Pagination is just limiting the number of records displayed. Why should you let it get in your way while developing, then? This plugin makes magic happen. Did you ever want to be able to do just this on a model:

Post.paginate :page => 1, :order => 'created_at DESC'

… and then render the page links with a single view helper? Well, now you can.

Some resources to get you started:


Previously, the plugin was available on the following SVN location:


In February 2008, it moved to GitHub to be tracked with git version control. The SVN repo continued to have updates for some time, but now it doesn't.

You should switch to using the gem:

gem install will_paginate

After that, you can remove the plugin from your application and add a simple require to the end of config/environment.rb:

require 'will_paginate'

That's it, just remember to install the gem on all machines that you are deploying to.

There are extensive installation[http://github.com/mislav/will_paginate/wikis/installation] instructions on the wiki[http://github.com/mislav/will_paginate/wikis].

Example usage

Use a paginate finder in the controller:

@posts = Post.paginate_by_board_id @board.id, :page => params[:page], :order => 'updated_at DESC'

Yeah, paginate works just like find – it just doesn't fetch all the records. Don't forget to tell it which page you want, or it will complain! Read more on WillPaginate::Finder::ClassMethods.

Render the posts in your view like you would normally do. When you need to render pagination, just stick this in:

<%= will_paginate @posts %>

You're done. (Copy and paste the example fancy CSS styles from the bottom.) You can find the option list at WillPaginate::ViewHelpers.

How does it know how much items to fetch per page? It asks your model by calling its per_page class method. You can define it like this:

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  cattr_reader :per_page
  @@per_page = 50

… or like this:

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  def self.per_page

… or don't worry about it at all. WillPaginate defines it to be 30 by default. But you can always specify the count explicitly when calling paginate:

@posts = Post.paginate :page => params[:page], :per_page => 50

The paginate finder wraps the original finder and returns your resultset that now has some new properties. You can use the collection as you would with any ActiveRecord resultset. WillPaginate view helpers also need that object to be able to render pagination:

  <% for post in @posts -%>
    <li>Render `post` in some nice way.</li>
  <% end -%>

<p>Now let's render us some pagination!</p>
<%= will_paginate @posts %>

More detailed documentation:

  • WillPaginate::Finder::ClassMethods for pagination on your models;

  • WillPaginate::ViewHelpers for your views.

Authors and credits


Mislav Marohnić, PJ Hyett

Original announcement


Original PHP source


All these people helped making will_paginate what it is now with their code contributions or just simply awesome ideas:

Chris Wanstrath, Dr. Nic Williams, K. Adam Christensen, Mike Garey, Bence Golda, Matt Aimonetti, Charles Brian Quinn, Desi McAdam, James Coglan, Matijs van Zuijlen, Maria, Brendan Ribera, Todd Willey, Bryan Helmkamp, Jan Berkel, Lourens Naudé, Rick Olson.

Usable pagination in the UI

There are some CSS styles to get you started in the “examples/” directory. They are showcased in the “examples/index.html” file.

More reading about pagination as design pattern:

Want to discuss, request features, ask questions? Join the Google group: groups.google.com/group/will_paginate