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Rare HTML Tags: Help Your Readers

Over on Nettuts, there is a post about rare HTML tags that people should take the time to learn and use. Some of them are rare for a reason, but others might help you create a post that is more useful and engaging for your readership.

Web developers these days are often expected to know and work in multiple languages. As a result, it’s tricky to learn everything a language has to offer and easy to find yourself not utilizing the full potential of some more specialized but very useful tags.

Unfortunately we haven’t been tapping into the full potential of these more obscure HTML tags as of late. But it’s never too late to get back into the game and start writing code that taps into the power of some under-used tags.

Out of all of the tags listed, I think the acronym tag is the most underutilized, and most useful in the list. If you are tired of writing out the full form of certain words constantly, you could easily use the acronym tag to help users in an easy way, understand what you mean.

SEO rather than Search Engine Optimization.

Unfortunately, not ever browser supports the more “rare” HTML tags, and this must be taken into account when planning out the user experience and the tags you are able to use. These limitations of support can definitely be frustrating, and have always been an issue for web developers.

Do you use any of the tags listed? What do you find are the most underused, but useful tags, and is the browser support slowing down your use of it?


  1. By tedeh posted on March 26, 2009 at 10:03 pm
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    Oh please come on. Glen’s article was a sad excuse and so riddled with inaccuracies and outright lies that it should be confined to the trash bin immediatly. Using the acronym tag for something completely different than what was intended sounds like a great idea. Condoning the use of a non-standard tag made up by Netscape during the browser wars (wbr … wtf) will really help your SEO. Why not just suggest the usage of blink and marquee too? That’s just two of the worst examples from that piece of trash article. Read the comments, they reveal it all.

  2. By Ahmad Alfy posted on March 27, 2009 at 1:41 am
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    I use 5 of these tags a lot :)
    Mostly , and

  3. By Ahmad Alfy posted on March 27, 2009 at 1:42 am
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    haha tags blocked!
    abbr, label and fieldset

  4. By Ranjani posted on March 27, 2009 at 1:51 am
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    I have never had a use for >wbr< or >optgroup<, but I have definitely used all of the other tags before. I don’t think >label<, >acronym<, >abbr<, >fieldset<, >cite<, >del<, or rel are very rare. However, I do think tags like >caption< or >ins< are on the rare end. But that’s just because they don’t serve as much as a purpose, so they aren’t used as often. So it’s really not a matter of how rare these tags are, but rather how useful they are on any general website. Like, so many websites have forms so >label< and >fieldset< will definitely be used. >del< is probably also very popular. But the others I use because I would so much rather use a tag than add a couple more lines of CSS. Built-in functionality is great :)

    And a lot of the time, >abbr< is more applicable than >acronym<, so I end up using that instead.

    Also, I think most people have more trouble with deprecated tags. I remember that it was hard for me when I first switched to XHTML because several small formatting tags like >b< or >i< were rejected in favor of >strong< and >em<, and old habits die hard.

  5. By Ranjani posted on March 27, 2009 at 1:51 am
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    Haha! I did the tags backwards. Curses!

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