Sometimes developers think about problems and look for solutions in the code, even though there’s already a better way.

When I installed the WordPress Twenty Seventeen theme on this site, in order to rebuild this site as a personal blog (after having previously used it to relate information on local political stuff I had been doing), I noticed that the archives are all complete text, and there was (apparently) no setting to turn that off or change this to be just excerpts.

I didn’t want to go down the route of building a child theme to keep whatever way I could use excerpts instead of the full post content; that’s my day job. The aim here was Keep It Simple Stupid!

So the answer, of course, was so ludicrously simple, yet, despite passing my 10 year anniversary as a registered member of WordPress.org last May (and I have been actively using WP in all this time, for a living, every day, pretty much), I forgot about the more tag.

[bctt tweet=”If you use @WordPress Twenty Seventeen theme & want to show excerpts in archives (& home page) – use the Read More tag!”]

The more tag comes to the rescue here. Why? Because if I did code up a way to use excerpts, I’d then need to either specify the max length and/or select an excerpt of text using the WordPress input for this. That’s more work to maintain my customization, and also every single time I posted.

Using the more tag, we get to simply pick where to break our content, hit the button, and save the post.

Done.

What’s cool, then, is I can fire in short items which are asides (yes, I know, there’s an “Aside” format) and have these readable in full in the archive – just by posting something and not using the Read More tag. If we used code to enforce excerpts, I’d then need to code an override to make that happen… but having this volume of quality content here is obviously the dream, one which assumes I have time to post blog posts with such regularity that an aside would be anything other than a bad old joke to my imaginary “regular visitor”.

In any case, if you are using Twenty Seventeen and you want to show excerpts in your archives (and blog home page), and you are wondering how… one answer which worked for me is: use the “Read More” tag!

Leave a comment below if this method caused you to face palm over your ACF inspired excerpt / no except controls 🙂

Published by Robin Scott

I'm Robin Scott, a WordPress and WooCommerce expert who, along with three other people, runs a business called Silicon Dales Ltd remotely, from a base in the North West of the UK (kind of near Manchester!).

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6 Comments

  1. You are a godsend! I searched high and low for days on how to create excerpts (I needed the an alternative since comments section can’t be shown on blog landing page) and all it took was one click to solve my problem. THANK YOU!

  2. Yeah, it’s really important to use ‘more tag’ in most of the WordPress theme because of post excerpt limit… We can also set post excerpt limit from themes file.

    1. This is mentioned in the post. By default Twenty Seventeen doesn’t use excerpts in display, so you’d need to customize your theme to achieve this (which was one of the main points of this post actually) – the whole idea being you don’t need to do this if you use the more tag, which allows you to selectively determine how long the “excerpt” is, on a post-by-post basis… by inserting a simple tag.

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