Infinite scrolling is it good or bad?


On the November 24th 2015 article above, comments have bee disabled for unknown reasons :frowning:

I just read the above and personally disagree as far as mobiles are concerned. It is far easier to swipe rather than selecting pagination links. The following reasons were stated:

  1. The footer becomes unusable
    If a footer is essential then having a sticky footer overcomes this particular problem

  2. Performance degrades
    A lot of research to overcome this performance bottleneck, one of which has been adopted by many large organizations is the open-source

  3. Analytics is harder to implement
    Google has solved their problem and also many other analytic providers.

  4. Bookmarking and the back button become problematic
    I believe this problem can be resolved by using the old HTML # tag

  5. People may suffer from choice paralysis
    The only supplied example is open to criticism. The controversial design proliferated numerous Luddite complaints. The project was dropped due to negative A/B testing results.

  6. The scrollbar becomes unusable and untrustworthy
    The scrollbar is different but also intuitive so once again the problem has been resolved,

  7. It’s generally hard to use
    Many very large organisations have adopted infinite scrolling and in only a couple of months it not only considered normal but also mobile essential.

    Rant over and back to converting more old-style pagination pages :slight_smile:
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From what i know, loading content when scrolling with Ajax (aka infinite scrolling) is not god for SEO also.

You’re going to have to put a little more behind what seems a very general statement. Can you say how it affects SEC, or provide a reference from an authoritative source to back it up. Currently, I’d put the assertion in the hearsay category.

Ajax content is hard to crawl. This is enough?

This recommendation is officially deprecated as of October 2015.

Use Fetch as Google tool to test your ajax page and check the result how google see’s your page.

Infinite scrolling has never done anything for me except frustrate me. Certainly it impressed people when it was first done, but the honeymoon is over.

It is frustrating when I don’t know when I will need to wait for more to load. In other words, I scroll some, then scroll some more, then scroll some more, ooops; then I must wait. Then I scroll and scroll and scroll and then oooops, I wait. If I can click a button or something to scroll then that is functionally the same as getting more when infinite scrolling and if I can click then I am in control and aware of when the delay will occur. I don’t like infinite scrolling and if I can avoid it I will.

You are asking why infinite scrolling is bad but you have not explained why it is good. I see no value except as a toy to impress people.

Personally i agree with @SamuelCalifornia as i find it more annoying than useful. I just never seem to quite know where i am on the page.

That is of course not a technical reason not to use it. I don’t know how well most sites that use it work if JS is turned off, do they fall back to pagination?

Google images is my pet hate… So you search for an image and scroll down and down and down and down. Ok so now i want to try a different search… But there is no search box as they left that at the top of the page so i have to scroll up and up and up and up. Why they don’t make the search box sticky or appear if you start scrolling back up i’ll never know.

For SEO, it’s hard to optimize various pages for different keywords when your site only has one page.

@SamuelCalifornia, I too don’t like infinite scrolling and I agree with @Noppy on Google images. And the non appearing header bar together with this is especially annoying, it’s so easy to fix even without javascript.

What do you think of the new “scroll slider” here on SPF, does it give the control and overview you want?

I also dislike infinite scroll, but there is at least a remedy for this particular issue, in the shape of the Home key.


ha that is true but that requires me having to search for the home key. I have various different computers i use some are laptops and some are desktops. And sometimes i have a keyboard plugged into my laptop. The laptop i am currently on has a plugged in keyboard which has the home button in a quite different place to the keyboard on the laptop itself. I’d have to remember where it is (read look at the keyboard ) each time.

Also think of the energy expenditure required to lift my hand off the mouse and press the home button, i don’t have that kind of energy to waste :wink:

If you were replying to my OP I gave 7 answers to the questions as to why infinite scrolling is not all bad.

The problem arises when a designer treats infinite scrolling as the only tool in the toolbox similar to only having a hammer and not having screwdrivers, pliers, etc

The Gitgub Open Source AmpProject is less than a year since it was created and still has a lot of issues. Forms are currently not allowed thus preventing search boxes on Amp pages. Although not desirable, sticky headers and footers can link to separate search pages. I am looking forward to the imminent solution which is currently only a Beta solution and fails their strict validation tests.

Frequently SitePoint users request solutions to overcome their sluggish loading sites. AmpProject provides a solution for all desktops, mobiles and tablets. Many large organizations have adopted some of the techniques as can be seen from the following list:

As much as I dislike JavaScript it is well implemented and overcomes slow loading large content pages This is achieved by rapidly rendering above the fold content and caching subsequent content extremely gracefully. A far better technique than waiting for a paginated page to render.

Wifi is notoriously slow for mobiles and they also lack the luxuries of full keyboard and mouse support. Once again rapid rendering and the ease of swiping is ideal for limited bandwidth. Google also has openly stated that validated Amp pages are given preferential treatment in the Google searches which I have noticed in their Webnaster Statistics reports.

Okay, well I said “why infinite scrolling is bad” and you said “why infinite scrolling is not all bad”. Please assume they are the same thing, I apologize for using the wrong words. The important thing is that I don’t know “why it is good”. What is the advantage of infinite scrolling?

As far as I am concerned, “The reason why it is good”, is because AmpProject solves the problem of slow loading web-pages. Web-pages with a lot of content have their “above the fold” content displayed in about one second. Content “beneath the fold” is cached and only rendered when scrolling.

As an example, using Vivaldi, from a cold-start, SitePoint’s Forum takes about five seconds to load 3.2 MB for their 1 MB web-page. OK, once the file is completely loaded, I believe JavaScript is then used to dynamically update content. No complaints due to the subtle web-page red-flag notification.

My beef is the initial 3.2 MB slow loading which can be tested HERE

“Infinite scrolling” is poor expression because it is not infinite and relies upon dragging content from a database - which Google abuses when displaying their images :slight_smile:

Used judiciously, large content is far better for a user if rendered content is displayed quickly. AmpProject has refined the Lazy Loading/Eager Loading process.

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Bad. It drove me crazy when I was searching for an image on Flickr. I would click an image to see it larger, then when I go back to my search, I would have to scroll down forever to get back to where I was. Lazy loading on the other hand, seems to work well.

BAD, bad, bad. with few exceptions

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