Classifying the <title> tag

What is the proper classification for the <title> tag in the <head> tag in the <html> tag?

Is it okay to say that the <title> tag is one of several “meta” or “html meta” tags? (Even though it doesn’t have the <meta> tag in front of it.)

This is a truly anal-retentive question, but in my database I am trying to come up with field names that make sense, and I am inclined to create the following fields…


To me, when I hear “Page Title” or “Title”, I think of the thing at the top of the page within the <body> tags, and so that is why I’d like to use the term “meta_title” if the SitePoint HTML Gurus think that is okay?! :-/



<title> (like <html> and <body> etc.) are actually elements. So you are referring here to a <title> element … which does of course consist of opening and closing tags. But still, it’s an element.

<meta> is also an element, and can contain various properties for various purposes.

So meta_title is a bit of a misnomer, because <title> is not a meta element.

i would name these database columns as follows:


vwalah, eh :wink:

I don’t think it is that easy in the context of what I am doing…

Here are the fields I am dealing with, and I would like to come up with names that CLEARLY tell me what each thing is.

So what would you call these…

1.) The pretty name of the article title as it appears in the URL (e.g. “why-incorporating-your-business-makes-sense”)??

2.) The name of the article in the <title> tags??

3.) The name for the <meta description> tags??

4.) The name for the <meta keywords> tags??

5.) The name of the “title” of the article on the web page itself (e.g. <h1>Why Incorporating Your Business Makes Sense</h1>) ??

6.) The name of any “subtitles” of the article on the web page itself (e.g. <small>(S-Corps are the way to go!)</small>) ??

I know all of this probably seems pretty trivial - but details matter - and I want things to be clear and self-documenting so that 6 months from now I’m not confused about what is what like I currently am looking at my database fields?!

I have too many things described above that are some kind of “Title” and I need a better naming strategy!!



  1. URL
  2. title
  3. description
  4. keywords
  5. heading (or main heading)
  6. sub-heading

Not too bad of a list, but I totally disagree with #1.

Anyone else??



Rudy and Lesley are spot on. It’s simple, clear and as accurate as can be.

What’s wrong with URL? If you want to be even more specific, then why not do something like url_name or url_title for #1?

Because why-incorporating-your-business-makes-sense is NOT a URL.

These are URL’s…

I think I will cave in and use the term “slug” for #1 as that is what it really is. (I just didn’t like that term in the past since it was a new concept to me, and so I chose “pretty title”, but then that caused confusion with “Which Title do you mean?!”)

I still think of #5 as a “Title” since that is how it is used in every day English. (e.g. What is the Title of the Chapter you are reading? What is the Title of that newspaper article with which we disagreed?)

However, in HTML, your <h1> is a “Heading”, so I guess that Technobear’s suggestions for #5 (i.e. “Heading”) and #6 (i.e. “Sub-Heading”) make sense.


Slug seems apt. Nice one.

PS: I also like ExpressionEngine’s naming conventions:

So I think I will go with this…

1.) slug
2.) title
3.) description
4.) keywords
5.) heading
6.) sub-heading


i have exactly the same structure in my own cms, but what you call slug, i call name

name = frisbee-golf-in-the-snow
title = Frisbee golf in the snow
url = /frisbee-golf-in-the-snow.html

my url isn’t always the same as name.html, which is why there are two columns for those purposes and not just one

but both are unique