Explain web page length - web page size
Non-technical understanding of web pages to help you build a web site better.

About Web Page Length, Web Page Size


- How big is a web page?
- How long should a web page be?
- What is the right web page width?
- What is web page anxiety?

This is the first of many specifically undefinable questions about creating a website. Opinions vary about the optimum size of a web page for web page creation. There is no hard and fast rule to explain web page length, but this will give you a a guideline for your page length.

The long and the short of it: Theoretically a web page can be "yards" long and you could have to scroll down the page for a long time to get to the end of the information on it. These are absolutely not "good" pages unless perhaps you are using your website for scientific, technical or scholarly papers.

The current fad is to make a web page only as long as the single screen you see without any scrolling down at all. These can only provide little bits of information in that amount of space, especially if you have a picture on your web page, your logo, contact information and navigation . If you use little iddy biddy type to try to get more information in the space, you will very likely loose many 40 year old and over visitors- and those with anything but the most excellent eyesight. These are not particularly "good" pages for an overall site for these reasons plus they usually require the user to go find other little bits of information, known as a "drill down" and isn't the idea to give your web visitor the most information in the easiest way for them as possible? It isn't a good idea to have your web visitors chase your information. The very short pages are sometimes suited for catalog items, or topics where there is really not much to tell the website visitor.

Walt and I usually recommend web pages no longer than 3 full screen replacements - the original screen that opens, plus two full screen replacements by scrolling down. If you haven't captured your web visitor by that time, chances are high they will move on and you've lost!
Dibbern's gauge for solid web site page length
If you want to use a rule of thumb here it is: Start with your text in any word program you choose. It should all be contained on one single page 8.5x11 inches with margins of 1 inch all around and type exactly 12 points. Now if you add 1-3 pictures and the other essentials of logo, contact information and navigation, you'll be fine.

Why would I start with a word type document when I can just enter the information in my web design program or tell my webmaster everything I want to put on my page?

I'm glad you asked! The runaway page comes from creating it on the fly. If you want better results from your website, page length and planning are 2 keys!

Web Page Size - Design Width

Overall web page size may be considered from 2 factors: web page length and web page width.

Web pages today are either 720 pixels wide or about a thousand pixels wide. Pages created at 7420 pixels wide can just make it when printing in standard printer mode- portrait and can be fully seen on monitors/screens setup at 800 wide. Wider web pages require the viewer adjusting their printer to landscape mode if they choose to print it. If you make your web pages wider than 720 pixels, anyone with a monitor setup of 800 pixels wide will have to scroll right to see your entire page, and that is an inconvenience to your web visitor. If you setup your web page at a width of 720 pixels, users with wider screens can close down part of the screen so they can see other items on their screen at the same time, which many do, but they won't miss any part of your message.
If you are designing for 1024 pixel wide monitor use, remember the scroll bars on the right and left and deduct 80 pixels so your page design should only be 944 pixels wide. Viewers will need to print your page in landscape mode.

Web page anxiety:

This page pushes the max recommended length! I would probably loose you to another page if this was any longer! People would rather go through many shorter pages than one really long page.


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