Good, basic HTML tutorial?
May 26, 2006 7:25 PM   Subscribe

What is the best (preferably online) tutorial for teaching the basics of HTML (and CSS, although that's not as necessary)?

I need to turn over a site that I redesigned to someone who has no knowledge of HTML or anything remotely website-related.* I'm having a heck of a time finding a decent tutorial site online. Many seem out-of-date (as in broken links), but I also feel that I can't adequately tell if it will go over the person's head or not. Do any of you have any recommendations for tutorials that have worked well for you in similar situations? I will only have phone/email contact with this person over the summer, otherwise I would just sit them down myself. Since I can't do that, I'd like to get the person up and running with the basics before explaining the parts of the site that need to be updated regularly.

Also, reworking the site with some sort of CMS is not an option (although it would solve some problems) as that would still require some sort of maintenance and, more importantly, the school's server isn't friendly to such things.

* It's a graduate student organization website and those with such knowledge are few and far between in my field, or so it seems.
posted by stefnet to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
When I was first learning webmonkey was the most popular but that was nearly a decade ago.

They're still around (under different ownership), but the articles are still there.

posted by pg at 7:59 PM on May 26, 2006

Buy them a book.
posted by delmoi at 8:03 PM on May 26, 2006

Well, is pretty good. I tend to use it as a reference, rather than a tutorial, though, but I've recommended it to others as a tutorial.

On preview, I was going to recommend WebMonkey but I got distracted poking around Amazon.

I also recommend the PeachPit Press book HTML & CSS for the World Wide Web, by Elizabeth Castro. Anything else from this publisher (which is a division of O'Reilly) is recommended.

I wrote a 20-page manual for a similar situation, when I was turning a site over to some folks who had no idea what they were doing; it included the basics of HTML and CSS, as well as PHP. If you want, I can send that document to you and you can adapt it as needed. Email in profile.
posted by librarina at 8:04 PM on May 26, 2006

I'd start with Lissa explains, and when they're feeling their oats, move to the W3Schools Online Tutorials. There are also color codes, special characters and a snazzy button widget to make them look extra html-smart.

Personally, I started grokking html & css by downloading Evrsoft's 1stPage 2000, with a GUI that supported both drag & drop and hand-coding (and the ability to switch back and forth to see the "if I do X, then Y appears in the code"). Way cheaper than Dreamweaver, way better than other free editors (and most you pay for). Can even switch the GUI among options for newbies, hackers, and whizzes. To my delight, I find that 1stPage 2006 is now available.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:06 PM on May 26, 2006

Webmonkey, if they're into online learning.
posted by acoutu at 8:11 PM on May 26, 2006

Forget Webmonkey and all that stuff.

The best HTML tutorial, that inculcates a solid grasp of the basics, is the Maricopa Community College HTML tutorial.
posted by jayder at 9:18 PM on May 26, 2006

Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML is a great book. It's exactly what you're looking for.
posted by Mike C. at 9:20 PM on May 26, 2006

This used to be entirely different, before the buyout or whatever. Still usefull.
posted by IronLizard at 9:27 PM on May 26, 2006

A really excellent book for someone who needs to know the basics is "Building a Website with HTML" from Peachpits Visual Quickstart series.

It's not a web-link, but I've used this with a few clients of mine when handing over a new website and they have all found it very valuable in teaching them the basics and getting them on the right path. Plus, it's only around $10.00.
posted by punkrockrat at 6:09 AM on May 27, 2006

I second Mike C's recommendation of the Head First book. I run a 4 month program in web design and have used it with great success as the introductory text in the first week.
posted by jeremias at 7:08 AM on May 27, 2006

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