When I want to say that a website has a main header, I and almost everyone else say the main site header, but I feel this is wrong because the adjective refers to the header, not the website. The same goes for the main site style. It means that a website has a style used across all pages, but the way it's written, it seems that we're referring to the style of the main website.

Here's an example in case you're not familiar with web development terms https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/343300/how-to-disable-primary-main-site-header-and-logo-in-wordpress-astra-theme

  • In some contexts, “main site header” and “site main style” would be equivalent and interchangeable, but the default "Royal Order of Adjectives" implies specifying main (a "size-related" qualifier) before site (which is more of a "locational" qualifier). Of course, things get more complicated in the context of SO sites, where any given "site" actually consists of the two "sub-sites" main and meta. Dec 24, 2020 at 19:04
  • Does this answer your question? Is the adjective order "sunny, secret, green" correct? Dec 24, 2020 at 19:10
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica No, because in that case the order of sunny and secret doesn't change the meaning of the sentence. But in my example it could mean two things: two websites in a network and we're talking about the header and style of the main one; one website only, and we're referring to it's main header and style because it has more headers and styles available.
    – Pierre.A
    Dec 24, 2020 at 19:19
  • Well, the "answer" to your specific question is actually there - in a comment: there are lots of written instances of both secret sunny garden and sunny secret garden, where I'd say the difference (if any) is a matter of which adjective the writer thinks is most closely associated with "garden" for his specific context. In your case, it's up to you to decide which of "site" and "main" is the most important modifier to identify the kind of "style" you're talking about. Dec 26, 2020 at 14:03
  • Does this answer your question? How to properly position adjectives
    – ColleenV
    Dec 31, 2020 at 15:03

1 Answer 1


As a couple of comments suggest, normal English would usually use "main site header". It follows the common adjective ordering. I would say that in this case "site" describes a more innate property of the "header", so it goes closer to the noun. You might even think of "site header" as a compound noun, especially in the context of web development where "header" can have may meanings.

However, as a developer myself, I often use nonstandard English to communicate more precisely about technical subjects. I might write "site main header" if I'm talking about a site other than the main site. It's a bit awkward but it's unlikely a reader would misinterpret my meaning. In technical work, that's often more important - don't be afraid to use abnormal English if it does the job better.

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