Main page redesigned and changed to "Endless scrolling"

I’ve just uploaded an update of the site. The obvious change is the main page, which has been redesigned. It’s now no longer using pages, but the scrolling is endless, i.e. as you scroll down, new stories are loaded.

The reason I did that, was the general response time of the main page, which was just not good. Also the hit on the database was quite heavy, with the increasing amount of people using the site. The dynamic loading ensures that only stuff is really loaded people are looking for.

I understand that there are reasons why people prefer a paging design. I’ve tried to address these:

  • Some people wanted to choose a random page to read some random stories. That’s why the “Random” tab has been changed: It will now show a completely random list of stories and it changes each time you open the site. And the list is also endless.

  • To get back to the top of the page, there’s a small button on the bottom right of the page (when you’ve scrolled down).

  • To directly look into the past (like see the stories from 2018), I’ll change the “All Stories” page shortly, so it’ll allow you to list stories published on a given date.

  • The “Categories”, “Block Tags” and “Subscribed only” works for both the “Latest” as well as the “Random” tab. It will work on the “Top Rated”, too soon.

  • The “Top Rated” will now not only show the 5 features stories (as in the past) but you can now scroll down to get a random list of top rated stories from the past.

I plan to change the whole site into the new way. If you have any issues I haven’t addresses, please let me know.

If there’s any technical problem while using the site as it is now, or if you have any other comment, also don’t hesitate to answer to this thread or write to martin@gayspiralstories.com

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First off, love the endless scrolling. There are so many stories these days, and falling off the front page severely limits the number of people who read your story, so hopefully this will help people explore past the most recent ten.

However, when I scroll on my iPhone (XR, iOS 13.7), I see an unusual background pattern while the next chunk of stories load. I’m guessing it’s a loading spinner or something that’s rendering oddly on mobile?

That was an optical bug only showing up on mobiles. I’ve already uploaded a fix :slight_smile:

Thank you for notifying me, though!

One big issue I have to find a work-around for, is that using “back” to return to the main page doesn’t bring you back to the same location as before, which is REALLY a nuisance.

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I love these changes!! This is fantastic. It also makes the site feel very high-tech, and elegant too~

I did wonder, would it be difficult or a lot of extra work to have an option (maybe located in user’s “Change Settings” button, under “Basic User Options”) that allows you to use the old mode of the site, aka with pages instead of endless scrolling?

I ask this for users who have really slow or halting internet access. (I had crappy internet access for a number of years, and it always gave me difficulty with websites that used endless scrolling.)

If it adds a lot of work to enable this option, then please, no need to worry about it! I just wanted to ask in case it was simple to do.

And Martin, the work you put into this site is really incredible. This update is brilliant.

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Actually, the endless scrolling should work better than paging - as much less data is transferred! That was the point of the change.

Anyway, for the time being, you can use the old page (I knew that people were going to ask for it … :)) with the link

https://www.gayspiralstories.com/home/indexPaged

But I don’t want to promote that, people should use the new interface and give me feedback. And at some point, I’ll probably get rid of the old interface.

And thank your for your nice words, Nutiper!

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Ah, fantastic to know that this version of the endless scrolling uses less data than paging! I have functional internet these days – thankfully – so I planned to stick to the scrolling version of the site regardless. But I’m sure my past-self would have been gratified to know he wouldn’t have issues with loading the new front page either, even with his crappy internet. :smile:

And good to know the old interface is available (for now) for those who might prefer it! Very prescient… ha!

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Shrug. To each their own but I like pages. It makes reading and finding and looking easier. So I’m not a fan of these changes. Also pages make it easier to keep track of where one might have left off if one is checking stories because I find that when refreshing and other such things it goes back to the top. Also, the way you did the random pages doesn’t actually equate to the way one might go to a random page and check things that way, so its not the same.

So yeah, I wish the pages were the default or, if not the default, was an easy switch that did not involve me changing the actual address I use to get to the site.

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Yes, that it goes back to the top, especially when coming back from a story, is not good. As I’ve said above, I have to resolve that somehow, but this is more difficult that you might imagine.

I’ll find a solution somehow, though.

Well for me the solution would be simple - keep pages. At least as a main option if not the automatic default. As I said I wish this wasn’t changed.

I really wish the pagination option was an account option and not a hidden link option so I wouldn’t have to go and change all my bookmarks - which is more annoying then you would think due to the way my phone does links.

I like the new design, but would it be possibly to have a filter for month and/or year as well? I like to go back to older stories every now and then and check out some of the older stories.

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That’s planned (not for the main page, but for the newly designed “All Stories” page). I have to find a solution for the browser “back”. If I can’t get this to work, I can’t use the endless scrolling solution.

Unfortunately, the endless scrolling also gives me the option to have three independent lists on the main page (latest, top rating and random). With the old paging mechanism, there could only be one paged list, the other two tabs were always limited to entries fitting on one page.

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Being able to scroll random stories and a random selection of top rated stories is a fantastic addition, thank you!

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Ok, I think I found a solution for the browser “Back” function. It should now always lead to the exact same place where you took off when clicking on a story or anything else.

@all: Please let me know if that works for you!

One thing that’s getting done soon is an easy way to skip to an older time period when browsing stories. Since that could be done with the paging (not easily, to tell the truth, but with a few clicks or manual manipulation if the URL) but not the endless scrolling.

@Heru_Kane: Now, since that is resolved, is there any other issue you have with the endless scrolling? Please try to explain which kind of use case is problematic for you on that design.

The thing is: I can’t maintain both designs. It’s not possible to have three kinds of lists on the paged design like it’s now possible on the main page (with Latest, Top and Random). And it’s also a huge amount of work to implement and test it with all changes I do.

If the endless scrolling works smoothly, I plan to change the whole site to use that model.

The back button still takes me to the top of the page. I also had to refresh the page a few times for the page to start the endless scrolling. I would get to the bottom and it would not show any more stories. I would scroll back up and try to scroll back down and it still didn’t show any. I am utilizing Chrome as my browser so not sure if that has anything to do with it.

Yes, my solution didn’t work. It only worked for FireFox, but not for Chrome … :crazy_face:

And I fell for it, even though I usually use Chrome myself. The browsers behave VERY differently in this regard.

So I had to implement some magic to actually store the dynamic contents of the page myself in the “history state”. But now it seems to work, regardless of the browser I hope.

So please try again :slight_smile:

Argh. Now it’s even worse on actual Android phones … It doesn’t auto-scroll down to the position AND the loading of more stories doesn’t work anymore after you’ve used the back button.

I hate this…

:angry:

I like the more stories page that allows for alphabetical viewing of the stories. That makes it really quick to find my favorites

@Martin. Thank you so much for all the time and effort your putting in to upgrade and improve the site. It just keeps getting better and better & we really appreciate it man.

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Better with pages

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Martin, I must say two things.

1 - Oh how I h@te infinite scrolling. Infinite scrolling is one of my biggest pet peeves of the Internet. I have never seen a website make it usable. Did you do a quick check of your Facebook feed today? Tomorrow, you can’t get anywhere near where you left off.

But!!

I’m just a grumpy old man!! :smile: And this is one of my favorite sites in the entire world, so I will give it a go and see if I can suggest improvements.

2 - I really TRULY appreciate that you keep making incremental improvements here. That is exactly the right thing to do. Instead of, “Hello, we’ve redesigned the entire site, and good luck figuring it out!” I wish more website admins were like you!!