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How to Use the WordPress Next Page Tag to Manage Long Content

At Bourn Creative we believe that the design and layout of your content is equally as important as the visual look and structure of your WordPress templates. Design is more than how something looks; it is also how a visitor to your site “moves” through your site and are naturally guided to your intended action.

One small part of this design principle is choosing the right way to manage long content, and one way we accomplish this is by using the WordPress “Next Page” tag to break long content into sections that are more easily consumed. The next page tag should not be confused with the WordPress “More” tag used on blog posts to limit the content on blog index pages. Read this article on how to use the WordPress more tag to learn about the differences.

On a recently completed custom WordPress theme, our client had extensive content that was important information to have on one page URL instead of broken over several pages and/or subpages. We decided this strategy based on SEO and site visitor usability. Without the Next Page tag, the content would have created one extremely long page that would seem to endlessly scroll and slow to load.

The Solution:

On-page internal linking to each of the different content sections (using divs in the HTML) and use of the WordPress next page tag to break the content into several normal length webpages instead one extremely long page. And to help visitors access the information quickly, we added a bulleted list of quick links just before the first use of the Next Page Tag.

Same list of quick links used with the WordPress Next Page tag

The Result:

Now instead of one very long page that seems to endlessly scroll and load slowly, it is broken up into sections with navigable links at the bottom of each section.

WordPress Page Ordering With The Next Page Tag

SEO Considerations:

Even though this long webpage is broken into 6 sections each with a paged URL, if you take a look at the source code, each paged section has the “Canonical” meta tag telling search engines that the correct URL for the content is the top level page, and not any of the paged sections.

WordPress Next Page Tag URL Example

SEO Considerations for the WordPress Next Page Tag

How To Use The Next Page Tag:

After you decided where to break up your long content, you will need to be in the HTML editor and add this tag.

How to use The Next Page Tag for WordPress

Quick Tip: It’s the same as the Read More tag, but instead of “more” in between the dashes the Next Page tag uses “nextpage”. You can just click the more tag button, then change it to nextpage in the HTML editor.

Design Considerations:

Once you strategically decide where to section your content using the Next Page tag, be sure to use a formatted headline and an image at the start of each section so it can stand on its own without requiring support from the content before or after that section.

Have you used the next page tag? Let us know what you think and feel free to share a link to your page so we can see it below!

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Comments & Feedback:Check out what others have to say about this post!

  1. Thank you for the very interesting advice on the “more” tags. This makes so much sense given our natural tendency to skim and look for concise information on the web. The law firm example is a good one. I used to be marketing director at one and since lawyers say “document everything” I know you have “more” documents to add!

    • Yes, most people don’t understand the difference between the MORE tag and the NEXT PAGE tag. Both are extremely valuable in ensuring your content not only gets consumed, but when appropriate, gets commented on and shared!

    • Sue – That’s funny – it may be a good case to not stress about short posts :) Where this strategy really comes into play is on sites that use advertisements. You notice it large media sites like NY Times, Bravo, About.com, etc. because each time they break the content to the next page, they get to display more ads “above the fold.”

  2. Thanks for the tricks man..but how to style it!!!!it looks really horrible..i want to give it a good style so that the reader can see that there is many pages in the article..ant suggestion please?

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