I find it curious that the index.html files included in every folder of Joomla has the following content:

<!DOCTYPE html><title></title>

Technically, that is not valid HTML5, according to the WC3 Validator the title tag cannot be empty.

It should be

<!DOCTYPE html><title> </title>

Is there a spesific reason for this, or is it simply a miss from the Joomla Developers?

  • 3
    are you aware of the usage of these files? there is no reason to validate them.
    – FFrewin
    Aug 2, 2014 at 10:55

2 Answers 2


In Joomla these files are placed in folders to keep someone from seeing the contents of it's parent folder in a list that is automatically created by apache when no index file is present. It is a security function, not a page that is generally used to show information to the user. So it is likely the developers did not spend any time at all on these files or care whether they validate. You could easily leave the entire file blank and the goal would still be accomplished.

  • 2
    I totally agree that these files only exist for security concerns. Also, there are a ton of them, so keeping them as small as possible is helpful. I would guess that they include the title bit specifically to get browsers to show as little information as possible. Beyond that, they really should never be accessed, so valid HTML is not important. Aug 5, 2014 at 18:33

Nowadays, validation and consistency of Html files is a hot subject. Most browsers accept a wide range of either valid, according to previous standards, or invalid structures. However, awareness on the HTML5 is an important concern, in spite of the extensive effort required to check assets.

In the evolution of the Internet, several Html standards has been implemented and are still very popular. As there is no way to purge the whole network, they are going to be around forever. In this domain, the same situation is found, a great deal of work is required to certify and maintain compliance with a standard.

From a historical point of view, plain index.html were introduced to avoid directory browsing. At these times, they are not longer necessary as directory browsing prevention is a common security measure. In this line, JED Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED) has recently dropped the requirement for index.html in submitted extensions.

The benefit of HTML5 is clear. It's implemented to ease the transition to modern devices and support new technologies. Thus, some experts support a mandate for pure HTML5 pages. In small projects or controlled environments, it's likely to be achieved and the benefits can be verified.

In Joomla! community project, anyone can promote a full compatibility effort. Github is easy to use, and a specific editor is not even necessary. As a solution, all index.html can be dropped or modified to implement the above detailed structure. Only precious time for the task is required.

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