Are you in need of a surefire way to keep users on your WordPress website for longer? If so, you might want to think about how to add infinite scroll to WordPress.
Infinite scroll, or endless scroll, is a web design method that you’ll see often. It gives you an easy way to engage site visitors, encourage them to explore more of what you have to offer, and even boost the time they spend reading your content.
That’s why today, we’re going to show you how to add infinite scroll to WordPress using a simple WordPress plugin.
So, let’s get started.
What Is Infinite Scroll?
Infinite scroll is a technique that’s been in use for a while now to improve the user experience. Endless scrolling uses what’s known as AJAX to load pages while people scroll down your site, instead of requiring a user to click “next” to see more content.
Before infinite scroll, it was much more common for a site to use pagination. This system relied on the user to scroll down to the bottom of the webpage and then click on a “next” or “previous” button to view more content.
Infinite scroll, on the other hand, is commonly seen as a more intuitive way to offer content on a website to users. One popular site that uses infinite scroll is Medium.
When you visit Medium, you’ll notice that as you scroll down, the site continues to fetch additional content. It truly seems endless.
When to Use Infinite Scroll
The most common types of websites using infinite scroll are those with tons of blog content to offer readers.
But how do you know if endless scroll is a feature you should have on your own WordPress website?
Well, let’s talk about it!
The best kinds of websites using infinite scroll are blogs, social media, and sites with video content. But really, any website that has a lot of content to share with its users can benefit from infinite scroll.
After all, endless scrolling provides a smooth and clean feeling to users. And while it may not seem like a big deal, it’s much easier for users to continually scroll than to scroll and click an endless number of times.
In fact, infinitely scrolling is less work for the users, which usually convinces them to stay longer.
In addition, infinite scroll is also fantastic for mobile and tablet users. Clicking is a minor convenience to desktop and laptop users; however, it’s a significant pain for mobile and tablet users to have to click on everything.
So, if you’re looking to boost mobile engagement on your site, infinite scroll is one of the best ways to do just that.
Drawbacks of Infinite Scroll
While infinite scroll is cool, it isn’t without its disadvantages.
To start, enabling infinite scroll on your WordPress website has the potential to affect your site’s loading times.
One of the most important ways to succeed as a website owner is to have a fast loading website. If your site is sleek and shiny, but can’t display content quickly, then people will leave.
Luckily, there are some ways to help save your site’s loading times even while using infinite scroll:
- Check Site Capability: make sure your WordPress website can handle the strain of infinite scroll (ask your hosting provider if you’re not sure).
- Watch the Images: take it easy on the imagery. If you’re going to allow an endless amount of content to display on your site, be mindful of the images you include as they can slow loading times. And only use high-quality images that will leave a lasting impact on your website.
Another downside to using endless scroll on your website is that it makes it harder to locate specific content.
Think about it.
You’re on a website and you’ve been scrolling through content for sometime. But now, you want to go back and look at something you flew by a minute again. The problem is, now you can’t find it.
What page was it on?
Oh, that’s right! You’re on a site using infinite scroll. You’re going to have to scroll all the way back up and hope you find the piece of content you want to read.
While this disadvantage isn’t the end of the world, it has the potential to make exploring your website more difficult for users.
Lastly, enabling infinite scroll on your site renders your site’s scroll bar useless and prevents you from having a website footer.
In the end, it’s important to do your homework and make sure you’re prepared for what infinite scroll brings to your website. Just remember, it’s not all bad. It’s just that everyone has different needs.
Now, let’s take a look at how to add infinite scroll to WordPress.
How to Add Infinite Scroll to WordPress
Step 1: Install and Activate Catch Infinite Scroll
To add infinite scroll to your WordPress site, the first thing you need to do is install a plugin like Catch Infinite Scroll. If you need help with this step, make sure to check out how to install a WordPress plugin.
Once you install and activate the plugin, there will be a new tab on your WordPress Admin page called “Catch Infinite Scroll.”
Step 2: Choose a Loading Trigger
Next, you’ll want to select a loading trigger. For our example, we’ll choose the Scroll option. If you choose the Click option, the plugin will give you a “Load More” button that users can click on to load more content.
Selecting the Scroll option will cause your site to load more content automatically. It will load this content as the user scrolls instead of requiring them to click on anything to view more content.
Below the load trigger setting, you’ll notice the navigation, next, content, and item selectors. There’s no need to alter any of these for this tutorial because they work fine out of the box.
Step 3: Select an Image Option
The image option in Catch Infinite Scroll allows you to upload your own custom image. This image will appear as your site loads more content as people scroll down.
Here’s the default loading image in Catch Infinite Scroll:
That said, this simple to use plugin gives you the option to add your own custom image, which is great for those launching an online business, membership site, or eCommerce shop.
Step 4: Configure the ‘Finish Text’ Option
The final setting we need to configure is the ‘Finish Text’ option. This is the text that pops up once a user has scrolled through absolutely everything you have to offer on your website.
This text will only appear for site visitors when there’s nothing else to see.
You can customize this text to say anything you want, such as ‘End of content.’ That said, the default ‘No more items to display’ message works just fine.
When you’re done, click Save Changes to save your settings and enable infinite scroll on your website.
And there you have it! You now know how to add infinite scroll to WordPress in an effort to boost engagement, increase time spent on your site, and make the user experience something to remember for everyone that lands on your site.
Are you looking for another way to engage site visitors and boost conversions while you’re at it? Then be sure to check out the top WordPress giveaway plugins in the market and create a contest that people want to take part in.
Do you use infinite scroll on your WordPress website? Did you use a WordPress plugin to enable infinite scroll? If so, we’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!