Why does the Labarum theme not have a header

If you’ve come to my site, you’ve seen it. Or rather, seen that it isn’t there. Most site have them, whether it’s a big banner or image that lets you know that you are on a webpage. I’m referring to the header; usually the first h1 element in the html. Open any book on HTML and it’s one of the top five elements that you learn about.

But, if this element is so basic and used so often, then how why do I not use this in my theme?

No guarantee on structure

There are different tools that you can use to write posts for micro.blog. You can post from the website, MarsEdit, Ulysses, drafts, etc. These tools usually allow the end user to write in some form of Markdown syntax. If you look up the syntax for Markdown on Markdown Guide Basics Syntax or on the DaringFireball Markdown Basics page, you will see that the first thing they point out is the # used to make a heading. The tools will use the convention of taking the first # header and using it as the title for a post.

Most of the websites that I’ve come across will use title of a post as an h2 in order to denote that its semantically lower than the h1 they would have in the header of the page.

But, what about posts without a title? What about the person who isn’t familiar or not thinking about these details as they type away on their keyboards on that great post that will finally prove that whether pancakes or waffles are the superior breakfast item1.

Other than testing whether the content has a title, the theme does not make any adjustments. It can’t automatically change all the headers and assume that the writer meant ### instead of ## for the sub-header.

Also, If we only navigate by headers and headers are only on titled posts, then what about the micro posts that micro.blog uses?

I’m not an accessibility expert, I just hope that whoever is using the theme, will be able to navigate using the different articles and aria-labels. I really hope that not having the headers isn’t a deterrent from reading the site. If you know of someone, please send me their information so that I can improve this site.

What would it take to change?

I was thinking about changing the structure of the theme to match the convention that I had seen with other themes. I’d make the articles have h2 and just go through all my posts to make sure everything had the proper heading.

In my local testing, I found that I ran into another problem where the built in table of contents feature of Hugo defaults to using h2 and h3 tags to create its content.

It’s documented on how to change the start and end levels but this would mean that users of the theme would see a change after an update. I can’t count on them reading the readme, being able to test it before hand, or going back to a previous version.

Ten Times the Technical Transform

About a month ago, I asked @help how many people were using this theme. Manton said 10.

I was shocked!

That’s 9 more than I was expecting.

I hope these people are happy with the theme - or so I imagine - and I don’t want to change that.

Withdrawn on the World Wide Web

The last reason is more personal.

I’m on the web, but I would rather you start reading what I wrote than read about me. Based off of my own web-surfing habits and the site traffic I get, I assume that when someone comes to the site they are coming from a direct link to an article. If that is the case, I want you to get to reading as quickly as possible.

The website has a title that is read by accessibility readers and shows up in the tab of your browser.

I don’t know how much of my traffic is people new to the site, but I do have an about me at the bottom of the page. It’s kind of a “find out more from this author” that you would see in the back of a book.

For me, this is more comfortable because I have trouble writing about myself. Ask anyone who has written a resumΓ©, and they might say its easier to express how you think of feel about different things than it is to write about how you are really good at TPS reports.

Let’s head this off

This is not an attack on sites that use h1 for the title and have it at the top. I love those sites and the people that make them. This is just me explaining the theories of my own site. It’s not conventional and sometimes I look at it and want to start over.

It’s because of that burning feeling, I continue working on it.

Just running forward.

Without a head.


  1. It’s pancakes. ↩︎

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