The Basics of Web Design: Understanding HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

If you're interested in web development, learning to code is a must. These days, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the three primary programming languages used in web design.

What Is a Programming Language?

Before diving into how these three programming languages work together, let's define what a programming language actually is. In simple terms, a programming language is a set of instructions used to communicate with a computer. The goal is to write code that a computer can interpret and execute.

Programming in Web Development

When it comes to web development, programmers use different languages for different purposes. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the most widely used. HTML provides structure to the website; CSS adds style; and JavaScript makes it dynamic. The three work together to create a visually appealing and functional website.

HTML, CSS, & JavaScript: A Tutorial

Let's take a deeper look at the three programming languages that make up the bulk of web development today, beginning with HTML.


HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is a markup language used to create the basic structure of a website. It's similar to the skeleton of a human body. HTML tags define the different parts of a webpage, from the header to the footer. These tags include <html>, <head>, <title>, <body>, and many more. These tags are enclosed in angle brackets and are used to give information to web browsers about how to display the content.

How does HTML work?

HTML is a text-based language that uses tags to give structure to the content on a webpage. When an HTML page is loaded in a web browser, the browser reads the tags and displays them accordingly. HTML pages can also link to external style sheets (CSS) and scripts (JavaScript).


CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a stylesheet language that defines how HTML elements should be displayed on a webpage. CSS allows web developers to separate the design and layout of a webpage from its content, making it easier to change the look and feel of a site without having to edit the HTML code. CSS uses a set of rules to define how various HTML elements should be displayed. These rules can include text styles, backgrounds, borders, and more.


While HTML provides the basic structure of a webpage, CSS is responsible for creating the page's overall look and feel. HTML defines what content to present, while CSS defines how that content should be presented. Essentially, HTML handles the structure, and CSS handles the design and layout.


Finally, we come to JavaScript. JavaScript is a scripting language used to make web pages interactive and dynamic. It's responsible for creating features like pop-ups, forms, and slide shows. It can also be used to develop complex applications like online games and e-commerce sites. JavaScript is often used in conjunction with HTML and CSS to create dynamic, user-friendly websites.

What is JavaScript used for?

JavaScript is used for a wide range of web development projects, including:

  • Creating interactive web pages
  • Developing online games
  • Building chatbots and virtual assistants
  • Creating e-commerce sites

As you can see, JavaScript plays an essential role in modern web development. By mastering the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you'll be well on your way to creating stunning websites and web applications.