HTML <article> Tag

The HTML <article> tag is used to create an 'article' element. The 'article' element represents content that is independent from the other content in the document, in that its contents could stand alone, for example in syndication.

More specifically, the HTML5 specification states that the 'article' element represents:

a complete, or self-contained, composition in a document, page, application, or site and that is, in principle, independently distributable or reusable, e.g. in syndication. This could be a forum post, a magazine or newspaper article, a blog entry, a user-submitted comment, an interactive widget or gadget, or any other independent item of content.

The <article> tag was introduced in HTML 5.


The <article> tag is written as <article></article> with the article content inserted between the start and end tags. The tag doesn't have any local attributes but you can use any of the global attributes and/or event content attributes.

Like this:


Single Article

Here's a quick example of a single article.

Multiple Articles within a Section

Here's a quick example of multiple <article> elements within a <section> element.

Headers & Footers

Articles often include headers and/or footers. To provide a header and footer, place the <header> and <footer> elements inside the <article> element.

Nested Articles (i.e. Articles within Articles)

You can nest an <article> tag inside another <article> tag. For example, an <article> tag could present the main article, while containing other <article> tags to present users' comments on the main article.

You can also use the <section> tag to group related items, such as the <article> elements used to present user comments.

Here's what the above example might look like after applying a background color to the <article> elements (using CSS).

<article> vs <section>

You can nest <article> tags inside <section> tags, and you can nest <section> tags inside <article> tags.

Which one should you use?

There's a subtle difference between the <article> element and the <section> element. The purpose of the <section> element is to represent a generic section of a document or application. The <article> element on the other hand, represents a single, self-contained piece of content.

When choosing whether to use a <article> tag or a <section> tag, use the <article> tag if the contents would retain its meaning if syndicated.


Attributes can be added to an HTML element to provide more information about how the element should appear or behave.

There are 3 kinds of attributes that you can add to your HTML tags: Element-specific, global, and event handler content attributes.

The <article> element accepts the following attributes.

Element-Specific Attributes

This table shows the attributes that are specific to the <article> tag/element.


Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML5 elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <article> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 global attributes.

Event Handler Content Attributes

Event handler content attributes enable you to invoke a script from within your HTML. The script is invoked when a certain "event" occurs. Each event handler content attribute deals with a different event.

Below are the standard HTML5 event handler content attributes.

Again, you can use any of these with the <article> element, as well as any other HTML5 element.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 event handler content attributes.

Differences Between HTML 4 & HTML 5

The <article> element is new in HTML5.

For more details see HTML5 <article> Tag. Also check out the links to the official specifications below.


Here's a template for the <article> tag with all available attributes for the tag (based on HTML5). These are grouped into attribute types, each type separated by a space. In many cases, you will probably only need one or two (if any) attributes. Simply remove the attributes you don't need.

Note that the <article> element does not actually have any local attributes (i.e. attributes that are specific to the element), but the following global attributes and event handlers are available to the element (and all other HTML elements).

For more information on attributes for this tag, see HTML5 <article> Tag.

Tag Details

For more details about the <article> tag, see HTML5 <article> Tag.


Here are the official specifications for the <article> element.

What's the Difference?

W3C creates "snapshot" specifications that don't change once defined. So the HTML5 specification won't change once it becomes an official recommendation. WHATWG on the other hand, develops a "living standard" that is updated on a regular basis. In general, you will probably find that the HTML living standard will be more closely aligned to the current W3C draft than to the HTML5 specification.