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Pagination

     
2:50 am on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member drdoc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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From a usability perspective ...

How do you handle pagination of content when the content is clearly too long to fit on one page? And, how do you handle people being directed straight to a secondary page from SERPs? Finally, on longer articles, do you employ IPW [webmasterworld.com] on each sub page?

12:54 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I simply write my articles in page sized chunks of 500 to 1000 words. Usually under 750. Almost any topic can be divided into subtopics that can become individual articles.

The problem is when an invited guest writer writes something much longer. Then I find a logical dividing place and have a part one, two or more.

I've just gone back through all my major articles and rewritten the article title if needed, set up a better intro, sub headings and shorter paragraphs to make the articles more skimable. I've faced up to the fact that even in an academic topic people will skim.

The problem is with guest articles. In the future I may ask for permission to change thigs a bit when the article is first sent to me. On the old ones I am just accepting that they are as they are.

5:12 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How do you deal with navigation between sections? And how are summaries handled in case someone stumbles across a sub section before having read the article overview?
3:59 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't handle them very well. Mostly I just avoid the need for multiple pages. I do put a note at the top and bottom sending them to the next or previous page.

It would be interesting to hear from people who have a lot of long articles to see ways to deal with this.

I'd also like to hear how they divide up an article. What is the optimum length for one page?

5:21 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How do you handle pagination of content when the content is clearly too long to fit on one page?

I will typically create an additional set of links just for that section. Those links may appear at the top and bottom of the content so they are easily accessed ATF (Above The Fold) and BTF (Below The Fold).

And, how do you handle people being directed straight to a secondary page from SERPs?

Along with the additional links at top and bottom of pages, I might include a line that reads "Continued from Page 1" or something to that effect. That way they know that there are multiple parts to the content.

Another approach I might take is to have an ordered list at the top of each page. The page they are on is delinked with a caption that reads; You are here..

I also use the link rel tag for all content that has been broken up into multiple pages. It is a mandatory requirement if you really want to address Accessibility and Usability issues. There are also some very nice side benefits of using the link rel tag too. ;)

References

12.3 Document relationships: the LINK element
[w3.org...]

B.4 Notes on helping search engines index your Web site
[w3.org...]