Headings & titles: Guide users with scannable content

A consistent approach for page titles and subheads creates a cohesive experience across your site.


Page titles and subheadings

Page titles

A page’s title appears at the top of the page and should accurately and concisely convey the page’s contents.

  • Use title case; uppercase the first letter of every word except articles (the, an, a) and prepositions (at, of, on, in, etc.)
  • Avoid abbreviations
  • Use ampersands (&) instead of the word “and” to help keep titles short

Example page titles:

  • Maps & Directions
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
  • Our Team
  • News & Updates

Subheadings (heading 2 and heading 3)

Subheadings help visitors scan a page for the information they need. By organizing content, they also make pages more visually appealing and inviting to read. They also make content easier to navigate with a screenreader – and therefore more accessible. In WordPress and other programming tools, headings are hierarchical, like an outline. Use heading 2 to subdivide larger content sections; if those need to be further sub-divided, use heading 3. Create headings by selecting them from the Paragraph dropdown, rather than manually bolding, underlining, changing the text size or color, or placing them within containers such as Tailor elements. Using preset styles from the Paragraph dropdown ensures headings are styled consistently across your site, and that they are updated correctly when the theme is updated.

  • Make headings descriptive and grammatically consistent with one another
  • Use lowercase, except for the first letter of the first word and proper nouns
  • No ampersands
  • Use acronyms only if the full reference has already been spelled out on the page
  • Don’t make a heading into a link; instead, use a standalone link or button

Example subheads:

  • Parking and public transit
  • Academic programs and resources
  • Community engagement

Page names in the site menus

Page names are listed in the site menus, which have limited space. In the WashU Web Theme, you can create a custom menu if you need to truncate a page’s title.

  • Keep names short and descriptive
  • Use consistent voice, verb tense and grammatical construction
  • Use title case; uppercase the first letter of every word except articles (the, an, a) and prepositions (at, of, on, in, etc.)
  • Use ampersands (&) instead of the word “and”

Example page names:

  • Our Initiatives
  • Learning Opportunities
  • Your Visit
  • About Us
  • Contact Us