Semantics on Non-Content/Eclectic Webpages?

Does anyone has advice on how to mark up webpages which don’t have lots of content, or which are eclectic (e.g. Yahoo’s Home Page)?

Have spent the last few days going through my clients website and tightening up my HTML per some earlier advice on SP.

Things look good, but now I need to tackle the more “administrative” and low-content pages, and that seems frightful!

Some of the pages I will now be looking at include things like: Registration Form, Password Reset, Private Messaging, Contact Form, Member Preferences, etc.

Other than maybe an H1 for the company name, is there a big need to have headings for such pages?

I think most of these webpages will have lots of FORM, UL, and DIVs, but I am unsure of the need/value to have H2, H3, H4,…


Typically those sort of pages just need simple markup so I’d suggest using a H1 for the page heading (eg “Password reset”), then use appropriate markup for your forms using sub headings (H2,H3 etc) and fieldsets/legends as necessary. Your page content should dictate what you use.

Normally I’d just place this content inside the main page layout template so the standard navigation/footer etc are included. Of course if you use a different page layout template for logged in members a page such as member preferences would obviously us that.

As I am going through my client’s site, so far these pages are usually a form (e.g. Change Password) so there isn’t any real need for a header, since the form has a label.

I did create my own “template” system where I include a standard header and footer.

BTW, do search engines even see pages like “Change Password” or “Member’s Inbox”?

If not, then my concern about semantics may go out the window, right?

As those pages are for people who already know about the site there is no reason for the search engines to list them. Someone landing there who doesn’t know about the site will not know what to do as there will be nothing on the page applicable to their search.

Maybe I should have said, “Can web-crawlers even see anything that is “members-only” and requires a log-in (e.g. Change Password, Member’s Preferences, etc)?”

No they can’t because they don’t have a password to access the page.

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