Of the different website design considerations, text is one of the most significant, yet also one of the most neglected. You can have the best logo, layout and graphics possible, but if visitors to your website cannot easily read the information that you are giving them then they will not stay on your website for more than a few seconds.

The good news is that getting the text part of your website design correct is not difficult. All you have to do is adhere to these guidelines…

- Only make use of fonts that are available on all computers, such as arial, helvetica and verdana. Whilst you may not consider these to be the most visually appealing fonts, they are the most practical ones to use. This is because they are the easiest to read on a computer screen; in fact, the verdana font was specifically created to be read on computer screens, rather than to be printed out. Also, every computer definitely has these fonts stored on their hard-disk. If you choose a fancy font, then many computers may not have it stored, and so you cannot be sure how your website is going to render on other people’s screens.

- Do not display text in small font sizes; if it looks too small, visitors to your website will not even try to read it. You may have good eyesight but many people do not, and so you have to take the middle ground rather than just making your website for yourself. Using a font size of 11 or 12 is recommended for the main body of your written content, with sub-titles and headings being a font size or two larger.

- Limit the width of your paragraphs to roughly 15 words per line. This is necessary so that people only have to move their eyes to read your website, and not their whole head. This number is based on research and studies that have been carried out which show that 15 words is as far most people’s field of vision will stretch. Not every line has to be precisely 15 words, as some sentences will, obviously, have a greater or lesser number of small words such as ‘to’, ‘and’, ‘a’, etc., so you just need to use that number as a rough guide.

- The color(s) you choose for your text should contrast sharply to the color(s) you use for your background. A white background with black text is easiest for people to read, but it is not necessary to use that color scheme if it does not suit the overall style of your website design. If the background color is light, then make your text black or a dark shade of gray, and if the background color is dark, then make your text white. Using non black, dark gray or white text very rarely works, so be extremely careful if you are absolutely intent on making your text a different color.

This article was written by a website design expert who has more than 10 years experience in the industry. He is currently doing website design in Chappaqua, Westchester and White Plains and can be contacted at http://kinneymedia.com

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