HTML <head> Tag

The HTML <head> tag represents the head section of the HTML document.

The <head> element can contain other HTML tags that contain metadata. Metadata provides information about the document such as title, description, keywords etc. A typical HTML document might contain a <title> tag, one or more <meta> tags, a <script> tag, and a <style> tag - all enclosed within the <head> element.

Most metadata are not displayed in the browser (although the title usually appears in the browser's title bar) but it can be useful for the functionality of the page.


The <head> tag is written as <head></head> with the metadata content enclosed between the start and end tags. The <head> tag is placed between the opening and closing <html> tags.

Most HTML documents must have a <title> tag within the <head> tag (the only exceptions are: if the document is an <iframe> srcdoc document or if title information is available from a higher-level protocol, for example in the case of an HTML formatted email).

Like this:


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 <head> element accepts the following attributes.

Element-Specific Attributes

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


Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML5 elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <head> 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 <head> 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 profile attribute is not supported in HTML5.

To see more detail on the two versions see HTML5 <head> Tag and HTML4 <head> Tag. Also check out the links to the official specifications below.


Here's a template for the <head> 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.

For more information on attributes for this tag, see HTML5 <head> Tag and HTML4 <head> Tag.

Tag Details

For more details about the <head> tag, see HTML5 <head> Tag and HTML4 <head> Tag.


Here are the official specifications for the <head> 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.