But there are lots of good reasons to learn HTML beyond just pursuing a career designing websites.
Here are five reasons everyone should know a bit of HTML.
1. Better business communications
Today’s businesses are increasingly doing their work online, using a web browser for everything from mail and calendar apps to maintaining project and team notes on intranet sites.
Most wiki frameworks used for business content have a modified, simplified markup language they use by default. But most also accept properly formed HTML formatting, which affords you many more publishing options. Why settle for the minimum?
2. Make updates yourself
If you regularly need areas of your company’s website updated and haven’t looked into learning a little HTML, you really should. Most minor updates are simple to perform with basic knowledge of HTML and web standards. There’s no need to pay a designer to do something you could do as easily as updating a Word document.
3. Visual web tools complicate things
Visual HTML-building tools like Dreamweaver, Muse, Hype, and others can make web design easier. But in most cases they’re also generating code that you can easily write yourself, in raw HTML.
And should you need to work “outside the box” to build something in a way your software doesn’t support, you’re on your own. The lure of visual web tools can distract you from learning a little HTML; you might find what you need to do is far easier than you expected.
It takes a single line of HTML code to insert movies and media into your posts with confidence, not to mention tackling custom layouts, animated elements, and more.
Customizing your blog’s widgets and plug-ins is also far easier with a good understanding of HTML and CSS under your belt.
5. Streamline your life
Knowing HTML can also help out in our day-to-day lives.
It’s common knowledge that eBay auctions with visually rich HTML-formatted descriptions usually sell better and faster than less compelling counterparts, so don’t get left behind. Adding pizzazz to an Evite invitation, designing a beautiful email message, or freshening up the news on your community group’s website are other tasks that only need a little HTML markup savvy to get the job done.
HTML is dead simple to learn (you just need a web browser and a text editor), and once you’re comfortable with the basic HTML elements behind each web page, every page you visit becomes a living reference, too.
See a really cool effect or layout you’d like to try out yourself? Just find the “View Source” menu item in your web browser and you can see just how it was done. (Just don’t forget to credit your sources; they worked hard on that code!)