Pagination In Detail: Why and How?


Pankaj Niranjan

Published in

5min Read


Pagination In Detail:

Why and How? Splitting print or digital content into individual pages is known as pagination

Pagination also refers to the automatic process of adding consecutive numbers to designate the sequential sequence of pages in print documents and some online content. Some types of the website content, such as search engine results pages (SERP), blogs, and discussion forums, benefit from being divided into individual pages to make them more user-friendly.

To divide up content, online articles are sometimes paginated. There is some rationale for breaking big pieces into many pages to help the reader. Even relatively short reports are frequently paginated, so a page consists of just a single paragraph, and a reader may have to navigate through ten or more pages to read the entire text.

The goal is to have one of the best pagination designs and boost page views and, as a result, ad impressions (the number of times a website visitor sees a particular ad). Because most readers do not finish multi-page articles, presenting numerous short pages rather than a single big one may result in fewer ad impressions. The goal is to boost page views and, as a result, ad impressions (the number of times a website visitor sees a particular ad). Because most readers do not finish multi-page articles, presenting numerous short pages rather than a single big one may result in fewer ad impressions.

The Advantages of Pagination

Outlining some of the advantages of pagination also highlights some of the drawbacks of scrolling (whether endless or not):

  • Pagination provides structure as well as feedback. The user is presented with a page containing search results or links to other content. There are ten results on this page, and the visitor can actively choose to see more. There is some speculation about how long this process may or may not continue.
  • Pagination aids navigation (in particular, back and forward). In contrast to current scrolling, the browser instruction ‘back’ is as old as the hills. Pagination typically refers to content organized into manageable portions that may be accessed by scrolling back and forth. Long or infinite scrolling pages can cause viewers to become disoriented within the page or, worse, lose their place entirely when switching to another page.
  • Pagination usually results in smaller, shorter pages and, as a result, faster load times. Longer pages take longer, and endless pages require loading as the user scrolls, which isn’t always a smooth experience.
  • Pagination, as well as shorter pages in general, can aid with overall navigation. The footer becomes more apparent (or is permitted to exist entirely), and there is no requirement for floating navigation, which might present user experience difficulties.

Pagination Vs. Infinite scroll

Pagination is more effective on websites where people are looking for specific material. Infinite scroll is better suited to content discovery when consumers browse aimlessly for something interesting. On mobile devices, infinite scrolling is also quite effective.

The advantages of pagination and unlimited scrolling demonstrate why they are so popular on some websites. Pagination, for example, is extensively used in eCommerce since it improves product finding and cataloguing. Visitors to these sites are most likely seeking a specific product (such as a t-shirt or a smoke detector) and only want to see things related to their search.

On the other hand, most social media users aren’t looking for something specific; they just want to be entertained and/or informed. In this scenario, limitless scrolling is a great method to draw users into a stream of relevant content. For the same reason, you’ll notice unlimited scrolling on news and user-generated content websites.

  • Engagement

Above all, the endless scroll is intended to increase user engagement and keep visitors on the website as long as feasible. If visitors have no specific goal, infinite scrolling will continue to deliver relevant content in an efficient, digestible, and interruption-free manner.

Pagination, on the other hand, performs better for delivering consumers their chosen material as quickly as feasible. Pagination lengthens freeform inquiry since users must frequently click “next” and wait for new pages to load. This discomfort can be reduced by extending your pages and minimizing load time

  • Utilization Ease

If you paginate your material, you can be confident that users will be familiar with your site’s layout. Visitors should have no trouble clicking between your pages as long as they are well-organized.

Nonetheless, you should strive to reduce clicks as much as feasible. Clicking links isn’t difficult in and of itself, but it does build up – consumers nowadays expect to do as little clicking as possible to get where they want.

If infinite scroll makes sense for your content kind, the usability of your site will stand out. Most of us are accustomed to scrolling to disclose more content. It’s fast, easy, intuitive, and responsive — all of these contribute to a positive experience that visitors will appreciate, if not expect.

  • Visual Attraction

With the correct style approach, endless scroll improves usability and visuals. This makes infinite scroll ideal for photo-sharing websites, portfolios, and other visual-heavy websites. When seeking inspiration or obtaining a sense of your art, a stream of aesthetically appealing photos is what users want, especially when combined with other effects like parallax scrolling.

This logic is also supported by science. Humans can process images in tenths of a second. Our visually tuned brains allow us to scan hundreds of complex images in seconds.

  • Navigation

As previously said, pagination assists consumers who require specific content. As a result, paginated sites are usually easier to use than infinite scrollers.

For starters, pages facilitate filtering, indexing, and searching. Consider an ambitious chef searching a cooking website for a recipe. Pagination enables them to search for “enchilada,” read relevant recipe results, select one that appeals to them, and save the recipe page for later use.

Pagination also gives visitors a sense of control while browsing. When searching for something, they can quickly determine how much content is available to examine by looking at the number of pages left. They’ll know they’ve evaluated every potential possibility when they’re finished.

By definition, limitless scroll does not allow for any of these. There is no end in sight to the amount of content, which becomes overwhelming. There is also no simple way to bookmark a piece of content or a specific spot on the page. If a person leaves and returns to the page, they will be at the top.

The footer section is another crucial navigation component that is sometimes overlooked by endless scroll. Users may immediately look towards the footer for contact information, a privacy policy, a careers page, or other vital information.

Because pagination enables pages to finish, the footer is simply placed at the bottom of the page. This information must be relocated while using an infinite scroll. Another reason to use pagination.

Page Layout Guidelines/ pagination best practices to have the best pagination design

It is not difficult to create good pagination. You only need to remember the following fundamental criteria, and you’ll be fine. Following that, we’ll look at various examples to see what we can learn from existing pagination designs available on popular websites today.

Make huge clickable regions available.

This is a good rule to follow for any navigational link, whether a menu link or a pagination link. Still, it’s especially important in the case of pagination links. Pagination is frequently neglected during the design phase and ends up tucked somewhere in a corner above or below content portions, clearly unconsidered.

One of the most serious consequences is that pagination links become minuscule clickable spots no larger than the page numbers themselves. Provide them with some decent visual design and give each link a huge clickable space that is visually identifiable to make them more effective and userfriendly. A good rule of thumb is “twice the number’s width and 1.5 times its height.”

Do not use italics

Underlines for links are generally a good idea because users are most accustomed to underlined links, although they are unnecessary for pagination links and (obvious) main menu links. People understand that web page numbers are clickable.

Determine the current page

One of the essential parts of the pagination best practices is to make the current page evident to the user; it should not be clickable, should not have a visual hover-state, and should (preferably) be wrapped in an or vital element. The current page’s style should be noticeably distinct from the other pages so the user can easily track where they are.

Separate page connections

Allow enough space between each page link to prevent a user from mistakenly clicking on the erroneous page number. This will be made easy with good visual design. This will ensure your percentage of having the best pagination design.

Include previous and subsequent links

Previous and Next links are useful in almost any environment where pagination exists or can exist. So provide them. However, keep them separate from the page numbers and give them enough space or unique styling to avoid being mistaken for a page; this is especially important if you use arrows instead of text for Previous and Next.

Make use of the first and last links (where applicable)

When viewing page results outside of either boundary (or is it inside? ), provide a First, Last, or both First and Last links, as appropriate. It is suitable for webcomics to always include both links but to disable the respective link when the user is on the First or Last page. Maintain it as a text-only option with no connection or clickability, but retain it in the design. This is true exclusively for online comics and not necessarily for other forms of pagination.

Position the first and last links on the exterior

Nothing is more illogical than the Last link followed by the Next link. Consider stereo systems: fast-forward is followed by the following track because it is a superseding step. Time controls are ordered from the centre out, and pagination controls aren’t much different (or, in some cases, not at all); thus, they should follow the same fundamental concept.


Two Common mistakes you should avoid to ensure the best pagination design pattern;

  • Invisible Navigation Options

Because pagination’s primary aim is to facilitate navigation, it should make it plain to visitors where they are, where they’ve been, and where they might go next. These three facts give consumers a thorough grasp of how the system operates and how to use the navigation. This will, at points, make your weightage in having the best pagination design pattern.

Inadequate Pagination

If you have to choose between a sophisticated (but beautiful) pagination and a basic one with all the necessary functionality, always go with the simple one. Users will not be able to use your website if they do not comprehend the mechanism behind navigation. Keeping in mind this mistake, you will be able to avoid having a corrupted design and achieve the best pagination design pattern.

It is important to note that following every step mentioned and understanding each nook and corner will ensure the perfect and best pagination design pattern.

Frequently asked question 

What is Infinite Scroll?


When a user reaches the bottom of a page, the content continues to load indefinitely, which is a user experience (UX) practice. This provides the illusion of an infinite flow of information on a single, seemingly limitless page.

Infinite scrolling has gained popularity on social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What are a few Cons of Pagination?


The disadvantages of using pagination;

  • It's outdated technology. Pagination has existed since the beginning of the internet. It may be found on all obsolete websites, and this pagination is no longer user-friendly.
  • The pagination is less mobile-friendly. Because of the vertical orientation of a mobile device's screen, consumers would prefer a load more buttons or infinite scroll.
  • Each result takes you to a new page, which adds extra load time. This can be avoided by employing shallow routing and pre-rendering, but it is still inconvenient for users.
When to use Pagination?

Pagination is critical when working with a large amount of data and endpoints. Pagination suggests that the query result will be ordered. The default result is the object ID, but results can be sorted in other ways. It is important to understand where and when to use pagination to achieve the best pagination design.

What are the types of Pagination?

A few of the types of Pagination designs are listed below;

  • Simple Pagination.
  • Active and Hoverable Pagination.
  • Rounded Active and Hoverable Buttons.
  • Hoverable Transition Effect.
  • Bordered Pagination.
  • Rounded Border Pagination.
  • Centred Pagination.
  • Space between Pagination.

These types of pagination help in compiling the best pagination design.