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How to make personal stories website more readable?

11:10 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm starting a website which is going to be a repository of personal stories from people who have dealt with a particular issue in their lives.

This is a first for me as I've always built educational/info websites where I used bullet points, subheadings, em and strong tags and short paragraphs/pages to make the content easier to skim and scan.

Now I'll have personal stories written by people which could range from 500-2000 words each and I'm wondering what I can do to make the content more readable.

Do I just paste the whole story on a dedicated page or break it down in smaller pages of 500 words each? Should I use subheadings throughout the story? Quotes on the side? Strong/em tags?

Has anyone got any experience or advice?

11:46 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think it's good idea to make a website like this. well, if stories are interesting, your page will become popular usual. in my opinion, u should write the whole story, don't break it down in smaller pages. that would be easier to read.
good luck, I hope other people will help you more ;)
12:32 pm on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Is there a plan to monetize this site with ads? If so, more pages, more opportunities. HOWEVER, if the stories are routinely short <1500 words) breaking it more than once might be irritating to visitors. I tend to keep articles of that length as a single page. Others will disagree, saying that directed short pages improves reading. There are many on either side of that issue.

There are other things which I think are more important, such as keeping the text size READABLE (no small text!), fairly short line lengths, ie. not full screen wide screen! Keep illustrations and decorations to a minimum and avoid animations. You want the content to sing, not the pretty distractions. :)

Use of headings can be beneficial if the article calls for it. Use em and bold in a reasonable fashion. Edit for grammar, typos, etc. if you have time and your submitter will allow.

Get a TOS put together that gives you permission to publish the content, ie., the submitter knows the destination of same, and whether there is any remuneration or not so you don't have screams of "copyright!" at a later time.

There's a probably quite a few other things which could be mentioned for a site like this, but get those above squared away first as these are the ones I think most important.

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