HTML and CSS basically run the web. If you have a website you are certainly using HTML and CSS. You also don’t have to be a web design guru to understand either language. In fact, HTML and CSS encompasses a lot of the tiny or small changes people may want to do to a website. Things like bolding text, or making an aspect of the website font italic, changing the font colors, etc. can all be done in just a few minutes with basic CSS and HTML knowledge.
For those starting out with a website, and not having the funds to pay a web designer to do one for you, the knowledge of knowing CSS and HTML can make it extremely easy to find a predesigned template similar to what you’re looking for and make the small changes yourself. It may not be exactly what you want, but you’ll likely be able to get it close to what you’d like with just those two languages when it comes to the way it looks. This can save quite a bit of money compared to what a web designer might charge in the beginning.
This also saves the time of having to run to the web designer every time you want to make a slight change to the website. Web designers get busy, and as such they have to charge for their time, even on the tiny things since it takes away time from other clients. If a web designer is busy, this also saves you the time of having to wait on him to find the time to make the changes.
The bonus to understanding HTML and CSS is that it gives you a heads up on how honest a web designer is being with you. While there are aspects of building a website that might require other coding languages and can take more time, quite a bit of it is HTML and CSS. There are a lot people that have done just as we’re saying with learning basic HTML and CSS, and have then gone out and proclaimed themselves web designers where the most they can do is slightly alter themes that have been bought for a few dollars.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except they’re charging prices more in line with actual web designers who know far above the basics of HTML and CSS, can optimize the website, set up caching, and a number of other things to benefit your search engine rankings. By knowing the basics, when a web designer makes the changing of a font sound like hours of work and charges as such, you’ll know that maybe that isn’t the person you should be trusting with your website. It should also make you question anything else they say at the very least.
So yes, take the time to learn the basics. HTML and CSS are both very simple things to learn. In a few weeks you can easily know enough to make tiny changes. While it won’t make you an expert in some of the elements that might be needed in proper structure of code, for simple changes that don’t require a lot of work or knowledge it can save you time and money. For learning the basics, we highly recommend the For Dummies series of books. Those books will teach you enough to do what you need without getting overly complicated in explanations.