Simple HTML Tutorial For Active Rain or Craigslist - Site Beautiful!

Real Estate Technology with Content, coding, marketing, host.

So you want to get fancy, eh? Well, fancy can be simple and it just takes a little practice. There are HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) editors and some really good WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors that can be used for this same purpose but that's not the scope of this very basic primer.

When I post on Craigslist I never like just plain text so I add a little HTML to spice things up. Oddly enough I don't do that here on AR but you certainly can and that's the reason there is the HTML tag at the top of the "Entry" box when you are creating a new blog entry. Have you ever clicked it? You get a popup window that says:


WYSIWYG (pronounced wizzy wig) is the default posting editor you get when you come to post here on AR. No such critter exists over at Craigslist. The WYSIWYG editor lets you upload images and select how they are displayed, choose bold, italic, underlined or strikethrough text, offers some justification and line item options and that's about it.

HTML TagWhat if you wanted some really big text or red test? Well, you'd need to do one of a couple of things and the thing we're talking about today is to actually create your posting in the HTML tab instead of the WYSIWYG tab. You can also do this directly into the post window on Craigslist. (On craigslist once you start using certain HTML code tags you have to use ALL tags - including line break, paragraph, etc.)

One basic you need to remember is any HTML code tag that affects the attributes of the page has both an opening and closing tag. The opening says, for example, make all of the text starting here bold. The closing tag, obviously, says, stop making the text bold from here on. In HTML code that looks like this: <B></B>

The end tag always includes the /

HTML coding likes to be nested. So if you are making a section of text bold and italic you would want to open the tags <B><I> and close them in reverse order thus "un-nesting" them </I></B>. 

Elements are not attributes but elements have attributes. Don't get confused. Chances are the only thing you'll ever put on that doesn't need a separate closing tag is the image tag. If you don't know how to do image tags I think most of the online image storage services actually provide them for you. I know PhotoBucket does. 

So, without further ado here are some very basic tags for you to start with in AR and Craigslist posting.

You can go here to see them in action - click this link for the HTML tutorial display.

Bold text:        <B></B>
Italic text:        <I></I>
Underlined:      <U></U>

Font attributes:
<FONT FACE="Arial,Helvetica,Times New Roman"></FONT>

You can also combine those (and should) when you use them together:
<FONT FACE="Arial" COLOR="Red" Size="5"></FONT>

Want to place a horizontal line across the post?
Simple horizontal line: <HR />
Fat horizontal line: <HR Size="10" /> (Size is "thickness" in pixels)
Partial horizontal line: <HR Width="50%" />
Combined: <HR Width="50%" Size="10" Color="Navy" />

Want a big heading text?
There are multiple header sizes: <H1></H1> (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Need to put a line break?
This is single with no line spaces: <BR />

How about a paragraph? (Open and close tags are used)
This is a paragraph: <P>Paragraph text goes here.</P>

Insert an image. You'll need to know where ON THE INTERNET the image is located:
<IMG src="">
There are several other attributes to this tag but I'm not going into them right now ... maybe later if you beg or throw money.

Create a URL Link:
<A href="">Link To Novation Mortgage</A>


Copyright©2008 Ken Cook.  Georgia and Florida real estate investment loans, FHASecure and FHA Home Loans, nationwide commercial hard money and small business loans

Posted by

Web/Social Developer For Hire - I code. I create. I manage. Whether you need your website to actually do something other than look pretty or one of the following services let's talk. Anyone can make a beautiful WordPress site (all the hard work is done) but few can make it work for you. , blog content, research intense reports, data reports (and accompanying charts and graphics), ebooks, presentation content, speeches, social media management, advertising scripts, or similar, let me show you what you can have.

Listen to Social Media Edge Radio weekly for powerful tips on making the Internet pay for you. Blogging, social media, and web technology with some of the most successful and well-known guests on the Web!

I started writing on Active Rain in 2006 when I was representing the mortgage industry. I am no longer in that industry and many of the older posts contain outdated information. Please do not contact me for LENDING or MORTGAGE questions but rather contact a licensed mortgage professional from your area. I have always been in marketing and branding and that is still what I do. Thanks for reading!


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
active rain

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Dan Forbes
Bradenton, FL
Ken, Thanks for the HTML tutorial.  It's really not so hard once you learn a few things.  Just another language.
Feb 10, 2008 10:53 PM #9
Lisa Bosques
Burien, WA
This is cool stuff.  I might actually be able to handle some of it! I think I'll give it a whirl next time I do a post. Thanks!
Feb 15, 2008 05:19 PM #10
Brian Blake
Twin Falls, ID

Add Audio to your page with this code...

<embed src="" height="45" width="125"></embed>

Feb 26, 2008 04:30 AM #11
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

Brian - great addition to the post. Thanks! Add controls to it with:

<embed src="" autostart="false" loop="false" height="62" width="144" controls="console"></embed>

Feb 26, 2008 02:35 PM #12
Brian Blake
Twin Falls, ID

Here is a real secret for you.  If you want the really cool stuff.  go to and check that out.  I always find cutting edge html there.  Don't tell everyone though.  lol



Feb 26, 2008 03:49 PM #13
Kevin Sandridge
Signature Home Funding - Winter Haven, FL
Winter Haven Mortgage Broker

Awesome tool tips.  Just what I was looking for, Ken!  Thanks for putting these out there. Now - if you can only tell me why as of late, the image placement html (align left, etc.) won't work properly!  :)  Also, have you noticed anything wonky re: AR ripping out Embed scripting when you try to post YouTube or other such vids here?

Nov 24, 2008 12:07 AM #14
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

Kevin - Yes, I have noticed, and you'll need to ask Brad or Matt or someone about that or check the AR blog. I'm using HTML to align my images instead of the pop-up control.

Nov 24, 2008 03:43 AM #15
Robert T. Boyer
FHA Loan, VA Loan, Jumbo Loan,FHA Loans,VA Loans,Jumbo Loans - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate & Mortgage Loans, Ph.D. | VA Home Loan

Hi.  The alert says the wysiwyg and html are not linked and that you must save first.  How do I save without posting?

Jan 13, 2009 04:41 AM #16
Nicky Dou
Keller Williams Market Pro Realty - Fayetteville, AR
The #1 REAL ESTATE AGENT in Northwest Arkansas

Still seems so confusing to me. That is a LOT of typing just to add a red font.

Apr 05, 2009 02:39 PM #17
Linda Lohman
Fonville Morisey Realty - Cary, NC
Former Teacher/Broker

This was a very helpful tutorial for us beginners!  Thanks

Jun 15, 2009 01:12 PM #18
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

Thank you all for your coments - If anything is ever too difficult or time consuming for you I do have a staff of people who do exactly this type of work for reasonable costs. We also provide full hosting, blog hosting, blog support, real SEO (not the kind where you give them $15,000 and they spend $5000 on Google and tell you how great you are), content writing and more. 678-946-0101

Jun 16, 2009 02:35 AM #19
Todd & Devona Garrigus
Garrigus Real Estate - Beaumont, CA
Broker / REALTORS®

Thanks for the great lesson. This is the most I've learned about HTML since first trying it out.

Jan 28, 2010 12:48 PM #21
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

Todd/Devona - glad it helped.

Jan 28, 2010 02:19 PM #22
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge

I think I'll practice on an old blog.  Thanks for the tutorial.

Jan 29, 2010 10:23 PM #23
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

Tracy - share the link and let us all watch :)

Jan 30, 2010 05:50 AM #24
Réz Kodad- Your Trusted Partner in Real Estate
Naples Exclusive Properties - Naples, FL

Thanks Ken! I want to have contol over my fonts, by changing their color, style, and more! I am going to give a try to your suggestions!

Thank you,


Feb 01, 2010 03:36 AM #25
Larry Atkins
State Wide Realty Co. - Farmville, VA

This is great advice and answers a lot of questions for me, as a beginner. I'm definately going to try some of this in my next post.

Mar 15, 2010 02:17 PM #26
Texas Sell By Owner Property Marketing Service
Tyler, TX

I'm trying to switch from wysiwyg to add html, but they are not linked and you have to save. how do you do that without posting?  AND I did try to add html alone, but I guess it's not saving because nothing shows.... any advice?

Jul 14, 2010 07:43 AM #27
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

M Reynolds - not sure. Sounds like a question for AR. (206) 470-2909

Jul 14, 2010 08:27 AM #28
Jean-Paul Peron
The Outer Banks Real Estate Copmpany - Corolla, NC
Carova Beach - Living & Working in 4-Wheel Drive

AWESOME!  I have been wondering how to do this easier.

As a former Cobb County resident myself,  I thank you!  :)

Oct 06, 2010 09:18 AM #29
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Ken Cook

Content Marketer/Creator
Ask me a question
Spam prevention