The internet is always changing, which can come as a shock to people who have spent many months learning enough to make their first basic website. However, simply having a website isn't enough anymore, whether your goal is to attract customers or just impress people with your luxury real estate listings. The people who are most successful in using the internet to achieve their goals are the ones who see this constant change as a challenge rather than a pain. If you're looking for your next website improvement challenge, why not try XML?
Operationgreen.ca would not be possible without the annual support from our many sponsors. We would like to thank a couple of them now: Southcoastpainting.ca
For those of you who are not familiar with XML, it stands for Extensible Markup Language. Its purpose is to allow both humans and machines to read encoded text. Now, you might think you don't know what a markup language is, but if you've designed even the simplest website, you know all about markup languages, because HTML, or Hyper Text Markup Language, is its flagship. Almost everyone has used HTML. Markup languages differ from programming languages because they're focused more on display than applications, and they're much easier for the lay person to learn.
In fact, if you know HTML, even the basics of HTML already, you're well on your way to being able to use XML because there's a new version of HTML that belongs to the XML family known as XHTML (eXtensible Hyper Text Markup Language) that is very similar to the old HTML and consequently easy for you to learn. All that has changed are a few tags. XHTML has been used to write many of the newer web pages and is the primarily language many blogging platforms, such as Wordpress, require you to write in. It may be required for a home inspection company webpage for instance.
Why, you might ask, should you bother learning a XHTML at all when you already know a perfectly serviceable markup language? Well, for one thing, many browsers expect to see XHTML, to the point where your old HTML website may not display properly. For another thing, learning XHTML will open the door to other XML based languages which are extremely useful in modern blogging and website building, such as RSS and Atom, the most common newsfeed languages, and EPUB, the most common format for downloadable e-books.
If you would like to start learning XML, you can begin by reading the related articles on this website. When you're ready to move into more practical applications of your new language skills, such as a practice blog or website authored in XML based languages, you can check out the free XML tutorials on websites like w3 Schools and Tizag. Then you can apply what you have learned to your own website and help it stay at the forefront of reader appeal. Good luck.