What is White Space and Why You Should Use It

If you’re new to web design, Coach Jennifer has some useful advice from our recent lesson.

Watch this video or read the article below


White space. Using a buffer in between sections can make or break your website, especially when it comes to the topic of simplicity.

To give you an idea of what white space is, is simply adding in margins or padding to the top and the bottom, maybe even the left and the right of your content.

It allows the user to digest your website in small chunks, to focus on one piece of information at a time so users don’t get overwhelmed.

Which is a big no no. White space, by the way, doesn’t need to be the color white. It can be any color. It’s just the padding around the text.

Let’s go over this a little more in detail


White space is the empty space between sections on a website. It is the margins and padding around text, images, buttons, etc. White space makes a website easier to read and navigate. It breaks up sections into digestible chunks.

White space doesn’t have to be white either! It can be any color that complements your brand. The key is in the padding around your text, creating that visual breathing space that captivates your audience. This is one of the things we go over in the Toto Coaching Course.

White space between sections is crucial for a successful website. Proper use of white space creates an effortless experience for your site visitors. Generous white space allows visitors to navigate from section to section with ease. It leads their eyes through your content in a natural flow, without feeling overwhelmed. Designing with strategic white space can make all the difference in your website’s effectiveness. As this example shows, generous white space creates clean sections that are easy to digest.

The Power of White Space

Readability: Let’s Keep It Simple

Have you ever visited a webpage where everything looked jumbled together? It’s hard to focus when content feels cramped. This is where white space comes to the rescue! It gives your content room to breathe. It breaks up sections into digestible chunks, like short chapters in a book.Now it’s much easier for visitors to stay focused. Their eyes can move through each part without feeling overwhelmed.

Let’s compare two website layouts:

Cluttered website layout

Cluttered website layout

In the cluttered version, it’s hard to pick out the main points. Visitors are left feeling confused about where to focus and what the key message is. All the elements compete for attention, overwhelming the visitor.

Clean layout with white space




Clean layout with white space

With strategic white space dividing sections, the subject and keywords stand out clearly. White space reduces cognitive overload so users can focus on what matters. The generous white space makes the content simplified and easy to digest. Keeping your pages simple and clean improves readability!


Visual Hierarchy: Guiding Your Eyes

Picture this: you’re walking in a garden, and certain flowers are highlighted, guiding your gaze. White space works similarly on a webpage, establishing a visual hierarchy. It directs your eyes through the elements in a specific order, helping important information stand out. It’s like a roadmap for your visitors, ensuring they don’t get lost in the vast garden of your content.

Professionalism and Clean Design: Making a Statement

First impressions matter, right? White space contributes to a clean, uncluttered design, giving your website a professional look and feel. Just take a peek at this examples on the screen – which websites exude professionalism? The ones with ample white space,right! 

Cluttered without white space

Clean layout with white space







Increased Comprehension: The ‘Aha!’ Moment

Studies have proven that proper use of white space can boost user comprehension by up to 20%. Remember that first impression window of 3-5 seconds for your visitors to understand your content? White space helps bridge that gap, making your website not just readable but also understandable.

The Dark Side of Ignoring White Space

Now, let’s talk about what happens when you ignore this magic ingredient.

Poor Readability: Lost in Translation

Ever struggled to read information because it felt like everything was squished together? Poor readability is often the result of ignoring white space, making it challenging for users to understand your content.

Cognitive Overload: The Overwhelm

Without enough white space, users can feel overwhelmed. It’s like entering a crowded room where every conversation blends into one cacophony. Your users might struggle to locate the information they’re looking for, leading to frustration.

Unprofessional Design: Not the Toto Way!

A cluttered design can make your website look unprofessional and untrustworthy. Think about it – would you trust a messy office or a well-organized one? Your website is no different.

Additional Benefits of White Space

Improved Navigation

White space isn’t just about looks; it’s also about functionality. It makes it easier for users to navigate your website and find the information they need. And guess what happens when visitors find what they need? They are more likely to take action, whether that’s signing up for your newsletter, making a purchase, or contacting you directly. Generous white space improves the user experience and drives conversions.

Reduced Bounce Rate

Remember the bounce rate we’ve talked about before? It’s all about keeping visitors on your website. Effective use of white space keeps users engaged, reducing the bounce rate. Google is even shifting to measure engagement rate, and white space plays a role in keeping visitors exploring your site.

Positive User Experience

User experience (UX) is the emotional journey users take on your website. Good UX, facilitated by white space, leads to increased engagement, customer satisfaction, and overall business success. It’s about creating a positive and seamless experience, ensuring visitors return and recommend your site.

Implementing White Space: A How-To Guide

Years ago, adding white space involved tricks like inserting a 1×1 transparent pixel. But hey, welcome to the future! With modern page builders and the ability to work with rows and columns, adding white space is a breeze.

Margins and Padding

Add some pixels to margins and padding, but favor padding for a consistent layout. Apply strategic padding around key items like headlines, buttons and images to make them stand out.

Keep white space in rows rather than individual modules for a polished look.

Line Spacing

Increase line spacing (line-height) to enhance readability, especially between text items. Add ample vertical spacing between sections and modules to visually separate ideas. 40-60px is a good starting point.

If possible, use padding options on modules for a cleaner layout.

Whitespace Breaks

Consider using a “spacer” module to introduce breaks in whitespace. While not ideal, it’s an option for adding that necessary breathing room.

How Much White Space Should You Use?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but here’s a rule of thumb: find the balance where your website is easy to read, navigate, and maintains a professional appearance. Experiment with different amounts of white space – maybe 40px top and bottom padding or 150px. The key is to explore what looks and feels best for you.

The result will be a clean, professional website that captivates users. Your improved user experience will boost engagement and conversions. Don’t leave this powerful design element wasted – embrace strategic white space today!

Luckily for you, our 7-Day Free Trial of Toto Coaching includes a lesson on White Space. There’s no commitment required – just a click and start your free 7-day trial today!


Here’s to clean, elegant websites that captivate and convert!


This is the Toto way.

About the Author

Jennifer DeRosa

Are you looking to build your own website but don't know where to start? Meet Jennifer DeRosa, the author of "Building DIY Website for Dummies" and the founder of Toto Coaching. With over two decades of experience in website design and development, Jennifer has helped countless businesses establish their online presence using platforms like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy, and Shopify. In her book, Jennifer shares her expertise on how to build a website from scratch, guiding you through the process. But that's not all – Jennifer also offers companion courses at Toto Coaching, where you can learn how to optimize your website for search engines (SEO), build a WordPress website, and develop strategies to convert leads and presell services. As the owner of Toto SEO, Jennifer also helps small businesses improve their online presence and SEO. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry, having owned a web development agency for over 23 years, spoken at numerous events, attended WordCamps and WooCamps across the country, and even ran local WordPress Meetups. She is a frequent speaker for WordPress Meetups, SCORE, and others. Jennifer's thirst for knowledge recently led her to complete a course on No Code Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the prestigious MIT University. Her career also includes consulting roles with industry giants such as Mercedes Benz Credit Corporation, US Surgical, GTE, GE Capital, Unilever, and Calvin Klein.

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