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Accessible Technology

Providing an Informative Title

Overview

Web pages and documents should have titles that describe their function or purpose.  This is helpful for all users, but is especially helpful for blind users, as the title is typically announced by screen readers as soon as a new page is loaded in the web browser or a new document is loaded in the reading application.

Techniques

Adding a Title in HTML

In HTML, the title is contained within the <title> element. This should not be confused with the main heading of the web page, which should be tagged as <h1> (for more about headings, see Providing Structure in Web Pages and Documents).  The main heading is visible within the body of the web page, and the title is not. However, the title is used for other important purposes. For example:

  • The title is typically the first content announced by screen readers when a new page is loaded.
  • The title appears in the title bar of the browser window in some operating systems.
  • The title appears in the tab for in some browsers
  • The title identifies the page when it is added to favorites
  • The title identifies the page in search engine results

A good title communicates the topic or purpose of the current page. When the page is part of a related collection of web pages (e.g., a departmental website) the page title should be combined with the site title. For example, the title of the current page includes both the topic of the current page and the name of the website (this is the default <title> assigned by WordPress):

<title>Providing an Informative Title | Accessible Technology</title>

References