Free HTML course. Sign Up for tracking progress →

HTML: Basic structure

Any HTML document can be broken down into several basic components:

  • A head block containing metadata about our site. The data from this block are not directly displayed on the page, rather they're used to describe it and connect the styles and scripts.
  • A body block is the main place where the HTML markup is formed. The data in this block will be processed and output to the browser.

The simplest markup in HTML5 looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <title>Basic HTML markup</title>
  <h1>Code Basics</h1>
  <p>Free programming and HTML lessons for beginners</p>

Notice the first line <!DOCTYPE html>. DOCTYPE (document type) is the service information for the browser that describes the HTML standard to be processed. The current HTML5 standard is supported by all browsers, so it's enough to specify <!DOCTYPE html> in the first line of the document, which says that our document is marked according to the HTML5 standard.

Then you open the paired tag <html> with the attribute lang="en". Specifying the language is also necessary for browsers, especially if the site is intended for a mass audience, including those abroad.

To avoid errors, both of the above constructs, if missing, will be added automatically by the browser. In some situations, browsers may not add the lines you would like, and instead of handling the page according to HTML5, the browser will render everything as HTML4, which will lead to a lot of problems because older standards may not know about the existence of many tags, such as <main>, <nav> and so on


Copy the basic HTML markup from the example above. Insert any markup inside the <body> tag. Try different tags from the ones we went through in previous courses.

The exercise doesn't pass checking. What to do? 😶

If you've reached a deadlock it's time to ask your question in the «Discussions». How ask a question correctly:

  • Be sure to attach the test output, without it it's almost impossible to figure out what went wrong, even if you show your code. It's complicated for developers to execute code in their heads, but having a mistake before their eyes most probably will be helpful.
In my environment the code works, but not here 🤨

Tests are designed so that they test the solution in different ways and against different data. Often the solution works with one kind of input data but doesn't work with others. Check the «Tests» tab to figure this out, you can find hints at the error output.

My code is different from the teacher's one 🤔

It's fine. 🙆 One task in programming can be solved in many different ways. If your code passed all tests, it complies with the task conditions.

In some rare cases, the solution may be adjusted to the tests, but this can be seen immediately.

I've read the lessons but nothing is clear 🙄

It's hard to make educational materials that will suit everyone. We do our best but there is always something to improve. If you see a material that is not clear to you, describe the problem in “Discussions”. It will be great if you'll write unclear points in the question form. Usually, we need a few days for corrections.

By the way, you can participate in courses improvement. There is a link below to the lessons course code which you can edit right in your browser.

If you got stuck and don't know what to do, you can ask a question in our community