I love text focussed website. There are no annoying consent forms, paywalls or popups. The reading experience is the best. If there is an ad it’s usually relevant and unobtrusive. They load extremely fast, and are great for technical content.

The best ones:

  • Load extremely fast, and are readable immediately
  • Have a font that is well balanced and easy to read
  • Have spacing between paragraphs, images and lists that looks nice
  • Don’t re-render several times as javascript loads and fonts get swapped out
  • Render really well on mobile devices without needing to zoom or pan the screen
  • Render on mobile devices in such a way that the text takes up the entire screen with just a small margin at the edges
  • Have the right font size that is easy to read
  • Content layout that resizes correctly if you do need to zoom
  • Have regular text that is visibly distinct from hyperlinked text
  • Have tag or category pages making it easy to find other content
  • Have easily findable links to information about the author

There are some big publications that have these types of websites but lots of smaller sites too. They aren’t always perfect, but that’s okay. It’s actually quite difficult to successfully create such a simple design. I do my best with my blog but I know the reading experience could be improved, perhaps with a different font.

Anyway I’m going to keep an updated list here of such sites that I really enjoyed reading:

Sexy design is great, but I find purely text sites refreshing these days.

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