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How to Split a WordPress Post into Multiple Pages

How to Split a WordPress Post into Multiple Pages

If you are looking to split a WordPress post into multiple pages, whether for easier reading or for other reasons, you have come to the right place. Dividing a lengthy post into several pages, along with numerical pagination under the main body of content is very easy, and there are two easy ways to do it, both of which have the same exact effect, use built-in functionalities, and require no additional plugins.

But before we tackle the how to, we would like to take some time to discuss the why, if you will. If you are already sure there are some posts you want to split up into multiple pages, scroll right down to the section and method which interests you the most.

Why Split a WordPress Post into Multiple Pages

There are at least three very good reasons to split a WordPress post into multiple pages: SEO, loading speed, and readability.

Most visitors will likely find your website by using a search engine. Now, even the basics of SEO require some getting into, and this is not the place to do it. Suffice it to say that the more pages with relevant keywords your website has, the better it will rank on search engine results pages. However, bear in mind that very short posts are bad for SEO: you should aim at about 1000 words a page at least. This also means you need to make sure a search engine can find relevant keywords in all the pages of a post, but be wary: overloading your pages with keywords may lead to keyword cannibalization.

Another drawback of very long pages are slow loading times, especially if your post contains a lot of images. A slow loading time can affect your users’ opinion of your website adversely. This makes them less likely to return for more of your content, however good it may be. In fact, a user might decide to quit the page before it loads fully. The number of these very short visits in relation to the total number of visits is called a website’s bounce rate, and it is a factor in search engine rankings, too. Pagination is an easy way to avoid slow loading times, improve user experience, and lower the bounce rate.

As far as readability is concerned, there’s no telling what your visitors’ preferences might be, but, in general, people tend to dislike overlong pieces of text. It may be because scrolling through a lot of text, especially on the small screen of a mobile device, can be disorientating or because people tend towards a shorter attention span, but, for our purposes, the underlying reason doesn’t matter: you can remedy that by splitting your text into shorter functional wholes. All you need to remember is not to chop it up too finely.

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How to Split a WordPress Post into Multiple Pages Using Gutenberg

The simplest way we can think of is to use a dedicated Gutenberg block. We will begin with a post containing two paragraphs of lorem ipsum placeholder text.

To divide a post into two pages, you first need to create a new block by placing your cursor at the end of the paragraph you wish to end a page with, and hit Enter. Then, click the plus sign (+) to add a new block and select the Page Break block.

Add Page Break Block

You will immediately see the break in the text, while the body of your post will not be paginated in the editor itself.

Page Break Block Added

However, once you publish or preview your post, you will see that your post is subdivided into two pages.

Pagination Preview

The number of pages will, of course, depend on the number of break blocks you use, while the exact look and feel of your pagination links will depend on your theme, CSS, and other settings.

How to Split a WordPress Post into Multiple Pages Using HTML

Of course, you may have disabled Gutenberg, WordPress’s default editor, for whatever reason. That doesn’t matter: you can still split your posts into pages with relative ease. If you are using the Classic editor, you can use an HTML tag instead of a block. The tag you need is:

<!––nextpage––>

Simply copy and paste the tag where you want the break to be in the text while editing in the Text view.

Classic Editor Add Tag

You can achieve the same effect by using a keyboard shortcut while editing from the Visual view. Simply hit Alt+Shift+P and you will see the page break in the editor.

Page Break Added Classic Editor

It can sometimes happen that this HTML fails to work due to your theme settings. If that is the case, you need to edit your single.php file. In order to do that, navigate to Appearance/Theme Editor using your WordPress dashboard.

Theme Editor

Find the single.php file in the menu on the right-hand side, and click it. With that selected, you need to find any code beginning with <?php . The code should also end with a > sign.

If there is such a tag, you need to add the following between the tag opening and closing signs:

wp_link_pages(); ?

If not, you simply need to add the whole thing into your single.php file:

<?php wp_link_pages(); ? >
Code Added to Theme Editor

In Conclusion

As you have seen, there are three good reasons and two easy and free ways to split up a WordPress post into multiple pages. The thing you do need to remember if you want to reap the SEO benefits, though, is that you shouldn‘t carve up your posts too small while at the same time you need to make sure that the relevant keywords are present on each page. From a readability and UX point of view, you should take care to subdivide your lengthy posts into logical wholes, each of which should make some semblance of sense on its own, and, where possible, begin with a heading, for easier user orientation.

So, whether you are after the SEO benefits, looking to improve loading times, or are simply operating from an aesthetics or readability point of view, there’s no reason not to split your lengthier WordPress posts into multiple pages, and now you know how to do it.

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