Remember how I said three weeks ago (see the first week of my journey here) that anyone can code? Well, it really is true. In fact, I am kind of impressed with myself in how quickly I have been able to figure out the basics of coding ;). Using Replit, online tutorials, videos, and the guidance of a few experts (at Repl.it) has made the learning curve way less intimidating. But if you follow along with me, it can be easy for you too!
Last week (read about it here), I broke down the two languages I would be using - HTML and CSS - and how to get started with Repl.it. After some self-training and trial and error with the mock Repl I made last week, I decided to jump in this week to create my actual project, a holiday e-card on a custom domain (remember domain is just the place the information is housed and is the name of the website).
First, I decided to create an outline with all the text I wanted to add to my web page. Next, I started a new Repl and gave it a name.
My first assumption was that creating a new Repl would be like creating a totally blank new document. I was wrong. At first I saw some text that looked like gibberish (trust me though, once you understand, it isn’t overwhelming at all). On the first line of your brand new Repl, you will see doctype html. All this means is this text is communicating to your web browser as an HTML doc. The HTML document itself begins with
<html> and ends with
</html>. Next you will see
<head> and the information contained inside is the title and meta title for your website. For those of you who are about to google “meta title”, I will save you the trouble. A “meta title” is the text you see when you hover over a web page tab in your browser.
Lucky for you, when you start a new Repl, you will not have to think about any of this. Easy! So where do I actually add the text that I want to display? All your text, images, titles, etc. will go between
Now let’s get started adding some text. As your Repl stands now, there’s nothing to display. Referencing my outline that I made at the start, I created my heading first. Remember, last week we discussed the tags you would use to alert the browser if the text is a heading, paragraph, etc.? I chose to use the
<h1> tag as this is the largest heading style. Make sure you use
<h1> for the beginning and
</h1> at the end. I had to learn this the hard way...more to come in a minute. I hit the big green “run” button after every step to make sure that the code worked.
Next, I added my main text using the
<p> paragraph tag and a smaller heading using
<h2>. Once again I kept pressing “run” at each step. Just keep repeating these simple steps to add content to your website!
One cool feature I like is how Repl will predict the tag I am going to use which makes it so much easier and faster than always looking everything up.
Ok. So now for what I thought was going to be the hardest part: adding an image. I wanted my image to appear after
<h1> but before
<p>. Thankfully, this wasn’t too hard. To add an image, start by typing
<img. (Notice there’s NO ending
> here! I got this wrong at first, but quickly figured it out.) Now type
src= which refers to the source of your image. You can link to an image on another website or an image you uploaded to your Repl.
I chose to upload my image to Repl from my computer. It’s easy, just click on “new file” (hint: it’s the icon on the left next to “Files”), and upload your image.
Pay attention to the name of your image! Now after
src=, type the name of the image EXACTLY as it is saved, including the type of file it is (e.g. familypic.jpg). Next, type
alt=. Have you ever noticed how when you hover over an image sometimes a description of the picture will show up? That’s the “alt text” in action. Lastly, you can set your image’s height and width restrictions. I ended up choosing 500 pixels for both. At first, the picture was huge!
I was so proud of myself for understanding and properly (or so I thought) inputting all this code. However, when I hit “run”, this is what I got! Do you see an image? Nope! Remember, how I said pay attention to the
<>. I had typed
<img> instead of
<img. Just saved you 10 minutes of problem solving… you’re welcome. (Oh and remember to add the closing
So, drum roll please….here is my finished (for this week) product using HTML. I did it!!
Join me next week as I add some holiday cheer to this e-card with CSS! Let’s be honest; right now it is a tad boring… And remember, Repl.it is FREE and super easy to use. Keep sharing with friends and family who are just getting started with coding too. Thanks for following along!