With all of the Coronavirus restrictions over the past several months, you’ve probably ordered more takeout and been on more restaurant websites than ever before. One thing you may have noticed is the practice of restaurants having their menus as PDFs rather than integrated as text with the rest of their content. Who knows how this trend started? Our guess is that restaurants whose sites were built without a CMS (or poorly built with a CMS) found it easier to edit their menu in a word processor and upload a new PDF to their site than to edit their menu directly on their site. Regardless of how it started, it’s not a great solution. If you have a website of any kind, restaurant or otherwise, there are several key ways that moving text content out of PDFs and images will help you and your visitors out.
First, it’s a lot easier for old information to be floating around the internet if it’s in an image or PDF. These formats are designed to capture information from a specific moment in time so if somebody downloads a PDF, which is later replaced with a newer version, they’re operating based on outdated info and probably don’t know it. This can lead to frustration and confusion if prices, selection, etc., have changed.
Secondly, every word in a PDF or image is a missed opportunity when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). The text contained in PDFs and images can’t be indexed by search engines, which means your website isn’t going to come up when people search for terms that are relevant to your business. There are potential customers searching for products and services that you offer every day, but they’re going to have a harder time finding you if important search terms are buried in a PDF.
The third big reason you should consider moving text out of PDFs is accessibility. Web technology continually takes strides toward improving accessibility, especially for people with impaired vision. When your text content is in PDFs, your website can’t take full advantage of these improvements. Visitors who use screen readers have a much smoother experience when text is in one format rather than mixed between directly in their browser and in PDFs. Users who have changed browser settings to increase or decrease font size are another demographic who benefit when they don’t have to open up PDFs. Finally, there are those that have dark/night mode enabled in their browser. Switching from a website with light text on a dark background to a PDF with dark text on a light background isn’t a fun experience, especially when your eyes are adjusted to a dark room.
If you’ve been using PDFs or images with text on your website just because it’s easy, let us help you! Updating the content on your website doesn’t have to be a pain. We build on the WordPress CMS and can customize it to make updating your content intuitive instead of a hassle.
About the author:
Jonathan is a Web Developer at Torx. A perfect mix of art and logic, website development is endlessly interesting to him. When he's not busy coding beautiful sites for Torx's clients, he spends his time chasing his son around and watching or reading about sports.