Basics of HTML5 and CSS3: A Crash Course for Beginners

HTML and CSS are like the building blocks of the web. HTML (HyperText Markup Language) provides the structure, while CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) brings the flair and style. If you’ve been wanting to learn the basics of HTML5 and CSS3, you’re in luck. Whether you missed out on an online course or are looking to update your skills, this crash course will provide you valuable insights.
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HTML Basics

Creating Your First HTML File

HTML files commonly start with an index.html file. When you upload this file to a web server, it’s the first file that is read by the server to render your website. This file is written in HTML language, which primarily consists of various ‘tags’.

Title and Meta Information

You can set the title of your web page by using the title tag. This title is what appears on your browser’s tab and is also used by search engines. So make it descriptive. For example, Amazon uses “Amazon Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel.”

Icons and Links

To personalize your web page, you can also include a ‘favicon’ (favorite icon) by linking to an image file in your HTML document. This small icon shows up next to your title on the browser tab and helps in branding.

Text and Text Formatting

HTML allows you to nest elements, which means you can place an HTML tag inside another. This enables you to create complex structures. For example, you could have a paragraph of text and decide to make a specific word within that paragraph italic.

Multimedia and Forms

You can even include multimedia elements like videos. HTML5 allows you to include a video directly without requiring an external plugin. HTML also offers forms where users can input data, like text fields and checkboxes. The data entered is then processed when the user submits the form.

CSS Basics

Class and ID Selectors

After laying down the HTML structure, you can use CSS to make it visually appealing. Classes and IDs in CSS are pivotal for styling. A class can be used for multiple elements, whereas an ID is unique to a single element.

The Box Model

Understanding the CSS box model is vital. It consists of margins, borders, paddings, and the actual content. Margins are the spaces between elements; padding is the space within the element, and the border encloses the element.

Units and Sizing

CSS offers different units for sizing elements, like pixels (px) and relative em units. Another unit, ‘rem’, allows for sizing relative to the root HTML element, making it easier to maintain a consistent design across your website.

Display Properties

In CSS, elements can be displayed in various ways, such as inline, block, or inline-block. Each display type has its own set of rules around margins, padding, height, and width.


The positioning of elements can be controlled using properties like ‘fixed,’ ‘relative,’ and ‘absolute.’ This provides granular control over where each element sits on the page.

Advanced Concepts

Lists and Navigation

Lists are often used in navigation bars. You can use CSS to style these lists, remove bullet points, and even add interactive features like dropdowns.

Semantic and Non-Semantic Elements

HTML5 introduces semantic elements like article and section that convey meaning about the structure of your webpage. Non-semantic elements like div and span don’t inherently convey meaning but are used for styling purposes.

Special Characters

Sometimes, you may need to display special characters like the copyright sign, euro, or pound. HTML entities allow you to include these special characters.


Mastering HTML5 and CSS3 doesn’t have to be a daunting task. This crash course provides an extensive overview, from setting up your first HTML file to diving deep into advanced CSS features. With this knowledge, you’ll not only be equipped to create visually engaging websites but also understand the foundational aspects of web development.