Website Content – When Less Is More

Typography: web design, content, layout...
Know when less is more with web content

Many people ask how many pages make up the perfect website. My usual response is that it depends on the industry and what the point of the website is.

For example a publisher will have a lot of content on their website, there will be reams of articles, features, news and a large archive that is important to the reader. Whereas you could be a small e-commerce site with a product range of a few items, visitors want to find the best product quickly and then make a simple purchase.

You don’t want to hear that it depends on all these variables because you want a straight forward answer, but one size does not fit all.

One thing that does fit all you’ll be pleased to hear, is that less is most definitely more. I’m not saying everyone should have a three page website with hardly any copy on it, what I mean is that you don’t need to put content on your site that is not really required by the visitor.

How do you know what this content is?

Once you’ve decided the main content for your site, go back to what the purpose is and see how quickly you can achieve it. Get your friends and family to have a go (they’re less likely to be biased) and you will likely find that there is an extra page or section that is just filler. You’ll also find that there are some wordy paragraphs that don’t really help the visitor, they’re just marketing waffle that’s there to sound good.

Usually on a website visitors are there to find out the best product/service at the best price and the easiest available. Therefore:

–    Be open with your pricing
–    Give all the options for purchase (and payment types)
–    Tell them why the product/service is so great (in normal talk not waffle)
–    And give alternatives (because people like to compare)

If your site is educational then make sure your search functionality is really good because you’re likely to have a large archive and it’s frustrating if content is tagged well so you can filter easily.

So no your website doesn’t need to fit on one page but you do need to make sure that you’re minimising wasteful content so that your visitor gets to their desired outcome as quickly as possible.