Where's it go?

I was recommended to go to GTMetrix for a site eval. They made some suggestions, one of which was take the char set OUT of the meta tag. I’d always been told that’s where it goes. Ideas?

This suggestion?

The following resources have no character set specified in their HTTP headers. Specifying a character set in HTTP headers can speed up browser rendering.

Confusion about HTTP headers, <head>, headings eg. <h1>, and <header> is not uncommon.

In this case, the suggestion is not about taking the <meta> out of the <head>, indeed, it should be there. What it is suggesting is that there should be HTTP headers as well.

Always declare the encoding of your document using a meta element with a charset attribute, or using the http-equiv and content attributes (called a pragma directive). The declaration should fit completely within the first 1024 bytes at the start of the file, so it’s best to put it immediately after the opening head tag.

I don’t know how much the lack actually slows the page load down. I suspect it’s negligible at most. But if you want to you can send HTTP headers in different ways. If you’re on a shared host without access to config and ini files sending with PHP is probably the way to do it.


Remember that header() must be called before any actual output is sent, either by normal HTML tags, blank lines in a file, or from PHP.


eg. 14.17

Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-4


Was there somewhere else Gtmetrix suggested where or if the charset should be placed?

Did you view their web-page source and see if and where they use charset?

You can set the character set in your .htaccess file, although I’m not sure many people do that.

Incidentally, I see you are serving both the www and non-www version of your site. You need to add a couple of directives to your .htaccess file to serve just one or the other, depending on which you prefer.

I notice that your home page is still missing a closing </head> tag, and your other pages have no <head></head> section at all (and no language, charset or title specified). You need to ensure the structure of the page is correct.

I know we sound like a broken record, but I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to validate your code and fix the remaining errors.

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