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I am using Dreamweaver Templates on my site and they work well. However, I have always read that it is best to have meta tags as high in the <head> as possible if not first. The meta tags that apply site wide I apply to me template as the first set of tags. But when I apply them to page specific tags DW normally sticks them towards the end of the <head> tag. Does it matter if meta tags are at the end of the head?

Note: The meta tags I am referring to would be description, robots, open graph type meta tags.

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2 Answers 2

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It's normally better to try and keep all the METAS near the top but its not essential and its very common for the likes of many open source content management systems and plugs to inject the metas near the bottom of the head.

I believe its not an issue at all and the likes of Google and Yahoo in terms of page speed only request that people use CSS near the top and JS near the buttom and has never reported that metas are a problem and I'm guessing here but if it was a problem I'd know about it. Even when doing w3c validation it reports no issues with position of metas either.

If this was a problem I'd expect to find it reported on W3C.

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Thanks for the information. Not sure I trust w3schools but I do trust W3C. => –  Lynda Feb 15 '13 at 7:27
    
You should not use or link to w3schools. It's not a reliable source of information and we don't want to encourage its use. –  John Conde Feb 15 '13 at 12:46
    
@JohnConde - While w3schools has its issues, most of the information there is just fine and I use it for quick lookups all the time. Please don't encourage this online myth and please don't point to w3fools either. –  Rob Feb 15 '13 at 13:02
    
I linked w3shools as just something to read on meta's since this isn't an issue no sites mention it hence I just linked 2 sites and W3C validation is absolutely fine and would report the issue if it was one. I've removed the w3schools links since its not required in the answer. –  bybe Feb 15 '13 at 13:51

There is only one meta element for which the position can be important: charset

<meta charset="utf-8"> <!-- HTML5 -->

This specifies that the character encoding of the web page should be UTF-8 (note that his can be overwritten by HTTP).

Why might the placement be relevant? A parser would have to restart parsing the page as soon as it encounters a meta element with the charset attribute. So it would be efficient to place this element at the top (inside the head).

If you'd place title before that meta element, the parser wouldn't know for sure how to interpret the content (if it contains non-ASCII characters).

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