PHPMatters Help You Better Hosting Your PHP-based Sites
How to Show Post Summary in WordPress As Excerpt with Full Customization

How to Show Post Summary in WordPress As Excerpt with Full Customization

There is no doubt that the lengthy blog posts can ensure the enough information to explain something in a detailed manner, and search engines generally give the better ranking for some long articles. However, as the coin has two sides, the lengthy content also has two main drawbacks. One the one hand, as WordPress displays the full articles on your blog pages by default, this kind of post may take times for page loading, especially when you add some images or media components into it. One the other hand, as most people are likely to scan a blog post firstly before deciding to read the content sentence by sentence, the lengthy article can hardly draw their attention and get them focuses in the very beginning.

In this case, we highly recommend you to use excerpts that summarize your post content effectively, with which you can have your webpages loaded faster and can tell people what the post is talking about briefly. Here, just check the following content about how to show post summary in WordPress as excerpt with the full customization.

Use the Default WordPress Excerpt Feature

WordPress has a default option for you to add the excerpts for all your posts and pages. Here, you simply need to enter the post editing screen and click the Screen Options button. From the listed checkboxes, you can find the Excerpt option. Simply tick this box.

Excerpt Checkbox

Now, you can scroll down to check the bottom of the whole screen. There will be a newly added Excerpt custom field available, from which you can add the post summary with some simple words and short sentences.

Excerpt Field

However, the problem is that many WordPress templates do not allow the display of your custom excerpts. For the proper showcase, you have to edit your template files using the special “the_excerpt” tag. The detailed information can be found from this codex page of WordPress excerpts.

To be frank, this is not a great solution for some newcomers who are not willing to edit the coding stuff. If you are the one, you’d better consider the below two options.

Use Easy Custom Auto Excerpt Plugin

The Easy Custom Auto Excerpt is a special WordPress plugin that will cut or excerpt your blog posts totally based on your needs, without the need to do deal with any coding related task. Now, you can install it and click the Excerpt button from the Settings page.

Firstly, you should set up some general options for this plugin. For instance, you can decide the Excerpt Method based on the paragraph or the character, determine the maximum number of characters allowed for each excerpt, disable or enable the excerpts on RSS feed, choose to display the content image in excerpts and many more.

Excerpt Method

Now, you can save your settings and check your blog post. Check the difference from the following images. The samples are using the Paragraph method for excerpting.

Before Excerpt

Before Excerpt

After Excerpt

After Excerpt

It is possible that you only want to excerpt some certain pages or posts. This can be configured from the Excerpt Location area.

Excerpt Location

In addition, as this plugin cuts your content using the “Read More” button, you can fully customize this button to decide the display mood, button text, alignment, font size and skin. There is a preview section that shows how this button will be displayed in the front-end.

Read More Button

Surely, this plugin can give you the great convenience for summarizing your post content. However, it does not give you enough freedom to customize your excerpts using your preferred words. If you care about this aspect, you can consider the last method.

Use TLDR Plugin

The TLDR plugin leads a new approach to WordPress excerpts. With it, you can add some short summaries for all your blog posts to reduce the bounce rate for some longer content. No coding knowledge is required. In addition, instead of resulting in the ordinary excerpts that are just some simple text snippets, this plugin also allows you to add some call to actions for these summaries that are non-intrusive and relevant. This is a great method for the improvement of reader engagement.

Upon the plugin installation, now, you can move to the TLDR Settings in your WordPress admin, from which you can decide the feel and look of your post excerpts. To begin with, you’d better remove the TLDR branding to hide the plugin author. Then, you can configure the options of TLDR button and CTA box.

TLDR Button

Here, you need to decide the button text to show the full articles or to show the post excerpts. After that, you should determine the button location, color, size, width many more. Also, you can optionally set the bar overlay color and opacity.

TLDR Button

Check our example in the following.

TLDR Button

CTA Box Options

In this part, you can decide some display options for the call-to-action box, such as the color, font, size, border and the maximum image width.

CTA Box Options

Now, you can edit your post for adding the excerpts. In the editing screen, there will be two new sections available – Post Summary and Summary CTA. The former area is used to enter your custom excerpts and the latter one is used to display a call-to-action box for the summary. Here, you can choose not to display these two functions optionally for some specific posts.

Post Summary

The excerpts can be edited using the basic formatting. Also, you can add some images, multimedia, links and many more. As for the call to actions, you should give the CTA box a title, the right redirection link, the short description and the button text.