This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document.The document provides practical best practices related to specifying the language of content that HTML content authors can use to ensure that their HTML is easily adaptable for an international audience. These are best practices that are best addressed from the start of content development if unnecessary costs and resource issues are to be avoided later on.
The very first line of every page on your site should be the DOCTYPE! Declaration which tells browsers and other user agents what kind of HTML it will find on the page.
There are lots of different kinds of HTML (e.g. HTML 4.01 Strict, HTML 4.01 Transitional, XHTML 1.0 Strict etc.) and if there is no Document Type Definition (DTD) then browsers will switch out of ‘Standards Compliant’ mode into ‘Quirks Mode’ with unpredictable results.