Erik Johannes Husom

Text-only news sites

07 Feb 2021

I’m deeply fascinated with minimalistic and text-only approaches to web design. This January I moved to a place where I have to use a cellphone hotspot to connect to the Internet, and thus I am also very aware of my usage of cellular data, since I need to pay for every GB that I use. This has made me even more conscious of how large many common websites are, and how much useless stuff I’m downloading by just browsing the web.

There seems to be a gaining interest in text-only/low-bandwith websites, as you can read more about in this article. This has several advantages, especially for people that live under conditions with severe limitations on bandwidth. I think it’s very cool to see that two major news sites offer low-bandwith versions of their sites:

For most mobile phone companies in Norway (as far as I know), it is common to throttle the bandwidth speed to 64 kbit/s when you have reached your data cap. If more people and companies started to scale down their websites (or at least make low-bandwith versions), one could browse the web comfortably at those kinds of speeds, and websites would be much more accessible. I think this could be very beneficial, especially for essential content such as news.