Read Paged Articles at once
Many Internet websites have the habit to separate articles in tiny little chapters or pages that sometimes require you to click ten or more times on next to read the full article. If you want to reread a part you have to click back to do so.
While that may be an appropriate structure at times, for instance if an article is very long, or if a chapter approach improves accessibility, it is highly annoying at other times.
I once again came by a website that used this technique, it's Information Week and their article Top 60 Little-Known Technology Web Sites. Ghacks is unfortunately not on that list.
The article is divided into ten parts and you have to click on the next button to load the next part of the article if you want to read the full story and not just a tenth of it.
This is impracticable for users as it takes a lot longer to read the article. Many "entertainment" sites like to use this technique when they post top lists by dividing each entry on its own page.
On most sites, it is rather easy to overcome this limitation by looking for a print option on the page. These open the full article on a new page usually, and often without advertisement, menus or other elements that are not important for the actual content.
I do use this trick for several years now and it is working perfectly on those websites. The print feature on Information Week opens the complete article at once so that you can read it without having to navigate between pages to do so.
Update: The site seems to have changed the feature as it opens only the part that you are on when you use print. This is not very user friendly considering that you need to click on print ten times to print the full story. Print should work on most sites however.
Why do sites do this?
A few words about why they do this, why websites divide articles into smaller parts. They are not thinking about the reader here at all, for instance to avoid pages that take too long to load or require too much scrolling.
They don't want you to read the article at once for another reason, advertisement and pageviews. It is all about ads on the page.
Pageviews are generated whenever a user loads a page on the site. If you have to click ten times to read an article, you generate ten pageviews instead of just one. This leads to more ad impressions which in turn earn the company who operates the site money.
Also, and that is probably equally important, ads tend to be displayed at the top more than they are tow or three pages down a site.
More pages also increases the time visitors stay on a website which is another important figure for advertisers. Oh, and you do earn more if you sell direct advertisement. If you get 1000 visitors per day and publish one article per day you would get 1000 pageviews if each visitor would read one article. If you divided that article by ten pages you would get a figure much higher, close to 10000 depending on how many visitors decided to quit reading because of the navigation but definitely more than the 1000 that you would get with a story printed on a single page.
The re-pagination add-on for FF works great as well.
Nice trick, thanks :)
Ghacks is unfortunately not in that list.
It’s a real shame. For me your blog is very valuable information source – because we share common interest: PC software, for Windows and cross-platform.
You write about things that help be productive and effective. And it’s great – because I think we can’t afford be slow, clumsy and stupid.
I just reviewed that list – and find nothing for me (from 60 sites!). Only one – Portable apps – was about my favorite hobby, but I don’t care too much for portability…
As for trick with print page – I know it. And even developed filter for old great Proxomitron, that opens print page on ComputerWorld automatically, instead of main article page.
Yes thanks for the print tip. I hadn’t thought about that. And that’s interesting info on why they use multi-page.