“Too much content” isn’t the problem. Complexity is.

This picture represents the complexity you wish to avoid in a website.

A great website has lots of (great) content.

You've probably heard at one time or another that having lots of text on your website is a bad thing. That visitors will see it and immediately begin hyperventilating and exit their browser in a panic.

I'm here to tell you that it's not that simple. It's not content that's bad, it's complexity.

When a visitor has to search for something or becomes overwhelmed with everything on your site, they will leave.

But it's not text by itself that causes those things to happen. In fact, writing great content can actually prevent them.

How? Let me explain.

I'm reading a book called "Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard" by Dan and Chip Heath, and in it they state that "Clarity dissolves resistance".

That statement can be applied just about anywhere.

When it comes to your website, you need to make your message as clear as day. You can do this through great website design, clear writing, and even great UX/UI design.

If all of these things are working together to improve the clarity of your message (and your message is good), your visitors will buy from you.

So back to the topic at hand, should you trim down your content to make it shorter? It depends.

There's a difference between being concise and being incomplete. Just as there's a difference between being thorough and being needlessly verbose.

Say as much as needed to make your point clear and explain what is being explained. Don't waste words on the unimportant. Keep your reader in mind and answer what they want answered.

Despite the popular opinion, people actually do want to read and are going to look for answers to their questions. If they can't find them, they'll leave.

If it takes a single paragraph to do that, great. If it takes 20 pages, great.

Clarity requires that your readers understand completely, and that means explaining thoroughly.

It also means cutting back on distracting elements, whether they are competing links in your sidebar, complicated navigation, or even just extra words or paragraphs on the page.

It all works together.

So remember, "Clarity dissolves resistance".

Take a look at your website and ask yourself if your message is clear. If not, you've got some work to do.

It might even mean adding more text.

About Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a website developer and designer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a passion for code and WordPress. He spends his days building WordPress websites for small businesses, developing new code with the online community, and living life.