HTML Page Structure

The structure of an HTML document.

The HTML stucture.

  • An HTML document can be divided in three main sections:
  • The main header section element (HEAD) and the main body section element (BODY or FRAMESET) are surrounded with the HTML element (the tag pair <html></html>).
  • There is a limitation of sub-element types a HEAD element can contain. You can find which elements in the HTML-reference.

The HTML version information.

  • A valid HTML document declares what version of HTML is used in the document. The Document Type Declaration names the document type definition (DTD) in use for the document.
  • HTML 4.01 specifies three DTDs, so you must include one of the following document type declarations in the start of your document:
    1. The HTML 4.01 Strict DTD includes all elements and attributes that have not been deprecated or do not appear in frameset documents.
      The document type declaration for this is:
      <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
              "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
      
    2. The HTML 4.01 Transitional DTD includes everything in the strict DTD plus deprecated elements and attributes.
      The document type declaration for this is:
      The document type declaration for this is:
      <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
              "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
      
    3. The HTML 4.01 Frameset DTD includes everything in the transitional DTD plus frames as well.
      The document type declaration for this is:
      <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN"
              "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/frameset.dtd">
      
  • The browsers will go into Quirks mode if a DOCTYPE declaration (DTD) is not included.

The header section.

  • The header section defined by the HEAD element (the tag pair <head></head>) contains information about the current document, such as its title, keywords that may be useful to search engines, and other data that is not considered document content.
  • There is a limitation of sub-element types a HEAD element can contain. You can find which elements in the HTML-reference.

The body section.

  • The body section contains the document’s actual content. The body section may be implemented by the BODY element (the tag pair <body></body>) or the FRAMESET element (the tag pair <frameset></frameset>).
  • There is a limitation of sub-element types a BODY element can contain. You can find which elements in the HTML-reference.
  • There is a limitation of sub-element types a FRAMESET element can contain. You can find which elements in the HTML-reference.
    Example of a simple HTML document with a BODY element:
    <!-- We are using HTML 4.01 Strict DTD Version of HTML in this document. -->
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
       "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
    
    <!-- An HTML document is contained by the HTML element. -->
    <HTML>
    
    <!-- Here comes the header section -->
      <HEAD>
    <!-- the title will appear as part of the title in the browser -->
        <TITLE>This is my first HTML document</TITLE>
      </HEAD>
    
    <!-- Here comes the body section -->
      <BODY>
        <P>Hello world!</P>
       </BODY>
    
    </HTML>

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