I’m making some well overdue changes to the blog so please excuse any oddities while this is happening (contrast, visible focus are all in flux for example). One thing I’m particularly interested in is what any screen reader users out there think of the use of multiple H1’s in line with the HTML5 heading outline algorithm  It’s something I plan to change but I’d love to know what people think.

The theme is the default WordPress Twenty Twelve theme but I’m also looking at Elimin.

10 thoughts on “Facelift

  1. That you ask about H1s suggests that you are doubtful about it, so I’m sure that you already know the answer to that. I still use a traditional heading hierarchy at all times. In fact, I might worry too much about the relative weights of headings sometimes. My own bugbears are the lack of contrast and focus indicators on these form inputs. The light grey seems to be so common in WP themes. I’m really struggling to see them, so I’m tabbing and squinting! Normally, I’d be at my own PC with user CSS and it wouldn’t be a problem.

  2. Thanks Steve, I don’t!

    You’re right in what you say about the H1s and how I feel about them, they just seem to be creeping in to many WP themes which is annoying. Focus and contrast is an issue on Elimin. I did a lot of work on correcting that but for some reason I now can’t install it. In the meantime I’ll have to settle for teh Twenty Twelve theme while I figure it all out…

  3. Been wondering this myself recently too. Multiple H1s are permitted in HTML5 but how this impacts on screen readers and SEO is interesting.

    If you start a new element then I guess it makes sense from the section’s point of view that you’d have that section’s main heading as a H1, but not if you’re viewing all page headings as a related collection.

  4. Hi Wayne,

    I have to say I really don’t think we are ready yet for multiple H1s yet. Quite aside from the fact that only Jaws 13 is reported to support them (disclaimer: not tested yet by myself), it comes down to whether it’s a good experience for people when they are supported or if a page makes sense when they are not supported. I suspect that the answer to both is in the negative.

    Very interested in hearing from screen reader users themselves.

  5. Considering the confusion surrounding HTML5 outline, I remain a bit skeptical of multiple h1use. Yes JAWS supports them but there is a bug in the JAWS’ implementation as well. I don’t think it has been resolved yet. I could become a convert if: (1) screen readers start supporting HTML5 outline; (2) there was a good reason for multiple h1s on a page; and (3) something could be done to make outline more understandable. The current multiple h1 use makes things more confusing. For example, I have seen many news sites use H1 to list article headlines without providing article content. The headlines are links to the actual articles. I can see a good use for h1s on a front page perhaps.

  6. Thanks Pratik, useful insight. As Ian, yourself , myself and others have said it’s still not time to use this yet but I really did want to hear end user opinions so this is great.

  7. I personally use only one H1 for each page and only for page titles. I don’t even use H1 for a website logo or title (I just wrap them around a div or other tag than a heading tag) because it would be redundant for each page while title pages are unique.

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