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Sara in the comments asks whether I can set up the blog to have more comments per page. I certainly can, but what do others think? There's a balance to be struck between quick loading and having to go to a new page too often.

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Reader Comments (31)

Since your blog loads more quickly than any other I visit, a slight increase is hardly going to be a problem!

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave ward

Agreed. Personally I can't see it matters much either way.

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic

+1 for more comments per page

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

I have DSL, as do many, if not most, of those reading this site. I am all in favor of 40 or 50.

My guess is most of the participants are living in Europe, mostly the UK, and should have half decent internet connectivity. It is only here in the American colonies that you still find Dial Up.

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Definitely increase it. Most folks have broadband by now, and since this is usually a text-only page, load times are not a big factor.

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonasM

It's 2010. Few of us have narrowband these days. A 1MB page would be parsed before you know it. Your site isn't graphically intensive (4 or so optimised images?), so 50 or more comments per page would be painless. I say go for it. :o)

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonH

Don Pablo, you DO still have dial-up over there!?

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonH

We'd prefer more of AM/BH's own commentary to that of mere bystanders', including emphatically our own.

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Blake

I would just as soon have all comments on a single page; I don't really notice a difference in loading.

Actually, I kind of like Lucia's model, where she has a link to subscribe to a comments feed for a specific post. That way I can follow in my reader, and wander over when I see something interesting and have something to say.

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBanjoman0

I live in a remote rural area and my broadband is slow, but 50 comments per page seems fine to me.

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

OK I've bumped it up.

Jul 1, 2010 at 7:57 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Thank you BH!

Jul 1, 2010 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

40 works quick for me.

Jul 1, 2010 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Funny, I was planning to write you about the very same thing. I think it will be much more readable with more comments per page. Thanks for paying attention to your readership!

Jul 1, 2010 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered Commentermpaul

Why not make it 100? unlimited? There aren't many threads here that get up to those numbers - the current front page only has 2 that break the orginal 20 comment limit and I'd guess most people will want to follow the latest stuff so they'd end up double or more loading anyway. Or maybe have the most recent comment at the top?

Jul 1, 2010 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

I definitely prefer more comments per page, but also a permalink for individual comments would be nice, too. Makes it harder to poach your comments for reference when I can't link directly to them.

[BH adds: This is one of the eccentricities of Squarespace - you can't easily permalink comments. The workaround is to do a search in the search box for the comment text. The link will appear in the search results. Hopefully one day Squarespace will sort this out.]

Jul 1, 2010 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterkkloor

More comments please!

Jul 1, 2010 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames


Jul 1, 2010 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Another (easy?) change would be to have the "next page" link at the start of the comments as well as at the end. This would be even more important with more comments per page.

Jul 1, 2010 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

thanx for the change, bish. it's good.

Jul 1, 2010 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat


You can do this, although you have to look at the html source for the comment number. E.g.

(This is more difficult, though, if the comment is not on the first page.)

Jul 1, 2010 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterLikeThis

You could also make the text smaller - oddly this input box uses a smaller tidier font than the comments show in - and make comments more compact by removing the space above and below the first and last line. But it's not important :-)

Jul 1, 2010 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterWoodsy42


Don Pablo, you DO still have dial-up over there!?

Yes indeed. We are a quaint old country here in California, filled with idyllic lanes, barking dogs chasing sheep and dial up lines. Several of me friends have dial up only, although they now have push button telephones, instead of those rotary dial things. Quite modern, we be. We even have electricity most of the day, we do. I have friend living 30 miles away. We figured out it would be faster for him to walk to me house carrying his computer, down load the 60 or so MB of updates for say Windows 7 when he installed it and then walk back to his house carrying it than to down load it through his dial up.

Of course, he did no such thing. He used a jaunting cart, he did. So MUCH faster, 'tis.

Now in Kerry, I have broad band as all me neighbors do. The Ring of Kerry has become such a hustle bustle place, it has. Ah, for the idyllic life of old California! Sigh!

Jul 2, 2010 at 2:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

OK with me. I have a light version of internet connection and no problem with your site. I'd be willing to wait longer to see what you and your readers say.

Jul 2, 2010 at 3:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterIanB

50 comments perp page is an improvement, but having the pagination at the top of each page would be even more welcomed.

Is it possible to have the comments numbered?

Jul 2, 2010 at 5:47 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Another suggestion: increase the size of your RSS feed (currently 10). I've had the experience of reading a post and then attempting to return to it a few days later only to discover that it has scrolled off the bottom of the feed. Of course, I can reach the old post by other routes but that defeats one of the purposes of having a feed in the first place.

Jul 2, 2010 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

Your page is one of the few fast loading ones, because you don't have the off-site ads.

Jul 2, 2010 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

Get a copy of Chrome and use the download-inspector to see how long different bits of the page take to load. You'll find that the entire additional comments if you double or treble the per-page will be of the same order of size as, say, you're little icons next to 'print', 'post a comment', etc. Should be a completely negligible difference considering the overhead in opening a connection in the first place, even on dial-up.

Anyone who's really bothered by it can use your RSS feed anyway.

Jul 2, 2010 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave

Dude, you added the date to the posts on the front page. I'm very happy!

Jul 2, 2010 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterLarry Geiger

I use Firefox for browsing and one of the add-ons is "Auto Pager", which, as the name suggests, loads pages in advance, so you see a continuous list. Worth a look-see?

Jul 2, 2010 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan

Don Pablo,
What sort of download speeds are you and your friends getting?

Jul 3, 2010 at 3:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

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