Black Lives Matter The Equal Justice Initiative We The Protesters Delete Facebook


A simple guide to HTML <head> elements

Contributors CC0 Follow @joshbuchea on Mastodon

Table of Contents

Below are the essential elements for any web document (websites/apps):

<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
  The above 2 meta tags *must* come first in the <head>
  to consistently ensure proper document rendering.
  Any other head element should come *after* these tags.
<title>Page Title</title>

meta charset - defines the encoding of the website, utf-8 is the standard

meta name="viewport" - viewport settings related to mobile responsiveness

width=device-width - use the physical width of the device (great for mobile!)

initial-scale=1 - the initial zoom, 1 means no zoom

โฌ† back to top


Valid <head> elements include meta, link, title, style, script, noscript, and base.

These elements provide information for how a document should be perceived, and rendered, by web technologies. e.g. browsers, search engines, bots, etc.

  Set the character encoding for this document, so that
  all characters within the UTF-8 space (such as emoji)
  are rendered correctly.
<meta charset="utf-8">

<!-- Set the document's title -->
<title>Page Title</title>

<!-- Set the base URL for all relative URLs within the document -->
<base href="">

<!-- Link to an external CSS file -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="styles.css">

<!-- Used for adding in-document CSS -->
  /* ... */

<!-- JavaScript & No-JavaScript tags -->
<script src="script.js"></script>
  // function(s) go here
  <!-- No JS alternative -->

โฌ† back to top


  The following 2 meta tags *must* come first in the <head>
  to consistently ensure proper document rendering.
  Any other head element should come *after* these tags.
<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

  Allows control over where resources are loaded from.
  Place as early in the <head> as possible, as the tag  
  only applies to resources that are declared after it.
<meta http-equiv="Content-Security-Policy" content="default-src 'self'">

<!-- Name of web application (only should be used if the website is used as an app) -->
<meta name="application-name" content="Application Name">

<!-- Theme Color for Chrome, Firefox OS and Opera -->
<meta name="theme-color" content="#4285f4">

<!-- Short description of the document (limit to 150 characters) -->
<!-- This content *may* be used as a part of search engine results. -->
<meta name="description" content="A description of the page">

<!-- Control the behavior of search engine crawling and indexing -->
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow"><!-- All Search Engines -->
<meta name="googlebot" content="index,follow"><!-- Google Specific -->

<!-- Tells Google not to show the sitelinks search box -->
<meta name="google" content="nositelinkssearchbox">

<!-- Tells Google not to provide a translation for this document -->
<meta name="google" content="notranslate">

<!-- Verify website ownership -->
<meta name="google-site-verification" content="verification_token"><!-- Google Search Console -->
<meta name="yandex-verification" content="verification_token"><!-- Yandex Webmasters -->
<meta name="msvalidate.01" content="verification_token"><!-- Bing Webmaster Center -->
<meta name="alexaVerifyID" content="verification_token"><!-- Alexa Console -->
<meta name="p:domain_verify" content="code_from_pinterest"><!-- Pinterest Console-->
<meta name="norton-safeweb-site-verification" content="norton_code"><!-- Norton Safe Web -->

<!-- Identify the software used to build the document (i.e. - WordPress, Dreamweaver) -->
<meta name="generator" content="program">

<!-- Short description of your document's subject -->
<meta name="subject" content="your document's subject">

<!-- Gives a general age rating based on the document's content -->
<meta name="rating" content="General">

<!-- Allows control over how referrer information is passed -->
<meta name="referrer" content="no-referrer">

<!-- Disable automatic detection and formatting of possible phone numbers -->
<meta name="format-detection" content="telephone=no">

<!-- Completely opt out of DNS prefetching by setting to "off" -->
<meta http-equiv="x-dns-prefetch-control" content="off">

<!-- Specifies the document to appear in a specific frame -->
<meta http-equiv="Window-Target" content="_value">

<!-- Geo tags -->
<meta name="ICBM" content="latitude, longitude">
<meta name="geo.position" content="latitude;longitude">
<meta name="geo.region" content="country[-state]"><!-- Country code (ISO 3166-1): mandatory, state code (ISO 3166-2): optional; eg. content="US" / content="US-NY" -->
<meta name="geo.placename" content="city/town"><!-- eg. content="New York City" -->

<!-- Web Monetization -->
<meta name="monetization" content="$paymentpointer.example">

โฌ† back to top

<!-- Points to an external stylesheet -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="">

<!-- Helps prevent duplicate content issues -->
<link rel="canonical" href="">

<!-- Links to an AMP HTML version of the current document -->
<link rel="amphtml" href="">

<!-- Links to a JSON file that specifies "installation" credentials for the web applications -->
<link rel="manifest" href="manifest.json">

<!-- Links to information about the author(s) of the document -->
<link rel="author" href="humans.txt">

<!-- Refers to a copyright statement that applies to the link's context -->
<link rel="license" href="copyright.html">

<!-- Gives a reference to a location in your document that may be in another language -->
<link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="es">

<!-- Provides information about an author or another person -->
<link rel="me" href="" type="text/html">
<link rel="me" href="">
<link rel="me" href="sms:+15035550125">

<!-- Links to a document that describes a collection of records, documents, or other materials of historical interest -->
<link rel="archives" href="">

<!-- Links to top level resource in an hierarchical structure -->
<link rel="index" href="">

<!-- Provides a self reference - useful when the document has multiple possible references -->
<link rel="self" type="application/atom+xml" href="">

<!-- The first, last, previous, and next documents in a series of documents, respectively -->
<link rel="first" href="">
<link rel="last" href="">
<link rel="prev" href="">
<link rel="next" href="">

<!-- Used when a 3rd party service is utilized to maintain a blog -->
<link rel="EditURI" href="" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD">

<!-- Forms an automated comment when another WordPress blog links to your WordPress blog or post -->
<link rel="pingback" href="">

<!-- Notifies a URL when you link to it on your document -->
<link rel="webmention" href="">

<!-- Enables posting to your own domain using a Micropub client -->
<link rel="micropub" href="">

<!-- Open Search -->
<link rel="search" href="/open-search.xml" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" title="Search Title">

<!-- Feeds -->
<link rel="alternate" href="" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS">
<link rel="alternate" href="" type="application/atom+xml" title="Atom 0.3">

<!-- Prefetching, preloading, prebrowsing -->
<!-- More info: -->
<link rel="dns-prefetch" href="//">
<link rel="preconnect" href="">
<link rel="prefetch" href="">
<link rel="prerender" href="">
<link rel="preload" href="image.png" as="image">

โฌ† back to top


<!-- For IE 10 and below -->
<!-- Place favicon.ico in the root directory - no tag necessary -->

<!-- Icon in the highest resolution we need it for -->
<link rel="icon" sizes="192x192" href="/path/to/icon.png">

<!-- Apple Touch Icon (reuse 192px icon.png) -->
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/path/to/apple-touch-icon.png">

<!-- Safari Pinned Tab Icon -->
<link rel="mask-icon" href="/path/to/icon.svg" color="blue">

โฌ† back to top


Facebook Open Graph

Most content is shared to Facebook as a URL, so itโ€™s important that you mark up your website with Open Graph tags to take control over how your content appears on Facebook. More about Facebook Open Graph Markup

<meta property="fb:app_id" content="123456789">
<meta property="og:url" content="">
<meta property="og:type" content="website">
<meta property="og:title" content="Content Title">
<meta property="og:image" content="">
<meta property="og:image:alt" content="A description of what is in the image (not a caption)">
<meta property="og:description" content="Description Here">
<meta property="og:site_name" content="Site Name">
<meta property="og:locale" content="en_US">
<meta property="article:author" content="">

Twitter Card

With Twitter Cards, you can attach rich photos, videos and media experiences to Tweets, helping to drive traffic to your website. More about Twitter Cards

<meta name="twitter:card" content="summary">
<meta name="twitter:site" content="@site_account">
<meta name="twitter:creator" content="@individual_account">
<meta name="twitter:url" content="">
<meta name="twitter:title" content="Content Title">
<meta name="twitter:description" content="Content description less than 200 characters">
<meta name="twitter:image" content="">
<meta name="twitter:image:alt" content="A text description of the image conveying the essential nature of an image to users who are visually impaired. Maximum 420 characters.">

Twitter Privacy

If you embed tweets in your website, Twitter can use information from your site to tailor content and suggestions to Twitter users. More about Twitter privacy options.

<!-- disallow Twitter from using your site's info for personalization purposes -->
<meta name="twitter:dnt" content="on">

<html lang="" itemscope itemtype="">
      <link rel="author" href="">
      <link rel="publisher" href="">
      <meta itemprop="name" content="Content Title">
      <meta itemprop="description" content="Content description less than 200 characters">
      <meta itemprop="image" content="">

Note: These meta tags require the itemscope and itemtype attributes to be added to the <html> tag.


Pinterest lets you prevent people from saving things from your website, according to their help center. The description is optional.

<meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" description="Sorry, you can't save from my website!">

Facebook Instant Articles

<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta property="op:markup_version" content="v1.0">

<!-- The URL of the web version of your article -->
<link rel="canonical" href="">

<!-- The style to be used for this article -->
<meta property="fb:article_style" content="myarticlestyle">


<link rel="alternate" type="application/json+oembed"
  title="oEmbed Profile: JSON">
<link rel="alternate" type="text/xml+oembed"
  title="oEmbed Profile: XML">


Users share web pages to qq wechat will have a formatted message

<meta itemprop="name" content="share title">
<meta itemprop="image" content="">
<meta name="description" itemprop="description" content="share content">

โฌ† back to top

Browsers / Platforms

Apple iOS

<!-- Smart App Banner -->
<meta name="apple-itunes-app" content="app-id=APP_ID,affiliate-data=AFFILIATE_ID,app-argument=SOME_TEXT">

<!-- Disable automatic detection and formatting of possible phone numbers -->
<meta name="format-detection" content="telephone=no">

<!-- Launch Icon (180x180px or larger) -->
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/path/to/apple-touch-icon.png">

<!-- Launch Screen Image -->
<link rel="apple-touch-startup-image" href="/path/to/launch.png">

<!-- Launch Icon Title -->
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-title" content="App Title">

<!-- Enable standalone (full-screen) mode -->
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-capable" content="yes">

<!-- Status bar appearance (has no effect unless standalone mode is enabled) -->
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-status-bar-style" content="black">

<!-- iOS app deep linking -->
<meta name="apple-itunes-app" content="app-id=APP-ID, app-argument=http/">
<link rel="alternate" href="ios-app://APP-ID/http/">

Google Android

<meta name="theme-color" content="#E64545">

<!-- Add to home screen -->
<meta name="mobile-web-app-capable" content="yes">
<!-- More info: -->

<!-- Android app deep linking -->
<meta name="google-play-app" content="app-id=package-name">
<link rel="alternate" href="android-app://package-name/http/">

Google Chrome

<link rel="chrome-webstore-item" href="">

<!-- Disable translation prompt -->
<meta name="google" content="notranslate">

Microsoft Internet Explorer

<!-- Force IE 8/9/10 to use its latest rendering engine -->
<meta http-equiv="x-ua-compatible" content="ie=edge">

<!-- Disable automatic detection and formatting of possible phone numbers by Skype Toolbar browser extension -->
<meta name="skype_toolbar" content="skype_toolbar_parser_compatible">

<!-- Windows Tiles -->
<meta name="msapplication-config" content="/browserconfig.xml">

Minimum required xml markup for browserconfig.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
        <square70x70logo src="small.png"/>
        <square150x150logo src="medium.png"/>
        <wide310x150logo src="wide.png"/>
        <square310x310logo src="large.png"/>

โฌ† back to top

Browsers (Chinese)

360 Browser

<!-- Select rendering engine order -->
<meta name="renderer" content="webkit|ie-comp|ie-stand">

QQ Mobile Browser

<!-- Locks the screen into the specified orientation -->
<meta name="x5-orientation" content="landscape/portrait">

<!-- Display this document in fullscreen -->
<meta name="x5-fullscreen" content="true">

<!-- Document will be displayed in "application mode" (fullscreen, etc.) -->
<meta name="x5-page-mode" content="app">

UC Mobile Browser

<!-- Locks the screen into the specified orientation -->
<meta name="screen-orientation" content="landscape/portrait">

<!-- Display this document in fullscreen -->
<meta name="full-screen" content="yes">

<!-- UC browser will display images even if in "text mode" -->
<meta name="imagemode" content="force">

<!-- Document will be displayed in "application mode"(fullscreen, forbidding gesture, etc.) -->
<meta name="browsermode" content="application">

<!-- Disabled the UC browser's "night mode" for this document -->
<meta name="nightmode" content="disable">

<!-- Simplify the document to reduce data transfer -->
<meta name="layoutmode" content="fitscreen">

<!-- Disable the UC browser's feature of "scaling font up when there are many words in this document" -->
<meta name="wap-font-scale" content="no">

โฌ† back to top

<!-- iOS -->
<meta property="al:ios:url" content="applinks://docs">
<meta property="al:ios:app_store_id" content="12345">
<meta property="al:ios:app_name" content="App Links">

<!-- Android -->
<meta property="al:android:url" content="applinks://docs">
<meta property="al:android:app_name" content="App Links">
<meta property="al:android:package" content="org.applinks">

<!-- Web fall back -->
<meta property="al:web:url" content="">

โฌ† back to top

Other Resources

โฌ† back to top

โฌ† back to top

Other Formats

โฌ† back to top

๐ŸŒ Translations

โฌ† back to top

๐Ÿค Contributing

Open an issue or a pull request to suggest changes or additions.


The HEAD repository consists of two branches:

1. master

This branch consists of the file that is reflected on the website. All changes to the content of the guide should be made in this file.

Please follow these steps for pull requests:

2. gh-pages

This branch is responsible for the website. We use Jekyll to deploy the markdown file to GitHub Pages. All website related modifications should be made in this branch.

You may find it helpful to review the Jekyll Docs and understand how Jekyll works before working in this branch.

๐ŸŒŸ Contributors

Check out all the super awesome contributors ๐Ÿคฉ

๐Ÿ‘ค Author

Josh Buchea

๐Ÿ’› Support

If this project was helpful for you or your organization, please considering supporting my work directly:

Everything helps, thanks! ๐Ÿ™

โ€” Josh

๐Ÿ“ License


โฌ† back to top