Purple Spider Web Design

Hello, my name is James Cocker,
I'm a freelance web developer & designer,
based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Website Content Tip 2: Keep Paragraphs Short

24 January 2014 - By James Cocker

This is the second tip in a series of articles about writing and structuring the content on your website.

Long trailing paragraphs just present the user with
a big wall of text.

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Even if that doesn't scare them off immediately, it'll make it harder for them to scan through and find the information they are after.

While longer paragraphs make sense in a novel or a journal article, paragraphs on a website should be short and easy to scan. This is because visitors to your website are unlikely to be reading your content word by word. They are usually just skimming, looking for specific pieces of information.

If you take a look at any article on the BBC News website, you'll notice that there is a paragraph break after nearly every sentence. I'm not saying you need to go to this extreme. However it certainly makes the articles much easier to scan, than if they were just a couple of long paragraphs.

So when writing the content for your website, don't be afraid to insert an extra paragraph break when it makes sense to do so.

In the SilverStripe CMS:

Simply pressing the return/enter key just once starts a new paragraph and inserts the appropriate spacing between paragraphs.

Next: Tip 3 - Insert Headings

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