As WordPress was originally developed as a platform for bloggers, it already has a lot of great built-in features that make presenting text-based information easy. As a WordPress user yourself, you are probably familiar with many of these features. That said, are you aware that having a site that’s hard to read will actually turn away visitors? It will, and it does.
Numerous studies over the years have determined that most web users skim new pages for vital information before deciding whether to read content in full. During the scanning process, users will naturally turn away from pages they find difficult to read. That means your display choices are just as important as the content you present. You need to display text in a way that is not uncomfortable to look at.
Here are three tips for making your WordPress site easier to read:
1. Use High Contrast Colour Schemes
Contrast is the key to comfortable reading. Therefore, use a high contrast colour scheme on all of your blog posts – even if you choose not to use the same scheme for the rest of your site. Black text on a white background is always the best option. It may not look as modern and stylish as other colour combinations, but you are after readers, not beauty contest judges.
Whatever colour combination you decide to use, make sure that the background is not so vibrant as to be annoying. Also, stay away from white text on a black background. This colour combination is very difficult to read on mobile devices and outdoors in daylight.
2. Use Large Enough Font Sizes
Many of today’s WordPress themes tend to use smaller font sizes in order to maximize space. The idea here is to be able to put more content in the same space to make websites more mobile friendly. But this is not a good idea. Why? If your fonts are too small, people cannot read the text.
As a standard rule, 10-point text should be the bare minimum for most fonts. The maximum is 12-point except for headings and subheadings. Of course, these are just guidelines. Some fonts require different sizes due to their proportional design.
3. Place Images to One Side
Including images with your text is a good way to pique interest in your content. But here’s the trick with graphics: position your images to one side or the other and have text wrap around them. Images placed in the middle of a page disrupt visual continuity.
Along the same lines, be sure to use a generous amount of padding around your images so that the margins of your text do not get too close. Otherwise, you may find that your graphic images interfere with reading ability. You can set the values for padding simply by double-clicking on your image after you have inserted it into the text.
One last comment before we wrap up: many of today’s templates create text that is difficult to read out-of-the-box. You are likely going to have to make some adjustments to maximize readability.