What are Excerpts and how to use them

Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries or teasers of your content. They can be used to shorten your blog posts so that only part of the entry — usually the introduction or a summary of the post — is displayed, instead of the entire entry. Using excerpts is completely optional.

Depending on the theme, excerpts you assign may be displayed on your homepage, RSS feed, or archives page. Your theme will also determine whether or not your excerpt is followed by a link that points readers to the full-length post.

When you use excerpts in conjunction with the Yoast SEO plugin, the excerpt is displayed by default as meta descriptions for search engines and preview text in social media.

How excerpts work with the Yoast SEO plugin

Use Excerpts in your content

To use excerpts in your content, first ensure that the Excerpt option box is displayed on the Add New screen. You can do this by clicking the Screen Options tab and selecting the Excerpt checkbox.

The Screen Options tab is located on the top right of your WordPress admin screens

The Excerpt option box will now appear towards the bottom of the screen.

Type in your excerpt and publish or update your content.

Tips for good Excerpts

A good excerpt provides a summary or teaser of your post. It tells the reader why they should take the time to click on the post to read it in detail.

Excerpts should be no longer than 1 paragraph.

Remember that the meta description or social preview text only uses the excerpt as a default – you can craft custom meta descriptions and social preview text from the Yoast SEO options box. Learn how.

Back to: Creating Content with WordPress > Creating & Managing Content