What Is The Table Of Contents On Website?

The table of contents section has become even more important in the age of digital documents and electronic books. Creating a table of contents gives your readers a glimpse of what they are about to read. You can learn more about the table of contents in the rest of our article. Let’s start from the basics and learn some types together!

What Is a Table of Content Used for? 

A table of contents on a website is like a map you find at the beginning of a book. It shows the main parts and smaller sections of the webpage or article. A table of contents aims to help people see what’s on the page and quickly go to the part they’re interested in. In the table of content part, the different sections are usually clickable links. So, when you click on a part in the ToC, it takes you straight to that part of the page. This makes it easier for people to find and read the specific information they want. 

table of contents types

Table of Contents Types 

Table of contents types relate to the various styles and formats used to present a table of contents (TOC) in different documents, books, or web pages. Each type is designed to cater to specific needs and preferences, improving the overall user experience and making it easier for readers to navigate through the content. Some table of contents are listed below: 

  • Traditional Text-Based TOC: A simple list displaying text headings and subheadings. 
  • Hyperlinked TOC: Includes clickable links, allowing users to directly jump to specific sections.  
  • Thumbnail/Image TOC: Uses small images or thumbnails alongside entries to provide a visual preview.  
  • Interactive TOC: Incorporates interactive features, allowing users to hover over or click on entries for more information.  
  • Collapsible TOC: Can be expanded or collapsed, allowing users to show or hide the list.  
  • Numeric TOC: Utilizes numbers or a combination of numbers and letters to represent sections common in academic or technical documents.  
  • Combined TOC: Integrates elements from different types, such as text and thumbnails, or includes both hyperlinks and visual representations.  

Impact of Table of Contents on SEO 

A well-structured TOC can improve the user experience by providing a clear and organized overview of the content. Google tends to favor pages that keep users engaged. This helps users quickly navigate to the relevant sections of a page. If users can easily find the information they need, they are less likely to leave the page immediately. Search engines tend to favor content that is well-organized and easily accessible to a broad audience. That’s why optimizing the ToC for SEO can benefit you!

How to Create a Table of Contents in HTML + CSS 

Making a Table of Contents in HTML and CSS means organizing your webpage with titles and subtitles. Example; 

<!DOCTYPE html> 

<html lang=”en”> 

<head> 

    <meta charset=”UTF-8″> 

    <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″> 

    <title>Your Page Title</title> 

</head> 

<body> 

    <header> 

        <h1>Page Heading</h1> 

    </header> 

    <main> 

        <p>Your main content goes here.</p> 

    </main> 

    <footer> 

        <p>Your footer content goes here.</p> 

    </footer> 

</body> 

</html> 

how to make a table of contents in WordPress

How to Make a Table of Contents in WordPress 

Creating a Table of Contents in WordPress can be done manually or using plugins that automate the process. 

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Manually creating; 

  • Use Headings: When writing your content, use appropriate heading tags (<h2>, <h3>, etc.) to structure your text.  
  • Insert Anchors: For each section heading, insert an anchor. In the WordPress editor, highlight the heading, click the “Insert/edit link” button, and add a custom link with the format #your-heading-id. This creates a link to the specific section.  
  • Create TOC: Near the beginning of your post or page, manually create a list of links to each section using the custom links you created. Format it as your TOC

Using plugins;

  1. Install a Table of Content Plugin: In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Plugins” > “Add New.” Search for a table of content plugin. One popular option is “Easy Table of Contents.”  
  2. Install and Activate: Click “Install Now” for the plugin you want, then click “Activate.”  
  3. Configure Plugin Settings: Go to “Settings” > “Table of Contents” to configure the plugin settings. You can customize the appearance, position, and behavior of the TOC. 
  4. Insert TOC into Content: When creating or editing a post or page, the plugin usually provides a shortcode or block to insert the TOC where you want it to appear.  
  5. Save and Preview: Save your changes and preview your post. 

Easy Table of Contents 

A popular WordPress plugin designed to generate a TOC for your posts and pages automatically. It simplifies the process of creating and customizing a Table of Contents in WordPress without the need for manual coding. The plugin is easy to use and makes a list for you by looking at the titles in your article. It works well with different WordPress editors. With this plugin, you can automatically add a ToC to different types of posts.  

All in One SEO (AIOSEO) 

All-in-One SEO (AIOSEO) is a highly praised plugin in the WordPress community. The plugin has been completely revamped with new features and add-ons. AIOSEO provides powerful SEO features to implement the latest best practices and offers advanced settings to address specific SEO issues right from the start.  

This includes;

All in One SEO plugin
  • Local SEO modules for small businesses targeting a local audience.  
  • WooCommerce SEO for online stores.  
  • An SEO optimizer integrated into your WordPress editor.  
  • Smart Sitemaps for quick indexing on search engines.  
  • A Schema plugin to improve your content’s ranking in Rich Snippets.  

All-in-One SEO allows you to handle WordPress SEO effectively without needing to hire an expert. With over 3 million customers, AIOSEO is a fantastic SEO tool for various needs. It’s especially beneficial for bloggers and small business owners, empowering them to manage SEO without the need for professional assistance. Don’t forget to take a look at Dopinger’s free SEO tools to manage your website more easily.

Heroic Table of Contents 

Heroic Table of Contents is a plugin WordPress that makes it super easy to add a Table of Contents to any post. You just need to add its block, and it automatically generates the ToC. But what makes it even better is the extra customization choices it offers. You can pick from various templates for the ToC, decide whether it should expand or collapse, choose between bullets, numbers, or plain text, and more. It gives you the flexibility to make your ToC look just the way you want. 

SimpleTOC – Table of Contents Block 

SimpleTOC is an easy-to-use plugin for making TOCs in WordPress. It’s made especially for Gutenberg, the standard WordPress editor. If you want a straightforward way to add a table of content to your posts without any extra fuss, SimpleTOC is a great pick. Helps beginners create a table of contents. You can decide which heading levels, either the least or the most, you want to include in your table of contents. 

Conclusion

A website’s TOC is like a helpful map. It’s usually at the top of a webpage and shows the different parts of the content. With clickable links, users can quickly go to the sections they want. It’s great for saving time, especially on long pages. Plus, it’s good for users and helps search engines better understand the webpage. Whether you make it yourself or use special tools, having a TOC makes the webpage organized and easy to use.  

Frequently Asked Questions About

You can use HTML list elements to make an HTML table of contents by hand. 

Yes. It’s perfectly useful for SEO 

Make sure that your headings represent the content. Clear and descriptive headings make the TOC more informative. 

In most cases, the title page is not included in the table of content section. 

Ayşenur Tekin

Posts: 126

After graduating from Istanbul Aydin University, English Translation, and Interpreting department, Ayşenur Tekin is interested in writing and editing articles. She started her master's degree in New Media (at IAU) and started to gain knowledge in the fields of digital marketing and SEO. She is cur... Read More

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3 Comments on What Is The Table Of Contents On Website?

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3 Comments

  1. Sally A.
    Sally A.

    Great overview on the importance of a table of contents for website navigation and user experience! It’s often overlooked, but as highlighted, it can significantly enhance how visitors interact with content, especially on comprehensive articles or resource pages. Thank you so much for this!

    • Ayşenur Tekin
      Ayşenur Tekin

      Glad you liked it!

  2. Matt G.
    Matt G.

    This article sheds light on a crucial yet underutilized website element – the table of contents. It’s fascinating how a simple TOC can improve both user engagement and site structure. The SEO benefits mentioned are particularly intriguing. thank you for this informative post!