Pagination Is Evil And You Shouldn’t Do It

So I was browsing the web looking for something that would piss me off enough to write a snarky column that would make you, dear reader, equally pissed off. At me, most likely, as that is usually how it goes. Or rather, how it used to go, the last few columns have been so cute and cozy that I feel a bit nauseous. I know my fellow overlords (note: not actually my fellows) breathe a bit easier when I’m not pissing off the WordPress community, or at least I like to think that’s why I haven’t been kicked out just yet, but still, this is getting a bit boring right?

Enter the RSS reader, enter Stumbleupon, enter the WordPress support forums, enter Twitter, enter a wee bit too much to drink… And then I forgot about what I was doing.

Deadlines won’t go away even though they slip my mind, and my trusty calendar reminded me that I need to turn something in this week as well. How else will I afford bathing in champagne and gorging in caviar and bacon? Yeah, I have simple taste, live with it.

Hungover and worked to the bone I decided to check out the site I’m writing for, this WPMU.org thing that is all the craze, or so my PR rep keeps telling me. And what do I see?

I’ll tell you in a bit. First, enjoy this video:

Ah, good times.

Now that we’re all in a good mood, let me tell you this:

If you follow this tutorial, published on this very site and written by Joe who I bet is a super nice guy who will hate me after I hit publish, on how to paginate your posts, then you deserve so much pain, so much anguish, so much of the bad kind of nasty that you just won’t understand what on Earth you were thinking of when you decided to paginate your post!

Seriously.

You should be ashamed.

You should hurt.

Don’t ever split up posts in multiple pages. That’s just plain evil and I don’t care how awesome you might be, how ground breaking your content might be, how many fucking unicorns you save with each page on your post, *it is evil and wrong and so are you!*

Also, I haven’t taken my medication today.

PS. I really hate paginated posts. Don’t do it.

8 Responses

  • You’ve thoroughly convinced me that you hate paging…but haven’t provided any justification for it. Do you have a *reason* for hating paging? Justification of any kind? Or is this some deep-seated hatred based on something that happened to you as a child? Would you like to tell me about your mother? :)

    Personally, I don’t like paging, and any article with under a couple thousand words should be single-page. But not every article or piece of content is that “short”, and many will require some form of pagination in order to be usable. If you’ve got a 10,000 word article, you better use paging, or your visitor is going to hate you far worse for not, and is likely to abandon the post long before they get to the end.

    Further, revenue-wise, it’s important to try to get at least a few ad views out of something that’s several thousand words long.

  • I have to agree with Mr. Hedengren on this one.

    Whenever I start reading an article, and at the bottom discovering I need to click to read the next “page”, I find myself losing interest and I abandon the article fully.

    Call me lazy, but I can’t be arsed with clicking more than once to read a piece.

  • so wrong, suddenly I feel so sick of people who call themselves “WordPress hard core developers” or “WordPress experts”

    please enlighten me if I’m wrong
    perhaps, I just had very bad experience working with “WordPress developers”

  • I totally agree with hating pagination :) . I never felt the need of paginating my posts. Imho the only you get is to loss some readers every time you make them to clic on a ‘next page’ link.

  • Of course pagination for long texts is useful. Pagination can be vertical (PDFs) or horizontal (books, ebooks, etc). But when these things are done digitally, they are done with utmost care for usability – one flick, click or spacebar will send you to the next page. As soon as you are required to start navigating your mouse to find some little row of numbers, and when you need to wait another 5 seconds for the new page to load, and when all the context changes (new ads, etc) – then usability is out the window. With that said – 99% of all content your read straight off a web page is short enough to fit on one page with scroll down.

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