How to Edit an Excerpt of a Post on a Wordpress Page

How to Edit an Excerpt of a Post on a WordPress Page

A few years ago I built a business membership website for my friends in Lake Wylie’s Friends in Business. It allows each of the member companies to post information about their company’s business. This kind of advertising can be very effective, especially when combined with a total marketing campaign.

Since new companies are always joining Friends in Business or wanting to update the community about their news, we decided to build the website with a newspaper feel. The home page lists the latest news sections in descending date order. The newest articles – in this case WordPress posts – appear first.

Why Use a WordPress Post Excerpt

But there was a problem. Some articles could be thousands of words long. That would make the home page incredibly long. The solution was to use WordPress’s native excerpt interface – a nifty bit of functionality that allows you to supply a brief summary of the article and invite readers who are interested in learning more to click to the full article. You will see this same concept in the Wall Street Journal’s web page design as well.

Wall Street Journal Excerpts

The Wall Street Journal Uses Excerpts, Too

How to Edit an Excerpt of a Post on a WordPress Page

If you are going to make use of WordPress excerpts, you are going to have to learn how to edit them. It’s a very simple process that I detail step by step here. Just follow these instructions and pictures and you’ll be all set!

Step 1: Navigate to the Post you want to edit in the Admin screen.

Step 2: Be sure that the Excerpt functionality can be shown on your post admin screen.

Go to the top of the post admin screen and select the Screen Options drop-down. If the excerpt box is not checked, do so now.

Screen options for excerpt

Screen options for excerpt

Step 3: Go to the bottom of the Post edit screen until you see the Excerpt section.

It should look like so…

Excerpt before updating

Excerpt before updating

Step 4: Edit the excerpt here.

You should keep your excerpt short and sweet. While there is no hard limit on the number of words you can use, a good limit would be under 140 characters. Be sure to make it catchy and be very clear about what you want the website viewer to do.

Excerpt after updating

Excerpt after updating

Notice how my excerpt didn’t have a lot of interesting things to say? Well, I’ve changed that. I’ve also included some HTML commands in there. Specifically, I’ve included hyperlinks in the excerpt to provide more value for readers of this page and to drive clicks towards my own website. I’ve written a guide on how you can link to your website from other places here.

Step 5: Save the post and you’re all done!

If you return to the home page you should see that your excerpt is all set!

Excerpt is updated

Excerpt is updated

Hope that helps you learn to edit excerpts in a WordPress post. Any questions, please just let me know!

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