Does Css Have To Be In Head

CSS Programming

Let me begin this article by saying that as a web developer, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) plays a crucial role in shaping the appearance and layout of a web page. And one question that often arises is whether CSS has to be placed in the <head> section of an HTML document.

To answer that question, let’s delve into the details of how CSS works and understand the purpose of the <head> section in an HTML document.

The Purpose of the <head> Section

The <head> section of an HTML document is where you typically include metadata, such as the document title, character encoding, viewport settings, and linked resources like CSS and JavaScript files.

Traditionally, CSS files are included in the <head> section using the <link> element with the rel attribute set to “stylesheet.” This declaration informs the browser that an external CSS file is associated with the HTML document.

Now, let’s address the question at hand: does CSS have to be in the <head> section?

Placement of CSS: Best Practices

The short answer is no, CSS does not have to be placed in the <head> section. Although it has been a common practice to include CSS in the <head> section, modern web development allows for flexibility in where and how CSS can be included.

One popular alternative is to include CSS files at the end of the <body> section, just before the closing </body> tag. This technique is known as “deferred CSS loading” and can improve the initial loading speed of a web page. By placing CSS at the end, the browser can prioritize rendering the main content first.

Another approach is to embed CSS directly within the HTML document using the <style> tag. This method is often employed for small amounts of CSS code that are specific to a particular section or element.

Moreover, the use of CSS preprocessors like Sass or Less allows developers to write modular and reusable CSS code, which can be compiled into separate CSS files. These files can then be linked or included as needed anywhere within the HTML document.

My Personal Take on the Matter

As a web developer, I have experimented with various CSS placement techniques, and my personal preference depends on the specific context and requirements of the project.

For smaller projects or when I need fine-grained control over the ordering of CSS styles, I often choose to include CSS in the <head> section. This approach keeps the HTML document clean and easily maintainable.

However, for larger projects with a considerable amount of CSS code, I lean towards deferred CSS loading or external CSS files. These methods improve performance by prioritizing the rendering of critical content.


In conclusion, CSS does not have to be placed exclusively in the <head> section of an HTML document. You have the flexibility to include CSS at the end of the <body> section, inline within the HTML document, or in external files linked anywhere within the document.

Ultimately, the placement of CSS depends on your project’s specific requirements and performance considerations. It’s essential to strike a balance between code organization and optimizing the user experience. So go ahead and explore the different options to find the approach that suits your needs best!