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This article was updated September 2018

Looking for a way to display excerpts of your posts, rather than showing the entire content and making your main blog page 100 feet long? There are simple ways to keep your main blog page looking clean and brief.

WordPress themes using the Genesis Framework offer 4 options for showing excerpts of your posts.

“MORE” TAG BENEFITS:

This option offers full control of where your excerpt breaks.

You won’t need to set up the excerpt separately — you can add it in directly as you’re writing the full content of your blog post.

You won’t need to mess with HTML twice. If you use it in your full blog post, it will show up in your excerpt as well. No having to copy and paste it in a separate box.

It also allows you to choose what words you want to use for your link to the rest of the post. Rather than the default “Read More” you can be creative with your link text:

  • “Click to continue”
  • “More helpful tips within!”
  • “Only my most crazy cool friends click these links and read on…”
Option #1: The “More” Tag – RECOMMENDED!
  • Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard
  • Go to Genesis > Theme Settings
  • Scroll down to “Content Archives”
  • From the “Select one of the following” drop-down menu, choose Entry Content
  • In the “Limit content to __ characters” box, enter the number of characters you’d like to display for each of your posts (see “NOTES” below for suggested options & issues)
  • Checkmark the “Include the Featured Image” box if you want your post’s featured image to show up as part of the excerpt on display. Select the image size you want, as listed in the available drop-down menu, and whether you want it left, right or center-aligned on the post.
  • In the Entry Pagination drop-down menu, choose your post navigation option for the bottom of your post pages (Previous/Next, or numbers like 1 2 3 4 Next Page)
  • Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page

Screenshot of the Genesis Theme Settings Content Archives options, when you want to set up a "more" tag

  • From the Dashboard panel, click on Posts
  • Click Add New
  • Start writing your post
  • When you get to the place where you’d like to put a break for your excerpt, click this:
    • if in the Text editor tab, click the “more” button
    • if in the Visual editor tab, click Insert, then click Insert Read More Tag

OR

Screenshot of a blog post visual editor area where you can click the "insert" button to create a "read more" link within your blog post

Adding a More link from the Visual Editor tab

 

  • Then keep writing the rest of your post. This portion of the post will appear when the reader clicks on the “read more” link to your full blog post.
  • Publish your post

If you want to change the text from the default “Read more” to a different phrase, word or statement, you must use the Text editor tab instructions, not the Visual editor instructions, unless you know coding and are comfortable altering the code manually.

If you’re in the Text editor tab — when you click on the “more” button, this text appears:

—  MORE  —

Simply put a space after the word “more” and enter the phrase or word you want to use as your link. It will look like this:

— MORE Click here for more exciting details! —

When you finish writing your post and publish it, your blog page should show the opening paragraphs that you chose as your excerpt with a link that says “Click here for more exciting details!” The rest of the post will be viewable when the reader clicks the link.

Screenshot of blog post editor area where you can customize your "read more" text to change the wording

NOTE:

To use the “More” tag with an unlimited number of characters for your excerpt, you’ll want to make sure the Genesis theme settings are set to “Entry Content” with a character limit of 0. However, if you set the character limit to 0 and don’t end up using a “More” tag or a manual excerpt (Option #4 below), then your entire post will display.

AN ISSUE:

If you have a large number of older, published posts and decide to start using the “More” tag, setting the character limit to 0 and checkmarking “Include the Featured Image” might cause a double posting of your featured image on those older posts that don’t have a “More” tag (but do have a featured image).

ANOTHER OPTION:

If you want to show excerpts using the “More” tag on all your new posts but you don’t want to go back through and add “More” tags to all your previously published posts, you can set the Genesis theme settings to “Entry Content” with a specific character limit. Just make sure you insert your “More” tag before the character limit cut-off point.

Option #2: Display Post Content, setting a character limit

POTENTIAL ISSUES: Sets the character limit for all posts, so the perfect limit for one post might mean cutting off another post mid-sentence or even mid-word.

  • Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard
  • Go to Genesis > Theme Settings
  • Scroll down to “Content Archives”
  • From the “Select one of the following” drop-down menu, choose Entry Content
  • In the “Limit content to __ characters” box, enter the number of characters you’d like to display for each of your posts (for example, 200 characters or 500 characters might show a sentence or two, depending on the length of your writings)
  • Checkmark the “Include the Featured Image” box if you want your post’s featured image to show up as part of the excerpt on display. Select the image size you want, as listed in the available drop-down menu, and whether you want it left, right or center-aligned on the post.
  • Choose your post navigation option for the bottom of your post pages (Previous/Next, or numbers like 1 2 3 4 Next Page)
  • Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page
  • Refresh your main blog page and see the post excerpts on display

Screenshot of the Genesis Theme Settings Content Archives options, when you want to set up a "more" tag with a character limit

WARNING:

Using this option will strip all formatting from the text displayed. So if you’re using italics or bullets or any special formatting in the first paragraphs of your post, the excerpt will not show the text with those styles.

Fear not! Your fancy formatting is not lost. It will show up when visitors click on the post’s heading or “Read More” to read the full text on the individual blog page.

NOTE:

If you choose Option #1 and set the character limit to zero, the entire post will display.

Option #3: Display Post Excerpts

POTENTIAL ISSUES: Doesn’t allow you to set a character or word limit. It automatically cuts off your excerpt at 55 words. Again, this could mean cutting off your excerpt mid-sentence, which can seem abrupt or confusing to the reader.

  • Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard
  • Go to Genesis > Theme Settings
  • Scroll down to the section named “Content Archives”
  • From the “Select one of the following” drop-down menu, choose Entry Excerpts
  • Checkmark the “Include the Featured Image” box if you want your post’s featured image to show up as part of the excerpt on display. Select the image size you want, as listed in the available drop-down menu, and whether you want it left, right or center-aligned on the post.
  • Choose your post navigation option for the bottom of your post pages (Previous/Next, or numbers like 1 2 3 4 Next Page)
  • Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page
  • Refresh your main blog page and see the brief excerpts on display

Screenshot of the Genesis Theme Settings Content Archives options, when you want to set up a "more" tag with a post excerpt displayed

Option #4: Manual Excerpts

POTENTIAL ISSUES: Means having to write your full blog post and then remembering to copy a portion of it into the excerpt box. If you forget, your entire blog post may be displayed instead. And if you accidentally copy the portion you want from the Visual tab instead of the Text tab, you will lose all formatting. The excerpt box needs all the HTML code included, or the formatting won’t be carried over.

  • Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard
  • Go to Genesis > Theme Settings
  • Scroll down to “Content Archives”
  • From the “Select one of the following” drop-down menu, choose Entry Excerpts
  • Checkmark the “Include the Featured Image” box if you want your post’s featured image to show up as part of the excerpt on display. Select the image size you want, as listed in the available drop-down menu, and whether you want it left, right or center-aligned on the post.
  • Choose your post navigation option for the bottom of your post pages (Previous/Next, or numbers like 1 2 3 4 Next Page)
  • Click the Save Settings button at the bottom of the page
  • From the Dashboard panel, click on Posts
  • Click Add New
  • Write your entire blog post
  • Copy the portion of the blog post you want to use as an excerpt
  • Scroll down to the Excerpt box and paste the copied portion within the box
  • Publish your post

Screenshot of the Genesis blog post editor box for adding a manual excerpt at the start of your blog posts

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE AN EXCERPT BOX ON MY POST ADMIN PAGE?

Click on the Screen Options tab at the top of the page and checkmark the Excerpt option. Then you should be able to scroll down and find the Excerpt box on the page.

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