HTML <link> Tag
<link> tag represents a link to an external resource.
<link> tag is often used for linking to an external style sheet, but it can also be used for other purposes such as assisting search engines by providing links to relevant resources, and providing information on the website's navigational structure, etc.
<link> tag can be used to create what is referred to as a "hyperlink", it is not used for creating the "clickable" hyperlink that most web users are familiar with. To create such a link, use the
<link> tag is typically written as
<link rel="" href=""> (no end tag). The
rel attribute specifies the relationship between the document containing the hyperlink and the destination resource. The
href attribute specifies the address of the hyperlink. See below under "Template" for other attributes that can be used with the
Basic tag usage
<link> tag can be placed either whereever metadata is expected or in a
<noscript> element that is a child of a
Here is a typical usage of the
<link> element, which links to an external style sheet.
Attributes can be added to an HTML element to provide more information about how the element should appear or behave.
There are 3 kinds of attributes that you can add to your HTML tags: Element-specific, global, and event handler content attributes.
<link> element accepts the following attributes.
This table shows the attributes that are specific to the
|href||Specifies the URL of the resource document.|
|crossorigin||This attribute is a CORS settings attribute. CORS stands for Cross-Origin Resource Sharing. The purpose of the
If this attribute is not specified, CORS is not used at all.
An invalid keyword and an empty string will be handled as the
|hreflang||Language code of the destination URL. Purely advisory. The value must be a valid RFC 3066 language code.|
|media||Specifies which media the target URL uses. Only to be used when the
[The value must be a valid media query. The default value is
|rel||Describes the relationship between the current document and the destination URI. Multiple values can be provided, separated by a space.
|type||The MIME type of content at the link destination. Purely advisory.|
|sizes||Specifies the sizes of icons for visual media. Can be used for favicons. Multiple values can be provided, as long as they're separated by a space.
The following attributes are standard across all HTML5 elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the
<link> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.
For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 global attributes.
Event Handler Content Attributes
Event handler content attributes enable you to invoke a script from within your HTML. The script is invoked when a certain "event" occurs. Each event handler content attribute deals with a different event.
Below are the standard HTML5 event handler content attributes.
Again, you can use any of these with the
<link> element, as well as any other HTML5 element.
For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 event handler content attributes.
Differences Between HTML 4 & HTML 5
HTML5 does not support the following attributes (that were supported in HTML 4):
HTML5 introduced the following attributes:
To see more detail on the two versions see HTML5
<link> Tag and HTML4
<link> Tag. Also check out the links to the official specifications below.
Here's a template for the
<link> tag with all available attributes for the tag (based on HTML5). These are grouped into attribute types, each type separated by a space. In many cases, you will probably only need one or two (if any) attributes. Simply remove the attributes you don't need.
For more information on attributes for this tag, see HTML5
<link> Tag and HTML4
title attribute has special semantics on the
<link> element. If used, it defines alternative style sheet sets.
title attribute on
<link> elements differs from the global
title attribute of most other elements in that a
<link> element without a title does not inherit the title of the parent element: it simply has no title.
For more details about the
<link> tag, see HTML5
<link> Tag and HTML4
Here are the official specifications for the
- HTML5 Specification (W3C)
- HTML Living Standard (WHATWG)
- Current W3C Draft (the next version that is currently being worked on)
- HTML 4 (W3C)
What's the Difference?
W3C creates "snapshot" specifications that don't change once defined. So the HTML5 specification won't change once it becomes an official recommendation. WHATWG on the other hand, develops a "living standard" that is updated on a regular basis. In general, you will probably find that the HTML living standard will be more closely aligned to the current W3C draft than to the HTML5 specification.