if you are calculating the normals of a polygon for rendering it on WebGL, do you use a normal for every index in the index array or for every vertex on the vertex array?
Every vertex. A vertex, in the WebGL sense (which is the same as OpenGL ES and other predecessors), isn't really a point in space, but rather a combination of attributes. One of these is almost always the location (though in unusual cases you might not have that), and others are generally things like the normal vector, the colour, the texture coordinates, and so on.
The index array, by contrast, is an offset into the vertex attribute arrays. So when you specify index (say) 1 in an index array, it's shorthand for "the vertex made of combining the first location in the location buffer, the first normal in the normal buffer, the first colour in the colour buffer, and the first texture coordinate in the texture coordinate buffer".
The most counter-intuitive thing for me when learning this was separating vertices from the locations they happen to occupy. There's no reason why two vertices can't have the same location.
In the notes here, the user is calculating them for each vertex.