This post is a prologue to a bigger article but I wanted it make a quick point and hopefully get some feedback.

Your homepage is everywhere and it is nowhere

If visitors never see your homepage does it exist? Let’s put the phylosophical questions aside for a moment and ask a more practical one. If Google, social sharing, digital word-of-mouth does the work of directing visitors to your internal pages so effectively how likely is it they will ever see your homepage?

If the answer is unlikely, then are you doing a good enough job giving visitors a next step? Where do they go next? How is engagement?

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I currently use tweet embeds and Jetpack related posts to help keep the conversation going either on or off my site, but it’s not enough.

Here’s where I need your help

I’m proposing two things I’d like to do with my site. The first is to fully eliminate the existence of the single post or page. I’ll do this by turning every post into an archive page similar to my homepage with infinite scrolling of posts below the current post you’re viewing.

The second to-do item is to implement a plugin I’m working on to help visitors track read and unread articles. Eventually the articles that show below the one you landed on should be displayed based on an algorithm that shows related and unread articles.

In a scenario where those two adjustments have been made to my site, are comments necessary, wise and or practical? How do you feel about comments?

I haven’t seen a ton of value in comments lately and I’m wondering what you think?

Jesse Friedman has been building websites for 18 years, and exclusively with WordPress since 2006. Since then Jesse has written several books, taught 100’s of students as a professor, and organized dozens of local meetups along with a few WordCamps. Jesse has spoken at tech conferences around the world including SXSW, HOW, Future events and many more. Jesse has consulted for a wide array of companies from small agencies to multi-billion dollar international companies. Today Jesse is a proud team member of Jetpack at Automattic, where he spends his time growth hacking and building strategic partnerships.

One thought

  1. I like the idea. Those unseen articles need love too! The Onion just implemented something similar. If you check out a single article, you’ll see that it keeps on scrolling, and scrolling. And the URL changes as you go down. Pretty neat.

    I can see how this would pose a problem for the comments feed, and it would be tempting to nix them completely from the scenario you are describing.

    However, the decision to include a comment feed should always be made on a per blog basis. Some blogs will benefit from it, while others will not.

    There are many ways to work around it. For instance you could use a URL parameter. At the end of each article in the infinite scroll, you could have a link to `http://site.com/article-title/?comments=1` – which would load the single article template with infinite scroll disabled, and the comments feed visible.

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