WordPress excerpt is a short summary of a post. It makes a WordPress site easier to browse and its content easier to discover.
Natively, WordPress shows full posts on the homepage, blog page, and archives of your site. This makes your site slower and could lead search engines to believe that all these pages have duplicate content.
Using excerpts will load your pages faster because you will be loading only a small portion of each article. And you archive pages won’t get hit with a duplicate content penalty. Not only that, sometimes users just read the post on the category page if you don’t use the excerpt. By adding it, they will go to the original post. That is 2 page views instead of 1. Thus, increasing page view count.
These days a number of WordPress themes are programmed so as to automatically create a short excerpt of your posts even if you didn’t add one. By default, it displays the first 55 words of a post as the excerpt with ellipses. However, it may not look as good. That’s why you may want to create a custom excerpt.
Let’s take a look at 3 different ways to add custom WordPress excerpts without using any codes.
How to Add Custom WordPress Excerpts (Default)
This method is quite simple. Create a new post or edit an existing one.
On your post editor screen, click on the screen options tab, which is on the top right, and then check the excerpt box. This will display an excerpt meta box below your post editor. You can now add any text in this box, and it will be used as the excerpt for the post.
Be that as it may, some themes will not show your custom excerpt. For those, you’ll need to edit your theme files particular home.php, content.php, archive.php, category.php, etc. You’ll need to locate:
<?php the_content(); ?>
Next, you will need to replace it with the _excerpt tag like this:
<?php the_excerpt(); ?>
This isn’t an ideal solution for beginners who do not want to edit their theme files. That’s when the next method comes to the rescue.
Adding an Excerpt with the More Tag
Another approach to adding excerpts to your WordPress homepage and archive pages is by using the more tag.
You can add the more tag by placing your cursor in the post editor to the point where you want to break the post and then merely click on the Insert Read More tag button.
Adding Custom Excerpts Using Plugins
Plugins extend the reach of WordPress. If the first two methods don’t work with your WordPress theme, then you can use plugins. We recommend using Advanced Excerpt plugin.
You need to install and activate the Advanced Excerpt plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit Setting > Excerpt page to configure the plugin.
Advanced Expert Plugin is a nifty little plugin that allows you to solve the excerpt display issues caused by your theme. You can easily set up an excerpt as well as define how and where you want it to appear.
Once you are done setting up your excerpt, click on the Save Changes button to store your settings. You can now visit your website to see the excerpts in action.
Advanced WordPress Excerpts do not make any changes to your posts content. If you ever want to use something else or use your theme’s excerpts, then you can just deactivate the plugin.
That’s All, Folks!
We hope this article helps you add custom WordPress excerpts to your posts without having to use any coding. Is there any method that we’ve missed out? Or, a better plugin for custom excerpts in WordPress? Please, share your insights with the rest of us.