01. Basic Text Components <hn>, <p>, <strong>, <em>

There are quite a number of ways to specify text in HTML. In this section, we'll go over the most commonly used tags.


At the start of each text section, there should be a heading. In HTML, there are six heading levels, each with their respective closing tags: <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, <h6>

<h1> is the top level heading, and should be used only once per page. The major topic goes to <h1>, and a subtopic to <h2>, and so on.

Tips for writing a good heading

  • Headers should be based on content hierarchy.
  • Don't pay attention to the size of the headings! We can change that later through CSS.
  • Don't skip headers! Headings should go in order.
  • Don't use headings to markup a subtitle!
  • Make sure to use headings correctly, as they play a role in search ranking!


Following each heading, there should be some block of text. Usually this means a paragraph.

To specify a paragraph, we use the <p> tag. Each paragraph tag should group sentences together that share some context.

 <p>The platypus is a semiaquatic egg-laying mammal endemic to eastern Australia. It is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth. It is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithoryhynchus).</p>

Placing emphasis on text

To indicate that some text should be semantically emphasized, use the <em> and <strong> tags.

The difference between the two tags is that <em> indicates emphasis, while <strong> indicates stronger emphasis.

strong and em vs. b and i

If you play around with the strong/em tags, you'll see that by default they italicize and bold the font. But then you'll come to realize that are the <b> and <i> tags that also perform the same function.

So what's the difference here? Remember that HTML is about semantics, so the span and em should be used to emphasize the meaning of some text. <b> and <i> should rarely be used, as styling should be separate from markup.

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