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HTML first

Last week, Dan P. asked on Twitter

In two words, what’s your best advice to a new web dev?

My advice…

HTML first

HTML is the foundation of every website. Everything else is optional.

CSS? JavaScript? They’re nice to have, but you generally don’t need them.

If you know HTML well and choose the appropriate elements for the job, they can do a lot of heavy lifting for you and negate the need for JS at all in some cases.

This is an idea that Salma (aka whitep4nth3r) writes about in more detail in her great article, HTML is all you need to make a website.

Websites are natively fast. And at the heart of every website is pure, unassuming, unadulterated HTML. At the dawn of Web 1.0, there was only HTML. The first website ever is still online, and yes — it’s just HTML. It’s fast and it just works™.

On a quiet Sunday afternoon I threw out a tweet in support of this. In a world full of JavaScript frameworks, SPAs, cutting-edge CSS animations, powerful devices and fast internet connections, I wanted to celebrate the perfect validity of HTML-only websites and see what people were building.