I’m about to launch a new site and Webflow is giving me an error message for skipping heading levels. (For example, having an H4 without having an H3)
While our design is set up well for text, and the hierarchy of headings makes perfect sense in 80% of cases — there are still about 20% of cases where it aesthetically looks better to use a different header out of order or without higher-level headers.
Is Google going to penalize me?
Are there any other negative ramifications? Is this okay from an accessibility standpoint? Is it more okay to do on some pages (homepage or landing page) than others (content pages or blog content)?
You’re using the wrong element just because of style. All you have to do is add a class or symbol for each style you want. So you can have multiple styles for each heading level. That way, you get the look you want but you still respect accessibility recommendations. And to answer your questions, yes it’s important to use the correct elements in the right order.
It is not best practice. It can mess with Google, and it can mess with accessibility (screen readers that jump to the wrong topic, for example). Definitely add classes for your headers to have alternate styling.