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Heading Elements, Semantics and the Debate

A quick search of the internet on how best to use H1 elements on a page, will give you an inconclusive answer on the subject. This is simply my views on the matter, and perhaps another spanner in the works. All the same, I dont think this debate will ever go away, unless that is W3C publish more light on the correct usage.

On my search, I came across an article from Andy Budd who I beleive rightly so points out that if a sidebar contains information differing from the main content of a page, should it be any less important for the reader? He also explains how an experienced screenreader may have all the level one headings read aloud, as this would accurately give the description of the content for that page. If only one top level heading was used, for example for the title of the web site, the user may naturally assume that the page does not contain the content he is looking for.

This said, suppose a blog overview page. Many different chapters of the web site on one page. Are the titles of those ‘documents’ less important than the title of the web page? Think of this, a comment from Andy’s site asks us to see the following document;

See http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/Use_h1_for_Title "<h1> is the HTML element for the first-level heading of a document"

Therefore if you are looking at multiple documents (blog posts) within one page, surely you should be using first level headings for each document. Equating to multiple heading ones on one page.

Posted On: Thursday, December 11th, 2008 @ 7:03 pm by Ian Tearle


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