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Introduction To HTML Anchor Tag

Anchor tag is an HTML tag that is used to mark the beginning and end of a hyperlink text in the HTML document.

A website is made up of one or more HTML documents that contains all the information parts of the website. But word wide web as a whole mainly works because of the ability of these HTML web documents to link (or refer) to each other. This inter-linking of web pages is achieved by using the HTML anchor tags.

A typical structure of an anchor tag looks like this:

<a href="https://muddoo.com" title="Muddoo Home">Muddoo</a>
Brief structure of an HTML Anchor tag
Typical HTML Anchor tag usage in web documents

From the above, we note that an anchor tag starts and ends between notations like <a> and </a>. In other words, HTML anchor tags have both opening and closing tags. Text between this opening and closing tags is called the anchor text and is responsible for taking the user to a new document upon being clicked. In the above example, “Muddoo” is the anchor text.

But where does the user go on clicking the Anchor text? This is determined by the href attribute of the HTML anchor tag. The url in the href attribute of anchor tag is the destination web page’s address where the user will be taken to.

In addition to href attribute, the HTML anchor tag also has another attribute called “title”. The title attribute of the HTML anchor tag holds a piece of text that the user will see upon hovered over by the mouse. It is also helpful as an accessibility feature for people using screen readers as it gets read out by the screen readers.

Finally, there are also a few other attributes such as “target” attribute which provides additional functions such as determining if the destination web page is to be opened in the same window or a new window. These type of additional attributes can be looked upon in the official w3c html specification document.

But all in all, the Anchor tags are the fundamental elements of the world wide web that weaves the inter-connected paths between various web documents that helps the web users to seamlessly navigate between various websites and documents without any hassles.

Hope this gave a brief introduction to the HTML anchor tags. HTM Anchor tags are tags that are going to be used regularly while creating a HTML web page so having a clear understanding of its structure and how it works becomes essential. In the same line, I will continue to document more about other HTML tags in the future that are bare essential for web development.

Until then, happy coding!

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HTML STATIC WEBSITES TUTORIALS WEB SERVER WORDPRESS

What is DOCTYPE in HTML? Why do we use it?

When we sit down to write an html document, one of the first line of code we write is <!DOCTYPE html>. But what does this line do? What is significance of this line to a web browser? What happens if we miss including the DOCTYPE tag? Is it even a tag in the first place? We will answer these questions in this article.

What is DOCTYPE in HTML?

DOCTYPE is a type of directive that tells our web browser what type of document it is dealing with. As there are multiple versions of HTML documents that a web browser need to deal with, each following a different version of HTML definition standards or non HTML documents such as XML files, mentioning the “type” of this particular document helps a web browser to decide and adjust itself to render the specified document appropriately.

What happens if the DOCTYPE is not mentioned in an HTML document?

Specifying the DOCTYPE of a document will help a web browser to make appropriate decisions in rendering that file to its user successfully. In the event a web document does not have appropriate DOCTYPE specified, the web browser will try to make a best guess and try to render the document accordingly. However, a result of this could be that the rendering might not be happening in the most optimal way and as a result, some of the documents might not get rendered properly.

Is DOCTYPE even a HTML tag?

Actually, No! 😮

DOCTYPE according to HTML specification is not a HTML tag, but a declaration for the browser to make use of.

Does DOCTYPE have an end tag?

The answer is NO. DOCTYPE is not a HTML tag and does not have an explicit end tag to itself.

In the earlier days, web documents used DOCTYPE declaration effectively to let the browser know what type of HTML standard specification the document was following. As a result, the first line of a web page that declared the DOCTYPE had a very lengthy string to it, something like this:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">

But these days, with most of the websites using HTML 5 specification, the actual usage of DOCTYPE has become more or less redundant and hence we can get away by just declaring the DOCTYPE as:

<!DOCTYPE html>

and browser will still be able to handle it perfectly.

Hope this gave a bit of clarity on some of the doubts you had around DOCTYPE declaration in HTML. If you have an inputs or queries regarding it, don’t hesitate to ask about it in the comment section below!

Until then, Happy Coding!