A few weeks ago, I dove deep into the template tag and it ended up teaching me quite a bit about a tag that has far more uses than I originally suspected. Well, in a recent project, there was an opportunity to provide some address data. And, I wanted to reach for the
<address> tag, thinking that was the best way to present postal addresses.
Boy, was I wrong. A quick bit of interwebz searching taught me very quickly that the
<address> tag has a very different use. In this spirit, I am going to give you a bit of perspective on it.
For the most broad definition of the
<address> tag, I am going to quote MDN.
<address>element supplies contact information for its nearest
<body>ancestor; in the latter case, it applies to the whole document.
That is far different than how most people use it. I have seen this implementation far too many times:
<address> Don Burks<br> 123 Sesame St.<br> New York, NY 21212<br> USA </address>
This would seem to make sense because it is a ‘postal address’. However, as we can see from the mandate explained in the MDN documentation, this is about providing a semantic reference for contact information. The only case, according to the W3C specification, where a postal address is acceptable inside an
<address> tag is where the arbitrary address (such as a postal address) is the valid contact information.
Typically, and properly, you’re going to see
<address> being used in either an
<article> tag to document the contact info asssociated with that article, or in the
<footer> tag to document the contact information for the entire page (specifically the content in the
If you have any comments or questions about this post, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail at don (at) donburks (dot) com. I would love to hear from you and continue the conversation.