Printable Webpages Should be Print-Friendly

One may think the title of this post is self-evident, but there are enough exceptions to the rule to warrant an explanation.

Today’s example comes from The New York Sun’s website where printable versions are less than print friendly.

Here is an example story from their site:

NY Sun Article

The story has 1266 words, and the NY Sun has decided that an article that long should be chopped up into 4 pages for our reading pleasure their ad impressions.

When faced with situations like there, there is generally an easy trick for people who’s rather continue scrolling as they read rather than clicking and waiting for more ads. That trick is the “Print” icon on the page. Most of the time, clicking the print button will take readers to a single-page version of the previously multi-page story with a smaller logo and no ads.

But what happens at the NY Sun:

NY Sun Printable

They provide a printable version with a color logo and ads intact. Here is what it looks like once printed:

NY Sun Printed

Luckily, the color ads don’t end up printing and wasting toner, but the ad’s placeholders remain intact causing the story to run 3 pages rather than two.

I get the impression that the NY Sun noticed a significant amount of their site’s traffic hitting the printable pages – probably to avoid reading stories broken up into multiple pages – and chased them with ads, defeating their reader’s interests.

If is convinced that advertising on printable pages is the right thing to do, why not provide relevant ads: ads for toner.

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