5 Basic HTML Tasks Every Blogger Should Know

By Jonathan Bailey | Design & Coding

Jul 14

w3-schoolsWYSIWYG HTML editors are great. They let bloggers, or other webmasters, build sites or create posts without requiring them to take a look at any of the code that makes it up. Best of all, they are becoming increasingly powerful, able to do more and more while creating better and better code.

However, they are far from perfect. Whether they don’t align an image perfectly, can’t make a table just right or cause some other problem, at some point you’re going to need to delve into the HTML code itself to fix a problem. Furthermore, you never known when your editor might stop working or you have to write a post offline or at another computer, making those tools useless.

This can be intimidating for beginners as HTML, at first glance, looks strange and has an unusual syntax. However, there are a few simple HTML tasks that every blogger should know how to do and, best of all, they only take a few minutes to learn.

5. Add a Table

Tables are not as important as they once were. In the early days of the Web, tables were used for the layout of most pages in addition to their intended use of displaying information in an organized fashion.

However, tables are still useful in that they allow bloggers to lay out data in a structured way. They are still a very efficient way to present a large amount of information to a reader that is attractive and interesting. Unfortunately though, most visual editors struggle with tables, especially complex ones that require merging cells or other unusual layouts.

Understanding how a table works and building a few small ones from scratch will teach you how to pull apart larger ones, even if you use a table generator to help you get started. This knowledge comes in very handy in preventing the table from becoming an unintelligible mess, which is always a danger.

For Help Visit:W3Schools Table Page

4. Place an Image

Adding an image to a post or a template is one of the most common tasks anyone will do. Though WordPress and most blogging platforms make this easy, knowing how to do it yourself lets you customize the image in various ways. It also makes it easier to correct any issues that you might have with it.

If you don’t know how the IMG tag works and you place images in your posts, its worth taking a minute to understand the basics of it and even try to do a few yourself, without the aid of your editor. Not only will it help you improve on what your visual editors does, but it can save you should something go wrong, such as a broken image.

For Help Visit:W3Schools IMG Tag Page

3. Add a Link

Links of the currency of the Web and are a part of nearly every blog post post or page. Knowing how to code one is vital as it will be very difficult to write a post or article that doesn’t use at least one. Furthermore, knowing what goes into a link will also help you get more out of your visual editor by telling you what the elements are and let you further customize the link itself.

Furthermore, knowing how to code a link will also help you fix broken ones and put you in a better position to quickly correct any errors you see.

For Help Visit:W3Schools A Tag Page

2. Format Text

Whether you need to bold, italicize or otherwise modify text, its important to know the basics so you aren’t reliant on your editor for every highlight.

Specifically, it is important to know how to bold, italicize, enlarge text, use headings and make text subscript/superscript. All of these HTML tags are among the most basic, literally the easiest in the language. However, they are also some of the most common.

These are important tools to know for that very reason.

For Help Visit: W3School Text Formatting and Headings Page

1. Edit Styles

CSS isn’t technically HTMl code, it’s a different syntax and it serves a different purpose. However, a lot of the functions that, ten years ago, would be done (awkwardly) in HTML are now done in CSS. CSS can determine everything from the size of your text to the gap around your images to the layout of your site.

All of this is controlled within either one or a handful of stylesheets. Editing these stylesheets can have a drastic impact on your site, your posts and that is a double-edged sword. For one, they are simple way to fix problems that you have with your site or improve your look. On the other hand, they are a wonderful way to mess up your whole blog.

As such, you can not afford to not understand CSS, at least enough to fix any problems you see or make adjustments. You don’t have to know every attribute or every possible use, just a solid understanding of the syntax and some of the more common functions.

Knowing this will help you avoid “blowing up” your site and let you lean on CSS more, making it easier to manage and style your site.

For Help Visit: W3School CSS Site

Bottom Line

These are actually just some of the more important HTML tricks bloggers need to know. Every blogger, depending on their style, will likely have different needs. For example, my style requires me to be very familiar with making HTML lists while others might have more use for HTML forms.

Take a quick look at the HTML you’re using the most and, when you get a little free time learn how to do it by hand. Not only is it rewarding, but it frees you from the mercy of your visual editor and gives you the control to create the best code possible.

You don’t have to be a computer nerd to do some basic HTML, just someone who is willing to learn.


About the Author

Vince Stevenson July 14, 2009

Got into html many years ago by mistake and what a Godsend it was. I manage about 6 web sites now and it's great fun going through those initial stages of development. Yes, very good advice in this article. Rgds Vince

PC Security July 14, 2009

These are some of the basic things, but often taken for granted by most bloggers.

Liane YoungBlogger July 15, 2009

Yes. Sometimes it's worrysome. Bloggers skip to trying to tweak their themes when in fact, they still lack the very basic :(

BloggerDaily July 15, 2009

Absolutely! This is the basic things that every bloggers should know. And from this basic task, we can explore more about HTML and blogging.

Bob July 16, 2009

HTML is great, but I think you need to know a little bit of elementary PHP too. Think of all the great uses of things like Includes you could use to make your theme even more organized.

Brian D. Hawkins July 18, 2009

I agree with Bob on the PHP, at least for bloggers. It's amazing how many times I've messed up my entire blog just by typing in a wrong character when tweeking a theme or something. One wrong move and the whole thing call fall to it's knees.

seo Bournemouth July 18, 2009

I use word press and Joomla both have an array of built in wysiwyg editors but none are perfect. I would like to know the reason why especially in Joomla trying to format basic things like font style, colour and size is so difficult? maybe I am doing something wrong?

I know some basic commands but when editing a page am constantly going in and out of the source code and sometimes that doesn't work properly either.

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