Today’s workforce continues to become more and more tech savvy, which means having basic web coding skills is useful for many different careers. In fact, you no longer need to become a full-fledged web developer to use HTML and CSS on a daily basis. So, depending on your career you may be wondering, should I learn HTML and CSS?
Read on to find out why you should start learning web coding skills. We’ll cover eleven reasons why it’s useful to learn HTML and CSS today.
What are HTML & CSS?
While most people have heard of HTML and CSS, they may not know exactly what these web technologies are for. In short, both of these languages have very different purposes when it comes to creating and designing web content. Here’s a closer look at HTML, CSS, and front-end web development.
Hyper-text markup language (HTML) describes the structure and content of a website or web app. A typical HTML file contains numerous elements in a tree-like structure, and often includes links to other web pages to form a larger website. There are hundreds of different HTML tags, but some of the most commonly used elements are headers, paragraphs, tables, and lists.
HTML is useful for:
- Defining the structure of the content on a web page
- Creating links between different pages to form an overall website
- Modifying the structure of emails and other web documents
The cascading style sheet (CSS) language defines the look and feel of a web page. CSS code — whether it’s embedded into an HTML file or within a separate CSS file — contains various style attributes, such as font sizes, colors, layouts, and more. These style attributes are applied to different HTML elements based on CSS selectors and declarations.
CSS knowledge is useful for:
- Creating the visual design of web content
- Adapting web pages to different devices and browsers
- Improving the user experience of websites, apps, and more
Front-End Web Development
- HTML is the content layer
- CSS is the style layer
In the following sections, we’ll cover eleven reasons it’s worthwhile to learn HTML and CSS.
1. Understand How Web Design Relates to Other Channels
Many websites, especially at large companies, are built with input from many individuals outside of the web development team. This includes marketing, public relations, branding, and other business professionals. If you work on any of these other teams, knowledge of HTML and CSS can help you better collaborate with web developers to streamline communication and save time in the long run.
2. Use HTML & CSS as a Kick-Off for Other Languages
HTML and CSS are a great starting point when it comes to learning to code because you get instant visual feedback as you build your first web pages. These quick wins can motivate you to take on some of the more challenging concepts involved with programming. That’s why it’s helpful to learn HTML before Python or any other full-fledged programming language.
3. Strengthen Your Career Skills
When you learn to code — even if it’s only a basic markup language like HTML — you discover a new way of thinking. For example, coding can help you enhance your problem solving skills, and with these front-end languages in particular, help you become more design-oriented and creative. Knowing web coding skills also demonstrates that you’re more tech savvy than many other employees, which can increase your chances of landing competitive jobs in a variety of careers.
4. Save Web Development Costs
You may have your own business or personal project that requires a simple website, but you don’t want to hire a web developer. Knowing the basics of HTML and CSS will allow you to build your own website and save on development costs. This can be a huge benefit when bootstrapping a new idea with a small budget.
5. Build Unique Websites
With HTML and CSS skills, you’ll be able to create a website from scratch that’s unique to your project, without relying solely on generic website templates or themes. That means your website will look different than those built with WordPress, Squarespace, or another template-based web platform. You’ll be able to customize the user experience for your website to stand out from the crowd and appeal to your specific audience.
6. Improve Your Design Skills
Since HTML and CSS are primarily focused on how a web page looks, learning these languages will help you improve your design skills. This is especially the case for CSS, which requires manipulating the colors, fonts, sizing, and spacing of content. If you decide to become a digital designer, knowledge of HTML and CSS will be useful for creating mockups of websites, apps, or other user experiences.
7. Make Websites More Accessible & Mobile Friendly
One of the more challenging aspects of web development is making web pages more accessible for different users and mobile devices. With deep knowledge of HTML and CSS, however, you’ll be able to build highly responsive web pages that are more accessible to broader audiences. This shows website visitors that your company values inclusivity and can help improve the reach of your brand.
8. Better Understand SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy many companies use to make their websites easier to find on Google and other search engines. HTML tags not only describe to browsers how your content should be structured, but also help search engine crawlers understand what it’s about. By understanding how to use HTML tags — especially meta descriptions, links, and image alt tags — you’ll improve your SEO efforts and drive more traffic to your website.
9. Create Visually-Appealing Emails and Social Media Posts
HTML and CSS aren’t just used for web pages, but all web content including emails, social media posts, and more. For example, you can use HTML and CSS to design emails that are more visually-appealing, which is great for newsletters or other company-branded messages. This makes HTML and CSS especially useful for professionals focused on digital marketing, public relations, social media, and other customer-facing roles.
10. Customize Content Management Systems
Many businesses use content management systems (CMSs) to make it easier to update and publish digital content to their websites, but their user interfaces are sometimes limited when it comes to formatting and design. Since the published files for the website will ultimately consist of HTML and CSS, you’ll be able to directly edit this code to customize any content or templates before publishing.
11. Transition to Higher Paying Career Opportunities
How Long Does it Take to Learn HTML & CSS?
HTML and CSS are generally considered to be easy to learn, even for those without any technical background. In fact, you can learn the basics in a few hours and quickly begin creating simple web pages yourself. This includes understanding the basic structure of a web page, using the most common HTML tags, and viewing HTML documents in a web browser.
More specifically, learning HTML and CSS requires:
- Knowledge of common HTML elements, tags, and attributes
- Understanding of tree structure and enclosing elements with HTML tags
- The ability to organize web content into a logical structure
- Applying CSS style attributes to various HTML elements
Get Started With Treehouse
As you can see, knowledge of HTML and CSS is valuable across many different careers. The world is becoming increasingly tech savvy, so basic front-end web skills can set you apart or even jumpstart a career in web development.
The best part is that the right online training courses can help you learn HTML and CSS very quickly. Treehouse offers a Learn HTML course track that covers HTML as well as the basics of CSS. There’s also an extensive library of courses for both HTML and CSS available.
Start learning the basics of HTML and CSS with Treehouse to build valuable skills today. If you decide that coding is right for you, consider moving on to a comprehensive Techdegree in Front End Web Development.