Tag <meta> HTML Reference


Describe metadata within an HTML document:

<meta name="description" content="Your website description" />
<meta name="keywords" content="Your website keywords" />
<meta name="author" content="Author name" />
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8" />

Browser Support

Internet Explorer Firefox Opera Google Chrome Safari

1. Definition and Usage

Metadata is data (information) about data.

The <meta> tag provides metadata about the HTML document. Metadata will not be displayed on the page, but will be machine parsable.

Meta elements are typically used to specify page description, keywords, author of the document, last modified, and other metadata.

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

The metadata can be used by browsers (how to display content or reload page), search engines (keywords), or other web services.

2. Tips and Notes

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

3. Differences Between HTML and XHTML

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

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

4. Examples

Example 1 - Define keywords for search engines:

<meta name="keywords" content="Your website keywords, comma separated list of keywords" />

Example 2 - Define a description of your web page:

<meta name="description" content="Your website description" />

Example 3 - Define the last revision of your page:

<meta name="revised" content="Author name, 30/08/2012" />

Example 4 - Refresh document every 30 seconds:

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

5. Required Attributes

DTD indicates in which HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0 DTD the attribute is allowed. S=Strict, T=Transitional, and F=Frameset.

Attribute Value Description DTD
content text Gives the value associated with the http-equiv or name attribute STF

6. Optional Attributes

Attribute Value Description DTD
http-equiv content-type
Provides an HTTP header for the information/value of the content attribute STF
name author
Provides a name for the information in the content attribute STF
scheme format/URI Specifies a scheme to be used to interpret the value of the content attribute STF

7. Standard Attributes

The <meta> tag supports the following standard attributes:

Attribute Value Description DTD
dir rtl
Specifies the text direction for the content in an element STF
lang language_code Specifies a language code for the content in an element STF
xml:lang language_code Specifies a language code for the content in an element, in XHTML documents STF

8. Event Attributes

The <meta> tag does not support any event attributes.

Relative articles