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HTML & CSS: How They Work Together

What would society be without the resources, knowledge, and communication the internet gives us today? After exploding onto the scene just a couple decades ago, today half the world has access to some form of the internet.

If you’ve never done web design, then the process of constructing a webpage may seem like Greek. Especially considering there are so many processes and coding languages used today to pull off distinct looks and specific functions and stylings.

However, underneath all the glitz and glamor that coders can give a website, there are still two basic elements at work on each page: HTML and CSS. Ignoring the JavaScript and other specific languages, we’ll focus on these two building blocks.

How do HTML and CSS work together to create web pages?

We’ll show you! Keep reading to learn a little about how web pages are formed and how these two coding languages together create the websites we love so much.

How Do HTML and CSS Work Together to Create Web Pages?

Have you ever inspected a website or seen code in person on a computer program? Chances are it looked to you like a big mess with lots of confusing text spelling out nothing in particular.

That text, though, forms everything you see on a website from the structure of content and the placement of banners to contact forms.

These languages call back to each other (and a few additional sources) to work their magic, relying primarily on HTML and CSS. You have to stretch your imagination a little to understand how web pages are made, but we’ll help.

HTML: The Skeleton Language

It sounds ominous, but you can think of HTML as the coding language that builds the skeleton of a web page. It tells everything where to go and sets up some very specific rules that everything on the page will have to follow.

After the skeleton is built, then CSS can help transform the way that all that information looks cosmetically to the visitor. Before the page can apply things like color and design, it first needs to have a practical setup.

Here are some of the most basic ways to set up content in HTML:


One of the basic units of any language, paragraphs help to break up the text into separate portions. This helps to avoid bulky blocks of texts that deter visitors from reading.


“tag” (as coding elements are called) breaks up everything before and after it so the content inside stands alone. Coming across any breaks in website content lets you know that there is a

tag underneath that code somewhere.


Another way to break up text, headings are like titles spread out across a page. The tag for main headings is

with other heading tags descending in importance and number (



, etc.).

The different tags mean the different emphasis placed on them in the text. Smaller heading numbers appear larger and bolder than others to make different statements.


The little boxes of information and the list of quick links at the bottom of a web page are called a footer. Just like a footer anywhere else, this is the final information visitors see on a website.

This spot is usually reserved for navigational links and contact information. It can be designed to be a preset box of information and content that appears at the bottom of all your pages.

Bold and Italics

While the appearance of a page is mainly dictated by CSS code, HTML does have a hand in some aesthetics. However, these are mainly limited to text.

HTML can tell certain portions of text to be in italics or to be bold to help them stand out from the rest of the paragraph. Beyond this, though, the uniqueness of a page is determined by CSS.

CSS: The Beauty Language

While HTML is there to determine the structure of any given page, the CSS controls the style of a page. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, which refers to the lines of code that determine how all the HTML is going to look in the end.

You can think of CSS like rules that affect whatever code they’re applied to. A page can be set up to look a specific way (such as a homepage or contact page) by creating a style sheet, like a template.

When recalled in code, any HTML on a given page has to obey the rules of the CSS stylesheet.

While CSS has many elements, looking at some basic commands is a good way to get a better understanding of the language’s role:


If your content is made up of standard black text against a white background, it’s a missed opportunity to add a little flare. Adding blue titles to your articles and grayscale headings can spice things up.

With CSS, you can apply a rule that all headings are one color while the paragraph text is another.


Changing the style up from Times New Roman and monospace fonts, you’ll need the help of CSS. In your style sheets, you can designate certain words, sentences, headings, or bulks of text to have a wild or quirky font.

Check out the free font offerings from Google and read the step-by-step instructions to implement them into a webpage.


Instead of adding in a border from design programs and using it as the background image, CSS can give you the command over a variety of borders. From bold, dotted lines to light dashes, CSS can help you customize borders with simple commands.

Using Code to Build Engaging Websites

How do HTML and CSS work together? By each taking a piece of the responsibility for the way a webpage looks. You can’t have CSS without a basic skeleton of a website. And you can’t have an engaging website with just HTML alone.

Using both of these coding languages, you can customize your website into an attractive, engaging place for visitors to frequent.

Looking for more insightful information on coding, web design, and navigating the digital age? Check out other articles and professional resources on the Web Code Buddy website today!