How (and Why) to Paginate WordPress Pages and Posts into Multiple Pages
With recent Google updates penalizing “thin content”, one of the best ways to keep out of trouble is to provide longer, in-depth posts that give more value to the reader. One way to do this, while breaking your content up into digestible pieces, is to break your posts up into logical, multiple pages.
For SEO purposes, any time a visitor to your site clicks from one page to the next, that is a quality signal to search metrics that your website and your post or page have value. Pagination increases your time on site and your pages viewed per visit, which are two valuable signals that your content is more useful than other similar websites.
Anyone planning to eventually display paid advertising or otherwise monetize their site benefits from increased page views, which translates into increased opportunities for the visitor to click through and earn you money.
Want to know an easy way to nofollow all of your outbound links? Check out this post.
Keep in mind that it is not good practice to insert page breaks simply to possibly increase ad revenue. Pagination should only be used on higher word count posts and pages, where it logically and aesthetically makes sense to break the content up into segments. Considering that, let’s take a look at a few ways to break up or divide your content into faster loading, more manageable posts.
Manually Insert Page Breaks in WordPress
Manually adding page breaks as the need occurs is fairly quick and simple. Remember, adding pagination manually means you need to switch over to the Text view tab of the post editor.
Select where you want the new page to break, and either (1) simply type <!–nextpage–> at the point you want the break, or (2) use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Alt + P. Remember, to use the shortcuts you must have it enabled in your user profile.
Use the page break as many times as necessary in your post. After you are done, your readers can read your post by section, clicking from part to part.
A great benefit of this technique is that your visitors can now link directly to a relevant part of your content, without having to search through your entire post. Each section of your paginated post has a unique URL for linking directly.
Automatically Insert Page Breaks in WordPress Posts
Not quite comfortable typing code from the Text window of your post editor? Want something a little easier to use to insert your pagination? I have found a new WordPress plugin, called Automatically Paginate Posts, that can give you some of the functionality you need, but it does not work as well as simply typing the code yourself.
With this plugin, you do not get the option to insert the page break at a specific point in your post.. you have to choose either the number of words per page, or the number of pages you want each post broken into.
If you want to go the plugin route, it is very simple to install and set up. Simply select Plugins > Add New on your admin menu. Then in the keyword box, enter “Automatically Paginate Posts“. Select Install Now, then activate. Your pagination settings can now be customized from the Settings > Reading window of your admin menu.
You do have the option to select certain post or page types, and to disable the plugin on individual posts and pages.
Remember to use page breaks only to enhance the visitor experience, not simply to increase your ad revenue. Anything that benefits the reader first will make you more in the long term.
While Automatically Paginate Posts is simple to install and use, the manual option should give you a bit more flexibility in where to insert your breaks, and it is also a good way to get your feet wet with working in the Text section of the post editor.
Do you have any experience using this plugin, or do you know another plugin that performs better for this task? Leave me a comment below and let me know.