Head Tags for Websites in HTML5 - dummies

Head Tags for Websites in HTML5

The <head> section is where you can specify the character set, written as charset. The character set enables the browser to know what characters to display. For instance, the letter ä may be displayed as a small rectangle in the browser if the specified character set doesn’t include the special character needed to create the letter ä.

Typically, the charset is sent to the browser via the web server in the Response Header. You can ask your hosting provider whether your web server does this, but to be safe, most designers add it in manually with this tag:

<meta charset="utf-8" />

If you’re creating a website that supports several languages, make sure you use the correct encoding for each language. See the latest list of character sets at Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

In HTML5, you can continue to use all the meta tags you already know and love, including the meta description, which is important for search engine optimization.

<meta description="Order custom jellyfish aquariums hand-crafted by oceanographer Mark Loos" /> 

The meta description tag appears in the head area at the very top of your HTML code. Humans never see this text because it’s not displayed on a web page, but meta description tags are often used in search engine results and thus can make a big difference in whether someone clicks on your site or not.

You can add descriptions to any or all of the pages in your site. Although search engines vary, most display only the first 250 characters.

You can add the meta keywords tag, but most search engines are known to ignore keywords in the meta keywords tag, so it won’t be described here.