Spacing Out: Why White Space Is Necessary In Your Content

If you’ve heard of white space, you might think it’s a term only connected with graphic design and the blank space that isn’t covered with visuals or brand elements.

In the world of digital content, white space can mean the difference between an audience reading your entire post or closing the browser window immediately. Without adequate use of white space, you risk publishing an unreadable article with lines of text  spaced too closely together.

But does it really matter?

It does. Effectively using white space in your digital content increases comprehension by nearly 20%.

White space also allows you to draw attention to a particular element—namely, a super short line of text. We’re used to seeing paragraphs of text, but when a short line breaks up longer sections of text, your eyes naturally gravitate to that line…because of the white space surrounding it.

Worried that using white space effectively means your post will get too long and readers won’t scroll the bottom of the page? Don’t. That’s a myth. The truth is that if you have good content that engages your audience, scrolling to the bottom is a natural action. If you’re reading a great article in a magazine, you wouldn’t not flip the page to read the ending, right?

Take a look at these two pieces of content and see which one you’d want to read:

Example of white space

(By the way, this article is a great resource for understanding why white space is important and includes effective ways to use passive and active white space.)

Adding white space isn’t difficult either. You just need to take a few moments to check where spacing is needed. WordPress automatically adds spaces after sentence breaks, so if you’re pasting from a document that already had breaks, WordPress adds more, like this:

Spacing Out_post with too much spacing

Make sure you remove that additional space.

However, if you’re pasting from somewhere else (a different document format or a different website), WordPress may not recognize spacing correctly, which means your post ends up looking like this (once you’ve published it):

Spacing Out_post with not enough spacing

If your content looks like this, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to add some line breaks between paragraphs. Your audience (and their eyeballs) will thank you.