<header>: The Header element

The <header> HTML element represents introductory content, typically a group of introductory or navigational aids. It may contain some heading elements but also a logo, a search form, an author name, and other elements.

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Usage notes

The <header> element has an identical meaning to the site-wide banner landmark role, unless nested within sectioning content. Then, the <header> element is not a landmark.

The <header> element can define a global site header, described as a banner in the accessibility tree. It usually includes a logo, company name, search feature, and possibly the global navigation or a slogan. It is generally located at the top of the page.

Otherwise, it is a section in the accessibility tree, and usually contains the surrounding section's heading (an h1h6 element) and optional subheading, but this is not required.

Historical Usage

The <header> element originally existed at the very beginning of HTML for headings. It is seen in the very first website. At some point, headings became <h1> through <h6>, allowing <header> to be free to fill a different role.


This element only includes the global attributes.


The <header> element defines a banner landmark when its context is the <body> element. The HTML header element is not considered a banner landmark when it is descendant of an <article>, <aside>, <main>, <nav>, or <section> element.


  <h1>Main Page Title</h1>
  <img src="mdn-logo-sm.png" alt="MDN logo" />


Article Header

    <h2>The Planet Earth</h2>
      Posted on Wednesday, <time datetime="2017-10-04">4 October 2017</time> by
      Jane Smith
    We live on a planet that's blue and green, with so many things still unseen.
  <p><a href="https://example.com/the-planet-earth/">Continue reading…</a></p>


Technical summary

Content categories Flow content, palpable content.
Permitted content Flow content, but with no <header> or <footer> descendant.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts flow content. Note that a <header> element must not be a descendant of an <address>, <footer> or another <header> element.
Implicit ARIA role banner, or generic if a descendant of an article, aside, main, nav or section element, or an element with role=article, complementary, main, navigation or region
Permitted ARIA roles group, presentation or none
DOM interface HTMLElement


HTML Standard
# the-header-element

Browser compatibility

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See also