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WDS15 - Handle your Metadata

Omkar Ajnadkar
Masters in Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas
Originally published at on ・3 min read

In the last short article we learned about:

  • HTML iframe element to display webpage inside webpage

Now in this article, we are going to see something which will not make the direct impact on how you are seeing your webpage but will do a lot of background work. So let's get started...

In the very first article on HTML, while learning basic HTML page structure we divided HTML document into two main parts: head and body. This head contains metadata about HTML document which we write in the body of HTML. Ler's see how to write this metadata...

HTML <meta> element

  • <meta> element is used to specify about author of webpage, various tags for article, page description and many other things.
  • Metadata is used by browsers to decide how to display content and search engines to classify web pages according to tags and keywords.

HTML Character set

A defined list of characters recognized by the computer hardware and software. Each character is represented by a number.

To display an HTML page correctly, a web browser must know which character set (character encoding) to use.

Examples: ASCII, UTF-8

Most of the times UTF-8 should work perfectly.

<meta charset="UTF-8">


Descriptions in Search Engines

It is used by search engines to show relevant information to users below link to your site so that user can decide which link to click.

<meta name="description" content="This is HTML Tutorial">


Keywords act just like tags to your document which help search engine easily search millions of documents on the internet. You can add as many keywords as you want to be separated by commas.

<meta name="keywords" content="HTML, WebDevelopment, WDS, Coding"> 


Of course, the author should get his/her credits!

<meta name="author" content="The Coding Express"> 

Refresh rate

You must have seen "Live Sports Scores" website. They always show correct scores without you need to refresh it again and again. It is used by following attributes where content is the time in seconds after which you want to refresh your page.

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="10">


This part is introduced in HTML5 which helps the creator of webpage decide the visible area of the webpage. This visible area varies according to the device.

The best choice is to set the width to device-width so that page will be adjusted to small devices like smartphones to big screens like laptop or desktops.

We can also set initial-scale which decides zoom level of the page when it loads initially on any screen.

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

Note: It is possible to create the HTML5 document without writing the <head> tag and everything inside it, but is not recommended as it can have random output on various screens and browsers. It will also not be search engine optimised and it is even possible that your page will not be easily searchable on search engines.

That's all for today. What we learned today, is the very important part that you should always remember while creating actual web pages. In the next article, we are going to see a new HTML concept that you see on 99% websites in the world. Yes, really! Think which is it and _ #keepCoding. _


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