Why learn HTML when there is WordPress?

HTML aka Hypertext Markup Language is the backbone of all websites. Every portal you come across on the internet uses it extensively. If you learn this technology, you can build web portals by yourself. However, tools such as WordPress allow you to build sites without typing a single line of code. Keeping this in mind, should you learn HTML?


WordPress was earlier known as a content management system. It is slowly turning out to be a full-fledged builder. Its latest version comes with a tool called Gutenberg through which you can design pages. Although Gutenberg is a cool tool, it won’t eliminate the need for WP extensions.

WordPress becomes bloated when you keep installing plugins. Every time you install an extension and test or check page size, you will notice that its size has increased. For example, an advertisement manager extension may insert a few lines of JS in the page for detecting the element after/before which you want the ad to appear. Likewise, a related post plugin will add a few lines of CSS snippet to make the links it displays below the post content beautiful. There’s no harm in installing new plugins but you should be able to take care of the performance of the pages. Free caching extensions have basic features. They won’t improve the Core Web Vitals score. To improve the same, you will have to purchase a premium caching plugin.

WordPress is a web application that lets you build many types of portals without writing code. You cannot build a similar tool unless you learn programming. To learn website development, the first thing you should learn is HTML. The second is CSS and the third is a scripting language. Once you’ve mastered both these web technologies and programming language, you can design any time of page from scratch.

Basic customization becomes easy i.e. If you’ve learned HTML and CSS, you won’t have to ask anyone to help you out to customize an element or a page. Both the web technologies are extensively used by WP. As the pages are generated by a template, if you make a change to this file, the modification will be reflected across the site.

The CSS code of the WP portal is in the style.css file. The WP code editor can now warn users when they enter an incorrect snippet. However, you should be careful while editing the stylesheet or PHP file. This is because the site’s entire layout depends on the code present in it.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, your portal will appear broken to the users. When you’ve made a change to the cascading stylesheet or a PHP file, you should delete the cache if you’re using a caching plugin.

Website designing software are expensive. Free WP templates and extensions have limited features. You must pay money to purchase a license of a premium feature rich theme. If you’re using a product whose license expires after a year, you will have to pay renewal fees.

If you’ve learnt HTML and CSS, you can save money by designing your own site. Also, if you’re using a lot of plugins on your WordPress website, you will have to purchase a specialized web hosting plan which will give you a server with the resources that can handle this site. Such plans are expensive.

If you build a portal from scratch manually without WordPress, you can easily handle an unmanaged server. Unmanaged VPS plans are very cheap. For example, Linode and its alternatives offer VPSes starting at $5.

HTML CSS can help you earn money online. If you know these two technologies and a programming language very well, you can apply for a job in an IT company or work as a freelancer.


Pramod is the founder of wptls. He has been using WordPress for more than nine years. He builds web applications, and writes about his experiences with various WP products on this site.

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