If you are a regular reader then you know I immediately disabled infinite scroll when it was implemented on Twenty Eleven and Twenty Ten in early February. I was horrified when I witnessed a distracting never ending river of posts (text loading first and images lagging behind) on the front page of this blog. I have now enabled infinite scroll and you can become a participant in my poll.
There may be many reasons WordPress.com Staff are champions of the infinite scroll feature behind the decision to implement infinite scrolling site wide at WordPress.com I am not aware of. Lest I drift off into a ramble on how cloud computing is changing the world here are three I find plausible.
The mobile web is growing at a phenomenal rate, and is forecast to overtake the desktop web in 2014.
Then more people will access the internet for the first time using a mobile phone rather than using a desktop or a laptop.
- With infinite scroll enabled content loads quickly on new computers, mobiles and tablets without a full page reload. Infinite scroll favors those with state of the art computers, who prefer quick blog surfing to relaxed blog reading. Those with older computers experience slower performance regardless of their connection.
- Photoblogging is also growing at a phenomenal rate and blogs laden with images are now commonplace in all niches. “Pagination is a technique used to break large data sets into small blocks in order to reduce the server load. We used to create pagination buttons with page numbers and next/previous links. Now pagination has gained a new perspective with infinite scrolling.” — How to Create an Infinite Scrolling Gallery in 10 Minutes
- Infinite scroll artificially inflates page view numbers. Disabling Infinite Scrolling by use of footer widgets results in a “Load More Posts” link, and clicking results in 7 more posts displaying. (Note you cannot disable the “Load More Posts” tab from appearing without purchasing the annually renewable Custom Design upgrade.) Clearly more impressions means more advertising income for WordPress.com and for those with blogs in the WordAds program. “Earn money from your WordPress.com site by showing high quality advertisements. Make your passion a career.”
Reader feedback required
one cool site has an No-Ads upgrade and I decided to conduct a month long experiment. I enabled infinite scroll on July 1st and I’m asking my readers to provide me feedback on how infinite scroll impacts your experience of visiting my blog. Please don’t be shy about sharing your details such as:
- how you connect to the interent and WordPress.com;
- which browser and version of it you are using;
- what you experienced.