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The ProBlogger Infinite Scroller WordPress Plugin

Last week we made out first plugin available on the ProBlogger Community: an Infinite Scroll Wordpess Plugin. It’s a plugin we’ve been using on Digital Photography School since we redesigned it late last year.

With each of these plugins we release we want to share why we’re using it on our own sites, and also give you some options on how you can the techniques yourself (community member or not).

The infinite scroll plugin is does one very simple task: as you reach the bottom of a page (typically an archive of posts), it will automatically load in some additional posts. Once you get to the end of the new list, it will load more until you run out of posts.

For a demo, scroll to the bottom of this page on dPS. If you want a super crazy version check out the front page of mashable.com

With an infinite scroll, you’re essentially doing away with the need for ‘pagination’ which are those “next page” and numbered buttons you often come across. Sites like Google Image Search, Facebook, and Pinterest all use this infinite scroll technique.

It’s something that has actually been around for quite a while, and I’m often surprised it’s not as widespread as perhaps it should be. This is because are both downsides and upsides for a plugin like this.

The upside:

  • When a user is browsing a list of posts it can be bringing in new posts without the user need to click (or think).
  • It’s a quicker to show new content (the user doesn’t have to load a whole new page).
  • It’s more friendly for touch devices (tablets and phones) as you’re not asking your readers to zoom and touch those tiny numbers.

To put is simply: your helping expose more of your content to users for less work.

The downside:

  • People can’t get to your footer unless its sticky (or you run out of posts)
  • With an endless stream of posts there is no point of reference for people to go back to: “I remember seeing that on page X”.
  • If it’s not backwards-compatible (ours is) it will affect how your site gets indexed by search engines.

Over the last few years there have been a number of very detailed reviews by user-experience experts about the pros and cons of the infinite scroll. Of course with varying opinions.

At the end of the day you’ll just need to make the choice yourself!

So how do you add and infinite scroll on your WordPress blog?

Obviously if you’re a member of the ProBlogger Community you’ll get free access to our infinite scroller. One of the handy features of ours, that I’ve not seen any others, is the ability to include infinite scroll of related posts at the end of a actual blog post, not just an archive page (see the video at the end for a demo).

There is an infinite scrolling plugin in the wordpress plugin directory that looks like it was updated only a month or so ago with some nice features.

If you’re using a theme from WordPress, some of them actually have the infinite scroll built in.

Of course if you are a developer of have access to one, they can make one for you too!

Here’s a demo of our scrolled that will give you a better idea of how to set it up and how it works.

This is just a first of a many of plugins we’ll be releasing over on ProBlogger.com. If you’ve not signed up yet, we’d love to see you there!

Any if you’ve got any questions or experiances with this approach I’d love to hear them in the comments too.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

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Comments

  1. You’ve brought a great plugin to the blogging community. And I agree that a pop-up of related posts really decreases the bounce rate and increases user engagement, which is a necessity nowadays to rank in the SERPs.

  2. Shayne, I love the idea ;)

    But with 3200 posts on one of my blogs I do not know if it can work lol….people will be scrolling forever! On my other blog this could be attractive as I just started posting.

    Either way, a really neat idea to keep people on your blog for more than a minute. Thanks for sharing.

    Tweeted!

  3. Hasan says:

    Seems great plugin. Do we have to manually tweak the wordpress theme to make it work, or it just works without any sort of code editing? Thanks for sharing!! :)

  4. Thanx for this great plugin, would definitely be helpful to all.

  5. This plugin sounds like a great idea… !

    It should certainly help reduce the bounce rate % (by keeping the reader engrossed in great content).

  6. Hari says:

    Nice idea, Thank you

  7. Yogi Infoway says:

    Shayne , just awesome!!!!

  8. Nikhil says:

    Hey Darren Great plugin, but I think this plugin slow downs website load time to load many posts.

  9. Turner says:

    Haha! Very nice plugin :) Works like a charm, many thanks!

    May be, compress ressources for gain speed.

  10. Hi Darren,

    This plugin is just awesome. I have installed it my one blog topdiabetestreatment.com and found it working fine. My site does not slow down or anything like that.

  11. Daniel says:

    I don’t like infinite scroll, to be honest annoys me to hell. I simply don’t like it.

  12. Hamza Ghani says:

    Nice Plug-in, thanks for sharing. Tweeted all the way :)

  13. kidspace says:

    great.i agree the pop-up related posts.thanks to doing this.

  14. Rachell says:

    Thanks a lot for creating Infinite scroll plugin, I was looking for same from past few month. I tried JetPack module but it didn’t work for me. Hope this will work, thanks once again.

  15. Hey Darren,

    My only concern regarding this plugin is that if I use it on my Website which has got more than 1000 posts then it will take too much time to load. Is there a solution via which this plugin can stop downloading automatically.