If your WordPress site has a lot of activity, you may have noticed that posts with many comments run a lot slower – even causing a site to crash when loading on occasion. Naturally, as posts with a large number of comments are the most popular, you want them to load as fast as possible. You can do this by breaking comments into pages.
Splitting Comments into Pages
To put comments into pages and decrease the loading time of your posts, you will first need to log in to your WordPress dashboard. From there, go to Settings > Discussions and scroll down to the section that says Break comments into pages with. Check the box and select the number of comments you want to display on each page and how you want them to be displayed (oldest first, newest first, etc.).
Your comments will now be split into pages, with the number of pages depending on how many comments a post has and how many comments per page you have chosen to display. While it may differ depending on your theme, comments should show Previous and Next comment links and page number links to help users navigate through the comments.
With only a set number of comments per page, you will noticed a significant increase in the speed that a post loads and are unlikely to suffer any site crashes or white screen of death problems.
Splitting Posts into Pages
Not so much a way to speed up your site, but a good way to reduce bounce rate and increase pageviews is to split your posts into pages. Depending on the length of the post, you could break it down into five pages or more and increase reader interaction with your site in the process.
Splitting posts into pages is done in a different way to comments and is not a default WordPress setting; however, it is still a simple process.
For most modern WordPress themes, all you have to do to split a post is paste <!––nextpage––> into the Text editor of your chosen post, wherever you want the next page to start.
If this method does not work, you will need to access the single.php loop in your wp-content/themes/ your-theme folder and paste in the following code:
<?php wp_link_pages(); ?>
The function should now be working and WordPress has various parameters to work with that allow you to add page links and customize the text and appearance of links. WordPress.org has some excellent documentation that explains how to use these parameters, which you read see here.