How to Customize Post Excerpts

By default, Post excerpts are displayed on the blog/front page instead of the full post. Excerpts use the first 25 words in the post and exclude links, images, and all other HTML.

In this article

How to Change the Excerpt Length of All Posts

If you want your posts to display more or less than 25 words by default, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Customizer (Appearance → Customize)
  2. Click on the Blog section
  3. Locate the Excerpt length setting
  4. Change "25" to the number of words you want shown instead
  5. Click the Save & Publish button

The excerpts on your site have now been updated to the new length.

How to Change the Excerpt Length of One Post

You may find that you want to update the excerpt length on a post-by-post basis.

Let's say you have a post with a strong intro, but the default excerpt cuts it off before an essential sentence. You can override the default excerpt with the use of a Read More tag.

  1. Visit the Posts menu
  2. Locate and click on the Post you want to edit
  3. In the Post editor, place your cursor where you want your excerpt to end
  4. Click the Read More tag button
  5. Click the Update button

Your Post will now use all of the content up to the Read More tag instead of the default excerpt.

How to Create a Custom Excerpt

By default, your excerpts will use the first 25 words in the Post. However, you may not want to use any content from your post as the excerpt.

You can create an entirely custom excerpt for any post using the Excerpt box.

  1. Visit the Posts menu
  2. Locate and click on the Post you want to edit
  3. Scroll down the page until you see the Excerpt box
  4. If you don't see the Excerpt box, scroll up the page and click on the Screen Options tab
  5. Click on the Excerpt checkbox, and scroll back down the page until you see the Excerpt box
  6. In the Excerpt box, enter the text you want to use for the Post's excerpt
  7. Click the Update button

Your Post will now use the excerpt defined in the Excerpt box instead of the default excerpt.

How to Include Links & Images in an Excerpt

Let's say you have a post that begins with an image. This image will be displayed on the Post, but not in the excerpt on the Blog.

This is because all links, images, and other HTML are removed from the excerpts by default.

There are two ways that you can include HTML in your Post excerpts.

1. Use a Read More tag

Read More tags allow you to use as much or as little of your post in the excerpt as you want. They also do not remove any HTML, so images and links will be displayed in the excerpts.

To learn how to use Read More tags please refer to the How to Change the Excerpt Length of One Post tutorial above.

2. Use a Custom Excerpt

Custom excerpts can be added using the Excerpt box in the post editor. There aren't buttons for adding images and links like in the post editor, but you can still include them manually by including the HTML code.

To learn how to use the Excerpt box, please refer to the How to Create a Custom Excerpt tutorial above.

How to Show Full Posts on the Blog

Instead of showing excerpts from your Posts on the Blog, you can show the entire content of each Post.

  1. Visit the Customizer (Appearance → Customize)
  2. Click on the Blog section
  3. Under the Show full posts on blog? setting, select the Yes option
  4. Click the Save & Publish button at the top of the screen

Your blog will now display each Posts' full content.

Note: the page may take a few moments to refresh if you have a lot of Posts or many images/videos in them.

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