HTML <meta> Tag


Describe metadata within an HTML document:

<meta charset="UTF-8">
<meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials">
<meta name="keywords" content="HTML,CSS,XML,JavaScript">
<meta name="author" content="Hege Refsnes">
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Definition and Usage

Metadata is the data information of the data.

<meta> Tags provide metadata for HTML documents. Metadata is not displayed on the client, but is parsed by the browser.

META element is usually used to specify the description, keywords, last modification time of the file, author and other metadata.

Metadata can be invoked using a browser (how to display content or reload pages), search engines (keywords), or other web services.

Browser Support

<meta> Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Tips and Notes

Note: <meta> tags always go inside the <head> element.

Note: Metadata is always passed as name/value pairs.

Note: The content attribute MUST be defined if the name or the http-equiv attribute is defined. If none of these are defined, the content attribute CANNOT be defined.

Differences Between HTML 4.01 and HTML5

The scheme attribute is not supported in HTML5.

HTML5 has a new attribute, charset, which makes it easier to define charset:

  • HTML 4.01: <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
  • HTML5: <meta charset="UTF-8">

Differences Between HTML and XHTML

In HTML the <meta> tag has no end tag.

In XHTML the <meta> tag must be properly closed.


Example 1-Define document keywords for search engines:

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

Example 2-Define a web page description:

<meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials on HTML and CSS">

Example 3 - define page of:

<meta name="author" content="Hege Refsnes">

Example 4-Refresh the page every 30 seconds:

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


= New in HTML5.

Attribute value description
charset New character_set Defines the character encoding of the document.
content text Defines meta information related to the http-equiv or name attribute.
http-equiv content-type
Associates the content attribute with the HTTP header.
name application-name
Associates the content attribute with a name.
scheme format /URI HTML5 is not supported. Defines the format used to translate the value of the content attribute.