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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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 no corresponding role 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

Usage notes

The <header> element is not sectioning content and therefore does not introduce a new section in the outline. That said, a <header> element is intended to usually contain the surrounding section's heading (an h1h6 element), but this is not required.

Historical Usage

Although the <header> element didn't make its way into specifications until HTML5, it actually existed at the very beginning of HTML. As seen in the very first website, it was originally used as the <head> element. At some point, it was decided to use a different name. This allowed <header> to be free to fill a different role later on.


This element only includes the global attributes.


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

Article Header

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


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.


HTML Standard
# the-header-element

Browser compatibility

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See also