Splitting a WordPress post or page into multiple pages

WordPress comes with a functionality which allows to split a long post or page into smaller sections along with displaying a numerical pagination list under content.

This is a default functionality of the core, so you do not need to install any 3rd party plugins to display a numeric pagination on your regular pages and singular blog post views.

Example of the page links show under the post content in the Matthew theme.

Why splitting

A crucial part of optimizing content on your WordPress site is making sure it’s readable. Poor readability scares readers away from the content, while great readability can have a huge positive effect on the quality of your content.

Thus, splitting your content into smaller sections can make it easier for your audience to read and navigate different sections of the content.

Use Page Break

There are several ways to split content in your posts and pages depending what editor you are using. Below, you can find instructions for both, the Block editor and the Classic editor.

Since this is the core functionality, it’s available in every WordPress site.

Block editor

By default, the Block editor comes with the Page Break block which makes it easy to split single post or page into multiple pages.

To add a Page Break block to your content:

  1. Open your post or page in the Editor.
  2. Select a place in your content where you want to add a page break.
  3. Add the Page Break block using the Editor options.
Location of the Page Break block in the Block editor.

Note, you can add as many Page Break blocks as you need in order to split your content into more readable sections.

Classic editor

To split your page in the Classic editor and display a numerical pagination list, you need to use <!--nextpage--> tag in the content area of the post or page.

Note, you need use the Text/HTML tab in your editor if you want to add <!--nextpage--> tag. Also, your WordPress Theme must support the page links feature.

Example of adding the Page-Link tag in the Classic editor.

If you have a very long article and you want to split it into multiple pages — just add the Page-Link tag after each paragraph where you want to have a page break.

Page Break does not work

Don’t see the page pagination even after using the Page Break block (Block editor) or the Page Break tag (Classic editor) in your content?

It’s highly possibly that your theme does not support such functionality, and there are two ways to resolve it: either contact the author of your theme, or make needed changes to the theme files by yourself.

Contact the author

If you are using a free or premium WordPress theme that was developed by someone else, contact the author of your theme to verify if the theme supports the current functionality.

You do not need to worry about verifying this information when using one of our professional WordPress themes. Our themes support this native functionality of splitting content into multiple pages.

Make changes on your own

When planning to make own changes to the theme, it’s very important to note — if your theme is developed by someone else, then make sure you are using a child theme when making your custom changes.

Using a child theme is preventing you of losing your template customizations when updating your parent (main) theme.

By the way, if you are using a premium theme developed by Themes Harbor then you do not need to worry about creating a child theme for your WordPress site. Our premium themes include a blank child theme.

Edit your page template

Note, making changes to a code of your WordPress site always presents some risk. Thus, proceed with caution and create a backup of your site first.

Then, locate singular templates in your parent theme’s root folder: single.php, page.php, or/and singular.php.

You can find these files using the Theme Editor page in your dashboard: Appearance → Theme Editor.

Example of a location of the Theme Editor page in WordPress dashboard.

After locating these files in your parent theme, create duplicates of the files but with included wp_link_pages() functionality. Then add these newly created files to your child theme.

To learn more about the Page Break functionality in WordPress, see an official documentation page.

Automatically paginate posts and pages

By default, this core functionality of splitting pages does not automatically split your posts to pages after a specific number of paragraphs.

To have such functionality on your WordPress site, you need to use a 3rd party plugin which has needed functionality.

For instance, you can try a free plugin called Automatically Paginate Posts, as it provides an easy to use options and works with any WordPress theme which follows coding standards.

Also, you may check WP-PageNavi plugin which is quite popular among WordPress users but requires editing the theme files. Check the plugin’s usage information of how to install and configure it, and use a support forum for questions.

Your thoughts

Do you use the method of splitting your page into multiple pages? Let us know in the comments below about the main reason of doing this on your WordPress site.

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