Traditionally, it takes users a little time to wait for a new page to load when they reach the bottom of a webpage. With the help of infinite scroll, however, there is no need for them to click on the next page button because the fresh content from a subsequent page will be automatically loaded. The word “infinite” exactly means it is impossible for your readers to scroll 100% to the bottom of a page.
Infinite scrolling has been one of the popular design trends. However, not all WordPress sites are suitable for adding infinite scroll. It is a fact that infinite scrolling can bring many benefits to your website. But at the same time, the weaknesses should also catch your attention. We will have a further discussion on the applicable types of website, which can help you decide whether to add infinite scroll. Certainly, we always bear our task in mind to tell you how to make full use of infinite scroll on your WordPress site.
Benefits of Infinite Scroll
Fast and easy browsing
It is easy to understand because we have mentioned that users never need to wait for a new page. Scrolling down the page, they will have access to endless information which will be automatically loaded without making any efforts. for example, clicking on page links. In this way, you can engage users with your content to a large extent, deliver a fast and easy user experience.
Prolong visiting time
Since users are engaged with endless fresh information without distraction, they will remain on your site for a longer time. Besides, fast access and ease of use also encourage your users to make a frequent visit to your site. By prolonging the time users spend on your site, infinite scroll can more or less reduce the bounce rates.
Drawbacks of Infinite Scroll
Hard to relocate content
The result will be just the opposite of what you want if infinite scroll is not properly used. Therefore, it is necessary for you to measure whether your website is suitable for infinite scroll. Whether to add it or not is based on your business type and goals. On one hand, there may be some instances where your readers prefer the paginated style to infinite scroll. The reason is that infinite scroll makes it difficult for them to relocate the content, causing a bad using experience instead of a good one. Going back where they left is impractical, because they have to repeat the whole process from the beginning. There is no possibility to skip the unwanted content with infinite scroll.
On the other hand, the type of your site has a direct influence on whether to add infinite scroll. Actually, many social media like Facebook and Twitter are taking advantage of infinite scroll while eCommerce sites have given up it due to the bad influence on sales and customer satisfaction. Since in the footer lies in all the important links, visitors will feel frustrated to never reach the bottom for the accessibility of specific information. The overwhelming content will make second users bothered to continue reading.
When to Use Infinite Scroll
If you are not sure whether your website is matched with infinite scroll, you may have a reference to the feedbacks from your readers. In our experience, infinite scroll plays a positive role on sites which contain heavy content without requiring readers to perform a particular task. Also, websites who want their users to find specific results should not work with infinite scroll. eCommerce websites should have a clear idea before the adding of infinite scroll.
How to Add Infinite Scroll to Your WordPress Site
It is a good thing to use infinite scroll properly. If you have a desire to add infinite scroll to your WordPress site, then we come to the question that how to add it in an easy way. We advise you to take the Ajax Load More plugin into consideration. This free and powerful plugin enables you to create a connection with your readers. It will keep your content continuously flowing when your readers approach the bottom of the page. The ease of use makes Ajax Load More a popular choice.
In order to install and activate the plugin, you need to login into your WordPress site as an Administrator, navigate to Plugins > Add New from the menu on the left, and then search for the name in the plugin directory. At present, you should go to Ajax Load More > Repeater Templates to edit the template.
There are two choices available when the plugin works: load excerpts or load the full post. By default, this plugin functions according to the former one. If you want to alter the default setting, replace the code “the_excerpt()” with “the_content()” or delete the specific line of code. When you have finished your configuration, make sure that your template has been successfully saved. Here, we do not recommend you to load full posts, which will make the navigation hard.
The next thing is to create a unique ID by using the Ajax Load More > Shortcode Builder. You are allowed to make some configuration like which categories to include/exclude, how many pages to load with each request, whether to automatically load fresh information, etc. Certainly, you can also make no changes to the default setting.
On the left side of your screen is the generated shortcode. Just add it into your page via the content editor or directly into your template files. Here is an example of the first situation.
Ajax Load More is also in support for add-ons to extend and enhance the core functionality. On the normal conditions, however, the free version can totally meet your requirements. Therefore, there is no need for you to purchase the additional service unless you are interested in a certain function.
To sum up, we have made a discussion on what infinite scroll is, how you can benefit from it, which type of website it fits for, and how to add it to your WordPress site with a plugin. Some best practice techniques should work together with infinite scroll so as to meet the higher expectations. Sticky navigation bar and traditional pagination can help you improve user experience.