Clean, Fast & Readable: Lightweight Versions Of Popular News Sites

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news sitesRead the news without using up all of your bandwidth. A wide variety of sites offer mobile or text-only versions that work on any computer, but they’re occasionally buried and hard to find on the modern web.

There are more than a few reasons to want to know where these sites are, however. Maybe you don’t like clutter? Maybe you’re one of the millions still using dial-up, and want a low-bandwidth way to read news? Maybe you regularly tether your computer to your smartphone, but don’t have an unlimited data plan? Maybe you like to read the news on your e-reader and want clean sites for doing so? Or maybe you want a list of quick-to-load news sources in case a disaster slows down your Internet connection just when you need it most.

Whatever your reason, find a list of links to mobile news sites that work on any computer below, without the need for tricks like user agent switchers.


To begin: Google Reader’s mobile site.

news sites

This is perhaps the most important URL to know, because with it you can make any site into a mobile one. Here it is:

The mobile version of Google Reader will even convert non-mobile versions of sites linked to into mobile pages, meaning it’s the best friend of anyone looking to save on bandwidth and screen real estate.

Not a Google Reader user? There’s a lightweight version of Google News, but it sadly links to full-version sites on most computers. Here it is:

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It’s a quick way to see which stories are big right now.

American News Sources

Let’s start our American list with some newspapers and wire services. Here are the main major papers I could find desktop-friendly mobile versions for:

best news sites

On to the medium of the future: radio! Just a few here that I could find:

Why watch TV when you can read it? Don’t over-think that sentence.

Global News

best news sites


Social Networks

Not exactly news sites, but these links can also save you some bandwidth and/or screen space.

One More!

news sites

Still not enough? [NO LONGER WORKS] can make a mobile version out of any site. I feel obligated to mention them, and not only because they feature MakeUseOf on their home page – it’s a magic way to make any site lightweight.

Anything else?

If a news site you like is excluded, it’s probably because of one of four reasons:

  • I couldn’t find a mobile version that works on a desktop browser,
  • I didn’t know a particular news service existed,
  • It’s not in English, or
  • I’m an evil liberal/conservative/communist/corporatist/Canadian/American trying to prevent people from accessing particular news sources.

Having said that, please: if you know of a mobile news site that works on desktop browsers share it below. Let’s make this the ultimate list of such sites together.

One final note: many sites stop desktop users from viewing the mobile version of their site. There’s a way around that, though: changing your user agents and tricking those sites into thinking you’re on a mobile device. We’ve written up User Agent Switcher. Check it out:

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5 Comments - Write a Comment


Drake Hatfield

I think you forgot the most lightweight news site of all, Drugdereport.

Justin Pot

It links to sites that aren’t lightweight, though.

Drake Hatfield

Most of the sites he links to have mobile versions that open up appropriately, but you are completely spot on regarding the bloat of current media sites. Enjoyed the article.

Justin Pot

Thanks for sharing another idea!


ion popa

Just reading the title and Twitter comes in my mind…

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