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Axe Core Guide

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Find out what web pages on your sites are affected by HTML issues.

Axe Core 4.9

Heading levels should only increase by one

The h1 through h6 element tags must be in a sequentially-descending order for headings to be in a correct logical order.

The fundamental goal of headers is to communicate the page’s organizational structure. The same goal is served by employing various font sizes for sighted users.

For screen reader users, however, text size is useless because a screen reader can only recognize a header if it is correctly marked up. When header components are used correctly, both sighted and screen reader users will find it much simpler to traverse the page.

Users of screen readers can navigate between headings in the same manner that sighted users might skim a page to gain a sense of its contents. Users, especially those who use screen readers, can save a ton of time and stress by using well-written, logically-arranged headings.

Headings serve to explain the organization of the webpage, not only to draw attention to key text. They ought to be succinct, distinct, and accompanied by h1 through h6 components used in hierarchical order. Headings are useful tools for screen reader users because of all of these characteristics. Screen reader users can move among headings in a manner akin to how sighted readers can quickly scan a page and get a sense of its content. Screen readers can save time and stress by using headings that are clearly written and arranged.

Since search engines employ headings when filtering, arranging, and showing results, headings offer other advantages outside just making the page more easily accessible. Making your website more searchable is another benefit of making it more accessible.

What this Accessibility Rule Checks

Ensures the semantic accuracy of the headings’ order.

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Related Accessibility Rules