As we said last week, we have many exciting improvements in the pipeline as we focus on Chowhound. Today, we’re making a change that greatly improves the experience on popular Chowhound threads, with many more improvements to come.
Currently all Chowhound threads, both short and long, appear on a single page. Serving you longer threads is particularly slow, especially on mobile devices. Speeding up these longer threads is very important, as they are some of the most engaging discussions on the site. Longtime 'hounds and new members alike spend a ton of time reading and contributing to “What’s for Dinner,” “Cookbook of the Month,” and many more recurring topics.
Starting today, the longest Chowhound threads (approximately 20% of all discussions) will be paginated, allowing the most popular discussions to be split into much more readable chunks that load significantly faster—as much as 25% faster in our testing, especially on mobile.
By default, pagination will not collapse previously read comments, as the “read state” is the biggest contributor to slow page loads on the site. We know our most active members greatly value this information, so we’re making sure that you can enable it in your account settings. Go to your Settings page (http://j.mp/houndsettings), select the Chowhound tab, and select “Collapse Previously Read Comments (also defaults to 'See All' page).”
Choosing to turn on the “read state” option will default you to the “See All” page on all threads, which presents a single-page version of all comments without pagination (exactly as you see the site today). You won't get the benefit of faster page loads on individual threads on the “See All” page, but you can always click within the paginator at the bottom of the thread to view individual pages at any time.
Going forward, we’ll continue to focus on the page load times across Chowhound, even as we work on new features to be announced in 2015. Please leave any questions, or note any issues, here and we’ll be sure to address them ASAP.