Splitting articles across multiple pages is something I’ve not done previously. Frankly, it’s always struck me as a rather cynical way of increasing page impressions by forcing people to click through multiple pages to read a single article.
However I’ve begun to consider that there might be a need for it in some situations, for example, if I had an article with several videos or lots of large images in. Splitting the article and the video or images across separate pages would help reduce load times.
Another reason to consider this is that a growing number of people are accessing the site using mobile devices, which would benefit from having less to download and less to display.
So it’s something I’m considering at the moment, but only if I think it’s necessary. I’d be interested to hear feedback from anyone who has an opinion either way.
As a mainly browse F1F through a full web browser on a PC, I can say that I personally despise websites spreading articles over multiple pages. There are certain exceptions, especially on very long articles, but I trust your judgement on being able to decide which sorts of articles would reasonably call for a second page.
Having multiple pages as an alternative option for mobile browsers sounds like a good idea to me, although I personally wouldn’t be using them myself.
From a PC point of view spreading articles over several pages is not something I am personally fond of. However on a mobile device for the purposes of loading speeds I can definitely see the reasoning behind it. One thing I notice when loading some of the larger articles on my mobile is the speed drops dramatically after a certain page size even when using a decent WiFi connection.
Is there any way Keith to organise the mobile version so that whilst it runs articles over separate pages, the PC version operates as it currently is without division?
The New York times have options for single-page and split-page articles. I primarily browse the site on my mobile phone, yet I always stick to the single-page option. My browser, Opera, does a good enough job of compressing images etc, so all I have to worry about loading is the text, which is quite small. So I can’t think of any situations where I’d rather have something split over multiple pages. Having a separate picture gallery to go with an article would be fine, I suppose.
My suggestion would be to, by default, turn pagination on when a mobile browser is detected and to always display the full article on PC browsers, allowing the option to override the default in all cases.