Specify a Character Set Early

What is a Character Set?

In this guide, we talked early on about how to avoid a character set in the meta tag. Character sets, or sometimes abbreviated as charset, are the set of characters, in this case numbers, that computers use to represent characters used for various languages. Without this, we would have a bunch of numbers and characters that the browser would not know how to translate properly.

Why Specify a Character Set Early?

So, what makes this optimization so important? For one, without it, your users would not be able to understand your web page. Secondly, if it is not set appropriately, it can cause slower page load times. Setting this as early as possible ensures that the browser can begin parsing and processing it immediately, before any JavaScript.

How to Specify the Character Set

Specifying the character set can be done through the server or through the browser, however, the recommended method is to set it through the server as it avoids having to set it in in each HTML file. Basically, set it and forget it. However, if for some reason you cannot access your server, it can be set in the HTML file. This is better than not setting it at all, but just know that you may still get the optimization message to set the character set early if using this method.



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