What is the HTML element used to display an image?

Understanding the Use of the <img> HTML Element to Display Images

The <img> element is a crucial tool in HTML to display images on a webpage. Unlike some might think, the correct HTML element to display an image is not <image>, <picture>, or <pic>. It's <img>.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) imagines the <img> element specifically for embedding images into a webpage. An <img> tag has two required attributes: src, which defines the source URL of the image, and alt, which provides a text alternative for screen readers or in situations when the image fails to load.

Here's a simple example of how to use the <img> tag:

<img src="yourimage.jpg" alt="Description of the image">

The src attribute points to the location of the image you want to display, which can be a local path on your own website or a URL from an external source. The alt attribute should ideally describe what's in the image for accessibility and SEO purposes.

There are also optional attributes you can use to further customize your image, like height and width for size control, and style for applying CSS styles directly.

It's worth noting that while <picture> and <image> might seem like logical tags for this purpose, they don't exist in standard HTML. There is a <picture> element in HTML5, but it functions differently - it's used for responsive images and it typically involves multiple <source> elements along with an <img> element as a fallback.

The <img> tag is a self-closing tag, meaning it does not need a separate closing tag (like </img>). This is a common practice for HTML tags that do not encapsulate any content, like <br> and <hr>.

Don't forget to always include the alt attribute as it plays a crucial role in accessibility, especially for visually impaired users who use screen readers. It's not only a recommended best practice, but it's also a requirement under certain legal standards like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

When it comes to SEO, search engines use alt attributes to understand image content, making them an important tool for ensuring your images contribute to how your site ranks in search engine results. You can use this opportunity to include relevant keywords, but remember that your foremost priority should be accurately describing the image content.

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