SimpleQuiz › Order Up › Conclusion

Looking over the comments from the question, it appears that most saw either A or B as semantically equal. Adam Polselli brought up an interesting point though on a possible benefit to choosing option A:

I think that there’s an advantage to using A. If you style your links as “font-weight: normal“, then having the <a> tag inside the <strong> tag would override <strong>‘s “bolding.”

Certainly that is something to think about, even when either order would work for you.

Good arguments were presented for either method, with some pointing to whether the link itself needed strong emphasis or just the text contained.

I’ll admit, I’m feeling a little lazy with writing this wrap-up — not because the discussion for this one was any less illuminating, but because there were many, for lack of a better term, thought provoking comments making a case for either order. Just read through these. Class dismissed.

Read all quiz questions and conclusions.


  1. Anne says:

    The example given is of course completely dependent on how strong is styled and therefore I don’t like it. I was still thinking about this issue and I think I’ve got something:
    You should read the specification <a href=""><strong>better</strong></a> in order to understand it.
    That is just a <strong><a href="">great site!</a></strong>.
    In the first example it is about the word ‘better’ that should be styled different, in the second example it all about the site and it are not the ‘linking words’ (great site!) that make it important.

  2. hmm…i may be wrong, but reading through all the answers i did get more of a feeling of B being in the lead, rather than A. then again, i haven’t gone through them one by one.
    i still think B is the correct choice, and Adam Polselli’s little styling tidbit didn’t convince me because it smacks oh so much of “writing code a certain way to get a desired visual effect”, rather than giving any semantic reasons. heck, i thought the days of using html tags to achieve certain stylings were over… ;)

  3. Dan says:

    patrick – I thought Adam’s point spoke of a situation that many would encounter in the real world, therefore I felt it was worthy of bringing to the surface again. And unfortunately, a 100% purely semantic page that still has even a smidgeon of design to it at all, is difficult to achieve to say the least — but your smiley wink leads me to believe you know that as well.

  4. I didn’t get a change to comment on the question before the conclusion was released, but I think my opinion is in line with what Kevin Lawver said:
    Why would you do either when you could put a class on the link?

  5. “Why would you do either when you could put a class on the link?”
    for the same reason that you should use proper heading tags, rather than defining a class that simply says “it’s a bit bigger, and bold”…simply applying a class only helps you define the visual aspects of the link. it does not carry any semantic connotations of “this link is important, emphasised, strongly emphasised, whatever”…

  6. eric says:

    also, if you use a class you can’t emphasize part of the link – say you wanted to make ‘this is a cool site’ into a link – you’d have no way to do that with a class-only method.

  7. …and i hope nobody pipes up “sure you can, just use a span” (heck, and i’m a bad poet to boot…or maybe a badass standards-compliant rapper)

  8. To me, A is the clear choice because what’s being turned into a link is a string of strongly emphasized text. Adding emphasis to links via the structure of HTML doesn’t make a lick of sense, if you ask me. That’s CSS job.