To Infinity and Beyond
Say hello to the future of reading on the web. We’re happy to introduce a new feature for WordPress.com home pages: infinite scrolling.
Speed and performance are key on the modern web: new content loads in quickly without a full page reload. Instead of the old way of navigating down a page by scrolling and then clicking a link to get to the next page, waiting for a page refresh — the document model of the web — infinite scrolling pulls the next set of posts automatically into view when the reader approaches the bottom of the page, more like an application.
See this in action on Matt on Not-WordPress—Matt’s moblog. When you get to the bottom of the page, you’ll see a loading icon display briefly as the next posts load below.
Back? Now that you are drooling along with the rest of us at the wondrous food photos he posts there daily, you’ve experienced the power of reading without clicking “next”—it means reading through many posts without friction. Imagine your visitors doing the same with your content. Pretty cool, eh?
We’ve taken care of the details like integrating with your theme design as seamlessly as possible and supporting sites with footer widgets. We’ve also refined the basic footer appearance; as you scroll down a subtle footer pops up containing your blog title, which readers can click to scroll back up.
Many of you have already seen this in action on your site. To those of you who’ve sent in feedback, thank you—we’ve incorporated your suggestions to improve the experience. The metrics from infinite scrolling are conclusive: people are reading more posts and spending more time on your sites. As you might guess, people are more likely to just scroll down than they were to click the old style links—the new way is faster and better.
If you prefer the old-school way, and disable the feature in Settings → Reading, you’ll instead see a “Load more posts” button at the bottom of the page, which loads the next available content quickly after the button is clicked—avoiding a full, slow page reload.
We’ve also automatically enabled the click-to-load button for blogs where there might be important information in footer widgets, so your visitors always have access to the entirety of your content. The number of posts loaded with the button can be changed in your “Blog pages show at most” reading setting. Learn more about the settings.
Infinite scrolling is already enabled for over 30 themes to date, and in the coming weeks we’ll be rolling it out to the rest of our themes.
Now to investigate how to make ourselves a neverending breakfast—that would be amazing, too.