5 Reasons to Learn HTML and CSS

in Front-end

One of the most common reasons people learn HTML and CSS is to start a career in web development. But you don’t need to be a web developer to learn these core technologies. As a Web user, there are many great reasons to have the fundamentals under your belt, but here are 5 reasons we recommend learning HTML and CSS.

1. Animation

Flash was used for years to provide animation on the Web, but it’s slowly becoming obsolete. If you’re looking to create animations that can be shared on the Web today, CSS animation is one way to help fill the void. With keyframe animations, you have the ability to use timing to repeat animations from one CSS style configuration to another. One of my favorite tools is CodePen — it’s been used to create some interesting scenes, and you can use it to add life to your own web elements.

See the Pen Tape Recorder by Scott (@scottohara) on CodePen.

See the Pen Cubes CSS3 Animation by Nate Wiley (@natewiley) on CodePen.

See the Pen Spinner by Rachel Nabors (@rachelnabors) on CodePen.

2. Content Management and Layouts

Many content management systems allow you to edit HTML and CSS while loading content. However, layout issues often occur if you’re copying from an application like Microsoft Word and pasting into a content management system like WordPress. That’s when HTML and CSS can come in handy. By understanding how browsers apply default styles and what happens to empty tags left in HTML, fixing layout issues are a snap.

animation of WP admin

3. Art-Directed Posts and Pages

The majority of blog posts (including this one) use base styles for their site, but there are times when custom styling can help tell a story. Using art direction on blog posts or pages to visually represent what you’re saying can be instrumental for the user experience. Custom styles can range from typography and color to fully designed sites, and HTML and CSS can get you there.

What the World Needs

4. Customizing a Small Site

There are many websites customized and maintained by people who aren’t web developers, like a wedding photographer’s online portfolio for example. With an understanding of HTML and CSS, combined with hosted services like Squarespace, anyone can say goodbye to templates and customize their own small site.

Marquee Template on Squarespace

5. Reverse Engineering

Modern browsers now allow you to make temporary changes to web pages, like switching the color of a link, using developer tools. While this can be used for fun (or possible evil), it’s one of the greatest tools for helping someone decide if they’re interested in web development. By diving in and playing around with a site, you can gauge your interest in this potential career path.

Code School blog with dev tools

 

Understanding the basics of HTML and CSS can improve your digital presence, even if web development isn’t your career path. Want to get started? Try our new Front-end Foundations course, which helps you learn how to create a website with HTML and CSS while building a strong foundation in front-end development. Start adding to your digital skillset today! If you’re already an HTML and CSS pro, comment below and let us know what you consider the most important reason to learn HTML and CSS.

Code School

Code School teaches web technologies in the comfort of your browser with video lessons, coding challenges, and screencasts. We strive to help you learn by doing.

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About the Author

Dan Denney

I’m a seriously good copy and paster. Front-end dev for @codeschool, lover of all things web design/dev related and founder of @frontendconf.

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