Okay, all interesting, all helpful.
As for this question:
Web standards demand that H1 be used only once per page.
Where do they say that?
I don't recall - so my be mistaken -- I'll get back to you if I find it.
Now, the circumstance under which it bugs me: (totally made up examples)
I'm working on a site - and using a template. I have multiple pages on the same or similar topic (or sub-topic)
In print media, it makes sense to have a particular heading style begin the topic (chapter, or section) and then to have a complementary style (smaller version of font, not bolded, lower color saturation, something
to make it clear it is related but "less than") for subsequent page or section headers that still belong in that "chapter."
So, let's say I have a website on the topic "Common Household Pets"
One "Chapter" would be on cats. Cats
would be in H1
But there are many varieties of domestic cats. And, I don't want a page that scrolls forever. In this case, I'd also prefer not to have a long list of links (but that may be the 'proper' solution - not sure)
So, I have a page about cats in general. Then, I want to talk about varieties of cats, and sub-varieties of cats.
My outline start may look something like this:
DOMESTIC CATS (H1)
Common shorthair (h2)
blah blah blah
Common longhair (h2)
blah blah blah
I now have a page that scrolls as far as I'm willing to let it (when it comes to cats, there's a lot to "blah" about.)
But now, I want to discuss hairless cats. That's going to be on the next page. I don't want to repeat the heading DOMESTIC CATS (H1) - and I do
want the section header Hairless cats
to match Common shorthair (h2) and Common longhair (h2)
One way around it all would be to use a text image for the words DOMESTIC CATS and, presuming it's really not bad form to use H1 repeatedly, make all my cat
egory headings H1
I can imagine other ways as well - but it's true my notions of how these things should look come from print or PDF rather than HTML standards.
I've yet to read the articles linked - they may answer my question. I'll get back to this thread if they don't - or even if they do. I'm happy to hear what else anyone has to say on this.
And Darin, I like your reasoning, but here is the question it bring up:
Is it okay to have a page that does not have any H1 heading, but does have h2, h3 and so on? If so, that solves my problem completely. I would define "entire document" in my example either as the Common Household Pets
or DOMESTIC CATS
- depending on a couple of factors, mostly site size. PS: I'm ill, and have been for a while - my head's a bit fuzzed. Forgive me if that shows too badly.