Split long posts into multiple pages in WordPress

Have you ever read an online article that was so long that it was split into several pages so you didn’t have to load one long page, and instead, you had several smaller pages, making it easier to digest? If you’re using WordPress as your blogging platform, this very same effect can be easily achieved!

This is a feature of WordPress that is not very well known, probably because blog posts are generally not meant to be as long as a New York Times article. Keep in mind that WordPress is not only used as a blogging platform, but it can also be used as a complete CMS for your website, so there may be times when you DO have articles that are long enough to require the use of pagination (pagination simply means “the numbering of the pages.”)

Other people may prefer to split up their one, long blog post into multiple posts instead. Whatever you choose to do, it’s entirely up to you; what I’m offering to you here is simply another option that you can use in the future.

In order to paginate your blog post, in the Write panel in your WordPress admin, switch to the Code view (if you are using the Visual view) and then enter the following code to wherever you want to break the post up into a new page. An example is also offered along with it:

...so John went to sleep.

<!--nextpage-->

The next day, he...

This will create a list of pages that make up that post, shown like this:

Page 1, 2, 3

And you’re all done!

Gary King is a professional freelance web developer, primarily using Ruby on Rails and PHP to create cool new websites. When he’s not trying to take over the world one blog at a time, you can find him mulling over his thoughts at King Gary.

Comments

  1. says

    Haha, franky, I was just thinking exactly the same thing! I was even thinking this might be a post by Lorelle about the issue of splitting posts into pages from the title in my feed reader.

  2. says

    I’ve been doing this for a while now, but I’ve only recently realised that the additional pages aren’t displayed to feedreaders, and they don’t even know they are there – WP need to fix this

  3. says

    This is great. It means I can, keep all post content above the fold with this simple insertion…I’ll see what the results look like in the reader where I allow “full” feed.

    Presently I am monetizing my sidebars so in fact I may want people to read below the fold however this is a great tool.

    Thanks. I’ll use it and if I want people to read below the fold, for the monetization of the sidebar below the fold then I’ll just display two or three posts at a time on the front page. This is a very nice tool.

    I’m going to implement and post about int now. (now means 1-2 hours, if I”m not interrupted, of course)

  4. says

    Nia, I prefer to use excerpts instead on the front page (or you can use the MORE function). This way, users have a cleaner view of the front page, and I get more page views on individual articles.

    I’m not really into pagination, though, for reasons of usability, and because my blog posts are usually not that long. In those rare instances of lengthy posting, I use headers (enclosed with header tags like <h3></h3>).

    Good, simple, tutorial, though. I think pagination does have a use–and that’s for the really long articles.

  5. says

    uh, oh…by inserting whre I wanted teh page break I ended up with a first page and no second page at all. Clearly I’m missing something (like a course on coding). So I’ll have to put this into my RSS Shareds until I have time to search for more guidance.

    I don’t think I have an subscribers so the fact that it’s not visible in a reader is a moot point actually. ;)

    Keeping my posts under 500 words is a goal but still I do have a few posts at several of my sites that are way way long.

    I’ll either go back and edit, split into separate posts or this technique you’ve introduced me to when I understand what was apparently not obvious to me the first go ’round.

    Thanks, all the best!

  6. says

    Thank you Chris and J now I understand why the was simply loping off half of the post. My template, as it stands is a bit “handicapped” in the codex dept.

    I’ll look into using the “more” That feature would be a nice way to take people down the length of the page scanning the title, illustration and couple of paragraphs of 3 distinct posts in succession.

  7. says

    I never use this method myself, but there ARE times when you’re building a website using WordPress as a CMS and you want to use this functionality. It’s something that’s not commonly known, so I just wanted to throw it out there.

  8. says

    Online magazines often use page breaking to split long articles. I agree that sites using WP as a CMS would find this useful. But am I right to assume that the code for displaying/supporting pagination is not present in most downloadable themes these days (meaning the user has to add them to either index or single post file)?

  9. says

    I believe that pagination is built into the same function that outputs content, so as long as you can see post content, then pagination will work.

  10. says

    ya , u r right .. i have seen in many article comes in sections or part 1,2 3.. and so on …And it is easy to read full article ..

    Thanks,
    Elixir Web Solutions
    Web Design Services from India

  11. says

    I believe that pagination is built into the same function that outputs content […]

    Hi Gary – I’m afraid not. The link I left here yesterday, to the WP Codex, explains more.

  12. says

    Joe, for the XHTML zealot, using <b> instead of <strong> is also madness in most cases. Even though that may be the case, there ARE indeed certain situations where one may still want to use <b> because they want to FORCE something to be in bold text (since <strong> only OPTIONALLY makes something bold). I like to think that this equally gives the author the option of using this, without forcing them to do so.

  13. says

    This article saved my life =D One of my articles were so long that the page starting breaking up, so I looked for how to use multiple pages in Google and this was the first thing that popped up! Thanks!

  14. says

    Hi Gary or anyone else… I’ve created a page which is really long (its a tutorial) and i find that if i use the nextpage tag it does not show the Page 1, Page 2 links at the bottom of the artice/page.

    Any help?

  15. says

    To AL and BHanu:
    I have been exploring this as well and same thing happened to me, nothing showed on article/post. Then I found that my template (single.php) was missing some code at the WP codex (http://codex.wordpress.org/Styling_Page-Links) it states that your single.php has to have code in it in order to work. So I did placed that little code under ( …?php the_content(‘Read more »’);…) part and it worked. Hope that will help you.

    I’m now trying to get title tags to display different tags on each page as I’m trying to split cell phone review post into review and specs pages. I’m using SEO Title tags plugin. any help?

  16. says

    Even I use wordpress for my blog on shopfordesigns but I never knew this trick of breaking long messages into pages.

    I will look around and implement this on my blog even though i dont write very big articles.

    Excellent post!!! Thanks!!!

  17. Riyad says

    I realize this is an older post, but at the beginning of my day-raping journey down the path of “how to add multi-page post support to WordPress” I started with posts like this one and the WP codex to figure out what and
    wp_link_pages did to then find myself spending just as much time hunting down CSS that made page links that didn’t look like garbage.

    I wrote up a tutorial covering my whole process with code snippets to get you from nothing to multi-page story support in about 5-10 mins here:
    http://www.thebuzzmedia.com/how-to-add-page-link-tag-multiple-page-post-nextpage-support-to-wordpress/

    There is starter CSS there too, to get you clean/simple page buttons atleast out of the box, obviously edit to taste.

  18. Towhid says

    I am using “Jarida” wordpress theme. “Contributor” user can’t use feature image because it is not available for “contributor” user. I want to make available this option for all “contributor” user. How is it possible?

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