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  1. #1
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    Are more or less pages better?

    Hello,

    I'm a beginner web builder I have a few questions about site structure--here’s a description of the site map that I’m drawing now:

    Top level: Index (all pages will have a link in one way or another to the home page)
    Second level: 8 pages
    Third level: 6 pages coming from 1 of the 2nd level pages called ‘Collections’ and 3 more pages coming from another 2nd level page called ‘Help’.

    In the case of ‘Collections” it makes sense to me to have this second landing page that has links to our 6 product categories all in one place. I’d like to know if it is better for the help page to act as another landing page with links to about 12 more smallish pages dealing with our services, policies and FAQ’s; or is it better to have all this information on one long, paragraphed Help page where one could either scroll down or click on inter-page links at the top of the page to see the selected information.

    Basically I’m wondering if it is better to have more pages in a website or is it better to have as little as possible. Has any one read any studies on whether people prefer to click rather than scroll or vice versa to get the information they want?

    I look forward to hearing from any who can help!

    Best,
    Marta

  2. #2
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    For search engines it is better to have lots of pages rather then just a few and to have all of those pages interlinked. Make sure you SEO each one of those pages as after the spider crawls them they can all be on the search results for different keywords. Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru hgilbert's Avatar
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    as little as possible, always

    works even for Search Engines.

    one example: http://www.guitar-teaching.co.uk

    4 pages (mostly less than 200 words)

    #1 in Google

    people really appreciate little but focused content.

    Depends obviously on the site. What you are trying to sell.
    If it's an entertainment site, news site, etc - then the more pages the better!

    So what is the website about?


  4. #4
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    Thanks Scottgrace
    Very helpful and prompt too!

    Best,
    Ana

  5. #5
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    From the standpoint of a human user I prefer FAQ pages that scroll and/or have interpage links. I hate having to load a new page for each little FAQ point, which are often only a single sentence.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    hgilbert is correct, unless you can build strong focused pages. If each page can be filled with content focusing on a specific keyword or a couple keywords that is best but it needs to be done in a usable manner. For example, if you are designing a racing related website a specific page for a specific car is better than 1 page broadly covering all models of cars. If however the pages can not be focused enough to fill multiple pages with quality content (such as an FAQ) less pages is more.

  7. #7
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    hgilbert,

    My company manufactures made to order special occasion clothing for children. The product line and services are themselves somewhat complex as they are mostly of a custom nature with many options to choose from, so my site is not going to be anywhere near as tidy and neat (pagewise) as guitar-teaching... Most of the additional pages that would be linked to the Help page can be very focused with keyword rich content. The FAQ I will definitely keep on one page as questions/answers are mostly one-liners.

    Thanks again everyone! As soon as I have a few pages ready I'll post a link to get your much appreciated feedback.

  8. #8
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta View Post
    Has any one read any studies on whether people prefer to click rather than scroll or vice versa to get the information they want?
    I am unsure if any specific usability studies have been done on this particular subject but to be honest I am not sure there needs to be one. When you look at Google, people are happy to scroll through page results to find what they want but there seems to be a surprising trend that people don’t tend to look past the initial results page. Perhaps due to the most related results being given first, perhaps because of high levels of spam, or perhaps because users really hate going down several layers of navigation. It is probably a mixture of all three but how I usually work it out is to try and group information into as few pages as “required”, notice I say required... it is because you don’t want a 5mb html file full of information but what you do want is to try to keep the amount of pages down (to make things easier to find for the end user).

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    I like to think of it like this in terms of usability, it takes Google awhile to find pages beneath the 1st few levels of a site (at least in my experience). Users are the same way, they want it and they want it now, they don't want extra effort. To scroll, the only thing most users need to do is move the scroll wheel on the mouse, to click they have to move their arm, more effort = less usability.

    As I mentioned it is good to have separate pages for different keywords if you have the target rich content to do so but if you don't than it is probably harmful to try and do that. However I'm sure their comes a point when you really don't want more pages but at that point your site would be huge and your search function tweaked to handle it.

    The point is each site is different but personally I would rather scroll so long as I am looking at related content and I'm thinking that will be a consensus.
    Last edited by tuxus; Feb 25, 2009 at 02:19. Reason: better wording

  10. #10
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    It probably comes from the way humans read... having to click a link and wait for the page to load breaks our concentration (as opposed to scrolling which is a fluid instant effect) which will mean we are more likely to be distracted by something else. Not to mention in books, clicking a link is the equivalent of starting a new chapter... it just naturally feels like a good point to pause reading.

  11. #11
    Design Your Site Team bronze trophy Erik J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta
    ...
    Thanks again everyone! As soon as I have a few pages ready I'll post a link to get your much appreciated feedback.
    A good idea when you are in need of a site review is to post the link in the Website Reviews forum.

    (Be sure to read the guidelines first.)
    Happy ADD/ADHD with Asperger's

  12. #12
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    number of pages doesn't matter as long as you have good quality pages.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot RogueScripts's Avatar
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    If you are trying to rank high for search engines, the number one thing they care about(in my opionion) is the number of websites linking to each of your pages. The number of pages you have is a factor, but I like to build smaller sites, with higher quality pages, with lots of backlinks.
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict antirem's Avatar
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    more!

    google loves more pages so add a ton! just make sure you can categorize it well for users.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Guru hgilbert's Avatar
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    no it doesn't


  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hgilbert View Post
    no it doesn't
    It isn't that clear cut, google loves more pages if it means those pages are filled with well targeted quality content vs less pages targeting multiple keywords with less targeted content. It has to do with keyword density and also helps increase backlinks when people see pages that are narrowly focused.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Guru hgilbert's Avatar
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    I agree with : it isn't that clear cut.

    but people often assume - Google loves loads of pages - and as a result add useless padding.

    Do not add a ton! forget Google - add only what you need.

    and you will be surprised when such approach yields best Google results.


  18. #18
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    What Google actually likes is “organic” content; it does not matter if you have 5 pages or 5,000. If the content is well written, uses natural SEO and is not hideously coded and (of course) has people interested in it, Google will be just as happy with those 5 pages.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    What Google actually likes is “organic” content; it does not matter if you have 5 pages or 5,000. If the content is well written, uses natural SEO and is not hideously coded and (of course) has people interested in it, Google will be just as happy with those 5 pages.
    Agreed assuming the content stays on a focused topic. It's when people wonder off topic that the page quality goes down, googlebot is much like a human it seems in the way it looks at quality of content.


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