What is Post Excerpt in WordPress | Complete Guide

What is Post Excerpt in WordPress

A Post Excerpt in WordPress is a brief summary or teaser of a full blog post or article. It is typically displayed on various archive pages, such as the blog index, category archives, tag archives, and search results. The primary purpose of a Post Excerpt is to provide readers with a concise preview of the content, allowing them to decide whether they want to read the full post. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of Post Excerpts, discussing what they are, how to create them, their importance, and how to customize and display them in your WordPress website.

1. What is a Post Excerpt?

A Post Excerpt, in the context of WordPress, is a brief snippet or summary of a blog post or article that provides a concise overview of the content. It’s a crucial tool for content presentation and user engagement on your website. Excerpts serve as an invitation to readers, helping them decide whether a particular post is worth exploring further.

A typical Post Excerpt includes:

  • A brief introduction or teaser of the post’s topic.
  • A few sentences or paragraphs that highlight the main points.
  • An image or featured image.
  • A “Read More” or “Continue Reading” link to encourage users to access the full post.

Post Excerpts can significantly enhance the user experience by giving visitors a glimpse of what your content is about before they commit to reading the entire post. This can help reduce bounce rates and improve user engagement.

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2. Creating Post Excerpts

In WordPress, there are several methods to create Post Excerpts. Let’s explore some of the common ways to generate and manage them:

Manual Excerpt Entry

  1. Classic Editor: In the Classic Editor, you can manually create an excerpt by typing or pasting your desired text into the “Excerpt” field. If you don’t see the Excerpt field, you can enable it in the “Screen Options” menu at the top of the editor.
  2. Block Editor (Gutenberg): In the Block Editor, when you create a new post or edit an existing one, you can add an excerpt in the “Excerpt” block. If the Excerpt block is not visible, you can enable it by clicking the three-dot menu and selecting “Excerpt.”

Automatic Excerpt Generation

If you don’t create a manual excerpt, WordPress will generate an automatic excerpt for your post. By default, WordPress generates an excerpt by taking the initial portion of your content (usually the first 55 words), but you can control this through your theme’s functions.

To customize the automatic excerpt length, you can add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

function custom_excerpt_length($length) {
return 20; // Change the number to your preferred excerpt length
add_filter(‘excerpt_length’, ‘custom_excerpt_length’);

Theme Support for Excerpts

Your theme plays a crucial role in how Post Excerpts are handled. Themes can have their own templates for displaying excerpts, and some themes may offer options to control how excerpts are generated and displayed.

To configure your theme’s excerpt settings, navigate to the “Customizer” in your WordPress dashboard. Look for options related to post excerpts, and you may find settings to customize the length, style, or whether to show “Read More” links.

3. Importance of Post Excerpts

Post Excerpts are vital for several reasons:

3.1. Improved User Experience

Excerpts enhance the overall user experience by providing a quick preview of the content. Readers can quickly grasp what a post is about, making it easier for them to decide whether it’s relevant and interesting to them. This can lead to increased user engagement and time spent on your website.

3.2. Reduced Bounce Rate

When users can see a snippet of the content before clicking on a post, they are less likely to bounce back immediately after accessing the full article. Post Excerpts act as a filter, ensuring that readers are genuinely interested in the content they are about to read.

3.3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines often use the content of the Post Excerpt to understand what a post is about. By creating well-crafted Post Excerpts that accurately reflect the content, you can potentially improve your search engine rankings and help users find your content more easily.

3.4. Social Sharing

When readers share your posts on social media platforms, the Post Excerpt is often used as the default description. A compelling and informative excerpt can increase the likelihood of social shares, as it gives potential readers a better idea of the post’s value.

3.5. Email Subscriptions and RSS Feeds

Post Excerpts are frequently used in email newsletters and RSS feeds to give subscribers a glimpse of your latest content. This encourages subscribers to click through and read the full post, ultimately driving more traffic to your website.

3.6. Accessibility

For users with screen readers or other accessibility tools, Post Excerpts are valuable. They provide a concise summary that helps these users understand the content’s context and decide if they want to proceed to the full post.

4. Customizing and Displaying Post Excerpts

Customizing and displaying Post Excerpts in WordPress involves a combination of theme support, manual control, and potential plugins. Let’s explore various methods to tailor Post Excerpts according to your preferences:

4.1. Theme Support

Many WordPress themes come with built-in support for Post Excerpts. To customize and display Post Excerpts in your theme:

  • Go to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Navigate to “Appearance” > “Customize.”
  • Look for options related to post excerpts in the theme’s customization settings. These options might include settings for excerpt length, “Read More” text, and styling.

4.2. Manual Excerpt Entry

You can manually create excerpts for each post, as explained earlier in this article. The process typically involves adding or editing the Excerpt field while creating or editing a post.

4.3. Excerpt Plugins

WordPress offers numerous plugins that can help you manage and display Post Excerpts more effectively. Here are a few popular plugins for this purpose:

  • Advanced Excerpt: This plugin allows you to customize the length of your excerpts, add “Read More” links, and control the appearance of excerpts on your site.
  • Excerpt Editor: This plugin enables you to edit the automatic excerpts generated by WordPress. It’s especially useful if you want to fine-tune your excerpt content.
  • Content Views: While primarily a tool for creating custom post grids and lists, Content Views also offers options to control how post excerpts are displayed within your views.

4.4. Excerpt Length

The length of your Post Excerpts can greatly impact user engagement. If you want to set a custom length for your excerpts, you can use the code mentioned earlier in this article. Here’s a reminder of how to control excerpt length using a custom function:

function custom_excerpt_length($length) {
return 20; // Change the number to your preferred excerpt length
add_filter(‘excerpt_length’, ‘custom_excerpt_length’);

4.5. Styling and Formatting

To ensure that your Post Excerpts match your website’s design and style, you can use CSS to customize their appearance. You might want to adjust font size, color, spacing, and other elements to make them visually appealing. Themes usually provide CSS classes or IDs that you can target for styling.

4.6. “Read More” Link

Adding a “Read More” link or button to your Post Excerpts is common practice in WordPress. To customize the text of this link, you can use the the_content_more_link filter. Here’s an example:

function custom_read_more_link($more) {
return ‘Read the full article’;
add_filter(‘the_content_more_link’, ‘custom_read_more_link’);


Post Excerpts in WordPress play a significant role in enhancing the user experience, reducing bounce rates, and improving the discoverability of your content. They are particularly valuable for providing readers with a preview of your posts and helping them make informed decisions about what to read.

Creating and customizing Post Excerpts can be done manually, with theme support, or by using plugins, depending on your preferences and requirements. By understanding the importance of Post Excerpts and how to leverage them effectively, you can make your WordPress website more engaging and user-friendly.

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In summary, Post Excerpts are a vital tool for content presentation and user engagement on your WordPress website. They offer a sneak peek into your content, helping users decide whether to read the full post. Customizing Post Excerpts involves theme support, manual entry, plugins, excerpt length control, styling, and “Read More” link customization. By utilizing Post Excerpts effectively, you can improve user experience, reduce bounce rates, enhance SEO, and promote your content on various platforms.

About Ravendra Singh

Hello friends, I am Ravendra Singh, the Founder of News Beed. I am a blogger and digital creator. Through this blog, you can access information related to Digital Marketing and Blogging. If you find our articles informative, you can also share them with your friends. You can follow us on social media platforms as well.

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