/ HTTP Headers


Content-Location is an HTTP header used to indicate the location of the requested resource, which can be different from the requested URI. This header is primarily used for content negotiation, allowing the server to return different versions of the same resource based on the client’s preferences. In this article, we will explore the Content-Location header in detail, discussing its purpose, usage, and providing examples of both request and response headers.

Purpose of Content-Location Header

The Content-Location header serves two main purposes:

  1. Content Negotiation: When a client requests a resource, the server may have multiple versions of that resource available, such as different languages or formats. The server can use the Content-Location header to indicate the specific version of the resource being returned in the response.
  2. Cache Validation: The Content-Location header can be used by caches to determine if a stored response is still valid. If the cache has a stored response with the same Content-Location value as the new response, it can assume that the stored response is still valid and reuse it, thus saving bandwidth and reducing server load.

Usage of Content-Location Header

The Content-Location header can be included in both request and response headers. However, it is more commonly used in response headers.

Request Header

In a request header, the Content-Location header indicates the location of the resource being submitted in a PUT or POST request. This is useful when a client submits a resource to the server and wants to indicate the location where the server should store the resource.


POST /articles HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
Content-Type: application/json
Content-Location: /articles/123
Content-Length: 42

{"title": "An Example Article", "author": "John Doe"}

In this example, the client is submitting an article to be stored at /articles/123 on the server.

Response Header

In a response header, the Content-Location header indicates the location of the resource being returned. This is useful when the server returns a different version of the requested resource based on the client’s preferences, such as language or format.


GET /articles/123 HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
Accept-Language: en,fr;q=0.5
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Location: /articles/123.en
Content-Length: 1234

<strong><!DOCTYPE html></strong>
<html lang="en">
  <title>An Example Article</title>
  <h1>An Example Article</h1>
  <p>By John Doe</p>

In this example, the client requests the article at /articles/123 and prefers English content. The server returns the English version of the article, located at /articles/123.en, and includes the Content-Location header to indicate this.


The Content-Location header is an important HTTP header used for content negotiation and cache validation. By including this header in requests and responses, clients and servers can efficiently manage different versions of resources and improve caching strategies. Remember to use the Content-Location header when appropriate to ensure optimal performance and resource management in your web applications.

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