Let me first start out and say that this wasn’t the first time I used HTML code, I learned it a long time ago, although I never really use it a lot and really learned it just so I knew. I used it sporadically though the years on my various sites using it to make minor tweaks to my sites when I can’t use a content management system or other system to edit the site graphically. I’ll be honest, I really just learned the basics and even then barely used it. I learned text formatting, alignment and some basic design, and back when I learned it, before HTML 5, some of the tags were a bit different, for example, to make text Bold you would use the <b> tag around the text, now they use <strong> and the tag I learned is now “depreciated”, meaning that your not supposed to use it anymore in order to keep with web standards. Sure you can still use it, but to optimize a site to work best with as many computers as possible, you should use the newer tags.
Now it’s 2011, which is at least 6 years after I first learned HTML and I get this assignment to use the wonderful tutorials on W3schools, which is actually what I used to originally learn HTML years ago and on a side note, doesn’t look very different from where it did when I originally learned HTML. Although some things, like links and images came right back to me, and I remembered exactly how to code it, since, I use that code on my current websites making it fresher in my mind. Then there were things as simple as changing a font colors, I couldn’t remember and actually had to look at the tutorial even though the tags were plain English, they eluded me because I haven’t used them in a long time. After fighting with it for a while just to complete a simple class assignment, I hope I don’t need to use HTML for a while, or at least until I have the time to re-learn all the stuff I forgot.
I run several websites, but most of them run on the WordPress content management system which once I run the initial setup, which requires some tech savvy because you need to setup a MySQL database and PHP, you can easily run and manage the site without having to even see a line of code. WordPress is a blogging content management system but can do a lot of things in addition to blogging. WordPress offers themes that can be made by anyone who actually has coding ability and shared on a community site where the majority are free, there are also plugins that extend the site’s functionality, once again mostly free and adds features to the site without looking or using a single line of code!
Although it is becoming even easier to design websites without code everyday, knowing how to code will always be an important skill set for people who want to have complete control over their site, which is something WYSIWYG editors don’t allow to have. Code will always be a relevant skill, and the professional developers will always need to know how use HTML, CSS and other programming languages to develop the most innovative sites including content management systems for the more basic users.