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Technique H76:Using meta refresh to create an instant client-side redirect



This technique relates to 3.2.5: Change on Request (Sufficient when used with G110: Using an instant client-side redirect).


The objective of this technique is to enable redirects on the client side without confusing the user. Redirects are preferably implemented on the server side (see Implementing automatic redirects on the server side instead of on the client side), but authors do not always have control over server-side technologies.

In HTML, one can use the meta element with the value of the http-equiv attribute set to refresh and the value of the content attribute set to 0 (meaning zero seconds), followed by the URI that the browser should request. It is important that the time-out is set to zero, to avoid that content is displayed before the new page is loaded. The page containing the redirect code should only contain information related to the redirect.


Example 1: Instantly redirecting a page

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">    
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>Panucci's Pizza</title>
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; URL=">
    <p>This page has moved to <a href="">
       Planet Express</a>.</p> 

Other sources

No endorsement implied.



Find all meta elements in the document that contain the http-equiv attribute with value refresh, check that:

  1. the content attribute has a number with a value of 0, and
  2. the number is followed by ;URL=anyURL (where anyURL stands for the URI that should replace the current page).

Expected Results

Steps #1 and #2 are true.

Test Rules

The following are Test Rules related to this Technique. It is not necessary to use these particular Test Rules to check for conformance with WCAG, but they are defined and approved test methods. For information on using Test Rules, see Understanding Test Rules for WCAG Success Criteria.

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