Basic HTML & CSS: You Should Be Familiar With This
The WordPress platform makes it extremely easy for anyone, no matter their skill level, to quickly set up a blog and start blogging away. And some of the themes these days are so skillfully designed you’d never even have to learn what HTML and CSS are, let alone how to use them.
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But, like anything else, the more you know, the better your performance. So, if you’re a blogger and you’re not familiar with HTML or CSS, you should be. A little knowledge can go a long way toward improving your business.
As a blogger you should at least know how to create an anchor text link using HTML. If you’re working on WordPress all you have to do is highlight the text, clink on the little “link” icon and add your URL. The coding in your WordPress blog automatically creates the link.
But that little link icon only works when you’re publishing a post or a page. If you want to create text links in your sidebar you have to know how to use HTML. And if you want to use banner ads in your sidebar you’ll need to use HTML for those, as well. In fact, just about any changes you make inside the widgets in your sidebar will require at least a bit of HTML knowledge.
Eventually, you’re going to be doing some guest blogging or publishing articles in article directories. You might decide to build Squidoo lenses or Hubpages to help promote your blog. Very few of these other platforms are WordPress and in most cases you’ll have to know not only how to create an anchor text link, you’ll also need to know how to use HTML to create headings, sub-headings, bold and italics text, and numbered or bullet-point lists.
In the early days of the Internet every single page you saw online was hand-coded in HTML. As you can imagine, for long sales pages, the coding involved could be quite lengthy and confusing. All that HTML also drags down your load time. The solution is CSS – Cascading Style Sheets.
If you were to look at an average sales page you’d see there are actually two pages of coding. One is the actual HTML coding that includes your text, images, and other visuals. The second page is the Style Sheet, which is the CSS coding. When you use HTML to design your webpage, every single item on the page is preceded by a long string of code. With CSS, all of that code is shortened and organized into divisions. Then you simply use a “div” tag to control the different aspects of your page.
I know. It all sounds confusing. But here’s my point – WordPress is wonderful for getting you started but there’s so much more you can do with your blog if you’re even a little bit familiar with HTML and CSS. Let’s say you love the theme you’ve chosen but you just with the background were a different color. All it takes is one tiny little six-digit change in your Style Sheet and voila! A new background!
Or let’s say you want to add a link back to your blog in an article you wrote for Dukeo.com. All you need to know is one simple line of code:
<a href="" /></a>
and you can put a link in anywhere you want.
There are HTML and CSS help forums all over the Internet and it’s not nearly as confusing as it sounds. Whenever I’m stumped I just go to Google and type in my question. For example, “What’s the HTML code for setting a background color?”
Worried you’ll take down your blog if you make a mistake? Before you change anything, always copy the original Style Sheet and page code and save it so you can upload it again if your changes don’t work.