Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Auto Pagination And Read More Solutions

Possibly the hottest issue this week, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, is the Auto Pagination feature, which was introduced last week. Auto Pagination automatically helps people to limit the sizes of their archive / label / main pages, as downloaded from Blogger servers.

Before the Blogger post editor "Jump Break" solution was provided, there were at least 3 known variants, for auto summarising posts. One was provided in Blogger Help: How can I create expandable post summaries?; and at least 2 others were provided as third party suggestions. It's possible that any of these 3 variants are present in some blogs, where the owner has not seen fit to remove them, in favour of deploying the "Jump Break" in new post editor.

Cloud Strife, in Blogger Help Forum: Problem Rollup: Auto Pagination for blogs with Layouts templates suggests an obvious solution - replacing use of all early "Read More" variants, with the new post editor "Jump Break".
The problem as I explained earlier is that with the older solution, the blog post still had all the content sent to the viewers' browser while just making the post look smaller by not showing all the content. This will solve the aesthetics problem but not the slow-ness problem. The perceived slowness differs much more to the person who has cached everything in the browser (mostly us who view our own blog) than those who view it first time or rarely.

The new feature which is as simple as adding an extra <!-- more --> in the HTML or rather simply using the new editor, keeps the look and feel as good and makes your website much faster to load. Which I am sure your readers will appreciate. And once the site loads faster for your viewers they are more likely to visit the pages you have there.


I'll add the advice that adding the "Jump Break" option to your posts will have to be done on a post by post basis, but the individual post update is fairly simple to do. And, taking the advice from Cloud Strife
with the older solution, the blog post still had all the content sent to the viewers' browser while just making the post look smaller by not showing all the content
it appears that not all "Read More" solutions actually reduce page size when loading.

The bottom line - if you replace the old "Read More" with the new "Jump Break", your readers will see a significantly faster main page download. Or, if you wish, you will be able to load more (abbreviated) posts total, and stay within Auto Pagination induced page sizes.

As Blogger continues to resolve the problems associated with Auto Pagination, its not a certainty that all 3 earlier used variants of "Read More" will continue to operate. If your blog uses an out of date "Read More" variant, and you're unable to replace it with the recommended "Jump Break", you might want to watch the display of your blog carefully, during the next week or so.

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22 comments:

Carmen M. said...

What about bloggers who, by the nature of their blog have to have lots of data on the main page (say a photo blog) and, again because of the nature of their blog cannot use the jump break? I know of a lot of these.

Chuck said...

Carmen,

I you have a blog that absolutely won't work with "Jump Break", and your posts are excessively large, then you'll be stuck with one post / page.

I think the message here is reasonably clear - you simply can't design your blog to load the entire thing in one view, regardless of whether that maximises your profits and looks so kewl. There are limits. Blogger is asking us to live within limits.

Gabriele C. said...

I mentioned the Follower feature as possible reason for slow loading in another comment, and clicking Carmen's blog confirms that. Her blog is even more photo heavy than my own and it took a moment to load, but it still loads faster than your blog which has no photos but a follower feature. Hers doesn't have that one.

Maybe it's only me, or a specific IE browser problem, but collecting some input from others won't hurt, I'd say.

Chuck said...

Gabriele,

The Follower gadget has always loaded slowly for me too. Even though while it loads, it does not use a lot of bandwidth, it does load slowly. What's irritating is that every time you reload the page, it reloads the gadget, and all of the icons on it. No caching.

Gabriele C. said...

Any chance the busy bees who program all that fun stuff can look into the problem then? I had hoped that it was one of those things getting a better laptop would deal with.

So the main page of a blog can be a bandwidth hog? I have an internet flatrate and so far never encountered any bandwidth problems. Not that tech savvy. :)

Paul Crowe said...

I have noticed a lot of small changes with the introduction of Auto Pagination, coupled with updating to the new version of FireFox at the same time there have been a lot of tweeks needed.

I use post summary boxes on the home page and at first it was displaying a maximum of 9 posts but it now has returned to my setting of 12..

Quick question - Have you see a solution to using static pages with templates using summary boxes in the forum ?

The static page appears as a summary and of course it can not be opened.Im sure i seen a tread on it but cant find it..

Thanks,

Paul.

Chuck said...

Paul,

Will you please post in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, and describe "summary boxes" in detail? We'll run a separate question for you, initially, although eventually you may want to post also in a rollup question.

TIMES SQUARE GOSSIP said...

This really stinks, Blogger is now telling us what we can show on our pages. I have a very photo heavy site on celebrities, and I never had trouble with pages loading slow. It should be up to the blogger weather he risks losing readers because of slow pages. It also would have been nice if blogger sent out mass e mails telling us what they intended to do, so we could have a chance to look elsewhere... My pages now looks crappy. Id rather pay for a service, than be controlled by a dictatorship. In fact, I do pay for all the photo storage. A reasonable amount of stories on a page would be 25, not 6 to 8. Sometimes I write 20 stories a day or more. Should they be archived that day? Maybe blogger could at least give us a bigger more posts button, so people do not think that is all the content....

Keir said...

Wow, I finally managed to open this site! One suggestion I would offer would be to have the necessary information provided in the Blogger Help page, under "Publish and Archive" for example. As it is, one has to go to "Known issues" but, not having heard of "auto pagination" before, most would be left at sea. It may also save you the trouble of maintaining so many threads and having to spend so much time responding to so many different, angry people.
One issue I have is the sentence in this post:
"Auto Pagination automatically helps people to limit the sizes of their archive / label / main pages"- as most in the forum have stated, this is already done- you go to the Settings option and format the number of entries.
I admit my blog. www.imperialflags.blogspot.com is a resource-hog- it has too many images and they are all from several servers. But it appears now hat, limited to four entries, my page opens far, far slower than it ever did; in fact, as much as five minutes. Now I never minded to wait ten seconds (I'm not using my site to sell anything and I don't promote it as I use it to experiment) but I am confused as to why this should be the case after a change meant to speed up loads.

echidne said...

Is this why my monthly archives now only show about two weeks worth of posts? I can change the archives into weekly ones and those do show all posts but then most of my old permalinks will be wrong.

Chuck said...

Echidne,

Auto Pagination affects all displays except single post mode - archives, labels, and main page.

Content in a Cottage said...

I need to be able to paginate my blog posts to match my sidebar. I need to be able to change it on a daily basis. I need at least 9 days of posts to show on my main page. Is this new [and awful] auto pagination ever going away or is it a permanent feature? Rosemary

Chuck said...

Hi Rosemary,

Auto Pagination isn't optional, it's permanent, and it's universal. All blogs that exceed a certain display page size (based on photos and / or text) will be broken into display page segments. This helps Blogger to stabilise network and server loads, and improves service overall.

Forcing the post column and / or sidebar to have a certain physical height isn't an option, with a blog. Blog displays flow, they are not static. If you want a boxy page, with posts and sidebar neatly aligned, you build a static web site.

DaisyCrazy said...

Hi. When the jump break was introduced I had a problem with it because when I used it the sidebar moved to the end of the page. Is that fixed now?

Today said...

I agree with Carmen M, I also know a lot of blogs that due to their nature can't use the jump break feature, these are the only kind of blogs I like and read. So not only did Blogger destroy my blog, it also ruined all the blogs I read and enjoy.

I also agree with Times Square.. It should be up to the blogger wether he/she risks losing readers beacuse of slow pages. I would never loose readers due to this, however I will loose readers now that they can only see more content by clicking their way there, and now that they can never get "hooked" at first glance.
How can Blogger introduce this feature that affects ALL blogs completely disregarding the preferences of the blogger and the nature of the blog. Blogger will loose so much of it's previous Individuality an Creativity this way. And, unfourtunately, eventually both bloggers and readers.

And Chuck, you say this "improves service overall", how come I, and obvioulsy many more with me, don't feel that at all?
And your "suggestion" that we who want more post to show on our front page should get a static home page is a strange suggestion for at least two obvious reasons:

1) Are you really telling us to leave Blogger, that we are not wanted????

2) A static homepage is something completely different (I have one as well). It is not at all the same thing a a flowing blog where you quick and easy can update daily. I want a blog where I can update often but still be able to have a proper front page with a proper overview of what my readers can get on my page. And so does my readers. Because this is (or now unfourtunately, was) the nature of MY blog.

I so hope that Blogger changes this as soon as possible and finds other ways to enhance the system without removing the Blogs individuality and freedom of expression!

Spoz said...

The biggest problem I find is, yes I'm a photo blogger.. so obviously I'm getting issues with only ONE post appearing on the front page.. but it's also only showing one post in my weekly ARCHIVES as well (when ideally I want people to access everything in that week) and that REALLY bugs me.

I'm using a classic template, mostly because I've customised mine heavily.. and I'd hate to reboot everything to the new "custom layout" simply so I can make this work. because it was enough of a mess customising my template once without repeating it again.

Steve Boomer Sutton said...

Please, please Mother of God, tell me HOW DO I DISABLE AUTO PAGINATION!!

Chuck said...

Steve,

If Auto Pagination be disabled, it would be worthless.

You cannot disable Auto Pagination!!!

Victoria Froud said...

Hi there, I think it was nitecruzr who suggested I use a jump break on every post in order to get more than one post on the main page. I did this on the first post and got a "read more" which is something I don't need or want. When I remove it my second post is eliminated. Help anyone. Thanks Victoria.

Chuck said...

Victoria,

"Jump Break" by default displays as "Read More". I'm not sure how you removed the Jump Break and got a corrupt template, but this sounds like a good item for discussion in BHF: Something Is Broken.

Bernard Seremonia said...

Hi

https://productforums.google.com/d/topic/blogger/FN9Szxttns4/discussion

You've made a clear distinction in between auto pagination and auto summarisation to spot the case.

As you suggested, i checked for the latest post and i found that there was no jump break for the next 5 posts. I was adding six posts with jump break in each of those posts (since the rest of the posts already had jump break). And the number of posts could be configured as normally i intended to.

I've checked that specific third party template was the cause of loosing "the jump break" on several posts.

Conclusion: Check whether current or previous template was the cause for auto summarisation (it would delete "read more"), and check for the latest post or previously whether there is "jump break" (read more ...) or not.

Status: Problem Solved

Thank you

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