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When creating a website or an online store, at some point you need to make a decision about the way of loading and displaying content. 

You can choose from the two most popular methods. 

The first one is pagination, which is usually placed at the bottom of a website.

It allows users to see more content by pressing a certain button or selecting a site from a numbered list of articles, products or categories. 

The second choice is infinite scrolling, which reveals further content without pressing any buttons. 

The debate between adherents of these methods has been raging for years and is still not settled. 

I did my bests to stay impartial and show you the advantages and disadvantages of pagination and infinite scrolling and how they influence SEO. 

 

When should you use infinite scrolling?

Infinite scrolling is a technique, which reveals more content as a user scrolls down the website. It's definitely cool but serves its purpose beneficially only on particular types of pages. 

The fact, that you cannot imagine how infinite scrolling would work on your website simply means you shouldn't use it. 

This method works fine on pages with a really big amount of content, because it keeps the user's attention and increases average time on a website. 

What kind of websites have this huge amount of elements? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, some online stores and stock photos. Another pro of infinite scrolling is the fact that it works better than pagination on mobile devices. Can you imagine going through the Instagram feed, entering succeeding pages and realizing how much time did you waste? Exactly.

When it comes to the disadvantages, users don't know how long do they need to scroll down the site to find what they are looking for which leads to annoyance and rage quitting. 

I should also add, that infinite scrolling requires additional lines of code, what can unnecessary increase the loading time of a website. 

The truth is, infinite scrolling can negatively affect SEO. Yes, Google does index hidden content, but it has a smaller value than the visible elements. 

 

When should you use pagination?

Pagination is about dividing content on a website and connecting additional links. 

It means, that when you read an article or look through products in an online store, you can enter page "2" or "Next". 

Pagination is the most popular method of displaying search results on a website, which best example is Google.com.

Pagination has its beginning and end. That's something users like a lot. It helps to localize certain content on a website. When the user is looking for a particular article or a product - he simply knows where to find it and can take a shortcut by accessing the desired page right away. 

To cut the long story short, users have more control over searching content. 

The biggest advantage of pagination over infinite scrolling is that it leads to decision making and improves conversion on a website. 

Scrolling focuses user attention on discovering and keeping average visit time high rather than increasing goal conversion. 

What's more, websites with pagination have a very quick loading time. A website with 20 products loads faster than a one with 50.

The only issue is SEO because pages placed further from the main page get less so-called link juice and are positioned weaker. 

However SEO is a very complex area influenced by many factors, not only pagination, so you shouldn't get too worried about it. 

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Summary

Infinite scrolling is a better choice for websites containing content generated by users or with a huge amount of visual elements. 

Besides an interesting effect on a website, infinite scrolling slows down the website and lowers the conversion rate. 

When it comes to traditional websites dedicated to companies, services or products, pagination is a good solution. 

If you want to satisfy users needs and encourage them to fulfill website goal, dividing content into pages will do the job. 

What's your experience in displaying content on a website? Which method do you use? Let me know in the comments section! 

Regardless if you want to use pagination on infinite scrolling, do it in white label website builder WebWave!

Make sure to read articles below:

 

Author: Weronika Wawrzyniak

 

05 August 2019

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Infinite scrolling or pagination - what's better on a website?

 

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