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The sentence I'm struggling with is:

The first version was coded from scratch in HTML and CSS, it looked like a 90's webpage.

Is the comma correct? Or should it be a semi-colon? I thought it was a comma because

it looked like a 90's webpage.

seems to be a non-essential elements. However, one could also argue that it is an independent clause and therefore needs a semi-colon.

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You are correct; it should be a semicolon. Where each phrase could be correctly written as a complete sentence, use a semicolon.

Note the above two sentences, in my answer; in the second sentence, "use a semicolon" could be written as a complete sentence on its own, but "where each phrase..." cannot, so I used a comma.

To be sure, there are additional rules for semicolons and commas (especially regarding lists)!

In your example, if you added the word "and" after the comma, the comma would be correct. "And it looked like a 90s web page" is not a complete sentence, whereas "It looked liked a 90s web page" is a complete sentence.

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