Understanding infinite scrolling

:bookmark: This is an explanation of what “infinite scrolling” is and how it is implemented in Discourse.

:person_raising_hand: Required user level: All users

Infinite scrolling is a feature designed to improve the user experience by automatically loading more content as you scroll down a page, instead of requiring manual page navigation.


In this documentation, we’ll cover:

  • The concept of infinite scrolling.
  • How Discourse implements infinite scrolling.
  • Key advantages of infinite scrolling in Discourse.

What is infinite scrolling?

Infinite scrolling refers to the automatic loading of additional content as the user nears the bottom of a web page. This eliminates the need for pagination and provides a seamless browsing experience. As new content is loaded dynamically, users can keep scrolling without any interruptions.

How Discourse implements infinite scrolling

Discourse uses HTML5’s History API to implement infinite scrolling efficiently. Here’s how it works:

  1. Address Bar Update: As you scroll, the browser’s address bar updates in real-time to reflect your reading position.
  2. Back/Forward Button Integration: Browser back and forward buttons work as expected, allowing users to navigate through the content seamlessly.
  3. Timeline Navigation: Discourse’s timeline tells you how far along you are and lets you jump to any point in the content.
  4. Efficient Content Loading: Only JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) calls are made to fetch new content. No elements need to be redrawn, resulting in minimal bandwidth usage while providing a smooth experience.

Best practices

To further enhance your experience with Discourse’s infinite scrolling:

  • Use the timeline for quick navigation and easy placement within the content.
  • Leverage browser back and forward buttons for efficient article navigation without losing your place.

Common issues and solutions

Issue: Browser lagging or hanging while scrolling

Solution: Ensure you have a stable internet connection. If the problem persists, try clearing your browser cache or disabling unnecessary browser extensions.

Issue: Content fails to load

Solution: Refresh the page or check if there are any disruptions in your internet connection. If the issue is not resolved, report it to the forum administrator.

Additional resources

Last edited by @hugh 2024-06-20T05:21:20Z

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