Once an online rite of passage, learning HTML was crucial to getting your work onto the web when you couldn’t pay someone else to do it for you. These days, though, the presence of solid free, HTML5 website builders has all but obliterated the need for many online novices to take their knowledge a step further and actually learn HTML5, the latest version of HTML.
Still, the freedom that comes with looking at your website’s code and understanding what’s actually going on with your own website is empowering – and very useful when glitches arise. Think of it like being able to repair a leak or replace a lightbulb in your own home.
HTML5 Tutorials for Beginners
One of the truly wonderful things about programming is that everyone is learning and improving together, all the time. For this reason, dozens of free and immensely valuable resources exist to get even the greenest of developers started:
W3Schools is consistently thought of as among the top resource for HTML5 tutorials. They offer a complete list of elements, as well as a HTML editor that lets you try out an element and preview how it looks. Everything is laid out with the greatest of ease, in plain language.
TheNewBoston offers no fewer than 53 free HTML5 video tutorials on their website, including “Creating a Basic Template” and “Making Everything Pretty” as well as “Web Storage API”. TheNewBoston’s videos speak in plain language and keep a pace that allows even the newbiest of HTML5 newbs to stay with them.
DiveIntoHTML5, by developer guru Mark Pilgrim, is laid out like a University textbook, replete with pretty serif typeface and antique engravings. Once you get into Mike’s rhythm, though, you’ll soon find that he has deconstructed the history and the what’s, why’s, and how’s of HTML5 into bite-sized morsels, with plenty of FAQ’s, visuals, and real-world analogies.
HTML5 for Not-So-Beginners
Congratulations, you’ve figured out what to do with a canvas and how to work offline; things are moving along smoothly! Now that you have the basics under your belt, you can dive into more intricate aspects of HTML5:
Contact Forms: 24Ways Contact forms are a common source of grief for a lot of first-time developers, and this blog over at 24Ways (“to impress your friends”) by Inayaili de León does a very nice job of laying everything out. A full markup is provided, as well as code to help make everything look good. 24Ways is, in general, a wonderful user-driven resource of web-geekery.
HTML5Rocks is another go-to resource for user-provided HTML5 tutorials. Chances are, if you have a query or a problem that can’t be fixed, someone on this website is already way ahead of you. HTML5Rocks is a robust community with lots of opinions, so if you comment on a post or ask a question, expect answers.
FTLabs’ Matt Andrews provides an immersive how-to on creating web-apps, written in clear English and with plenty of examples. FTLabs are an experimental department of the Financial Times, and their website offers plenty of helpful articles and tutorials, mostly for intermediate level developers.