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HTML Structure

Goals

  • Add standard HTML head and body tags

  • Add a page title

  • Understand the use of non-visible tags like head

Overview

The HTML tag and Doctype

The line <!DOCTYPE html> is called the doctype, and it tells the browser which flavor of HTML you're using. <!DOCTYPE html> tells your browser you're using HTML5, the latest version of HTML.

(You may see older doctypes out there that are longer and a lot more complicated, from when people used various HTML and XHTML versions, but those are annoying, and you can usually just use this short version for new websites.)

The <html> encloses all the rest of your page, and states unequivocally, "Here is my HTML!!!"

Pages, Like People, Have a Head and a Body

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>Invisible, Important Stuff</head>
  <body>Actual Visible Content</body>
</html>

The Head

The head contains information about the document, including:

  • what language or character set you're using
  • what the page title should be
  • what CSS and JavaScript files to include (and where they are)

Information in the <head> section is not displayed.

It can also contain metadata tags that can tell a search engine or another program more about the file, like who wrote it or what keywords are relevant.

The Body

The Body contains the actual content of your file, the things you'll want your users to be able to see, read, or interact with!

Steps

Step 1

Let's add the doctype, HTML, head, and body tags to your file. It should look like this:

Save the file and refresh your browser. Everything should look mostly the same.

Step 2

Let's add a title to our page within the <head> section. Add this line:

<title>My Sample HTML page</title>

When you refresh your browser, you should see the title on the tab in Chrome.

(If it doesn't show up, double check that you put the line between the opening and closing head tags, and that you saved your file before refreshing.)

Next Step:

Back to HTML Tags