How to Work with Simple <head> and <body> Elements

In this how-to, you'll learn about the two main parts of an HTML document.

At it's simplest, an HTML document contains what can be thought of as a skeleton — the main structure of the page. It looks like this:


<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<title></title>
</head>
<body>

</body>
</html>

Every HTML document contains two main parts: the <head> element and the <body> element.

The <head> Element

The <head> element contains content that is not displayed on the page itself. Some of the elements commonly found in the <head> are:

  • Title of the page (<title>). Browsers typically show the title in the "title bar" at the top of the browser window.
  • Meta tags, which contain descriptive information about the page (<meta>).
  • Script blocks, which contain JavaScript for adding functionality and interactivity to to a page (<script>).
  • References (or links) to external style sheets (<link>).

The <body> Element

The <body> element contains all the content that appears on the page itself. Tags that can be placed within the scope of body tag will be covered in other how-tos.

Author: Chris Minnick

Chris Minnick, the co-founder of WatzThis?, has overseen the development of hundreds of web and mobile projects for customers from small businesses to some of the world’s largest companies. A prolific writer, Chris has authored and co-authored books and articles on a wide range of Internet-related topics including HTML, CSS, mobile apps, e-commerce, e-business, Web design, XML, and application servers. His published books include Adventures in Coding, JavaScript For Kids For Dummies, Writing Computer Code, Coding with JavaScript For Dummies, Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies, Webkit For Dummies, CIW E-Commerce Designer Certification Bible, and XHTML.

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