A WordPress excerpt is a summary of a longer article. The excerpt is often used as a replacement on the blog index and archives pages to avoid displaying the full content of each post.
For example, displaying the full content for ten posts that are 1,000 words means that your blog listing pages will contain ~10,000 words, which is an unmanageable wall of text for most users. The Excerpts allow you to slim this down by showing short summaries with links to the whole entry, article, blog, or post instead of the full text.
When to Use WordPress Excerpts?
Users can display more content in less space by using experts. It is beneficial for content-rich websites, such as magazines or news sites where the web owner wishes to display more content on the first landing page with links to the full articles. Other uses cases are archived pages, search pages, and RSS feeds.
Types of WordPress Excerpts
There are three types of excerpts:
- Manual Excerpts, which are entered into the post separately
- Automated Excerpts, which are generated from post content
- <!–more–> tag excerpt, which uses the post content up to the specific place where the tag is implanted.
If an excerpt isn’t supplied with a post, one is automatically generated using the first 55 words of the post.
A manual excerpt is created and entered into the post separately. The benefit of this method is that you aren’t limited to just using the text at the beginning of the post. You can create a full summary.
This method is also more user-friendly as it is easier for the reader to decide to continue reading or not. If they don’t want to continue, they have seen a synopsis of what you wanted them to read anyway.
WordPress users may use the “More” tag, part of the WordPress Editor toolbar, as an excerpt. While the result is often similar, WordPress officially considers this a teaser, not an actual excerpt. Also, as with Automated Excerpts, the “More” tag only lets you pull content from the beginning of the post.