To Split or not to Split

Takei say I should split my postThe ever popular Split post with More tag. I use it pretty frequently for my long entries, although lately I’m rethinking whether to use it or not at all. Splitting post is great for users who despise having to scroll down through web sites. However, it’s proven, from single-paged ad and marketing sites such as those used by e-book marketers, that we would be willing to read through a series of text if the information is interesting enough. I personally prefer to scroll down and finish reading a whole post, and when I do see the Read More link on a post, I sometimes go, “Ah, forget it, I’m too lazy to click and wait for the next page to load — I’d better read the other posts.” I do skip on a lot of posts I find enticing — and I mean a WHOLE lot than I care to admit — just because of this reason.

Maybe a WordPress plug-in like Content Show/Hide by BillH could solve this issue. This plug-in allows your readers to stay on the main page to read your full post after they click on the Read More link. They can hide the post back, and go through the rest of your posts without interruption. On the blog owners’ end, it is just a matter of changing the text on the Read More link to something else that makes sense, like Click here to expand this entry, then that won’t scare me off from reading the article in full.

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Posted on 15 June, 2007 under Discovering WordPress, Life online

3 responses to “To Split or not to Split”

  1. Gnorb says:

    This is an issue I wrestled with for a long time. For a while, I had a mix going, where short posts were all in the front page and long posts were split. What I found was that the long posts weren’t getting read!

    I then decided to do a full frontal, and just put the posts in the front. Problem was that some of my posts were 3000+ words long, making it almost impossible to make it to the bottom of the page without a Sherpa or an oxygen tank. (I even broke a few mouse wheels trying to get to the bottom of the page!) This was especially annoying to cell phone users who browsed the page, since they would either have to wait a long time to download the entire page, or simply not get everything. Finally, it also annoyed readers in countries where 56K was the fastest regularly available speed.

    Finally, I decided to crop ALL of my posts with the MORE tag, unless they’re quite literally one paragraph long. Those which are one paragraph or less make it to the asides area and not to the main area. Everything that makes it to the main floor (so to speak) has a MORE tag to it. This way I’ve created an expectation in my readers that to read the full content they should always click the more tag if they want to read it. (If they don’t, they don’t have to keep scrolling down to find the next article.) Additionally, it shortens the page, which is great for quick browsers as well as mobile phone users. Finally, it forces me to improve my first paragraph enticement skills by giving them a reason to click.

    Using this third method has increased my pageviews, increased my readership, helped me improve my writing, and created a page that’s small enough to be enjoyed by almost every type of user. Overall, I found it to be one of my best decisions.

  2. Lorna says:

    Wow, if I had a post that’s 3000+ words long, it’s definitely a no-brainer for me — I’ll have to use the MORE tag. I find it great that you would take into equation your mobile phone users. I’m embarrassed to admit that most of the time I’ve taken the selfish approach by setting my blog the way I like it. To each her/his own, I guess. Thanks for sharing.

  3. ritchie says:

    I fully disagree that it’s better to either use the more tag always or never. Gotta get the readers used to their clickpath.