HTML and CSS Reference
h e a element in HTML5, as well as in previous versions of HTML, is one of the key elements
in the language. Its primary use is to serve as a means to load a page using the href attribute.
Without the href attribute, the <a> tag can serve as a placeholder, but for all intents and
purposes, the a element is really a combination of the element and the attribute. h at's why
we tend to think in terms of a href or an <a href> tag rather than just the a element by
itself. h is section examines the nuances of the a element with the focus on the href
attribute, but the i rst topic is using the rel attribute with the a element.
MORE OF THE REL ATTRIBUTE
h e rel attribute is related to more than just the link element, and while most of the rel
values assigned to link also apply to the a and area elements, only a subset is examined
here. h e full list of applicable values for the rel attribute in the a element include the
Of these, several are for organizing navigation, and these will be discussed more in Chapter 8.
For example, index , first , last , prev , and next (among others) all refer to navigation
order. I'm introducing them here so that when navigation in a larger context is discussed in
Chapter 8, you'll be familiar with the concepts. Other values assigned to the rel attribute in
the a element context have more to do with identifying certain characteristics, such as the
link's author or a help link, and I discuss them i rst.