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Web Standard: Headings


Headings are the headlines used on a page.  Headings are used in descending levels of size and emphasis, enabling clear and precise content organization.  They create scannable and easy-to-use pages for all audiences. 

Content Requirements

  • The page title of all EPA pages is an <h1> element. Only the page title can be <h1>.
  • Use <h2> to <h6> in the proper descending order.
    • These headings should be used as you would an outline structure.
    • Any skipping of levels breaks the flow of the page for readers.  Choosing to use an heading tags out of order, for purely visual appeal, renders your content less useful and less accessible.
  • Headings should use title case (initial upper case letters) for major words.
  • Highlighted headings, with a light-blue background color (<h2> through <h6>), are also available in the WebCMS style sheet.
    • Apply consistently to one header size per page. For example, if one <h3> is highlighted, all <h3>s, and only <h3>s, should be highlighted.
  • Do not add hyperlinks to headings.
  • Insert anchors in front of text, not by highlighting the entire word or string of words first.


See: Style Guide: Headings

About this Standard

All EPA public web content must adhere to the EPA Web Standards, the U.S. Web Design System guidelines, and the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act.

Original effective date: 09/12/2012
Last approved on: 12/09/2020
Web Council review by: 12/09/2023 (or earlier if deemed necessary by the Web Council)