The World Wide Web is the most visually complicated and compelling aspect of the Internet. Despite its appearances, however, the Web is nothing more than another file transfer protocol. When you call up a page from the Web, the remote server simply downloads a file to your computer. Your Web browser then decodes the page, executing commands embedded in it to alter the typeface and to display images at the appropriate place. Most browsers cache several file pages (or even megabytes of them) so that when you step back, you need not wait for the same page to download once again.
The commands for displaying text use their own language, called the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). As exotic and daunting as HTML sounds, it's nothing more than a coding system that combines formatting information in textual form with the readable text of a document. Your browser reads the formatting commands, which are set off by a special prefix so that the browser knows they are commands, and organizes the text in accordance with them, arranging it on the page, selecting the appropriate font and emphasis, and intermixing graphical elements. Writing in HTML is only a matter of knowing the right codes and where to put them. Web authoring tools embed the proper commands using menu-driven interfaces so that you don't have to do the memorization.