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HTML 5 <meta> tag

Definition and Usage

The <meta> element provides meta-information about your page, such as descriptions and keywords for search engines and refresh rates.

Differences Between HTML 4.01 and HTML 5

The scheme attribute is no loinger supported in HTML 5

HTML 5 has a new attribute, charset, which makes it easier to define charset.
In HTML 4.01 you would have to write:
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
but in HTML 5 it is enough to write:
<meta charset="ISO-8859-1">

Tips and Notes

Note: The <meta> tag always goes inside the head element.

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

Note: One, and not more, of these attributes must be defined: charset, http-equiv, name.

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.


Define keywords for search engines:
<meta name="keywords" content="HTML, DHTML, CSS, XML, XHTML, JavaScript, VBScript" />

Define a description of your web page:
<meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials on HTML, CSS, XML, and XHTML" />

Define the last revision of your page:
<meta name="revised" content="Hege Refsnes, 6/10/99" />

Refresh page every 5 seconds:
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5" />


  • 4: indicates if the attribute is defined in HTML 4.01
  • 5: indicates if the attribute is defined in HTML 5
Attribute Value Description 4 5
charset character encoding Defines the character encoding for the document   5
content some_text Defines meta information to be associated with http-equiv or name 4 5
http-equiv content-type
Connects the content attribute to an HTTP header 4 5
name author
Connects the content attribute to a name 4 5
scheme some_text Defines a format to be used to interpret the value of the content attribute. Not supported 4  

Standard Attributes

class, contenteditable, contextmenu, dir, draggable, id, irrelevant, lang, ref, registrationmark, tabindex, template, title

Try-It-Yourself Demos

Document description
Information inside a meta element describes the document.

Document keywords
Information inside a meta element describes the document's keywords.

Redirect a user
This example demonstrates how to redirect a user if your site address has changed.

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