3 Cases to Setup WordPress Pagination (and Avoid Writing Code)
It’s often overlooked, but not the least important feature in WordPress. Pagination is useful in a number of cases, such as splitting a page or post into several pieces. The cases when pagination is more than recommended:
- WordPress pagination for a main blog page (this can take two forms: either as older/newer posts or as numeric pagination). However, numeric pagination is preferred to older/newer posts pagination, as it is more user friendly and better “viewed” by search engines.
- WordPress pagination for a products list page, in an ecommerce website. In an online shop, pages are categorized into main products page, product lists pages and products pages. The probability to split a page in smaller pieces is higher for product lists pages.
- WordPress pagination for a long-form post or page. If a post or page contains too much content, you might need to break it into multiple pages. Thus, it’s useful to know how to break a long-form page or post into several pieces.
You can split a page into multiple pages using one of the free WordPress plugins available out there: WP-PageNavi, WP-Paginate, Pagination by BestWebSoft, SX No Homepage Pagination, Pagination Styler for WooCommerce, CPTA Pagination, Page Break, Alphabetic Pagination, Page-Links Plus. Or you might try out the premium pagination plugins: Next Post Fly Box, YouTube and Vimeo Pagination Gallery, Epic Split Post.
Let’s take these cases one by one, and see what changes you need to make for pagination to display on a particular section in site.
1. WordPress pagination for main blog page
You can set your website homepage to display a list of latest posts. In this case, you also have the option to set the number of posts that appear on the main blog page. If there’s a greater number of total posts (than the number of posts you set to display on the main blog page), WordPress will create a second/third/fourth… page that contain the other articles written for your blog.
How to set a specific number of posts for the main blog page:
First, you have to set the homepage to display your latest posts, instead of showing a static page.
Then, you need to set the number of posts in the blog pages, to an amount of your convenience. In the above case, we filled in with 3 (3 representing the number of posts that’ll be shown in blog pages).
If, for instance, the blog already has 10 posts, and only 3 are set to display in the main blog page, WordPress will automatically create pagination for the main blog page and place the remaining posts on additional pages:
Pagination is numeric, and numbers have the aspect of links (and they behave as links – when clicked on, they’ll display page no. 1, page no. 2, depending on the link you choose). It should be like this, because people are used with a certain format of links. This is better not to change, for user experience to be optimal and ensure effective navigation of users in all blog pages.
2. WordPress pagination for a products list page
It might be useful to split a long product list page into several pages that are easier to browse. For this doing, you should have built-in options in the theme you’re using for your website.
For instance, in Mesmerize, you need to go to the Customizer and set the number of products that will appear in the products list page (based on the fact that you’ve previously installed WooCommerce for the website and already have put in place the online shop):
In the Customizer, go to WooCommerce Options.
Under WooCommerce Options, find and click on the Product List Options section.
In the Shop Page Settings, the first option refers to how many products you’ll set per page, as marked in the screenshot above.
For instance, in this case, we set the number of products per page to 2:
As the total number of products is 24, the products list will be displayed over 12 pages (2 products per page).
Pagination is thus automatically created. Pages are numbered, and numbers have links placed on them, so when users choose a certain number, they can go to the respective page displaying products, in the products list.
*Note that this is given as a pure example, to exemplify the automatic display of pagination based on a series of previous settings in the Customizer. (A classic product list page in a public online shop will include more than 2 products).
3. WordPress pagination for a long-form post or page
In some cases, you’ll have plenty of content in a page of your website. If it’s a blog post, it’s much more often the case to display a long-form content on a single post page. For ease of access and facilitation of users’ navigation within that content, you might want to split the page/post into several pages.
Here’s how to add pagination to a long-form page:
Go to the WordPress Admin dashboard -> Posts or Pages, depending on the format of the page you want to modify.
In this example, we’ll go to Posts, and select the post we want to split into several pages:
Click on Edit, under the respective blog post.
Make sure to turn from Visual display to Text display, to edit the code behind the post.
Find the section where you want to make the first split. Insert the <!- – nextpage- – > code there.
Then, repeat the process for every new page break you want to apply too your original post.
At the end, don’t forget to press Update post, for the changes to go live.
Here’s how the post has been split:
The pagination has been created automatically, due to the insertion of code for page breaks. This pagination is numeric, each page corresponding to the article receiving a number in a sequence. These numbers (with links placed over them) will guide users throughout the article, from page 1 to page 2 to page 3, etc.
These are the 3 main cases when you might need pagination for your website/blog content. Use them wisely and you’ll have content clearly separated into pages that are easy to read and quick to remember.
You don’t need any technical knowledge related to coding, and you don’t need to bother with code lines, since the above-mentioned options will do for any of your situations.