Reading a website

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    Reading a website can be a challenge for some users. Read on to discover how we read websites and what tools can help.

    Reading a website

    Every website features content designed to attract visitors, provide information, or promote a product or service. This web content is mostly in text form, with the exception of websites that focus on visual content like photos or videos.

    Since most websites rely on text, visitors need to do a lot of reading. This can be a problem for individuals with dyslexia, vision impairment, or other disabilities. In this article, we’ll discuss reading websites and explain what tools you can use to make website reading more pleasant.

    How we read websites

    We often don’t think about how we read websites. However, since websites often contain information we don’t need, learning to focus on the relevant information can be quite useful.

    First, here are the elements you can find on most websites. A web page usually has its main content in the middle. This is the information users are typically interested in. This main content is often surrounded by ads on both sides.

    A web page also has a navigation bar (header) that lets users click on elements to be taken to other pages of the website. Conversely, web pages have a footer at the bottom-most part of the page that usually contains a sitemap.

    Many websites also contain images, embedded YouTube videos, or other interactive elements essential to creating a good impression. These visuals generally relate to the subject of the website as a whole and give it a professional edge.

    If you’re reading a web page on your mobile device, you may notice it has a different, simpler layout. Many web pages automatically detect the type of device your using and optimize the interface for smaller screens. This is called responsive design.

    So, how do we read web pages? Starting at the top of the page and reading every word may be an effective strategy for reading books, but it isn’t the best option for websites.

    Since many web pages contain information you’re not interested in, you need to find the relevant info and avoid getting distracted by ads and other elements.

    Here’s how web users can find what they’re looking for on any website:

    • Find the main content—This should be the most prominent part of the page, but you may need to scroll down to locate it.
    • Check whether you’re on the correct page—Use the navigation bar, toolbar, or a search box to go to the right web page.
    • Read only what’s relevant—Reading every word is a time-consuming and often unnecessary process. Skim through the page by reading the first sentence of every paragraph or looking for keywords to find the information you need.
    • Look for subheadings or bulleted lists—These can give you an idea of the web page’s content.
    • Focus on words at the top or the left side of the page—That’s where you’ll usually find relevant information.

    Using browser capabilities to improve readability

    Fortunately, there are browser add-ins that can help you read a web page. Here are a few browser-based solutions that make reading websites easier:

    Readability

    Readability is an extension that can be installed on Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari. This extension changes how people read websites by removing ads, dialog boxes, recommendations, and other distracting elements.

    With this extension, you’ll only see the website name, text content, photos, videos, and links. This will save you from unnecessary scrolling.

    Firefox Reader View

    Firefox Reader View is a built-in button in the Mozilla Firefox browser. This button lets users declutter a web page in only a few clicks. When you open a website in Firefox, you should see a book icon in the address bar. Click on it, and the browser will display only the main content.

    Microsoft Edge Reader View

    Microsoft Edge also features a built-in reader view. If you want to activate it, press the book icon in the address bar. Although it doesn’t offer customization options, this reader view is fast and efficient.

    Text to speech solutions

    Another way to make reading HTML pages easier is to use text to speech tools. Such tools offer impressive functionality and let you enjoy content from any web page as spoken language.

    Readloud.net

    Readloud.net is a website that can read aloud any web page in a few clicks. It allows the conversion of up to 30,000 characters at a time, and it’s completely free. You can choose the desired language, voice, reading speed, and pitch.

    Intelligent Speaker

    Intelligent Speaker is a browser extension that serves as a text to speech screen reader for online content. Besides allowing anyone to enjoy web page content, this tool can be valuable for foreign language learners.

    It features a free and paid subscription plan. If you choose the former, you’ll be able to take advantage of up to one hour of listening per month.

    Speechify

    If you want enhanced usability and functionality, Speechify is is one of the best options. This is a text to speech (TTS) platform that can transform any digital text into spoken language. You can use it for Wikipedia pages, PDF files, company websites, emails, social media, e-books, documents, and other written content.

    Speechify lets you choose between 20 languages and 30 voices. You can even select a preferred accent, adjust the reading speed, use note-taking and bookmarking tools, and much more.

    With Speechify, you can download your audio files and listen to them when you don’t have internet access.

    Seamless website readouts with Speechify

    Since Speechify uses cutting-edge AI technology, you’ll enjoy its seamless performance when reading websites and other text. What does this mean? It means you’ll listen to natural-sounding voices and high-quality sound.

    Besides letting you listen to website content without difficulty, Speechify helps you improve reading comprehension, save time, and multitask. Since it’s available on computers (Windows and Microsoft) and mobile devices (Android and iOS), you can use it anywhere.

    Try Speechify now and check why it has millions of satisfied users worldwide.

    FAQ

    What is the difference between reading a website and reading a book?

    When reading a book, we start at the top of the page and focus on every word until we get to the bottom. When reading a website, we skim it and look for the relevant information we’re interested in.

    What is a reading level?

    A reading level is a measure of one’s ability to read and understand text.

    What are some of the benefits of reading a web page?

    Some of the benefits of reading a web page are learning how to distinguish relevant information, expanding vocabulary, and improving focus.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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