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How to Set a Custom Post Excerpt in WordPress

One of the best ways to improve your WordPress site’s pageviews and reduce your bounce rate is to make sure you’re writing and featuring copy that hooks your readers. An excerpt in WordPress is the portion of a post that is displayed underneath a posts title on your blog’s homepage, blog page, and archive page, as well as in your RSS listing.

While WordPress is set to automatically generate an excerpt from the first 55 words of your post, you have the option to set custom copy which will help you reach your visitors quickly and increase the likelihood that they’ll want to read your full post. (If you’re looking to customize the technical way your excerpts themselves work, read our article on that topic.)

In this Quick Guide, we’ll teach you how to access and use the custom post excerpt in WordPress. It’s extremely easy, so let’s get started!

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
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  2. Select “All Posts” from the “Posts” sub-menu, and click on the post you’d like to edit. You can also customize the excerpt for a new post by selecting “Add New” instead.
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  3. Click “Screen Options” at the top of the editor screen.
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  4. Check the option for “Excerpt” from the Screen Options panel. This setting is turned off by default, so you’ll need to turn it on first. Once it’s checked, feel free to click “Screen Options” again to minimize this section.
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  5. Scroll down below your post editor until you find the option for “Excerpt”.
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  6. Add the copy you want to use as an excerpt for your post. WordPress is automatically set to only display 55 words for this feature.
  7. Once you have an excerpt you’re happy with, click “Update” or “Publish”.
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  8. That’s it! To make sure that your excerpt looks the way you intended, check your homepage, or another page on your site where previews of your posts appear.
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Yay! 🎉 You made it to the end of the article!
Harper Phillips

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March 7, 2024 2:36 pm

Thanks for this. It was very helpful.

September 12, 2023 12:38 pm

Thank you! This was most helpful! 🙂

August 24, 2021 7:26 pm

This was exactly what I was looking for!! Thank you

tara charne
November 7, 2019 8:12 am

this was an amazing tutorial!

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