Displaying your WordPress posts as excerpts rather than full text on your home and archive pages is valuable for improving load time, navigation, and web traffic. By using excerpts, you significantly decrease the home and archive pages load times, which allows users to quickly scroll through and select desired posts. As a result, this creates a more enjoyable experience for visitors, and entices readers to continue reading and stay on your site. Some WordPress themes offer excerpt functions that allow you to activate “read more” links from
settings < reading < summary. However, these excerpts are auto-generated to display a default length of 55 words, which means that your preview sentences will be cut off with
[...]. I have been looking for a way to display my post summaries on my home and archive pages with more flexibility to accommodate the structure of each post. Then, I came across an article by wpbeginner that explains how this can be done using one of the two built-in methods offered by WordPress.
The “More Tag” and “Excerpt” built-in methods allow you to easily establish the length of your post summary from the post editor box without abruptly ending your sentences in its preview. As an alternative to WordPress auto-generating your excerpts based on word count, both of these options allow you to manually select the length each custom summary. Depending on what you are looking for, you may find this to be a downside. There are benefits and disadvantages to each of these methods, but for now I will be using More Tag to define the boundaries of my excerpts. If you prefer the Automated Excerpt option, instructions for how to activate and customize this function can be found here. For the instructions on how to use More Tags and Manual Excerpt you can access the wpbeginner article here or watch their short video below.