Welcome to part 2 of LOLSMG's Website Basics Series! Today we will be talking about code.  As we mentioned in part 1, code is basically what gives a website it's shape.  Code is a blanket term for any number of various coding languages.  If you have ever had a website designed for you, your developer might have mentioned something about code. What is this code and what does it do? Lets find out.

HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language is one of the basic building blocks of website development. HTML is made up of tags that your browser reads, interprets and then displays.  An example of an HTML code would be:

 <h1>This is Heading 1</h1>

Your browser displays it as so:

This is Heading 1

HTML is really all you need to create a website.  However, it's functions are limited it.  It can give sites some visual interest by displaying images, changing background and text colors for example, but if you want a really good looking website you'll want to also include CSS.  CSS is what makes sites look good!

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets compliment HTML code and give it visual interest. You can control the positioning and style of various parts and pieces of your site. Want links to have a drop shadow when you mouse over them? Done! Want your background to not scroll when the user scrolls through your content? Done!  The latest version of CSS3 can do some pretty amazing things, like animation, but HTML and CSS can't do everything. Other languages might also be needed, like JavaScript and PHP.

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) PHP doesn't get executed on your computer, but on the computer you requested the page from. The results are then handed over to you, and displayed in your browser.  PHP is used for dynamic websites and can be used in many different ways like to collect data from users, do calculations, interact with databases and much more. PHP is one of the most common languages used on the internet, and is used by many popular websites like Wordpress, Facebook and Wikipedia.

JavaScript (JS) is a language that allows greater interactivity between users and websites.  It runs on the visitor's browser and doesn't put great strain on a website's bandwidth.  It's uses are varied a common use is to verify data input into a form, for example to make sure an email address is in the correct format.  Another common function of js is to create cookies, which are used to temporarily store data on a visitor's computer.

As with all the coding languages mentioned so far JS can be used in conjunction with others.  For example, the Cursor Monster link earlier in the article was created with JavaScript and CSS3, the page the cursor monster "lives" on is created with HTML and styled with CSS.  Most websites are made up of some or all of the languages we have reviewed to provide users with function, eye pleasing and interactive sites.

These languages are also always changing and growing. The most recent version of HTML is HTML5 and is bringing in many new functions like canvas, and form validation.  Likewise, CSS3 is the most recent version of CSS and is demonstrating how it can be used to create sites that have no images - the CSS creates all the "images" in the site!

There are many other languages that can be used in website development, however this brief overview only covered the most popular and widely used ones.  If you'd like to learn more about coding websites check out w3 schools they offer free tutorials and even certification programs. We hope this has been helpful, let us know what you think in the comments! Don't forget to stay tuned for the next installment of LOLSMG's Website Basics!