How to Access the Website Header in WordPress?

The header area is where you’ll find the area that displays at the top of a web page. This includes the branding, navigation, and other elements that may be featured on a website.

For those who build websites with WordPress, it’s pretty typical to find that the header is located in the HTML header tag. This is because WordPress is built on top of HTML, and the header is usually the first thing that’s shown on a website when it’s loaded (before the content).

If you’d like to add a bit more visual appeal to your website, you can use images in the header area to give it more depth. However, keep in mind that having a lot of images in the header area can cause performance issues due to how much data is being transferred.

Top Level Headers Are Not Worthy Of Being In The Header Area

Even though it’s traditionally where you’d find a website’s header, top level headers (i.e., those which are not children of article headers) are not worthy of being in the header area. In other words, the heading levels above the article should not be included because they will not contribute to the readability or flow of the content.

If you use a top level header on your page, make sure that the page wraps around it because otherwise, it will just be thrown out of flow.

An example of a top level header that should be below the article header is the opening paragraph in a feature article. This is because it contributes to the readability of the content.

Often times, you’ll find that the top level headers on a website are rendered as bold text because they’re usually meant to be seen as headings — possibly even h1 through h6 text.

Use SEO-Optimized Headers

A better approach would be to use an SEO-optimized header instead of a top level one. An SEO-optimized header is the one that has no html elements apart from the h1 through h6 headings — and those are child headings of an article.

While it’s not always the case, you can use a few rules of thumb to determine whether or not a given header is suitable for the header area or should be moved down a level:

  • If there’s no need for it, then it should go to the bottom.
  • If it’s a single image, then it should go to the bottom.
  • If it’s a series of links, then it should go to the bottom.
  • If it’s a product or service that’s meant to be sold, then it should go to the bottom.
  • If it’s a header for a blog, then it should go to the top.
  • If it’s a header for an archive, then it should go to the top.
  • If it’s a header for a website, then it should go to the top.

With the exception of #5, if you follow the rules above, you will end up with a header that’s both readable and suitable for the header area.

The Article Is The Best Place For The Header

Apart from the fact that the header traditionally goes at the top of a web page, there’s another good reason why you should put the header in the article: The article is the best place for the header since it will be the most read part of the website. In other words, the article is the place where users are most likely to have the attention span to spare to take in all the text-based information you have to offer.

This is why you want to be sure that your article heading is both descriptive and immediate. If you want users to read the article, make sure that the first few words draw the eye to it (like an attention grabber).

You should also use your sub-headings to guide the reader through the article. While the opening paragraph is usually sufficient to get the point across, those who’ve read an entire article in a particular subject matter know that a good sub-heading will make it easier to find the information they’re looking for (and reduce the amount of scrolling they have to do).

On the other hand, a mini-biography of the author of the article would be a great way to show your visitors who you are and what you stand for. This could be included at the end of the article in an effort to save space for more content.

Keep It Small

Apart from the fact that the header area is meant to be a small space to put your attention-getting headline, you should keep your header content to a minimum. This is because a big chunk of text in the header area can cause performance issues since the browser has to load a lot more data than it needs to.

If you want to add a bit more information in the form of links, images, or even tables, use the article as a catch-all for smaller content.

Use The Right Font Size And Colors

Since the headers are the first thing that draws the eye to a website, it’s crucial to use the right font size and colors for them. Never use the default browser fonts or your choice of fonts is not going to fare well. This is because the browser will choose the closest equivalent font to the one you’re probably used to seeing — and that’s probably not going to be what you want. You should also make sure to experiment with leading and tracking to create some harmony between the different elements in your header.

As for the colors, make sure to choose ones that are going to be bold and vibrant enough to draw the eye to the content clearly — but not so distracting as to make the reader lose focus on what they’re reading. Another important factor to take into consideration is the font color of the links in your header. You don’t want to use the same link color as the header and make the text hard to read. Instead, choose a contrasting color so that it doesn’t blend into the text.

In summary, there’s no specific place for the header in a web page. As previously stated, the header area is traditionally where you’d find the area that displays at the top of a web page — including the branding, navigation, and other elements that may be featured on a website. Keep in mind that the header is not a free-for-all; it should be relevant and immediately understandable to the reader.