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1451 points
Submitted by
Grant Eben
about 5 years ago

2.2 Encourages Shameful Header Skipping of h1 to h3 to h5

As described in this answer on Stack Overflow:

There shouldn't be any need to skip a level if
CSS is used to style the way you'd like.

I understand we're only using HTML at this point to control the visual style of our code, but it's wrong of the exercise to encourage skipping heading levels, especially for newer coders who are still trying to figure out their coding style.

The visual style of our code should only ever be controlled with CSS.

I vote for this exercise to be re-written with the following changes:

  1. Your code currently has one heading and two paragraphs.
  2. Add an h2 heading before the second paragraph.
  3. Add an h3 heading after the second paragraph, and then add a third paragraph after this heading.

What are your thoughts?

1 vote


I think this is a good point! When introducing newbies to HTML, Codecademy should make it clear that HTML is about the hierarchical structure of a document, not about the looks. As I'm almost certain that the course creator won't read this forum question, I suggest you contact him directly:
Leng Lee ( leng [at] codecademy [dotcom] )

3117 points
Submitted by
Alex J
almost 5 years ago


2f0e7f5e73e207ef33acb1237b6cbca6?s=140&d=retro Grant Eben almost 5 years ago

Cool beans. Will do.

81d71b58bbfeb83e86e831ffede7269f?s=140&d=retro Hun almost 5 years ago

I for once got curious/confused of the jump from h1 to h3, thus arrive to this question forum. Thanks for bringing this up, Grant.

0 votes


I certainly agree with what you say but he does list the order of the tags from 1 - 6 in the beginning of the lesson, and for people who don't read these correctly or the instructions might be inclined to to just type through all 6 tags and sets of paragraphs instead of reading the instructions.

It's possible he wrote it this way to ensure users are actually reading the lesson and following the instructions instead of just blazing through it by breaking the sets of tags into odds and evens between two lessons as he did in the next lesson with the h2, h4, and h6 tags.

Though this could have easily been done with the first set being 1,2,3 and the next being 4,5,6.

1658 points
Submitted by
almost 5 years ago

1 Comment

2f0e7f5e73e207ef33acb1237b6cbca6?s=140&d=retro Grant Eben almost 5 years ago

A preventative measure against "blazing"? I doubt that.

0 votes


I think you are overreacting to the instructor simply demonstrating different heading sizes.

If you took three more seconds to look at the next thing he says, you might agree:

So far, we've used headings of three different sizes. Given that there are six heading sizes altogether, we should make use of all six. (Even <h6>, our lowly coffee-getting intern of headings, needs to feel wanted.)

553 points
Submitted by
SJ Porter
almost 5 years ago


2f0e7f5e73e207ef33acb1237b6cbca6?s=140&d=retro Grant Eben almost 5 years ago

It's true enough that the purpose of this exercise is to "get people using different headings" (Leng's own words in an email he exchanged with me), but encouraging poor accessibility practices is not something to overlook.

2f0e7f5e73e207ef33acb1237b6cbca6?s=140&d=retro Grant Eben almost 5 years ago

Additionally, I think you've misunderstood the context of that quote. The author doesn't mean that we should use all six headings to adhere to accessibility best practices. He means that we should make use of all six headings to get practice with them.

Picture Alex J almost 5 years ago

Also, I think it's somewhat misleading to speak of h1 through h6 as heading "sizes". The size is really determined by the stylesheet, be it a custom one or the browser's default. The heading levels are hierarchical levels, and so h3 should never directly follow h1.

55a42d71e39efedd300001d3_208300016 SJ Porter almost 5 years ago

I am fairly certain that if people are intellectually capable of programming in general, they can understand the concept of using h1 to h6 in order when they are actually designing a webpage.

55a42d71e39efedd300001d3_208300016 SJ Porter almost 5 years ago

And in programming, when teaching a new student, the instructor often lies about something to help the student gain understanding of the concept without having to learn EVERYTHING about the concept. I think this is one of those cases. Once they get into CSS, I am sure they will understand that the headers can be completely modified and they should use them hierarchically.

55a42d71e39efedd300001d3_208300016 SJ Porter almost 5 years ago

Yeah okay. Because I disagree I must be wrong.

Picture Alex J almost 5 years ago

Nobody said you’re wrong. Your opinion is a valid one. After all it’s up to the exercise author how to teach new concepts and what best practices / conventions to include or ignore. Literally anyone who doesn’t like the courses already offered on Codecademy is welcome to author his or her own one. It takes an awful lot of work, but it’s fun, too (and it’s an honor to see that more than a thousand people are finishing your course and giving it positive feedback).