Difference Wiki

Heading vs. Header: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 7, 2023
Heading is the title or subtitle of a section of a document; header is the top portion of a document or a web page that usually contains metadata or recurring information.

Key Differences

A heading is typically the title or subtitle used within the content of a document to divide it into sections, making it easier to read and navigate. A header, however, often refers to the top portion of a document or webpage that might include the document title, page numbers, author's name, or navigation links.
Headings are used within the document or article itself and help signal the start of a new topic or section, whereas headers appear at the top of each page in a document or as part of the website's layout, providing consistent information across multiple pages or sections.
In digital terms, a heading is used in HTML to denote the hierarchical structure of content, marked by tags like h1, h2, etc., while a header in HTML is a pre-defined area that may contain a heading but also includes other elements like logos, search bars, and so on.
The usage of headings is crucial for organizing content, while headers serve as a reference point and often contain functional elements designed for user interaction or information retrieval.

Comparison Chart


Title of a section within content
Top part of a document or webpage


Organizes content into sections
Contains metadata or recurring info


Within the main content
At the top of pages or site layout


To inform about the content below
To provide consistent info across pages

Heading and Header Definitions


A word or phrase used to organize content.
Under the heading Maintenance, the manual outlined the machine's upkeep.


Can be a section in a website's code.
The website's header code contained the navigation menu.


The title at the beginning of a document section.
The recipe included a bold heading for each ingredient list.


In sports, refers to hitting a ball with one's head.
He scored the winning goal with a powerful header.


Often used in indexes or tables of content.
The table of contents listed all chapter headings.


A horizontal beam used in construction.
The contractor installed a header above the window for support.


Can be hierarchical, such as main headings and subheadings.
The main heading was History, with a subheading of 19th Century Events.


Repeated on each page of a document.
The report's header had the company logo on every page.


Used to guide readers through a document.
Each heading corresponded to a different policy section.


The top margin of a page in a document.
The header included the document's title and the page number.


The title, subtitle, or topic that stands at the top or beginning, as of a paragraph, letter, or chapter.


One that fits a head on an object.


The course or direction in which a ship or aircraft is pointing or moving.


One that removes a head from an object, especially a machine that reaps the heads of grain and passes them into a wagon or receptacle.


What is a header?

A header is the part of a document or a webpage that typically appears at the top and can contain a logo, author's name, page number, and other information.

Is a header present on every page of a document?

Typically, yes, headers appear on every page of a document for consistency, except sometimes the first page or cover.

Can a document have multiple headings?

Yes, documents usually have multiple headings to designate different sections or topics.

Do headings affect SEO on webpages?

Yes, headings (especially H1 tags) play a significant role in search engine optimization (SEO) by indicating the structure of the content.

How are headings formatted?

Headings are often bold and larger than the main text, and they can be formatted according to levels (e.g., H1, H2, H3 in HTML).

What does a header contain in an email?

In emails, the header contains the sender, recipient, date, and subject of the message.

What is a heading?

A heading is the title or introductory text of a section in a document that outlines what the following section is about.

Are headings and headers the same?

No, headings are titles for sections within the content, while headers are part of the document format appearing on multiple pages.

Are headings necessary in a document?

Headings are not mandatory but are highly recommended for organizing content and guiding readers.

How do headers help readers?

Headers help readers by providing consistency and easy navigation throughout a document.

Can a header include a heading?

Yes, a header can include a heading, especially in web design, where the main title of a page might be part of the header section.

How do headings help in writing an academic paper?

Headings help structure the paper into coherent sections, making it easier to follow the argument or research findings.

Are headings clickable on webpages?

They can be, especially when used as navigation aids in a table of contents or menu.

Do headings appear in the table of contents?

Yes, headings typically appear in the table of contents to indicate the organization of the document's content.

What information is found in the header of a webpage?

A webpage's header may include navigation links, a search bar, and company branding.

Is there a header at the end of a document?

No, the end of a document typically features a footer, not a header.

Can a heading be considered a header?

In casual use, a heading might be referred to as a header, but technically they serve different functions.

What is the role of a header in data packets?

In data packets, the header contains information about the packet's source, destination, size, and more.

Do headers repeat the same content?

Yes, headers often repeat the same content on each page, like page numbers and titles in a multi-page document.

Can headers be styled differently on different pages?

It's possible, but for consistency, most documents keep headers uniform across all pages.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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