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<h1> is the HTML tag for the first-level heading of a document.
The title is generally duplicated in an <h1> element towards the top of the page. Unlike the title, this element can include links, emphasis and other HTML phrase elements.
Often, webmasters will use an <h2> element instead, to make the heading smaller. This is incorrect, Cascading Style Sheets should be used to create this effect
The CSS part has been a topic of discussion here for a long time. This is as authoritative an opinion as you can get on it.
It's a "tip of the day" that I found here [w3.org].
I've been designing this way for years. There is a lot to be learned from the W3C and I've been spending at least an hour a week reading. Not to mention all the 5 and 10 minute visits throughout the week.
Somewhere back in the deep distant past I learnt that a document should be produced by using the <h#> tags in their logical order, I think it was because that is what a "searchbot" expects to see (though I'm no expert!)
<h1> for your main heading, and probably only used once in a document, as you would generally only have one main title per page
<h2> for topic headings/categories
<h3> for your category subheadings
in fact I think it said there was probably very little use for the others (h4, 5 & 6)!
I don't know where I learned this (it was a while back ;))
So it's nice to see your post as it's a reminder that it's easy to resort to bad habits along the way (it's a bit like driving really)..it's OK if it works and you don't have to sit your test again, but in these days of HTML optimisation for SE's it's a point to note
Bear me a question, please. I agree 100% with what you say but... Let's say you have a set of pages about one issue (Psychology) and then each page is devoted to one subject (The mind, The brain, Behaviour...).
How would you do that (in each page):
Then the other pages "reversed":
Then the other pages "the same way"
Thanks in advance