The best way is to get a YSIWYG-HTML-Creators like Frontpage or Dreamweaver, produce different html-items and then have a look at the results in the plain code.
Example: You put a hyperlink on an image simply by using frontpage. Then you switch to the "code-mode" (where the programme shows you the actual code of the html-document) and there you can see the changes that where made to the code.
I have never understood it either Minx. It just works. And that's good enough for me. There are so many programs out there that do it all for you it is like asking how telephones work. They just do. Why do stars shine? I'm just glad they do. End of.
Most of what I learnt was stolen from other sites - I'd hit the View -> (Page) Source menu item and read what was there, matching up the text on screen with the text amongst the code. Things you can learn:
- background colouring
- table formatting
- hyperlinks within text
- embedding pictures (and even hyperlinking them to other things)
- text formatting
If you were of a geeky mind, you might even get involved in frame definitions and whatnot. I never had the patience for that, though.
The main problem nowadays is finding a basic site that has none of the frills so that you can learn from it.
You might also try the Sam's guides or the "XX for Dummies" series for some primer texts.