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Technique G88:Providing descriptive titles for Web pages


All technologies.

This technique relates to 2.4.2: Page Titled (Sufficient using a more specific technique).


The objective of this technique is to give each Web page a descriptive title. Descriptive titles help users find content, orient themselves within it, and navigate through it. A descriptive title allows a user to easily identify what Web page they are using and to tell when the Web page has changed. The title can be used to identify the Web page without requiring users to read or interpret page content. Users can more quickly identify the content they need when accurate, descriptive titles appear in site maps or lists of search results. When descriptive titles are used within link text, they help users navigate more precisely to the content they are interested in.

The title of each Web page should:

  • Identify the subject of the Web page
  • Make sense when read out of context, for example by a screen reader or in a site map or list of search results
  • Be short

It may also be helpful for the title to

  • Identify the site or other resource to which the Web page belongs
  • Be unique within the site or other resource to which the Web page belongs


Example 1: A title that lists the most important identifying information first

A Web page is published by a group within a larger organization. The title of the Web page first identifies the topic of the page, then shows the group name followed by the name of the parent organization.

              <title>Working with us: The Small Group: The Big Organization</title>

Example 2: A synchronized media presentation with a descriptive title

A synchronized media presentation about the 2004 South Asian tsunami is titled “The Tsunami of 2004."

Example 3: A Web page with a descriptive title in three parts

A Web page provides guidelines and suggestions for creating closed captions. The Web page is part of a “sub-site" within a larger site. The title is separated into three parts by dashes. The first part of the title identifies the organization. The second part identifies the sub-site to which the Web page belongs. The third part identifies the Web page itself. (For a working example, see WGBH – Media Access Group – Captioning FAQ.)

Example 4: A newspaper Web page

A Web site that only permits viewing of the current edition titles its Web page "National News, Front Page". A Web site that permits editions from different dates to be viewed titles its Web page, "National News, Front Page, Oct 17, 2005".



  1. Check that the Web page has a title
  2. Check that the title is relevant to the content of the Web page.
  3. Check that the Web page can be identified using the title.

Expected Results

  • All checks above are true.

Test Rules

The following are Test Rules related to this Technique. It is not necessary to use these particular Test Rules to check for conformance with WCAG, but they are defined and approved test methods. For information on using Test Rules, see Understanding Test Rules for WCAG Success Criteria.

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