[map]A Page Structure Pattern from
Patterns for Personal Web Sites

Appropriate Length

A page expresses a single idea, or a set of related ideas. That idea can be a story one hundred paragraphs long or a two-sentence footnote. One of the advantages of Web pages is that they can be as short or long as necessary. They aren't bound by the physical and economic restrictions of print.

Therefore, create pages of a length appropriate to the subject.


  • Matthew's Advice on Coming Out is a very long page, but is one tightly connected story told in the author's distinctive voice. Breaking it into multiple pages would interrupt its flow, thereby reducing its emotional impact.

  • The Jargon File devotes one page to each of its entries. Some are long, some a single sentence.

Writing pages of appropriate length enhances Offline Readability by making it easy to download pages for later reading. A visitor only has to download one page, rather than visiting & downloading multiple pages (and possibly fixing broken links, if they're not Relative Links).

Last updated 8 July 2003
All contents ©2002-2003 Mark L. Irons