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HTML Help: Doctype Purpose

While snooping in someone's source code I saw a page that started off with some weird DOCTYPE code instead of the <html> tag. I've never used that, what is it?
The DOCTYPE declaration is used to determine which version of HTML the browser should use to display the web page.

If no DOCTYPE is used most browsers will display pages in what is called "quirks" mode. That means the browser will attempt to display the page according to an older version of HTML and according to browser behaviors that don't comply with all HTML specifications.

The quirks mode is based on a time when browsers kind of did their own thing and ignored many standards. If you allow your site to be displayed in quirks mode it could mean some standardized code practices won't work correctly in modern browsers.

The DOCTYPE tutorial linked below will help you determine the best DOCTYPE for your website and show you where to place it in your code.

This concludes the


. Based on your interest in this FAQ, you might also be interested in this DOCTYPE Tutorial. It will help you determine the best DOCTYPE for your web site.
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