<html>
<head>

While most browsers will "forgive" not including the <html>, <head> or even the <body> tags, leaving them out can cause problems with some browsers. For XHTML, closing tags are absolutely required.

<title>Your web page title here</title>

Title tags are displayed in the top title bar of the browser, sometimes followed by the name of the browser itself. Screen readers read the title of each page when it first loads (including the name of the browser, if shown by the browser). Too many Web masters ignore the title tag, or give too little thought to it. Most search engines will use the title tag in their search results displays. Good titles will aid people in finding your site. Title tags are also useful in bookmarking. Most browsers will display the title as the name of the bookmark.

If you want your bookmarked site to stand out or be readily found, you should have a well thought out, brief title for your Web page. Keep in mind, however, that long titles will often be cut-off in bookmark and search engine results displays. Your carefully worded title should be brief, less than 120 characters (keep in mind that WebTV only displays the first 12 characters in its "Recent" panel).

With the above in mind, do not put "Welcome to..." in your title tag, nor place the Web address (or if you do, place it at the end of the title tag text string). Again, keep it brief. Don't write "this is the main portal to XYZ Web site," instead write "Main portal to XYZ Web site" or better yet "XYZ's main portal.

<meta name="keyword" content="key words, keywords" />

Keep the keyword meta tag short, do not repeat keywords, think of alternate spellings and even misspellings. All Meta tags should be "closed" with

/>

to make them XHTML ready (doing so will not cause any problems for browsers that do not support XHTML).

<meta name="description" content="brief and to the point description of the web page." />

Keep the description meta tag to 250 characters or less. Make sure it that it clearly describes the page, and that it uses some of the keywords (but not the misspellings) listed in the keyword meta tag. If you don't include a description meta tag, some search sites may use the first sentence or two of your text, including any JavaScript coding (even if you comment out the coding).

<meta name="robots" content="all" />

Use a comma-separated list of one or more of those terms. Their meanings are:

Not all sites recognize the robots meta tag, but some of the major ones do (Excite, Infoseek, Lycos, and WebCrawler).

In fact, most search engines do not recognize all meta tags. Some will use your title tag for a description of the page, others will use the description meta tag, others will use both the description tag, title tag and the keyword tag to rate the "relevancy" of your page. Others will also read the top two sentences or the bottom two sentences to help judge "relevancy." Do not overload your page with keywords, this is called spamdexing and will actually more often than not penalize your page with a lower relevancy ranking.

If you have any Javascript, JavaScript, JScript functions that are "called," or do not write to the web page, include them after the meta tags and before the closing head tag.

</head>
<body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000" link="#0000ff" vlink="#ff0000" alink="#ffff00">

Most common and widely supported body attributes are

These attributes are "depreciated," meaning that CSS is the preferred method of setting these attributes.

Place your web content here between the <body> </body> tags. Don't forget to use alt tags in any images that has informational content in them.

</body>
</html>

Close out the body and HTML document.

For cut-n-paste ease, the template coding is repeated below without the commentaries:

<html>
<head>
<meta name="keyword" content="key words, keywords" />
<meta name="description" content="brief and to the point description of the web page." />
<meta name="robots" content="all" />
</head>
<body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000" link="#0000ff" vlink="#ff0000" alink="#ffff00">

</body>
</html>