WordPress: Post Excerpts

By default, WordPress displays your post in its entirety on your front page.  This can be an exhausting experience for your visitors if your posts are longer.  To fix this you can create a “Post Excerpt”.

In order for excerpts to function on your site you must first go into your settings in the sidebar and select “Reading”.  By default, articles in a feed are set to “Full Text”.  Set this to “Summary” and click “Save”.  Now we can create excerpts in our post.  If you don’t see the excerpt module on the “Add New Post” page, you will need to enable it.  Just click “Screen Options” at the top of the page and check the box next to “Excerpt”.  Now we can see our excerpt module.  Here you can write a brief summary about your post or just copy a line from the post itself.  When you are done hit “Update”.

Depending on your theme, you may notice that your full post is still being displayed.  This is because excerpts are meant to work with your posts in RSS feeds, which are usually used with widgets.  In order to have your summaries on the front page there is another option we can use.  In your post editor there is an option called the “Insert More” tag.  Simply put your cursor at the point you would like your summary to end and click the Add More tag icon.  This will separate your post with a line showing how much visitors can preview.  Now when we hit Update and go to our front page you can see that our full content is no longer shown, and we have the option to “Continue Reading”.

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