Have you noticed how much easier it is to read some blogs than others?
As I have been blog hopping and commenting to get traffic
to my blog I have noticed a huge difference in not only the way bloggers write their posts but the fonts and size of text they use.
Some bloggers write long paragraphs which I find very hard to read, some write in shorter paragraphs and others write each sentence on a new line with plenty of white space between the lines.
I don’t know about you but I have decided that the latter is the style I like best and find easiest to read.
I decided to do a bit of research on the matter to find out if there is a best text size, font type and line spacing for blog posts.
What I discovered surprised me.
Let’s look at fonts first:
I first found that the question had been asked on the Warrior Forum. Sylvia Dickens, an award-winning journalist with 20+ year’s experience posted this response:
“The best online font is a non-serif – in other words, without any curly ends, like Times Roman and some others. Times Roman is mostly used in print media and is difficult to read online. Common fonts that work well on screen are Verdana, Tahoma and of course Arial”.
But Alex Poole a freelance user experience consultant says:
“There’s little, as far as research, to validate the commonly held idea that sans-serif fonts are better for readability online. I think at one time, early on, it was difficult to read serif fonts due to the display qualities of devices available and that nowadays that’s not so. There are plenty of studies that show no difference between the legibility of serif and sans serif typefaces”.
So where does that leave us?
I think that Derek Halpern sums it up nicely:
“A font’s main purpose is to be read, and that’s it! People shouldn’t need to TRY to read your text, it should just happen. So, what’s the perfect font?
Quite simply, a font that’s EXTREMELY easy to read”.
At the end of the day it all seems to boil down to your own idea of what is easy to read.
I have just changed my font on this blog from Arial to Verdana. What do you think?
Do you have a preferrence for a particular font?
Now let’s look at text size
“I tend to go with size 6 for headlines (H1) or 18-24 point depending on the page size and what looks best. I use 14-18 point for subheads (H2) and 14 point for (H3) subheads. Some pages will accommodate 28 point H1 headlines or bigger, again depending on the page size and whatever columns you have taking up space. My suggestion: choose a sufficient headline size to make your heading stand out without overwhelming the reader.As far as content, I like 10-12 point. Some people find that 10 point is too small for their browsers and prefer something bigger, and 12 seems to fit the bill.”
Derek Halpern disagrees and says:
“There are too many people who use a size 12 font for their content, and that’s a HUGE mistake. Small fonts hurt conversion rates AND usability…I’ve been telling people that size 14 is the NEW size 12.But if you want to go bigger, I’d say size 16 is the NEW size 12.”
Then I discovered that Pamela Wilson, an award-winning graphic designer and marketing consultant says
“Anyone who tells you “use 16 point fonts” or “14 is the new 12” isn’t taking x height into account. And without x height, you’re only telling half the story.”
What the heck is x height? That’s the first I’ve heard of that!
Well, I’m not going to try to explain it here because I haven’t got an image I can use and I don’t want to steal one, but if you really want to know you can read Pamela’s post about it.
Talking about stealing images I just read a blog post about an internet marketer who is being hounded for royalties for using an image that was copyrighted although it came in a PLR pack he bought in good faith. You can’t be too careful when it comes to using images.
What about line spacing?
I could not find out so much about this but Chris Lema a product developer and blogger says:
“It’s not just about font size – though it’s important. But white space is just as important. Your content is like a fine wine – it needs room to breathe. So pick not only a large font, but great line-spacing too. Here, on chrislema.com, I use 18pt font, with line-spacing that’s 27pts.”
Virginia DeBolt, Web Teacher, says:
“The perfect line-height will depend on your choice of font-family. Some fonts are “taller” than others. Tahoma looks good at 1.5, but Times Roman might not. Generally, you don’t want the lines to be too close together or too far apart. You want enough space between the lines to create maximum readability, or the appearance of ease of reading. You want an open and inviting look rather than a “dense” look, which discourages reading”
You will notice that they talk about line spacing in different measurements which makes it all confusing. I have found references to Points (pt) Pixels (px) and Ems (em).
Here’s a chart that converts points to pixels and ems if it interests you.
So what’s the perfect Text, Font and Line spacing for your blog?
Simples! Golden Ratio Typography Calculator will work it all out for you.
Simply enter your current font size in this great little tool and find out.
Changing your content text, font and line spacing in WordPress
It’s all done with the Stylesheet css file.
To find it go to your WP Dashboard and click “Appearance” then click “Theme Editor” next select “Stylesheet” It may be called “style.css”, or any other file with the “.css” extension.
In the Stylesheet look for: “font-size:”, “font-family:” and “font-weight:” in your style.css under content. Change the values to what you want. Make sure you are only changing the value for the content and not the sidebars or menus or you could change the entire look of your blog.
It could look something like this:
I have a child theme and there is a special place for making alterations like this. Mine looks like this:
If you are not sure it’s an easy enough job to outsource. Someone on fiverr would do it for you.
Some bloggers have found that it has made a difference to how long their visitors stay on their blog.
So you see it may not always be down to great content. You could have the best content but if it’s difficult to read then your reader is not going to hang around to read more.
I’ve changed my line spacing as well as the font. I think it makes it easier to read. What do you think?
Are you happy with your font, text size and line spacing or do you want to make some changes?
Have your say by leaving me a comment.