Many website owners neglect to make their site print friendly. With all of the ads, navigation bars, sidebars, and footer widgets, printing can be difficult or even impossible. Making your WordPress site printer-friendly requires just a few easy steps, but can mean a better experience for your readers.
Why Printing is Important
Many people like to keep hard copies of articles they find informational. It makes it easier to save and share. This is especially true for things like tutorials and how-to’s. If you are trying to build a fence in your backyard, would you rather lug your laptop outside and try to read the screen in the sunlight, or bring the handy printout of the instructions straight from the webpage? Having printable pages enhances the user experience.
When users want to print a WordPress page, the default settings take away all the formatting and leave just the words for printing. This produces a long bunch of words starting with the header, then content, a list of sidebar contents, and the footer, which is not at all easy to read. This can leave users frustrated and looking for other WordPress sites. There are several ways to make your pages print-ready.
Edit the Style Sheet
You can edit the style sheet directly for simple adjustments, or create a print.css style sheet for more control over the final printable product. Some WordPress themes already come with these, as the designers of the themes thought to include better printing options. If you don’t have these already, you will need to do it yourself. WordPress has an easy to follow tutorial on how to edit your style sheet and create a print.css file. You can find the step-by-step instructions at WordPress.org.
An easier option is to install the WP-Print WordPress app. Once installed, a small print icon will allow users print information from your WordPress site. They can print individual comments and images, sections of a page, or the entire WordPress page. Once they decide to print, they will be sent to a printer-friendly version of the information from your WordPress site they would like to print. It formats automatically, so your readers will have no problem printing exactly what they want.
Print-Friendly and PDF Button
The second easy option to make your WordPress page printable is with the Print-Friendly and PDF button available through WordPress. This option edits the coding and css elements of your page so that there is a PDF version of each page of your site. When your readers click on the small icon, they will be redirected to a new window where they will be able to print, save, or email a PDF version of your page. They will also have other options including choosing the font size of the page, printing with or without images, and saving paper and ink.