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We’re testing the free Ajax Load More plugin. We’re not happy with the styling yet. But we’ll get that figured out.
We originally wanted an infinite scroll on PagePipe. But we couldn’t find a trustworthy and fast plugin then. We tested every plugin we could download from the WordPress plugin directory. And most plugins acted flaky, were slow, or didn’t work at all out-of-the-box. Ajax Load More plugin can be loaded on only the blog posts which is great. But we want to make sure it doesn’t do global loading (site drag) on all pages.
So now to get geeky and show you 2 desktop speed tests concerning this plugin:
1This test is a PagePipe blog post and has an infinite scroll feature on it. Notice item 9 in the waterfall. That is Ajax adding 754 milliseconds to the post’s load time. This is typical for Ajax. Note that TTFB is 1 second. Ajax calls affect server activity thus increasing TTFB, too. Fortunately, the rest of the page assets are ultralight. So the load time is 2.192 seconds. Not under our 2-second performance budget but close. Fortunately, much of Ajax appears to be lazy-loaded. But on mobile??
2Another geeky test in this demo: our testimonials page (normally very fast) where Ajax should not be loading because it’s a page — not a post. Repeat: Only posts are selected in the plugin controls.
Notice TTFB — same server — 664 milliseconds. Load time: 1.585 seconds.
Ajax for the plugin is NOT being loaded. This is a good plugin. It’s been built properly. It uses selective activation. Ajax is always bad for speed (WooCommerce uses it heavily globally). But if you going to use Ajax, only turn it on where it is needed. Don’t leave the lights on in empty rooms.
Someone who loves infinite scroll, Jon Dykstra:
One of my biggest wins this year was increasing time-on-site across my growing portfolio of niche sites. Gains: 58% to 330% increases. How? It’s so ridiculously simple. I added infinite scroll to individual posts on my sites. With infinite scroll, as visitors scroll to the end of an article, the next one (in the same category) comes into view. Because my content is so awesome they can’t resist and keep reading. The result: visitors stay and enjoy my sites much much longer. The benefit: I can’t say revenue increased but as far as I’m concerned, time-on-site is an important metric for any site. Any time I can increase it, I do. These gains are astronomical. – FatStacksBlog.com
And to be fair, someone who hates infinite scroll, Fatih Kadir Akin:
Footer is a very basic unit of web-page anatomy, just like a header. Sites keep some detailed information and links in the footer such as phone numbers, addresses, and help and support links. If users are searching for this detailed information, they mostly scroll down to find the footer. With infinite scrolls, users can have a hard time trying to find the footer. Infinite scroll makes finding the end of the page impossible. Not being able to reach the bottom of a website can make the user stressed (which is not great). – LogRocket.com
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