How Long Does It Take to Learn HTML? Learn Faster with these Bite Size Standards

Unlock the secrets of web development with our comprehensive beginner's guide. Discover how long will it take to Learn HTML and start building your first web pages.

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Are you a content creator looking to take your first steps in website design? You’re precisely where you need to be.

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language.

Visualise HTML as the structural backbone of any website. A foundation that organises all the text, graphics, videos and overall layout. It operates behind the scenes, instructing web browsers how to render content for viewers.

HTML is used by 95.8% of all the websites whose markup language we know.

W3 Techs

Acquiring basic HTML knowledge will be transformative for those creating content. It will empower you to shape and optimise your online footprint with technical innovation and artistic flair. This knowledge is particularly useful if you’d like to increase the rankings and engagement of your WordPress or Wix website.

In this beginner’s guide, I hope to simplify some of the basics of HTML to give you a solid starting point for the learning journey ahead.

How long will it take to learn HTML? You may grasp the basics in days, but others may take several weeks to become comfortable coding basic web pages.

Learning CSS at the same time, which styles HTML elements, will extend this learning process.

Consistent practice will be key.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

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Key Takeaways

  • HTML is a fundamental language for creating web pages.
  • Learning timelines differ, but the basics can be understood quickly with commitment.
  • Combining HTML with CSS is crucial for full web development capabilities.

Why Learn HTML and CSS as a Content Creator?

WordPress powers 43.1% of all websites… and has been the fastest-growing CMS since 2014. 

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If you create content on platforms like Wix or WordPress, mastering HTML and CSS can be a game-changer. HTML and CSS are vital for optimising, tweaking and improving the code behind these websites.

These skills will allow you to confidently customise your site and theme, make your content stand out, rank better in Google and Bing, and speak more clearly to your target audience.

 

For anyone involved in marketing, running a small business, or engaged in creative online web-based projects, gaining a solid grasp of HTML will increase your confidence and ability to manage and enhance your website.

When combined, achieving proficiency in CSS will support your creativity, enabling you to tailor your web page’s layout and design to better reflect your brand identity far more accurately than an ‘out of the box’ WordPress or Wix theme can.

What Does HTML and CSS Do?

HTML

HTML is super important for making websites. It’s a text-based scripting language used to create web pages and content for the web.

When you use HTML, you tell your web browser what content is on the page, and how to layout your webpage. You do this using special bits called elements, which you write with tags that look like this: <HTML> and <body>.

Below is an example of a simple web page and the HTML used to create it.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <title>My First Webpage</title>
</head>
<body>
    <h1>Welcome to My First Webpage</h1>
    <p>This is a paragraph of text on my first webpage. HTML is the foundation of web development, allowing you to structure content on the web.</p>
    <h2>Why Learn HTML?</h2>
    <p>Learning HTML is the first step towards becoming a successful content creator website owner. It allows you to create and organise web content effectively.</p>
    <ul>
        <li>HTML structures web content.</li>
        <li>It's widely used in web development.</li>
        <li>Understanding HTML is essential for further learning in CSS and JavaScript.</li>
    </ul>
</body>
</html>

This example covers the basic structure of an HTML document, including the declaration of the document type (<!DOCTYPE html>), the HTML structure (<html>), the head section (<head>) with meta tags and the title, and the body section (<body>) which contains headings, paragraphs, and a list.

Tags in HTML tell your web browser where content starts and ends, helping to arrange everything on a webpage in the right place.

CSS

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, works in partnership with HTML. HTML sorts out the page’s content and structure, and CSS makes them look ‘nice’. CSS will let you style things like colours, fonts, and how stuff is laid out, which makes your website look good to people who visit it.

HTML and CSS might not be as complex as programming languages such as Python or Java, but they’re super important if you want to make websites.

So, remember:

  • HTML is all about setting up your content.
  • CSS makes your content look awesome.

This article will primarily focus on HTML is the logical starting point, and also the coding language that will most benefit website owners in the short term.

The Learning Curve: How Long Does it Take To Learn HTML?

How fast you learn varies. If you practice every day, you can usually grasp the basics in a few weeks. Most folks can start making simple websites a couple of months in.

I learnt how to code in HTML in less than 21 days with a book called Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 4 in 21 Days, published in 1999 when I first started coding. However, I wouldn’t recommend this book now as the HTML standard and syntax have moved on a lot.

 

21 days - that's How Long It Will Take to Learn HTML with Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 4 in 21 Days, Second Edition Paperback – 20 Dec. 1999
Learn HTML and XHTML in 21 Days, Laura Lemay (1999)

I’ll include some links and recommendations towards the end of this article where I recommend learning HTML.

What Will Affect Your Learning Speed?

A few things can speed up or slow down your learning:

  • If you already know some programming, you might learn faster.
  • How you like to learn, like watching videos, reading, or doing exercises, matters too.
  • Accessing high-quality learning resources, like books, websites, or courses, really helps (see the end of this article).
  • You’ll improve faster if you dedicate more daily time to learning and practising.

How to Get Good, Really Good, at HTML

To excel in HTML, immerse yourself in learning and practice. Start with foundational tutorials and gradually tackle more complex projects. Nothing can beat getting your hands dirty in code.

Actively engage with, and contribute to, coding communities for feedback and advice. Communities such as Dev.to or freeCodeCamp, and for kids there’s Code Club.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new elements and structures, and stay updated on HTML standards. As with all technology, HTML changes and evolves over time.

Your path to mastery in HTML is through consistent practice, ongoing learning, and community engagement.

Key Components of HTML & CSS

Learning HTML and CSS involves understanding their fundamental component parts and how they interconnect with each other. These two languages are essential for creating web pages and work together to structure content and dictate its appearance.

HTML5 Elements

HTML5 introduced more semantic elements that better described their meaning in a clearer way, which helps search engines and developers read the page structure more easily.

Below is a table listing 20 HTML5 tags along with their descriptions. Each tag comes with a link for further reading, providing detailed information and examples:

TagDescriptionLearn More
<header>Defines the header section of a document or section.MDN <header>
<footer>Specifies the footer for a document or section.MDN <footer>
<nav>Defines navigation links within a document.MDN <nav>
<article>Represents an independent piece of content of a document.MDN <article>
<section>Defines a section in a document, such as chapters, headers, footers, or any other sections of the document.MDN <section>
<aside>Marks content that’s tangentially related to the content around the <aside> tag.MDN <aside>
<figure>Used to represent self-contained content, frequently with a caption (<figcaption>).MDN <figure>
<figcaption>Represents a caption or legend for a <figure>.MDN <figcaption>
<main>Specifies the main content of a document.MDN <main>
<time>Represents a specific period in time.MDN <time>
<mark>Marks text that should be highlighted or referenced.MDN <mark>
<summary>Used as a heading for a <details> element and can be clicked to view/hide the details.MDN <summary>
<details>Defines additional details that the user can view or hide.MDN <details>
<canvas>Used to draw graphics via scripting (usually JavaScript).MDN <canvas>
<video>Embeds video content in a document.MDN <video>
<audio>Used to embed sound content in a document.MDN <audio>
<progress>Represents the progress of a task.MDN <progress>
<meter>Represents a scalar measurement within a known range, or a fractional value.MDN <meter>
<output>Represents the result of a calculation.MDN <output>
<data>Links the given content with a machine-readable translation.MDN <data>
Summary of commonly used HTML5 tags and why they are used for

These tags represent a mixture of document structure, content embedding, and semantic markup elements introduced in HTML5.

They help create more descriptive and functional web pages. For a deeper understanding and more examples on how to use these tags, the provided links to the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) Web Docs are invaluable resources.

CSS Syntax

CSS uses a precise syntax that associates style rules with HTML elements. Spelling within CSS is always Americal English.

Here’s a basic structure:

  • Selector { property: value; }

For example:

  • p { color: red; }:
    This code makes the text in all <p> HTML elements red.
ElementFunction
SelectorIdentifies the HTML element to style
PropertyThe style property to be altered
ValueThe setting applied to the property

Perhaps daunting at first, with some practice, you’ll soon get comfortable with both HTML and CSS, and the duration it takes can vary depending on how much time you invest and your prior knowledge.

What Can You Achieve with HTML and CSS?

When you start exploring web design, HTML and CSS will always be your primary building blocks. These building blocks will enable you to create functional and styled web pages.

HTML is the framework of your site, letting you:

  • Lay out your content with elements like titles, text, and lists.
  • Insert images and videos.
  • Link to other web pages.

CSS brings your design to life visually, enabling you to:

  • Adjust colours, fonts, and spacing.
  • Organise elements neatly or flexibly.
  • Add interactive effects like hover states.

A key skill in modern web design is making responsive designs.

Responsive web design is the practice of creating your pages so they look great on any device, from smartphones, to tablets to laptops and big desktop computers.

With CSS, you can use things @media queries to change styles based on the device’s screen size, which will help you design a great experience for every visitor.

Learning HTML and CSS doesn’t need the deep programming knowledge required for software development. With regular practice, and initially focusing only on the basics, you can start creating and styling simple websites in a matter of days.

As you advance your skills, you’ll discover more complex tricks and techniques, but this will take time and practice.

12 Ways to Learn HTML Better and Faster

To master HTML, a strategic approach to learning is vital to avoid wasting time and effort in areas that will prove less fruitful.

1. Master the Basics

  • Before diving in too deeply, learn the core elements of HTML. W3 Schools has been an excellent source of learning for decades.
  • Familiarise yourself with all the common tags (like <p>, <a>, <img>, and <table>), and their attributes.
  • Resources such as Kinsta provide structured modules that are suitable for beginners.

2. Practice Regularly

  • Apply what you learn in small projects. Start by creating simple web pages and incrementally increase complexity.
  • Use platforms like CodePen or JSFiddle to experiment with HTML and share your work for feedback.
  • Even spending as little as 2-4 hours daily can be enough to build your coding skills quickly. Career Karma suggests that steady, consistent practice is necessary to grasp HTML’s capabilities fully.
  • Make good use of comprehensive guides and interactive platforms like Berkeley Boot Camp which elucidate what you need to know before starting to code.

3. Learn HTML5

  • HTML5 is the new standard of HTML. Dive into HTML5 specifics to understand semantic tags (<header>, <footer>, <article>, <section>, etc.), form enhancements, new input types, and multimedia handling (like <video> and <audio> elements).
  • When you start to feel more confident, learn the APIs introduced in HTML5, such as Geolocation, Drag and Drop, Local Storage, etc.

4. Understand SEO Best Practices

  • Learn how to structure your HTML to support SEO rankings in Google and Bing, including using headings, meta tags, alt text for images, and schema markup. I’ll cover SEO for content creators in a future article, so please subscribe to hear about it first.

5. Incorporate Accessibility

6. Follow Web Standards and Best Practices

  • Stay updated with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards. W3C are the official organisation that sets HTML and CSS standards.
  • Write clean, well-organised, and commented code that follows these best practices.

7. Explore Frameworks and Libraries

  • While not directly related to HTML, understanding how frameworks like Bootstrap or libraries like jQuery interact with HTML can make you more versatile.

8. Keep Learning and Staying Updated

  • The web is always evolving. Follow blogs, join forums, and participate in communities like Stack Overflow or Reddit’s web development spaces.
  • Subscribe to newsletters and follow influencers in web development to stay updated on new trends and technologies.

9. Teach Others What You Learn

  • Share your knowledge as you learn through blogging, creating tutorials, YouTube videos or mentoring. Teaching is a powerful way to deepen your understanding and refine your skills.

10. Build Real Projects

  • Work on real-world projects. This could be your idea or contributing to open-source projects. Why not donate your time to a local charity that needs its website improved? There’s no substitute for learning from tackling real-life web development challenges.

11. Review and Refactor

  • Regularly review and refactor (update, refine and optimise) your code. Try to optimise and clean up your projects. This will help reinforce new best practices learned and lead to a deeper understanding of efficient HTML coding.

12. Learn the Associated Technologies

  • As briefly mentioned earlier, to truly excel in HTML, you should also understand CSS and JavaScript and how they interact and enhance the core HTML content of web pages. These technologies static, vanilla HTML into dynamic, responsive, and visually engaging web pages.

Becoming “really good” at HTML isn’t just about memorising tags or attributes; it is to understand how HTML fits into the broader context of web development and how it can improve your journey as a content creator

By following these steps, embracing continuous learning, and applying your knowledge to real-world scenarios, you’ll develop a strong command over HTML and lay a solid foundation for advanced web development skills.

How Can I Become an Expert in HTML and CSS?

Starting with HTML builds the foundation necessary to become proficient HTML conent creator. Here’s a pathway from beginner to pro:

1. Deep Dive into Advanced CSS and HTML Techniques

  • Explore the intricacies of CSS grid layouts, flexbox, custom properties (CSS variables), and advanced selectors. Understand the critical aspects of shadow DOM and how it interacts with HTML.

2. Optimise for Performance and Loading Speed

  • Learn techniques to make your HTML and CSS code functional and efficient. This includes understanding how to minimize file sizes, implement lazy loading for media, and optimise critical rendering paths.

3. Contribute Your Code to Developer Communities

  • Active participation in developer communities can provide insights into common challenges and innovative solutions. Engage in code reviews and discussions on platforms beyond Stack Overflow and Reddit, like GitHub or specialized web development forums.

4. Advanced SEO Techniques

  • Go beyond the basics of SEO; understand how to implement structured data (schema.org) to enhance HTML pages for search engines. Learn about the latest SEO trends and how they influence HTML structure and content strategy.

5. Master CSS Architecture

  • Learn about CSS architecture patterns like BEM, SMACSS, or OOCSS. Understanding how to structure your CSS efficiently can significantly improve maintainability and scalability of web projects.

6. Experiment with Preprocessors

  • Delve into CSS preprocessors like Sass or LESS. These tools introduce variables, mixins, and functions to CSS, allowing for more dynamic styling solutions that are easier to manage.

7. Implement Version Control

  • Familiarize yourself with using version control systems like Git for your projects. This is crucial for collaborating on larger projects, managing changes, and tracking the evolution of your code.

8. Responsive Design and Mobile-First Approach

  • Perfect the art of responsive web design by adopting a mobile-first approach. This is key to creating websites that provide optimal viewing experiences across a wide range of devices.

9. Continuous Experimentation

  • Set up personal projects that push the boundaries of what you can do with HTML and CSS. Experimentation is key to discovering new techniques, styles, and design approaches.

10. Analyse and Learn from the Source Code of Expert Developers and Successful Websites

  • Spend time analysing the source code of websites you admire. This can provide valuable insights into how experienced developers solve complex layout and styling challenges.

11. Embrace New Standards and APIs

  • Stay on top of emerging web standards, APIs, and features introduced in the HTML and CSS specifications. Early adoption and experimentation can set you apart as an expert.

12. Dive into Open Source

  • There’s no better way to learn than by doing. Contributing to open-source projects exposes you to new challenges and collaborative work environments. By making your code public you’ll be making yourself vulnerable to criticism, which will speed up your learning journey.
  • Seek Out Constructive Criticism – Show your work to friends, mentors, or online communities. Fresh eyes can offer valuable insights and suggestions for improvement.

By adopting these strategies, you can significantly strengthen your HTML and CSS skills, moving towards expert level. Remember, the journey to becoming an expert is ongoing, fueled by curiosity, continuous learning, and practical application.

Learning, just the web, never sleeps.

HTML & CSS in The Future of the Web

Content creators using platforms like WordPress with WooCommerce, Webflow, and WIX need to stay ahead of the changes in HTML and CSS to stand out from the crowded marketplace.

As we look to the future, these web technologies continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the effectiveness and functionality of blogs, affiliate sites, news platforms, and e-commerce websites.

WordPress and WooCommerce

For WordPress and WooCommerce users, your focus should be on leveraging the extensibility of these platforms to create unique, fast-loading, and SEO-friendly websites.

The integration of HTML5 and modern CSS techniques ensures that WooCommerce sites are not only visually appealing but also provide an intuitive shopping experience. Content creators should capitalise on WordPress’s robust plugin ecosystem to add advanced features without compromising on site speed or user experience.

Webflow

Webflow users enjoy a visual design interface that generates clean code, which is a boon for those who prioritize design flexibility and responsiveness.

As Webflow continues to refine its offering, users can expect even greater control over their site’s HTML and CSS, allowing for more intricate interactions and animations that can set their sites apart.

WIX

WIX users benefit from a user-friendly platform that’s constantly introducing new features and templates. However, for those looking to push the boundaries of design and functionality, a deeper understanding of HTML and CSS will be necessary.

As WIX evolves, anticipate more opportunities for customization that can help create more distinctive and authoritative websites.

Learning for the Future

Looking ahead, the future trends for blogs, affiliate sites, news sites, and e-commerce platforms point towards immersive experiences enabled by advanced web technologies. We can expect to see:

Greater Interactivity: With the advent of new CSS properties and JavaScript APIs, websites will become more interactive and engaging, keeping users on-page longer and improving metrics.

Micro-Interactions: Subtle animations and micro-interactions will become more commonplace, providing users with real-time feedback and enhancing the overall user experience.

Mobile-First Design: As mobile usage continues to dominate, a mobile-first approach in HTML and CSS will be imperative, ensuring websites are optimized for smaller screens and touch interactions.

Voice Commerce: For e-commerce sites, particularly those built on WooCommerce (and Shopify), integrating voice search and shopping functionalities will become a key trend as smart speakers such as Sonos and voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri gain popularity.

AI and Personalisation: Using AI to deliver personalised content and product recommendations will become a standard practice in the near future, requiring content creators to structure their HTML for easy integration of these technologies

Learning HTML – Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Financial Investment

Learning HTML, the standard markup language for creating web pages, varies in difficulty, prerequisites, and financial investment depending on several factors. Here’s a breakdown:

Difficulty

  • Level: Easy to Moderate
  • HTML is considered one of the easiest languages to learn for web development. Its straightforward syntax and declarative nature make it accessible to beginners.
  • The difficulty may increase as you dive into more advanced topics or integrate it with CSS and JavaScript for full web development.

Prerequisites

  • Basic Computer Skills: Familiarity with using a web browser, editing text files, and understanding the basics of how websites work.
  • English Proficiency: Most of the documentation and community support are in English.

Financial Investment

  • Minimal to None: A wealth of free resources available online, including tutorials, videos, and documentation, can help you learn HTML without any financial investment.
  • Paid Courses and Certifications: If you prefer a more structured learning path, there are paid options ranging from online courses to boot camps. Prices vary widely based on the platform, the depth of the course, and the reputation of the instructor or institution.

In summary, learning HTML is relatively easy and can often be started with minimal prerequisites and little to no financial cost. The investment in learning HTML pays off by opening the door to web development, enabling you to create and understand the structure of web pages.

16 Best Resources for Learning HTML and CSS

Here’s a table listing 8 places where a beginner can learn HTML online, including the name, a summary of what makes each platform unique, and a link to the platform:

NameSummaryLink
CodecademyOffers interactive and beginner-friendly courses with a hands-on approach to learning HTML.Codecademy
CourseraProvides a wide range of HTML courses, including university-level programs and professional certificates.Coursera
LinkedIn LearningFeatures video-based courses taught by industry experts, often with a focus on professional development.LinkedIn Learning
UdemyHosts a vast selection of courses on HTML for all skill levels, often with lifetime access to course materials.Udemy
UdacityKnown for its tech-oriented, project-based learning paths, including web development with HTML and CSS.Udacity
SkillshareOffers project-based classes where you can learn HTML as part of broader web development skills.Skillshare
edXProvides university-level courses in partnership with top institutions, covering HTML and web development.edX
W3SchoolsA comprehensive resource for web development, offering tutorials, examples, and exercises for learning HTML.W3Schools
freeCodeCampOffers free, interactive coding bootcamps and a supportive community for learners.freeCodeCamp
Khan AcademyProvides free, comprehensive educational courses, including HTML and other web development topics.Khan Academy
Mozilla Developer Network (MDN)Renowned for its extensive documentation and tutorials on web standards, including HTML.MDN Web Docs
SoloLearnFeatures bite-sized lessons and a mobile app for learning HTML on-the-go.SoloLearn
HTML.comDedicated to teaching HTML fundamentals with clear explanations and practical examples.HTML.com
The Odin ProjectOffers a full-stack curriculum with a focus on open-source learning and projects.The Odin Project
Code.orgAimed at expanding access to computer science in schools, provides courses and activities for learning HTML.Code.org
TreehouseSubscription-based learning platform offering tech courses, including web design and HTML basics.Treehouse

These platforms cater to different learning styles and needs, from interactive coding environments to video lectures and project-based learning. They offer a range of unique features that can help beginners learn HTML in the way that suits them best.

Remember, facing challenges is a natural and expected part of learning to code.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re setting out to learn HTML, you likely have several questions about the time commitment and process. Here are answers to some of the most common questions that beginners have.

How long does It take to learn HTML?

The journey to mastering HTML varies greatly among individuals, influenced by prior experience, learning speed, and daily study time. Typically, grasping the essentials of HTML can span a few weeks with steady learning, allocating an hour or two daily.

For a deeper comprehension and proficiency, several months of consistent practice and study are often required.

The learning path is continuous, adapting as HTML standards progress and as integration with other web technologies such as CSS and JavaScript begins.

Can I learn HTML as a beginner?

Yes, a complete novice can become proficient in HTML without any previous programming background, although some would certainly help. HTML is one of the easiest front-end programming languages to learn. With patience and practice, you’ll learn to make the most of this popular language.

How long does it take the average person to learn HTML?

To learn HTML efficiently and become competent, you should anticipate dedicating about a month to hands-on practice, with consistent daily efforts.

What is the difficulty level of HTML compared to other programming languages?

HTML is less complex compared to many other programming languages. This means the learning curve is not as steep. As a result, quicker comprehension and application in real world scenarios is possible.

How long does it take to build a website in HTML

Mastering HTML to the point of being able to create basic web pages, and linking them all together to build a website, typically requires a few weeks to a couple of months. The time it takes depends on the time you invest in learning and practising.

Can I learn HTML by myself?

Self-study is a practical approach to learning HTML. With dedicated learning and applying the code to real projects, you can expect to grasp HTML in a month or two. See the online learning resouces earlier in this article.