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if your content was only in English, what would your character set be
Latin-1, which should be defined like this
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1">
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en">
The content language should be changed to reflect which type of English you're talking about. Is it British English, American English, or something else?
"en" means English in general, without specifying it further.
"en-GB" means British English
"en-US" means American English
But definately advisable as :
1) This is not always the default charachter set in a browser and if none is specified then it will try and use the default.
2) It helps search engines to more easily decided what language your page is in, if you don't have these tags then they have to approximate it through you're text, which is something the get wrong more times than you would imagine. Just try doing a google search of only english language sites and you'll see what i mean here.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-gb">
<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no">
<title> The Title of the Page </title>
<meta name="Description" content=" Description Goes Here ">
<meta name="Keywords" content=" Keyword List Goes Here ">
<meta name="Generator" content="WordPad">
<meta name="Date" content="2003-07-30">
<meta name="Author" content=" Author Details .">
<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Style-Type" content="text/css">
<style type="text/css"> @import url(stylemain.css); </style>
The Generator, Date, and Author information isn't important for search engines, but can be useful for document version control when multiple people edit the pages, especially for companies.
The encoding information ought to go first, I guess, as I have heard that there are some issues with browsers designed for the far-East in that the page <title> at the top of the browser window may not display correctly if it is located before the encoding information for the page in the coding.