HTML Tutorials

META Refresh

HTML Tutorials
By Jeffrey J. Walters


      Did you notice that the previous page waited 5 seconds and then loaded this page? You might think was done with some fancy Java or Java Script, but it was done with a META command. Yup, just a one liner.

      Before I show you the command, you must understand that all META commands must be placed in the HEAD section of your HTML code. That is, somewhere between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags.

Here is the code that did it.

<meta http-equiv="REFRESH" content="X;URL=yourpage.html">

       Just change the X to the number of seconds you want and change yourpage.html to the HTML page you want to load. The page address can be expresses as either a relative or an absolute URL. Also, if you want your page to simply refresh you can leave out the URL address; content="X".

Search Engines:

      Do you want your web page to get more exposure? Have you had problems in the past? Today there are several search engines which only ask you to submit your URL address. Have you wondered how they can do that and organize their data? One method is that search engines will look for your <TITLE> tag in the <HEAD> section of your HTML page. Make sure this <TITLE> tag is placed before any of your META tags, most search engines look for this first.

<TITLE>HTML for the Complete Idiot</TITLE>

      Search engines will also look for META statements or tags. There are several which are commonly used. Always use at least the keywords and description. Some possibilities are shown below.

<meta http-equiv="author" content="Your name">
<meta http-equiv="description" content="A short page description.">
<meta http-equiv="keywords" content="Your pages keywords.">
<meta http-equiv="generator" content="The HTML program editor you use.">
<meta http-equiv="copyright" content="The Copyright© date">
<meta http-equiv="expires" content="The expiration date.">

      Let us take an example. Suppose I want to create some META statements for my NBA Orlando Magic Basketball Fan Page. I don't actually have one, but lets do it anyway. For the author content I would put my name, because I wrote it.

<meta http-equiv="author" content="Jeffrey J. Walters">

      For a description I could make a big long statement bragging about the great Magic team, but I'll keep it simple.

<meta http-equiv="description" content="A web page dedicated to the NBA's Orlando Magic Basketball Team and all the fans who make it great!">

      Then for keywords I could use just about anything related to the team or basketball in general. The more keywords you use, the more exposure your page will get. Keep it mind that most search engines have a built in limit to the number of characters for keywords. Keeping that in mind, always put the most important keywords first.

<meta http-equiv="keywords" content="NBA, orlando magic, basketball fan, sport, ball, recreation">

      Notice that I was very specific at first and then became very general with keywords like sport and ball.

      The rest of the META tags are not used much, it's really up to you. I'll show you some examples for our imaginary page. The expiration tag is an interesting one, because it tells the search engine to automatically delete your page's submission after that date.

<meta http-equiv="generator" content="Mini Note Tab">
<meta http-equiv="copyright" content="Copyright© 2004 Jeffrey J. Walters">
<meta http-equiv="expires" content="10 December 2004">

      Keep in mind that not all search engines are alike. Some may only request your URL address of your home page while others may want a full page of information. Some may use your META description and some may not. Some may take as long as two weeks to add your home page to their listings and some may do it a in a manner of seconds. Sometimes it may feel like a fighting battle just to advertise your page! Just stick with it.

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[ Page Created December 12, 1997 ] [ Last Updated May 24, 2008 ]
Copyright ©1997-2017 Jeffrey J. Walters. All rights reserved.