Creating Head Elements With Dreamweaver

Web pages are not actually the visually rich documents they appear to be; underlying each web page is HTML code. HTML pages consist of a hierarchy of elements: the html element is at the top of the hierarchy and contains two sub elements : the head and the body. The body contains all of the elements which will be displayed in the browser window and the majority of which will be visible to the user. The head element, by contrast, contains information about the web page; meta information as it is sometimes called. In this article, we will look at the different ways in which Adobe Dreamweaver allows you to modify elements within the head of a web page, beginning with the title.

The title element should contain a broad description of the content of the page. It is extremely important that each page should have a title and that the title be pertinent to the page that contains it. Dreamweaver automatically adds a title element to every new page containing the text Untitled Document. Perhaps the easiest way of modifying the default title in Dreamweaver is simply to enter a title in the Document Title box of the Document toolbar which is normally displayed at the top of the page. An alternative is the choose Modify – Page Properties and then click on the Title/Encoding category on the left of the screen.

The title element is the only element which is syntactically required to be placed within the head element. In addition a number of optional meta elements may be placed which the head element to provide further information about the current page. One such meta element is created automatically by Dreamweaver along with the title: the content-type. This declares the character encoding to the browser and is particularly important if you have a site with an international audience. To specify the character encoding, choose Modify – Page Properties, click on the Title/Encoding category on the left of the screen and then choose an option from the Encoding drop-down menu.

The meta description element is one of the most important since, along with the page title, it is often displayed when your page shows up in the search engine results. The description should consist of a couple of sentences summarising the content of the page. To set the description in Dreamweaver, choose Insert – HTML – Head Tags – Description then enter your description in the dialogue box which appears.

Lets just mention one final meta element: keywords. The keywords meta element should contain a list of the important words and phrases to be found on the current page. Only text that actually appears on the page should be listed. To create the meta keywords element in Dreamweaver, choose Insert – HTML – Head Tags – Keywords.

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