Accessible Headings

Headings are Important

“When headings are clear and descriptive, users can find the information they seek more easily, and they can understand the relationships between different parts of the content more easily.”W3C SC 2.4.6

While headings are not required, if they are provided they should be descriptive to help a wide range of people including those with cognitive, mobility, and vision disabilities. You should use headings in order down the page to provide a hierarchy. The general idea is to use one heading level 1 per page. However, since HTML5 explicitly allows multiple heading level 1 on each page we are experiencing situations where themes have a heading level 1 on each post. I’ve been around since we had wood-burning computers and acoustic modems so I’ve seen fads like this come and go but really, stick to one heading level 1 per page where you can, please?

Decorative Heading Use

Here are the styles of heading levels in this theme:

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Heading 6

What I like to see is one heading 1 on each page, followed by a post title at heading 2, with subheads heading 3 and perhaps also 4 depending on the structure of the post content, with sidebar and widget headings 4 and 5 and perhaps heading 6 in the footer. This has everything to do with providing a hierarchical flow to the page and nothing to do with what the headings look like. Do not use heading 1, 2, and 3, and then go directly to 6 because 6 looks good to you. This will take some getting used to if you use a word processor like this: spacebar, spacebar, tab, tab, tab… “Okay, it looks centered.” Remember, people using your pages need navigational elements. Besides, have you ever listened to a page with a screen reader at 500 words per minute? You’ll quickly abandon what you think “looks good” in favor of a bit more functionality.