Build Your Business Website

In today’s world, having a website for your business is a necessity. The U.S. online marketplace raked in nearly $350 billion in 2015, with sales predicted to continue to rise. You can join the virtual shopping market and share in the profits by creating your own business website. HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is code that you can use to help build your online business. You only need three things to get started with HTML: a computer, a browser (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox), and a text editor (like Notepad or WordPad).

HTML Documents

Creating HTML code is highly accessible and relatively inexpensive; you can use common tools, which you may already have, to create a Web page out of a regular text document. The first step is to decide what kind of information you would like to display on your page. Enter, or type, your document into the text editor. Since HTML is a text-based language, it works best with text editor software. Save your work, and put either “.htm” or “.html” at the end of the file name. When you double-click your document, it will display in a Web browser. Adding HTML code to your Web page will give it structure. The code tells a Web browser how to display the text on the page.

Tags and Elements

HTML is a language of tags and elements. When you add these to your text document, the Web browser reads the code and then displays your document the way that the code indicates. The code is not displayed, just the text. HTML tags indicate things such as how text should look, where paragraphs should start and end, and how text is arranged in tables. Tags are placed between greater-than and less-than signs. Tags display to the left and right of the element; they anchor the formatting, or elements, into the Web page. This is an example of a basic tag format: element. Learning the different types of tags and elements and how they work allows you to control how your page is structured.

Links

Hyperlinks allow you to move around the Web. Internal links will take readers to another page on your site, and external links will take them to another site. Adding internal links will keep people reading and exploring what your business has to offer. An example of a basic hyperlink is City of Albuquerque.

The is the opening tag for a link, and this tag also includes the address of the page you’re linking to. Next comes the anchor text, the text that you want people to be able to click on to go to that page. A link is closed with . In fact, the majority of tags are closed with code containing the name of the tag after a forward slash.

Images

Graphics and pictures draw the eye and can make a page attractive and engaging. In fact, when was the last time you saw a site with no pictures? Adding images that compliment your content adds value to your website. Common image formats are JPEGs for photographs, GIFs for logos, and PNGs. The tag for an image starts with img, and it includes the location on the image on the Web. Image tags are one of the few examples of tags that don’t need to be closed. An example of image HTML code is img src=”picture.jpg”.

Forms

Staying in touch with your customers and site visitors is an important part of business. HTML forms can help you communicate and gather information from your customers. Common elements that can be added to forms are checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown menus, and text input boxes. These areas are where the visitor can input information and send it to you. This is the code for a basic form that includes boxes to enter your first and last name:

Last name:
First name:

The

element has beginning and ending tag. The element creates a text box to enter the information. The
tag creates a line break. This form displays with the labeled text boxes stacked on top of each other. Creating forms is an important way to help your customers communicate with you.

Tables

HTML tables are used to organize pages in columns and rows. You do not have to include tables on your website, but it is an option to keep information organized and tidy. All of the text in a table is surrounded by

andtags. Each row of text should be surrounded by

and, and each cell of text within that row should be surrounded by

and. Although they can be complex to code, adding tables to your website can help organize the content.

Other Resources