Defining Readability as the way text is written ( not font styles and size ), what's the optimum Flesch Reading Ease score for a General Public website for users over the age of 18 ?



3 Answers 3


Not surprisingly, the writing style and the content should be tailored to your specific audience, and there is no hard and fast rule on this.

For example, in Australian Government websites, which is aimed at adults in general, the guidelines state that it should be accessible and therefore the standard of writing as stated by the writing style guide is as follows:

Aim for age 9 reading level It’s good to aim for age 9 reading level. Someone who is age 9 would be in Australian Year 3 or Year 4.

WCAG criteria 3.1.5 (Level AAA) recommends you write to lower secondary education level. This is Year 7 to Year 8 in Australia, or between 12 to 14 years old.

So you can convert the equivalent grade level for your country to the relevant reading ease score if you want to adopt those standards. However, I would recommend finding out more about the particular audience based on the type of content you want to provide.

  • 1
    That's excellent: and the 'how to do' is also here: w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Techniques/general/G153
    – PhillipW
    Jun 29, 2020 at 7:10
  • Added reference to the Australian Government DTA website to the answer. Definitely important to know what needs to be done as well as how to do it correctly :)
    – Michael Lai
    Jun 29, 2020 at 7:47
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    To update: Data for the UK also seems to be often in terms of Reading Age or Level. Googling this turns up some rather disturbing facts about poor the reading skills of some of our users may be..
    – PhillipW
    Jun 29, 2020 at 13:05

I don't know if it counts as an answer but Yoast Seo plugin for wordpress has a Flesch indicator based on your text that gives you a red , orange or green score.

  • Thanks, I was hoping for a number: text which is too easy is jarring. Text which is too hard, is too hard. I'm looking for the sweet spot in the middle.
    – PhillipW
    Jun 28, 2020 at 14:10

It’s essential to take readability into account when writing web copy. Why? Because, if your text is too complicated, your audience might have trouble understanding it. Consequently, they may decide to leave your website and look for information elsewhere. As a result, you might get a high bounce rate that can lead to lower rankings in the long run. That’s why you should aim to write as clearly as possible.

  • 1
    Hi Techeshta, the OP asked for the optimum Flesch Reading Ease score. Maybe you can update your answer to give him a suggestion. If you just want to add to the answer of others, I would use a comment.
    – Nash
    Jun 29, 2020 at 12:18

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