Best Text Heavy Websites

Designing a really good text-heavy website can be a bit of a balancing act. It’s common knowledge that text content is still the best vehicle for delivering information and helps make it easier to get indexed by search engines, but being too text heavy can turn away visitors – especially now that surfers have started developing a taste for images and multimedia content.

These days, it is much easier to throw together an image-heavy website with just the right amount of text for search engines to index and call it a day but some websites have proven that there is still room for heavy text content that delivers a great amount of information without detracting from the aesthetics. Some of the best include:

Polygon is a video game review site, so heavy text content is expected along with heavy use of images, mainly because there is a need to present screen captures of the games, on account of video games being a visual medium.

In Polygon’s case, they make full use of long-scrolling unconventional layouts that help break the heavy text content into digestible chunks, which are then supported by visually appealing images. This gives the Polygon website a magazine-like look. Additionally, their site search is both functional and readily available instead of being obscured by other website elements.

Conde Nast if the parent company of various heavily-circulated print magazines, so it’s not surprising that their website takes on a magazine-like feel and makes effective use of both heavy text content and images. The site makes good use of a big, visually appealing content slider on the header in order to make it easier for readers to see the most important things on the site when it first loads. Additionally, it also has customizable filters so there’s no risk of information overload – users can freely filter the presentation down to just the content that are relevant to their interests.

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USA Today is one of the largest newspapers in the U.S., so it stands to reason that they can set the standards on managing large amounts of text content within the constraints of limited screen real estate. They achieve the perfect balance by using clean, sharp lines and a rigid layout that gives off a highly organized and easily navigable feel to the site. They also offer a little bit of flexibility by allowing users to change the layout from a list to a grid view, depending on how much content they want to take on at the same time.

Since they cater almost exclusively to the tech-savvy audience, Wired has to accommodate both detailed, heavy text analysis and galleries of images on their site, on account of many of their chosen topics requiring both textual analysis/breakdowns and visuals. The site uses a clear sans-serif type and comfortable column widths in order to maximize readability, and they maintain a consistent look on all of their pages.

There are many other websites on the Internet that successfully employ heavy text content without sacrificing readability or aesthetics. The fact that many of these sites employ magazine-like designs is not an accident, but is not a result of intentionally copying print magazines. It’s just that magazines are by default forced to fit heavy text content alongside images on a limited space, so it only stands to reason that websites that try to do the same thing end up looking like magazines.

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