This article is written as part of our Accessible Web Content series.

Maximum and suggested word counts

Manoverboard websites are designed and developed with layer types and components that in turn form the unique pages upon which our sites are designed. While the strategy behind every website is different, as a general rule, we recommend the maximum counts outlined below.

Page headlines

Description: H1: page name 

Maximum word counts: 3 words

Page subheads

Description: H2/H3/H4: subheads placed throughout the page to break up content

Maximum word counts: 2 words

Story headlines

Description: H1: story/news/event name

Maximum word counts: 6 words

Story subheads

Description: H2: story/news subhead, appearing directly under the headline 

Maximum word counts: 12 words

Opening messages

Description: Larger opening text introducing a section

Maximum word counts: 25 words 

Intro text

Description: Smaller intro text expanding on the intro to the section or intro text for a page

Maximum word counts: 50 words + subhead

Executive summaries 

Description: Short summaries shown at the top of content-heavy pages

Maximum word counts: 30 words

Short excerpt

Description: Short excerpts describing a story/news/event post – often appears as preview text on other pages promoting the post

Maximum word counts: 8 words

Long excerpt

Description: Longer excerpt offering a more descriptive explanation of a story/news/events post

Maximum word counts: 40 words

Full-width callout

Description: Larger callout promoting another section or page within the site

Maximum word counts: 25 words + subhead

Half-width callout

Description: Smaller callout promoting another section or page within the site

Maximum word counts: 15 words + subhead

Short blurb

Description: Small chunk of text linking to another page or describing an element on the page

Maximum word counts: 15 words + name of blurb

Call to action

Description: Text promoting a specific action by the user

Maximum word counts: 8 words + button


Description: Quotes

Maximum word counts: 40 words + name/title


Description: Button label text

Maximum word counts: 1-2 words

Page content


Paragraph content, typically the most lengthy on the page. Can include subheads, bulleted and numbered lists, etc. Is sometimes broken up by other layer types to make the content more readable and scannable.

Including all other content on the page, 300 word minimum for best SEO — an average of 600-700 words for page content across the site is optimal for SEO but quality of content is most important. Some pages may require a longer length.


Description: Question and answer

Maximum word counts: 8 word question, 50 word answer

Label or caption

Description: Caption, credit or label under an image or graphic

Maximum word counts: 15 words

WCAG Compliance

WCAG compliance is not the end-all be-all of accessibility. Even if your website is 100% AAA WCAG compliant, it still won’t be accessible to everybody. That said, it’s a great tool to use to gauge needs and how to move forward. 

Relevant WCAG Criterion

For more detailed information straight from the source, visit the following page: