The Worst HTML Tags of All Time

Submit your entry for the worst HTML tag of all time!

Our friends over at SEOmoz have posted an article on 5 HTML elements you probably never use (but should). So that got me thinking, what are the worst HTML Tags out there?

I am gong to start the bidding with:


Now up the bidding by posting your own worst HTML tags of all time!

Edit: I have received a couple of comments about the fact that HTML uses the term “elements” not “tags”. While that is the official name, in relaxed discussions over the 12 years I have been creating HTML, most have referred to them as tags. Either way, post the ones you believe are the worst!

Tags: htmlcenter,

23 Responses

  • Moses

    I vote for the SCRIPT tag.

  • hello

    I vote for the STYLE tag.

  • Burt

    You NEVER use the script and style tags? Your web pages must suck ass.

  • <marquee>


  • FONT… blink was rarely tasteful but at least it didn’t bloat good sites out tens of KB.

  • jrf

    MARQUEE should definitely be added ;-)

  • alzeih

    I vote MARQUEE ;-)

  • DevilsAdvocate

    I vote for the HTML tag.

  • homer

    the worst by far is the FONT tag. some people still use it.

    close runner up, the FRAME tag

  • My vote goes font-tag. ;-)

  • I’m torn between <blink> and <marquee>, but I think my final vote has to be for . Oddly enough, I did once see a use of that was worth it (barely), but I’ve never seen anything in a tag that wasn’t a complete waste of my time.

    And I have to disagree about – sure, it’s completely outmoded and useless now, but it did serve a purpose when it was introduced. was never a good idea.

  • AlienSKP

    <BIG> tag is useless too
    never used it for 7 years of handcoding…

  • visual

    i think you need to spend more time describing your ‘worst’ list, just by specifying the tag ?? took u what 1 minute? do some research, why is this the worst, in what senario would it be worst, show an example..

  • What about <strong> or <em>?

  • Don’t burn me at the stake for saying this, but: the BLINK and MARQUEE tags are actually pretty useful little status indicators for your Ajax-y applications.

    If I had to pick the tag that’s been misused the most–to violate basic standards, make hash out of document flow, and dump megatons of non-semantic HTML into the Web over the years–it would be TABLE. Hands down.

  • I loved the marquee and blink tags when I first started coding in 1996, but I quickly grew tired of them as I saw how annoying they could be.
    Of course, I could say the same about the background tag.

    Anyway – my vote would probably go to the marquee tag. It’s not as ugly as it used to be (the marquee itself used to be enclosed within a textbox, rather than simply being scrolling text).

    Regarding the table tag, I have to offer a defense of that tag. Again, as with the font tag, it had its use when the web was new. CSS didn’t exist yet, and there was no good way of organizing your content on the page in a decent-looking design.

    Of course, it has become a disaster over time, but in another 10 years, we could be saying the same about the div tag.

  • No matter tags or elements the meaning stays the same. I’d vote for

  • strong, em, font, pre, th, h1-h6, big, ul, ol, li, blink, marquee.
    These leave control to the browser default which is sloppy.

    Imagemaps are obsolete.

    I can’t believe these are even taught still. All of these tags I haven’t used since I learned them 8+ years ago.

  • Swift… considering you do not use those tags, maybe that is why your site is so, umm, spectacular!!!

  • Swiftouch

    Leprakawn(aka Monkeyface) perhaps you should just shut up and agree with me! :)

  • Jazz

    LOL, I’m taking a Web Design II class. We have a chapter of evolution of HTML. The tag and tag.. Are the most end user annoying thing for a website.

    Deprecated tags yes the book said tags. , , , , , , , , and .

    I personally still use the imagemap.

  • Eiki Martinson


    Don’t group strong, em, h1-h6, and the list elements (ul, ol, li) in with purely presentational markup like the font tag. Structural elements like these can and should be used when semantically appropriate.

    As for “leaving control to the browser default”, well, you’re just plain wrong. You can style any of the tags I mentioned and make them look like whatever you want.

    How exactly do YOU code headers anyway? divs with class=”header1″? You should use the tag that already exists for that purpose, that is, h1, and style it in the css as you wish.

  • the marquee tag is actually the greatest tag ever!

    and check out