A post excerpt in WordPress is an optional description, preview or summary of a post. It is used mainly for two reasons.
- Full content is replaced with the excerpt in the RSS feed when the Display Summaries option is selected in Dashboard > Settings > Reading.
- Depending on your theme, it can be placed in sections where summaries are more convenient than displaying full content.
How to add post excerpts
To create an excerpt you simply need to write one in the Excerpt Field under the post edit box. Post excerpts can be as long as you want; however, it’s advisable to keep it succinct.
If the excerpt field is not visible, simply click on the Screen Options tab at the top of the pack and click the Excerpt checkbox.
If you choose not to make a custom excerpt, WordPress will automatically choose to display the first 55 words of your post with a Read More… link to the full post. This is fine, however, the granular control the excerpt gives you means you can create interesting and meaningful excerpts that are valuable and appealing to your user, as often the first 55 words don’t actually describe the post properly or don’t provide anything to ‘hook’ the user in.
1. The Excerpt checkbox can be found in the Screen Options.
2. Keep your excerpt short and engaging to encourage your readers to click through.
Using the WordPress More tag
The WordPress More tag works in a similar way to the excerpt, but instead of manually entering the text you can insert a ‘more’ tag into the post beneath the text and/or images you want to display. The More tag is used most often for featured posts, or posts that display a lot of text and even an image.
To use the More tag, simply click on the place in text you want to define the end of the displayed text and click on the More tag icon in the formatting options.
Refer to your site specific documentation to see if the More tag functionality has been set up for your site.
3. The More tag is found within your toolbar.
4. Choose the point in your text that you want the preview to end and click the Read More option.