Infinite scroll is an infinitely useful tool that pulls the upcoming content into view automatically rather than waiting for the reader to click. As Simply put, Infinite Scroll is a great way to improve user experience by letting visitors feel like they have access to unlimited amounts of data. As the name suggests, infinite scroll means that users will keep scrolling indefinitely without ever reaching really “the bottom of the page”. A first, objective consequence is that users may feel overwhelmed by the amount of content available since they never have the ‘break’ that is inherent in clicking on a link and waiting for the next page to load.
Why Should You Use Infinite Scroll?
Reasons for using infinite scroll in your WordPress sites are, well, truly infinite! All are based on user experience improvement and statistics do show that the ability to scroll this way keeps readers on sites longer. Having “new” content automatically displayed when they reach the bottom of the page makes users much more likely to stick around a little longer… as long as the content is worthy!
Infinite scroll is also natively mobile friendly. When using smartphones users generally find it more comfortable to just keep scrolling instead of looking for some button located at the end of the page.
Infinite Scroll Downfalls
In two words: user preferences. Infinite scroll in itself, of course, does not depend on a sites content type, since it is just a technique to show content. However, using infinite scroll could damage user experience if users still prefer the paginated style of loading content.
Knowing how to improve your site is linked to knowing your visitors. While this is true in any case, it is important to note here. During the first introduction of this technique, some viewers became disoriented by the “infinite” amount of content, or they weren’t able to relocate content after scrolling past it.
All of this being said, today most complaints about infinite scroll are no longer valid since even those who despised the tool when it first appeared have had to become accustomed to it over time due to it’s implementation on almost all social media sites, from Facebook to Pinterest.
However, the best thing to do is still to test on your site and keep track of user reactions, not just directly through comments and complaints, but with analytics monitoring. Keep an eye on time spent on the site, returning visitor numbers, etc. in order to determine if implementing infinite scroll was the right choice for you.
Jetpack Infinite Scroll
To implement infinite scroll on a WordPress website you’ll need to select a plugin and install. In this article, we will look at the ‘scroll infinitely’ plugin offered by Jetpack. Its Infinite Scroll module, unlike many others, works with themes that support it. To check if the one you use has built-in support, activate the Infinite Scroll module under Jetpack -> Settings and check that “Scroll Infinitely” is selected under Settings -> Reading.
First of all, install Jetpack on the website. Then, select Appearance in Jetpack Settings
Scroll down and activate Infinite Scroll.
Once activated, the infinite scroll module will automatically start, and seven new posts will show on each new load as a visitor scrolls down with every load that can then be viewed on analytics as a new page view.
One of the problems with infinite scroll is that visitors can’t access the footer of a page. However, Jetpack Infinite Module comes with fixed footer that slides in once scrolling down the page. It is possible then to blend the footer with your theme design.
We have seen how easy it can be to implement infinite scroll in a WordPress website through Jetpack. Just remember, know your readers and use their experiences as well as your own analytics to determine if infinite scroll is right for you!