Tags & Elements

Tags and elements are the most basic ingredient of html. They make up an html document in the same way as bricks and mortar make up a building.


The most basic part of Html documents are tags. What ever you write in html is enclosed in tags.

A tag start with a < angle bracket, then has a name and ends with > angle bracket.


<p> is a tag used to start a pragraph.

<html> is a tag used to mark the begining of an html document.


Elements are basically tags combined to do a desired function. Html documents are made up of elements, which can be of two types.

  • Non-Empty Elements.
  • Empty Elements.
  • A Non-Empty element starts with an opening tag, then have some content, followed by a closing tag.
  • Example

    <p>This is a pragraph </p>

    This is an elements formed by <p> tags. You can see there is an opening tag <p>, then the content and then the closing tag </p>

    An Empty element only has a single tag.


    <br />

    This is a line breaking element which consists of only one tag. Note that these elements have only one tag, which ends with a slash followd by an angle bracket >.

    Elements with in Elements

    Nested elements are elements with in elements. You may have guessed that before. In html you place elements with in other elements, usually more than once.


    This is <bold>bold</bold> text.

    Here <bold> element is nested with in <p> tag.

The following example contains four HTML elements (<html><body><h1> and <p>):

<!DOCTYPE html><html>


<h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>


Attributes & Values

Attributes are combined or associated with elements. They give additional information or details about the element they are used with.

Every attribute is accompanied with a value, which describes how much or in what way that attriubute will effect the element.

Attributes and their values are always given in the opening tag of an element.

Attribute syntax

Attributes are used in the following way,


The value is always in “” quotations marks in Xhtml. Whereas in Html quotation marks are not necessary. It is always a good practice to include quotation marks whatever type of html you use.


<p align="center">

Here align attribute is used with value “center”. This wil position the contents of the <p> tag in the center.

<table border="1">

Here border attribute is used with value “1”. This will draw a border around the table.

<p id="message">

Here id attribute is used with value “message”. This will assign the <p> tag an id named “message”.

The href Attribute

The <a> tag defines a hyperlink. The href attribute specifies the URL of the page the link goes to:


<a href=””>Visit W3Schools</a>

The src Attribute

The <img> tag is used to embed an image in an HTML page. The src attribute specifies the path to the image to be displayed:


<img src=”img_girl.jpg”>

There are two ways to specify the URL in the src attribute:

1. Absolute URL – Links to an external image that is hosted on another website. Example: src=””.

Notes: External images might be under copyright. If you do not get permission to use it, you may be in violation of copyright laws. In addition, you cannot control external images; it can suddenly be removed or changed.

2. Relative URL – Links to an image that is hosted within the website. Here, the URL does not include the domain name. If the URL begins without a slash, it will be relative to the current page. Example: src=”img_girl.jpg”. If the URL begins with a slash, it will be relative to the domain. Example: src=”/images/img_girl.jpg”.

Tip: It is almost always best to use relative URLs. They will not break if you change domain.

The width and height Attributes

The <img> tag should also contain the width and height attributes, which specifies the width and height of the image (in pixels):


<img src=”img_girl.jpg” width=”500″ height=”600″>

The alt Attribute

The required alt attribute for the <img> tag specifies an alternate text for an image, if the image for some reason cannot be displayed. This can be due to slow connection, or an error in the src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader.


<img src=”img_girl.jpg” alt=”Girl with a jacket”>

The style Attribute

The style attribute is used to add styles to an element, such as color, font, size, and more.


<p style=”color:red;”>This is a red paragraph.</p>

The lang Attribute

You should always include the lang attribute inside the <html> tag, to declare the language of the Web page. This is meant to assist search engines and browsers.

The following example specifies English as the language:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang=”en”>


Country codes can also be added to the language code in the lang attribute. So, the first two characters define the language of the HTML page, and the last two characters define the country.

The following example specifies English as the language and United States as the country:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang=”en-US”>


The title Attribute

The title attribute defines some extra information about an element.

The value of the title attribute will be displayed as a tooltip when you mouse over the element:


<p title=”I’m a tooltip”>This is a paragraph.</p>

We Suggest: Always Use Lowercase Attributes

The HTML standard does not require lowercase attribute names.

The title attribute (and all other attributes) can be written with uppercase or lowercase like title or TITLE.

However, W3C recommends lowercase attributes in HTML, and demands lowercase attributes for stricter document types like XHTML

We Suggest: Always Quote Attribute Values

The HTML standard does not require quotes around attribute values.

However, W3C recommends quotes in HTML, and demands quotes for stricter document types like XHTML.


<a href=””>Visit our site</a

Single or Double Quotes?

Double quotes around attribute values are the most common in HTML, but single quotes can also be used.

In some situations, when the attribute value itself contains double quotes, it is necessary to use single quotes:

<p title=’John “ShotGun” Nelson’>


  • All HTML elements can have attributes
  • The href attribute of <a> specifies the URL of the page the link goes to
  • The src attribute of <img> specifies the path to the image to be displayed
  • The width and height attributes of <img> provide size information for images
  • The alt attribute of <img> provides an alternate text for an image
  • The style attribute is used to add styles to an element, such as color, font, size, and more
  • The lang attribute of the <html> tag declares the language of the Web page
  • The title attribute defines some extra information about an element
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