started doing software testing in 1998 and print design in 2004. He later became a web designer and developer, and founded CSS-Tricks in 2007. He has a Twitter account.

    Chris Coyier’s Twitter
    Chris Coyier
  • Brad Frost

    Brad Frost

    Brad Frost started creating websites in 2007. He now does design work, consulting, and public speaking about front-end development, particularly mobile. He contributed to The Mobile Book and Implementing Responsive Design. He is a technology reviewer for Head First Mobile Web and creator of This is Responsive. He has a Twitter account.

    Brad Frost’s Twitter
  • Lea Verou

    Lea Verou has crashed the boys’ club and participated in developing web standards with the W3C. She comes from Greece and is an expert in open web standards. In 2008 she co-founded Fresset Ltd., where she applies the unique perspective she developed while working with the W3C. She has a Twitter account.

    Lea Verou’s Twitter
    Lea Verou
  • Jeffrey Zeldman

    Jeffrey Zeldman

    Jeffrey Zeldman is known as the “King of Web Standards”. He is a designer, writer, publisher, and faculty member of the School of Visual Arts. Since 1995, he has published web design techniques on his personal website. He founded and currently chairs the Happy Cog design studio. In 1998, he started the web design journal A List Apart. Like everyone else on our list, he is on Twitter.

    Jeffrey Zeldman’s Twitter

HTML/CSS Conferences

There are tons of HTML/CSS conferences that take place around the world. Most of the conferences focus on one technology, it can be either HTML or CSS.

  • HTML5DevConf

    HTML5DevConf is a leading HTML5 conference. It takes place in San Francisco once a year.

  • CSS Day

    CSS Day is a two-day conference dedicated to both HTML and CSS.

  • WebDevCon

    WebDevCon is held by Amazon. It focuses on front-end technologies, including HTML and CSS.

  • HTML5 Days

    HTML5 Days is a German HTML5 conference.

  • DevNexus

    DevNexus is a conference for professional developers. It is focused on web development.