Robot Has No Heart

Xavier Shay blogs here

A robot that does not have a heart

Don't use pagination on your blog

What problem are you trying to solve? In my case, I don’t want the bottom of the page to be a dead end. Paging would appear to be a good solution – click next page, get more content. Alas, it has issues:

  • When you post a new article, it changes the content of all your pages. Google doesn’t like this – search traffic to your blog will suffer since people will click through expecting an older version of the page.
  • Invalidates your entire cache when you post something new. Admittedly not a problem for most of us, but worth considering.

Archives solve my problem – not wanting a dead end, while avoiding the two problems with pagination mentioned above. It is harder to get your window size right though (you don’t want 2 or 200 articles per page).

For bonus points, add something like the Humanized Reader. Javascript fetches the next article when you’re near the bottom of the page, seamlessly adding it to the bottom of the page so the user can just keep on reading.

I’ve just added archives to this site – an interim fix to tide me over until I do it right.

Thanks to Rick Olson for telling me I didn’t need paging.

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