HTML meta tags are not displayed on the page, but tell the browser, search engines, and various external services information about the document.

The placement in the head of the document is further explored when discussing the Advanced Page Setup.

					<meta charset="UTF-8">
<meta name="description" content="Free Web Tutorials">
<meta name="keywords" content="HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, SQL">
<meta name="author" content="1SMARTchicken">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

The meta charset should be considered mandatory (it isn’t) as it specifies the character encoding for the HTML document. Similarly, the meta name=”viewport” should always be present as it tells the browser to display the page at the width of the device and to scale it to 100% on the initial view. So, not zoomed is what that means.

Other Meta Tags

In the above “description”, “keywords”, and “author” are self explanatory. But here are some examples of other meta tags and what they do.

					<!-- refreshes the page every 30 seconds -->
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="30">
<!-- shows the last time the document content was revised -->
<meta name = "revised" content = "1SMARTchicken, 11/22/2022">
<!-- automatically redirects the page to a specified URL after 5 seconds -->
<meta http-equiv = "refresh" content = "5; url =">
<!-- set a user cookie -->
<meta http-equiv = "cookie" content = "userid = abc123; expires = Wednesday, 07-Dec-2022 23:59:59 GMT;">

This is by no means an exhaustive list. This is just a few addition meta tags that are commonly used. See a more complete Meta Tags list.