[thelist] Single- or multiple-page articles?

Means, Eric D eric.d.means at boeing.com
Thu Jun 27 09:04:00 CDT 2002

>  -----Original Message-----
> From: 	Joel Konkle-Parker [mailto:jjk3 at msstate.edu]
> Sent:	Wednesday, June 26, 2002 9:06 PM
> To:	TheList
> Subject:	[thelist] Single- or multiple-page articles?
> I'm interested in your thoughts on whether online articles (reviews,
> etc) are better represented as one long page, or as multiple shorter
> pages. Any thoughts? Both from the perspective of the reader, and
> that of the webmaster.

>From a user's perspective (specifically, mine):
Surprisingly, I actually don't mind when articles are broken up, as long as
you follow a few simple guidelines.
1. Don't make each page one paragraph.  Nice, solid amounts of writing on
each page.
2. DO NOT insert pure advertising pages between each page of the article.

I think 3 or 4 medium-length pages are somewhat easier to read than one huge
page, myself; this is obviously something that would benefit from actual
objective testing.  One long page isn't really all that much faster to load
than several smaller pages (as long as you keep the overhead from nav bars
etc. manageable) since reused images will be cached etc.

>From a webmaster's perspective, I don't see why one large page would make
linking easier; you still only need link to one page (the first page of the
article) and that page can link to the other pages itself.  It does give you
a chance at more ad revenue.  It also can save on bandwidth; if a user reads
the first paragraph and decides they're not interested in the article after
all, they never download the other 3/4ths of the article, whereas with a
long article it's an all-or-nothing deal.

Sites like the Tech Report
(http://www.tech-report.com/reviews/2002q2/parhelia/index.x?pg=1) and Ars
Technica (http://arstechnica.com/guide/flatpanel/flatpanels-1.html) both do
the multi-page thing and, IMO, do it well (Ars slightly moreso than TR).

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