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Website Quality Alert

Title declaration before character encoding declaration

Problem:

The character encoding for the web page is defined in an HTML meta tag, but that meta tag appears only after the title of the web page is defined. It is recommended that meta tags are defined before any visible text in the HTML head.

Example: instead of this

<title>Pelé was a fine footballer</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">

write this:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<title>Pelé was a fine footballer</title>

in your HTML text.

We do not show this alert when the encoding has been defined in the HTTP header or in the XML header, or when there are only ASCII characters in the title.

Impact:

Browsers may have difficulties showing the title of the page correctly. In the example above, the title may be displayed as "Pel♦ was a fine footballer", or something similar.

Although most modern browsers would try to apply the encoding before the declaration, one should keep in mind that the web is more and more surfed using devises such as mobile phones, game consoles or TV sets, which may have less capable and error tolerant browsers.

Additionally, search engines may not recognize the title of the page correctly, so that people interested in your site's topics may not find it.

Recommendation:

Always specify the character encoding before the title definition and before any other visible text.

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