Do I have to memorise all the codes of HTML and CSS to become a web developer?

Memorise all HTML codes

A question that I have seen recently is, do I need to memorise all HTML and CSS tags to become a web developer?

Whilst it is important to know the basic layout structure using HTML, knowing every single element is not entirely possible. Plus seeing as HTML standards are ever-changing, what you know might be redundant in 5 years time.


It is vital to know some of the basic tags and HTML codes, but overall knowing everything when you start creating sites is not going to happen. There are approximately 110 HTML code tags, and changes are that you aren’t going to need to use all them in one page. In fact, you aren’t likely to even use 50% of them. Not only that, but there are also so many great resources online that provide useful snippets for you to use in your sites, such as:

The same applies to CSS and styling. The most important rule to remember is . signifies a class, and # signifies an id. So when you are writing CSS code, it is important to remember what you are referencing; the HTML id or the HTML class.

Again, just like HTML, CSS is always changing and more style properties are being added or removed. The hardest thing that I have remembering regarding CSS styling is the hex color codes. There are 256 hex-color codes, so good luck trying to remember every single variation. 

So all-in-all, it is not entirely possible or is it even important to memorise all HTML and CSS codes to become a web developer. The more you learn and developer, the more you will remember.

And then on top of that, there are different front-end frameworks to take into account, such as Bootstrap and Foundation. Whilst using such frameworks aren’t essential, they are popular in modern design and are used on the biggest sites and web platforms. They use HTML, CSS and JavaScript, but it is their own CSS classes that make their platforms unique. Knowing the basics to create a Bootstrap site can be important if you want to create a modern, responsive site. But, again, knowing every simple class can be mind-blowing, so using some of the listed resources above can be essential in helping you create better sites.


Lastly on why memorising all HTML and CSS codes to become a web developer is not essential is because all good IDEs (Integrated development environment) have a built-in intel-sense that works like an auto-spell/suggest to help you write better code. Good examples are IDEs are:

  • Visual Studio Code
  • Visual Studio (Professional)
  • Brackets
  • Atom
  • Cloud9
  • Aptana
  • PhpStorm
  • DreamWeaver

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