It is surprisingly hard to change the title of an article from H2 to H1 in Joomla. Fortunately, we know of a very simple way to do it. Our method does not require messing with the core Joomla code.
Why Header Tags Are Important
Header tags not only help you title sections of your content, they help search engines figure out what topics are being discussed. This can be a huge impact on how your content is found on the internet.
Having the H1 is also helpful for accessibility reasons. Screen Readers often use header tags to find relevant content on the page. If the main page title is a H2 may not treat it as the main page title.
It's a good rule of thumb to only use H1's for the title of the page. They tell the reader (and search engine) what the web page is about. They are meant to be the broadest part of the page. H2's and H3's are meant to help narrow down the discussion in different sections on the same page.
The Joomla H2 Title issue
In Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3.0 the H1 title tag is assigned to the page header which is set in the menu item. This is great if you have a menu item for every page. This is not usually the case. The article title is then assigned an h2 tag. Almost every page has an article title. It needs to be a H1 instead of an H2.
- You can see in the picture above that the title is surrounded by <h2> tags.
Step 1: Download The Header Tags Plugin
- Download the 'Header Tags' plugin here
- Click 'Download the Header Tags plugin 3.0'. You should download the plugin that matches the Joomla version you are running.
Step 2: Install Header Tags Extension
- Login to Joomla (Not Pictured)
- Go to Extensions > Extension Manager (Not Pictured)
- Click, 'Choose File'. Navigate to the 'Header Tags' extension we just downloaded. It should be a '.zip' file.
- Click, 'Upload & Install'
Step 3: Go To Header Tags Extension
- Navigate to Extensions > Plug-in Manager (Not Pictured)
- Type in 'header' into the search
- Click on 'System - Header Tags'
Step 4: Configuring Header Tags Plugin
- Click the 'Basic Options' tab
- Verify in the first section Tab mandatory is set to 'Yes'.
- 'Change the first of' is set to 'H2'.
- 'Limit' is set to '1'.
- 'Change excess in' is set to 'H2'.
- Click 'Save'
Note - There are more options below these options, but you will probably not need them
Step 5: Enable Header Tags Plugin
- Click 'Details' to go to the main plugin edit area.
- Select 'Enabled' under 'Status'
- Click 'Save'
Step 6: Verify That It Works
- Go to one of your articles (Not Pictured)
- Look at the source and see if the first header tag has been changed to an 'H1'
As you can see, changing the headers can be easy. If you stick with this plugin you should be ok. If you are looking to change the core of your website and not use a plugin it's possible to do that as well.
We prefer this method because it's easy and safe. We have not had any problems using it so far. It will work with any template and seems to work in the latest versions of Joomla.