In HTML and CSS, syntax is the order in which elements appear or are written, meaning the grammar and spelling of the language. Syntax rules are in place to ensure the languages are always written in a way that can be read or interpreted by a computer. If syntax rules are not followed, then errors can occur and web pages or applications can break. For this reason, it’s important to learn proper syntax for any programming or development language you learn.
Why Syntax Matters When Coding
Let’s say that you’re going to start coding a personal website using HTML and CSS, and you’re certain that you’re the only person who will ever see or use your code. Since nobody else will have to work with your code, can you just ignore syntax and write whatever makes sense to you? Unfortunately (or fortunately), that’s not how HTML or CSS work. You have to follow syntax.
You are writing your code for computers if nobody else, and, even though computers are smart, they aren’t flexible enough to understand HTML and CSS if syntax is not followed. Basically, computers expect elements to appear in a certain order. They’re looking for a certain form. If your HTML and CSS don’t match that expected form, you’ll run into errors. Don’t do that.
Don’t be that person.
How to Remember Coding Syntax
Every language has syntax, including the first language you learned to communicate with, but, chances are, you don’t think about getting your syntax right when you’re in the middle of a conversation. You just get it right because you use it so much. See where this is going? If you want to remember HTML and CSS syntax, you need to practice communicating in each.
The more you practice, the less you’ll have to worry about remembering the rules. At first, you’ll need to rely on resources and possibly friends, peers, or coworkers to get it right. But, before you know it, you won’t be worrying about syntax; you’ll just be communicating with it naturally. You’ll be able to look at someone else’s HTML or CSS and point out improper or proper syntax.
Practice, practice, practice.
Resources for HTML and CSS Syntax
Whether you’ve never used HTML and CSS before or you have some experience, chances are, you’ll be using W3Schools to refresh your mind on tags, classes, IDs, conventions, and more. If you haven’t already, you really should bookmark that link so it’s there for you when you need it.
If you’re looking for a quick cheat sheet to refer to for HTML or CSS tags, then we’ve got you covered. You can bookmark Devmountain’s HTML Cheat Sheet and CSS Cheat Sheet to refer to while you code, with helpful definitions and quick rules to remember so you don’t get lost.
Have those bookmarked?
HTML and CSS Syntax: Part of What It Takes to Be a Web Developer
Knowing what HTML and CSS syntax are and how to use them is only part of what it takes to become a web developer. You can learn the rest of what you need to know at Devmountain, a serious coding bootcamp. Check out our 13-week Full-Time Web Development course, designed to prepare you for junior-level development jobs in just over three months. Make the change.