- Of or relating to meaning, especially meaning in language.
- Of, relating to, or according to the science of semantics.
OK, so semantic has to do with 'meaning' but what has that got to do with coding web pages? Well, when referring to semantic mark-up, it means using the correct tag to accurately describe the type of content.
In the days before CSS, a lot of designers would just present their content in table cells and sometimes use font tags to create styles. Without digging up the whole tables v CSS debate, using a table cell (
) doesn't actually say that much about what your content is.
So how do you decide which is the right tag for the job? Well the way to do it is to not think about how you want the content to appear on screen but rather think about how it might appear on a printed page which is essentially looking at it before styles are applied.