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The HTML <head> element is a container for the following elements: <title>, <style>, <meta>, <link>, <script>, and <base>.

HTML head Elements

<head>Defines information about the document
<title>Defines the title of a document
<base>Defines a default address or a default target for all links on a page
<link>Defines the relationship between a document and an external resource
<meta>Defines metadata about an HTML document
<script>Defines a client-side script
<style>Defines style information for a document

HTML <head> Element

The <head> element is a container for metadata (data about data) and is placed between the <html> tag and the <body> tag.

HTML metadata is data about the HTML document. Metadata is not displayed.

Metadata typically define the document title, character set, styles, scripts, and other meta information.

HTML <title> Element

The <title> element defines the title of the document. The title must be text-only, and it is shown in the browser's title bar or in the page's tab.

The <title> element is required in HTML documents!

The contents of a page title is very important for search engine optimization (SEO)! The page title is used by search engine algorithms to decide the order when listing pages in search results.

The <title> element:

  • defines a title in the browser toolbar
  • provides a title for the page when it is added to favorites
  • displays a title for the page in search engine-results

So, try to make the title as accurate and meaningful as possible!

A simple HTML document:

<!DOCTYPE html>  
<title>A Meaningful Page Title</title>
The content of the document......

HTML <style> Element

The <style> element is used to define style information for a single HTML page:

body {background-color: powderblue;}
h1 {color: red;}
p {color: blue;}

The <link> element defines the relationship between the current document and an external resource.

The <link> tag is most often used to link to external style sheets:

<link rel="stylesheet"  href="mystylesheet.css">

To learn all about CSS, visit our CSS Tutorial.

HTML <meta> Element

The <meta> element is typically used to specify the character set, page description, keywords, author of the document, and viewport settings.

The metadata will not be displayed on the page, but are used by browsers (how to display content or reload page), by search engines (keywords), and other web services.

Define the character set used:

<meta charset="UTF-8">

The charset attribute specifies the character encoding. In this example we have set it to "UTF-8" which means it can handle to display any language.

Define keywords for search engines:

<meta name="keywords" content="HTML, CSS, JavaScript">

The keyword value is also used to provide keywords for a search engine, but it may ignore by browser due to spammers.

Define a description of your web page:

<meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials">

If you give a meta description then it will be useful for the relevant search to perform by search engines.

Define the author of a page:

<meta name="author" content="John Doe">

The author value specifies the name of the person who wrote the page content, and it is useful to automatically extract author information by some content management systems.

Refresh document every 30 seconds:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="30">

Meta refresh is used to provide instructions to the browser to automatically refresh the page after the given time interval. As in above example it will automatically refresh after 30 sec

Setting the viewport to make your website look good on all devices:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

Example of <meta> tags:

<meta charset="UTF-8">
<meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials">
<meta name="keywords" content="HTML, CSS, JavaScript">
<meta name="author" content="John Doe">

Setting The Viewport

The viewport is the user's visible area of a web page. It varies with the device - it will be smaller on a mobile phone than on a computer screen.

You should include the following <meta> element in all your web pages:

<meta name="viewport"  content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

This gives the browser instructions on how to control the page's dimensions and scaling.

The width=device-width part sets the width of the page to follow the screen-width of the device (which will vary depending on the device).

The initial-scale=1.0 part sets the initial zoom level when the page is first loaded by the browser.

The HTML <script> Element

The <script> element is used to define client-side JavaScripts.

The following JavaScript writes "Hello JavaScript!" into an HTML element with id="demo":

function myFunction() {
document.getElementById("demo").innerHTML = "Hello JavaScript!";

The HTML <base> Element

The <base> element specifies the base URL and/or target for all relative URLs in a page.

The <base> tag must have either an href or a target attribute present, or both.

There can only be one single <base> element in a document!


<base href="" target="_blank">

<img src="images/stickman.gif" width="24" height="39" alt="Stickman">
<a href="tags/tag_base.asp">HTML base Tag</a>