How Much HTML and CSS Should You Know To Develop? – Hacker Noon

Before learning web development and programming I was always at awe whenever I looked into nicely done websites. I love reading articles and the web is my primary source of contemporary information. Thus, I was exposed to a plethora of awesome pages that not only looked great but also provided sensible functionalities for its viewers. It stirred in me a desire to also one day be able to present information to the world in a way that would wow anyone looking at them.

Image by Caleb Dow on Unsplash

As a content creator I began by using Blogger, writing about financial education and entrepreneurship. With Blogger, in those days, there wasn’t a lot of leeway one could have in terms of customizing a site’s look. I started tinkering and found tutorials that taught me how to tweak the CSS files of a Blogger theme. This was when I realized I needed to learn HTML and CSS. I didn’t start learning until finally accepting the fact that editing a few CSS lines could never give me full control of how a site I was making would look and function.

Now more than five years later, I already know how to make a site from scratch and even put basic functionalities in it. Heck, I can now even code both the front and backend of a basic blog app and even build a TV-Series app with ReactJS. No matter how relatively advanced my skills are now, I can’t deny the fact that learning HTML and CSS is my foundation.

I understand one’s itch to start with a real programming language such as Ruby, JavaScript or Python. But to build something complete, at least for the web, a developer should have decent HTML and CSS skills. However, a web developer need not be an expert in them.

Do You Need That Much HTML/CSS To Be A Developer?

I initially thought of making a full blown list of all the HTML tags and CSS selectors/properties. Then I realized I could just lead the reader to more useful resources. I’ll then just make high-level suggestions in order to emphasize that web developers need not have a Bruce Lee-level of competence to be HTML/CSS ninjas. To build a site you only need to use common HTML tags such as for headings (h1-h6), links (), images (), unordered lists (


  • inside), divs and spans. In addition to these are the HTML5 semantic tags