Why Does My Web Page Say Untitled?

by Anne Hirsh

A series of codes tells your computer what to display when you open a Web page. This code has a very specific language that it uses for each item on the page, and every aspect of those items has its own code. This allows computers across the world to read Web pages in a similar manner, no matter what Internet browser you use. When the code for your page's title is missing, the browser substitutes "Untitled."

Web Language Basics

Programmers use a variety of languages to program Web pages. You may have heard terms like CSS, Flash and JavaScript in reference to page programming. The most basic programming language commonly used across web pages is Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML. The information for your page title needs to be in the correct HTML coding, even if that code is part of the newer Extended Markup Language (XML), CSS, JavaScript or any other type of programming.

Meta Tags

The part of the language that tells a Web browser your page title is called a meta tag. The specific meta tag that affects whether a browser shows a title you have programmed or "Untitled" is called the title tag. If your web page's title should be "My Web Page," the title tag would look like this: <title>My Web Page</title>. The word "Title" in angle brackets before the title tells the computer what part of the web page the text that follows is supposed to be. The word "Title" with a slash in front of it, inside the angle brackets after the title, tells the computer that the title section is finished and any other programming that follows has to do with some other aspect of the page. However, if you are using a Web template and have not added your title manually, you may see a title tag that looks like this: <title></title>. The lack of data between the tags causes your computer to substitute "Untitled" at the top of the page.


Your title tag not only needs to be present in your Web page's coding for the site title to appear; it also needs to be in the right place. Near the top of your Web page's code, look for a tag that says "<head>." The title tag must be after the <head> tag but before the </head> closing tag. Everything in the "Head" section applies to the general headings for you page, so if the title tag is elsewhere, it will not show up as your page's title. Other reasons you page may say "Untitled" even when there is a title tag are typos in the code or version errors. Check your code carefully for typos, as the computer cannot sense that ">title>" is supposed to be "<title>," nor can it autocorrect "<tilte>" to "<title>." A version error means that you have uploaded the wrong version of your code to your server. If your files on your computer appear correct but the live version is still wrong, try uploading or publishing the page again.


Even if you find dealing with Web code daunting, the addition of the title tag is a very simple fix. You can even copy and paste the sample title in the "Meta Tags" section and just replace "My Web Site" with your own title. As long as it is between the opening and closing "Head" tags, you will be fine. If you used a website builder that does not allow you direct access to the HTML code, check your user guide or built-in "Help" file. There may be something under a "Tools" or "Settings" page that lets you add titles without working directly in the code.

About the Author

Anne Hirsh has been writing and editing for over 10 years. She has hands-on experience in cooking, visual arts and theater as well as writing experience covering wellness and animal-related topics. She also has extensive research experience in marketing, small business, Web development and SEO. Hirsh has a bachelor's degree in technical theater and English and post-baccalaureate training in writing and computer software.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images News/Getty Images