Even though HTML is a basic web design language, code errors are inevitable. It is very frustrating, when your page doesn’t load or work properly. That’s why we’ll explain what are the most common types of HTML errors. We’ll also show you where to find HTML help, so that you gain confidence in fixing your website.
Your website doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to? Let us show you where to find help in HTML.
It‘s a special software that verifies if your code is correct. One of the most popular validators you can find on the Internet is the Markup Validation Service. It was released to the public by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) – an organization that is responsible for setting the world-wide standards of web development.
The validator is easy to use – all it takes is to send your code to Markup Validation Service. You can do it in three ways: paste your URL, upload your file, or simple paste your code into the text field.
The validator will automatically show you if you have code errors. It will also point them out in your document and inform you about the type of error.
HTML code editors
A simple Notepad may be enough to write a website, but there are tools dedicated for developers known as code editors. They speed up the process of writing and make it much more comfortable, thanks to their additional facilities, such as:
- Syntax coloring mechanism that will emphasize the most important elements in your source code, to make them easier to find and edit
- Integrated file manager
- Rough draft for making notes
- Syntax error signalization
- Intelligent code autocompletion, for example: automatic closing of tags
It may sound trivial, but the Internet is a true vault of information. You can find HTML help: on Internet forums dedicated for developers, in tutorial videos, or expert articles and blogs.
You’ll definitely find valuable advice on such forums, as: WebDeveloper, TechRepublic, or Computing. If you prefer to watch a video, there are numerous web development channels on Youtube, like: Coder’s Guide, Helping Develop, or Google Developers. If you want to read expert articles you can visit professional blogs, for example: Howtogeek, Smashing Magazine, or WebResourcesDepot.
So what solution is the best?
Let’s start with the fact that it is always a good practice to work on code editors. Not only will your work go more smoothly, but also the software will prevent committing errors. In order to verify the entire HTML document, use a validator that will indicate all the errors and inform you about their type. If you’ll still have problems with your page, you can turn to valuable sources of informations, such as: Internet forums, video tutorials, or expert blogs.
Most common HTML errors
Even the most experienced web developers can have problems with HTML. Computers do not “read” the way we do – a simple misspelling causes misunderstanding, and thereby, website malfunctions. The following list of the most common HTML errors should help you understand why your website doesn’t work:
- Syntactic error
Syntax is the set of rules that govern sentence structure in a given language. Similarly, programming syntax defines how to combine symbols to achieve a proper document structure, and consequently, a properly working software or website.
The most common syntactic HTML errors involve improper opening and closing of tags and attributes. They may also be caused by overlooking simple misspellings, e.g.: a large letter instead of a small one, or unclosed quotation marks.
In order to display an HTML document, you need to fix all syntactic errors.
- Structure errors
Struktura określa budowę dokumentu HTML, np: tytuł strony <title>, nagłówek <head> i zawartość dokumentu <body>.
All HTML documents have a defined structure that consist of, among others: page title <title>, heading <head>, and content <body>.
The structure is broken, if you have, for example, placed inline elements (such as <span>, <a>) inside of block elements (such as <div>, <header>, <section>), instead of doing it the other way round.
If you want browsers to properly display your document, this structural errors have to be fixed.
- Wrong semantics
Semantics relates to the meanings assigned to symbols. It is used incorrectly, if you, for instance, mark a heading with <strong> instead of <h1>.
In order to make it easier for browsers to read your document, pay special attention to your code’s semantics. It will also make it easier for you to combine your project with the CSS language.