div is a generic block-level element. It doesn’t convey any meaning about its contents (unlike a
p element that signifies a paragraph, or an
h2 element that would indicate a level 1 or level 2 heading, respectively); as such, it’s easy to customize it to your needs. The
div element is currently the most common method for identifying the structural sections of a document and for laying out a web page using CSS.
Some developers perceive similarities between the
p and the
div elements, seeing them as being interchangeable, but this isn’t the case. The
p element offers more semantic information (“this is a paragraph of text, a small collection of thoughts that are grouped together; the next paragraph outlines some different thoughts”), while the
div element can be used to group almost any elements together. Indeed, it can contain almost any other element, unlike
p, which can only contain inline elements.
The HTML below shows two
divs being used in conjunction with
id attributes to identify different sections of a web page:
<div id="main_navigation"> ⋮ </div> <div id="body_content"> <h1>Page heading</h1> <p>Body content</p> </div>
Use This For …
div is an “anything-goes” element—it can contain any inline or block-level
elements you choose, so it has no typical content.
This element has no compatibility issues. All the browsers listed support the
The Principles of Beautiful Web Design, 4th Edition
Docker for Web Developers
Learn PHP in One Day and Learn It Well