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Is it worth learning HTML? | parasurv's webspace

Date: 2020-08-29

I was about 14 or 15 when I started with HTML. With a pirated visual editor and trying to copying existing site. Fun times in 90s. But I have to say I didn't learn that much, until later I switched to editing pages by hand, using just the source. It's much easier than it sounds.

I had many sites on the net, thanks to free hosting. Some of it went really well in fact (sadly the sands of time washed them away).

As time has passed, technology moved on from simple HTML pages, and everything become dynamic. CMS (content management system) is all the rage nowadays, especially WordPress, which is - thank god - open source. Everybody wants a dynamic page for themselves. However, not everybody needs a complicated page. A simple company website with some portfolio, is basically just 5-6 pages, which is rarely edited, is more than enough for small companies, even for some mid-size companies, unless they have some special needs.

The web is getting slower, because of this dynamic pages. Pages that has to be rendered every time somebody visits the page, meanwhile HTML is already rendered, and ready to be seen.

Even if you don't know any or little HTML, you can still buy quite good HTML templates, that's good for your needs.

In the age of social media, everybody needs a stable home on the web!

I agree with Luke Smith about "everybody needs a website". A social media page is not a website. You rely on other companies to hold your content, that can be terminated by them, at any time, for any reason. In fact they don't even need to give you a reason.

That's why your own web home is important, and simple HTML website is enough for that. HTML is also easy to make backup of, and transferable. Every webserver supports HTML. You can test it locally, by just opening the page in a web browser, and you don't have to setup your own webserver stuff, just to see how it looks and functions.

Two solutions

First, you can use static website generators. Which means you have a framework, a base for you website, how it looks and functions. You just need to write the content for it, than with a push of a button, it generates the website and insert your content to that framework, ready for upload to the web.

They are pretty easy to use, and there are many to choose from. Last time I checked, Hugo has some incredible templates to use, that put some of the commercial WP themes to shame. Static website generators are also cross platform, useable on Windows, Mac and Linux systems. It requires some learning, but still not as much if you want to learn WordPress.

Second, you can learn HTML and build your own website. Depends on what your goal is, this might be a better solution. For personal stuff, I highly encourage everyone to learn it. You can do it in a couple of days, and then the real work starts, to put the knowledge to the test and create something better than just a simple website…

HTML gives you the content and side of things, a page normally has a HEAD section which has general information about the page, like TITLE (what you see in the browser's tab), DESCRIPTION and you can point to the CSS file. The BODY part has the content of the website.

CSS gives you the look of the website, that's where you give the element the colors, sizes, etc. This is where everything comes alive basically. But don't go overboard with it. And luckily you don't have to deal with gazillion different browsers and interpretations.

Personally there is no better solution, both can be good, and I used both for many-many years. If you would use it for blogging, I think a static website generator is much better though, since it will take care of different pages automatically (like tags, categories, archive, etc.).

Where do I host it?

There are many options, since the barrier of hosting HTML pages are very low. I use Neocities, which is free hosting for one site, but you can search for other solutions.


This was day #53 of #100DaysToOffload , where we write about different things on our personal blogs. Join the project or just read the blogs (we have RSS and coookiez!).

Hosted on Neocities and created with Emacs, the world best text editor, operating system. This website doesn't track you. I don't use any javascript or other scripts. I don't store any information about the visitors. It's just pure old fashioned HTML. Some parts of the site is not up-to-date design wise. I may or may not update them in the future.