Understanding How To Use WordPress Custom Excerpts

WordPress, as one of the leading content management systems (CMS), empowers millions of users worldwide to build stunning websites and engaging blogs. Among its array of powerful features, WordPress custom excerpts stand out as an invaluable tool for content creators. These concise summaries provide a glimpse into your content and can be leveraged in various ways, such as enhancing search engine visibility, optimizing RSS feeds, and enticing readers. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the power of WordPress custom excerpts, explore their benefits, and provide valuable tips and examples to help you maximize their potential.

What are WordPress Custom Excerpts?

WordPress custom excerpts are succinct descriptions or summaries of your content that can be strategically employed across different platforms. Typically used in search engine results, RSS feeds, archive pages, or social media shares, these custom excerpts offer a compelling overview of your content and entice users to explore further.

Creating WordPress Custom Excerpts

Crafting custom excerpts in WordPress is a simple and straightforward process. Follow these steps to create captivating summaries that captivate your audience:

  1. Navigate to the desired post or page within your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Scroll down until you find the “Excerpt” section.
  3. Enter a concise and engaging summary of your content within the designated field.
  4. Save your post or page, and your custom excerpt is now ready for use.
Benefits of Using WordPress Custom Excerpts

By leveraging the power of WordPress custom excerpts, you can unlock several benefits that significantly enhance your website’s visibility, user experience, and engagement. Let’s delve into the key advantages:

Increased Visibility

Utilizing custom excerpts provides a significant boost to the visibility of your content. When search engines display results, these concise summaries act as compelling snippets that attract users’ attention and entice them to click through to your website. By strategically crafting custom excerpts with relevant keywords and engaging language, you can maximize your content’s exposure and drive organic traffic.

Enhanced SEO

Custom excerpts play a crucial role in optimizing your website for search engines. By succinctly summarizing the essence of your content, these excerpts enable search engines to understand and categorize your pages more accurately. Including relevant keywords within your excerpts helps search engines recognize the relevance of your content, potentially resulting in higher rankings in search results.

Improved Engagement

With attention spans becoming increasingly shorter, custom excerpts serve as powerful tools to captivate and engage your audience. By providing a brief glimpse into your content’s value, readers can quickly assess if it aligns with their interests and needs. Compelling and well-crafted custom excerpts pique curiosity, encouraging users to click through and explore your content further, thus boosting engagement metrics.

Enhanced User Experience

Custom excerpts contribute to a seamless and user-friendly browsing experience. When users visit your website, these summaries enable them to scan and evaluate the relevance of your content quickly. By providing clear and concise information, custom excerpts guide users to the specific sections or topics that interest them most, resulting in a more satisfactory user experience.

Increased Social Shares

In the age of social media, custom excerpts play a pivotal role in driving content sharing. When users encounter an intriguing summary, they are more likely to share it with their followers or friends. By incorporating custom excerpts with a strong call to action or an enticing cliffhanger, you can stimulate users to share your content, increasing its reach and driving more traffic back to your website.

Tips for Creating Effective WordPress Custom Excerpts

Creating compelling custom excerpts requires careful consideration and strategic execution. To help you craft excerpts that capture attention and drive engagement, consider the following tips:

Keep it Short and Concise

To maximize the impact of your custom excerpts, keep them succinct and to the point. Aim for a length of under 150 characters to ensure they are easily scannable and digestible.

Harness the Power of Keywords

Integrate relevant keywords strategically within your custom excerpts. This practice reinforces the connection between your content and search engine queries, helping search engines understand the topic and context more effectively.

Incorporate a Compelling Call to Action

To entice readers further, include a compelling call to action within your custom excerpts. This can range from inviting them to read more, asking a thought-provoking question, or highlighting a benefit they can gain by exploring your content.

Leverage Rich Snippets

Take advantage of rich snippets, which are structured data markup that provides additional context to search engines. Including relevant rich snippets, such as star ratings, publication dates, or product information, within your custom excerpts can make your content stand out and attract more clicks.

Examples of Effective WordPress Custom Excerpts

To illustrate the concepts discussed, let’s explore a few examples of well-crafted custom excerpts:

Blog Post on Healthy Eating

Custom Excerpt: “Discover the secrets of healthy eating and transform your lifestyle today. Learn how to nourish your body with wholesome recipes and practical tips for a vibrant and energized you!”

Product Page for Fitness Tracker

Custom Excerpt: “Take your fitness journey to the next level with our cutting-edge fitness tracker. Track your progress, monitor your heart rate, and achieve your wellness goals like never before!”

Travel Guide for Paris

Custom Excerpt: “Embark on a captivating journey through the City of Love. Uncover hidden gems, indulge in exquisite cuisine, and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Paris!”

Advanced Techniques for Optimizing WordPress Custom Excerpts

While the basic steps for creating WordPress custom excerpts have been covered, there are some advanced techniques you can implement to further optimize your custom excerpts. Let’s explore these techniques in detail:

Manually Craft Custom Excerpts

By default, WordPress generates automatic excerpts based on the first few lines of your content. However, manually crafting custom excerpts allows you to have more control over the messaging and presentation of your summaries. Instead of relying on automated excerpts, take the time to create unique and compelling custom excerpts for each post or page. This ensures that the essence of your content is accurately conveyed and resonates with your target audience.

Customize Excerpt Length

While keeping custom excerpts short is generally recommended, there may be instances where you want to adjust the length based on your content’s requirements. WordPress provides a built-in function, excerpt_length, that allows you to modify the default length of custom excerpts. By utilizing this function and specifying a desired length in your theme’s functions.php file, you can tailor the excerpt length to suit your specific needs.

Utilize Excerpt More Tag


tag in WordPress is a powerful tool for controlling the display of your content on archive pages, search results, and RSS feeds. By inserting the tag within your post or page editor, you can define the point at which the custom excerpt ends and the “Read More” link or button appears. This provides a teaser to entice readers to click through and read the full article. Strategic placement of the tag allows you to engage users by revealing just enough information to pique their interest.

Use Excerpt Enhancing Plugins

WordPress offers a wide range of plugins that can enhance the functionality and appearance of your custom excerpts. Plugins like Advanced Excerpt or Excerpt Editor allow you to customize the appearance of excerpts, add read more links, or even include thumbnail images to make your custom excerpts more visually appealing. These plugins provide additional flexibility and customization options, enabling you to create unique and engaging custom excerpts tailored to your specific needs.

Implement Schema Markup

Schema markup is a structured data format that provides search engines with additional information about your content. By incorporating schema markup into your custom excerpts, you can provide specific details, such as ratings, reviews, or event dates, which can be displayed in search engine results as rich snippets. Rich snippets not only make your custom excerpts more visually appealing but also increase the chances of attracting clicks and driving traffic to your website.

Technical Tips for Optimizing WordPress Custom Excerpts

To further enhance the effectiveness of your WordPress custom excerpts, consider implementing the following technical tips:

Customize Excerpt Templates

WordPress allows you to customize the appearance and structure of your custom excerpts by modifying the excerpt template file in your theme. By creating a custom template file, you can have full control over the HTML markup, styling, and layout of your custom excerpts. This customization allows you to align the presentation of your custom excerpts with your overall website design and branding, providing a consistent and cohesive user experience.

To create a custom excerpt template, first, locate the excerpt.php file in your theme’s folder. Make a copy of this file and rename it as excerpt-custom.php. Then, modify the contents of the excerpt-custom.php file to match your desired layout and styling. Finally, in your theme’s functions.php file, add the following code to tell WordPress to use your custom excerpt template:

function custom_excerpt_template($template) {
if (is_main_query() && is_home()) {
return get_template_directory() . '/excerpt-custom.php';
return $template;
add_filter('template_include', 'custom_excerpt_template');

Save the changes, and your custom excerpt template will now be applied to your WordPress custom excerpts.

Display Excerpts in Widget Areas

Extend the visibility of your custom excerpts by displaying them in widget areas throughout your website. WordPress provides a built-in widget called “Recent Posts” that allows you to display a list of recent posts along with their excerpts. By placing this widget in your sidebar or footer, you can showcase your latest content and entice visitors to explore further. To customize the appearance of the Recent Posts widget, navigate to the Appearance > Widgets section in your WordPress dashboard and adjust the settings accordingly.

Utilize Custom Fields for Excerpt Meta Data

WordPress custom fields offer a powerful way to include additional meta data with your custom excerpts. You can use custom fields to add relevant information, such as the author’s name, publication date, or post category, to your custom excerpts. This additional meta data not only enhances the context of your custom excerpts but also provides users with valuable information before they click through to your content. To add custom fields to your custom excerpts, you can utilize plugins such as Advanced Custom Fields or Meta Box, or implement custom code within your theme.

Implement Excerpt Optimization Plugins

WordPress offers a variety of plugins specifically designed to optimize and enhance the functionality of custom excerpts. These plugins provide additional features and customization options to fine-tune your custom excerpts according to your preferences. Some popular plugins in this category include WP Show Posts, Post Excerpt Plus, and Excerpt Length Control. Explore these plugins and choose the ones that align with your goals and requirements to streamline the process of managing and optimizing your custom excerpts.

Pros & Cons of WordPress Custom Excerpts

Here’s a comparison of the pros and cons of WordPress custom excerpts in a tabular format:

Increased visibility in search engine resultsLimited control over automated excerpt generation
Enhanced SEO by providing relevant informationManual creation of custom excerpts can be time-consuming
Improved engagement and user experienceCustomization options may require technical knowledge
Higher chances of social media sharingSome themes may not support custom excerpts
Ability to provide a summary of contentLimited character count for custom excerpts
Flexibility to customize excerpt lengthRequires additional effort for each post or page
Can be displayed in archive pages and RSS feedsExcerpt content may need regular updating

It’s important to note that while there are some limitations to WordPress custom excerpts, their benefits outweigh the drawbacks. With careful planning and implementation, custom excerpts can significantly enhance the visibility, engagement, and user experience of your website.


Q: Can I use HTML tags within custom excerpts?
A: Yes, you can use HTML tags within custom excerpts to format the text or add links. This allows you to style the appearance of your custom excerpts and make them more visually appealing.

Q: Can I customize the length of custom excerpts?
A: Yes, you can customize the length of custom excerpts. WordPress provides a default excerpt length, but you can modify it using the excerpt_length filter in your theme’s functions.php file. This allows you to adjust the length to suit your specific needs.

Q: Can I manually create custom excerpts for each post or page?
A: Absolutely! While WordPress can automatically generate excerpts based on the first few lines of your content, you can also manually create unique custom excerpts for each post or page. This allows you to have more control over the messaging and presentation of your summaries.

Q: Are custom excerpts important for SEO?
A: Yes, custom excerpts can positively impact your website’s SEO. By crafting concise and keyword-rich custom excerpts, you can provide search engines with relevant information about your content. This helps search engines understand the context and topic of your content, potentially leading to improved rankings in search results.

Q: Can I display custom excerpts in search engine results?
A: While custom excerpts are not directly displayed in search engine results, they can influence how your content appears. Search engines often use custom excerpts as the snippet that accompanies your website’s listing in search results. By creating compelling and informative custom excerpts, you can increase the likelihood of users clicking through to your website.

Q: Are custom excerpts displayed in RSS feeds?
A: Yes, custom excerpts can be displayed in RSS feeds. WordPress includes custom excerpts in the feed content, allowing subscribers to get a brief overview of your content before clicking through to read the full article.

Q: Can I display custom excerpts in archive pages?
A: Absolutely! Custom excerpts can be displayed in archive pages, such as category or tag archives. This provides a concise summary of each post or page, allowing visitors to quickly scan and assess the relevance of the content.

Q: Can I use custom excerpts in social media shares?
A: Yes, custom excerpts can be utilized in social media shares. When sharing a link to your content on platforms like Facebook or Twitter, the custom excerpt often accompanies the post, providing a preview of the content. Crafting compelling and intriguing custom excerpts can entice users to click on the shared link and explore your content.

Q: Can I add a “Read More” link to my custom excerpts?
A: Absolutely! By using the <!–more–> tag within your post or page editor, you can determine where the custom excerpt ends and the “Read More” link or button appears. This feature allows you to provide a teaser of your content, encouraging users to click through and read the full article.

Q: Are there plugins available to enhance custom excerpts?
A: Yes, there are several plugins available in the WordPress repository that can enhance the functionality and appearance of custom excerpts. Plugins like Advanced Excerpt, Excerpt Editor, and WP Show Posts offer additional customization options, allowing you to create engaging and visually appealing custom excerpts.


WordPress custom excerpts are a powerful tool that can be used to make your content more visible and to draw more attention to it. By creating effective custom excerpts, you can help search engines better understand what your content is about and rank it higher in search results. You can also help increase engagement with your content and encourage readers to click through to it.

If you need help creating effective WordPress custom excerpts, contact AS6 Digital Agency. We can help you create custom excerpts that will help make your content more visible and draw more attention to it.


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About Amoi Blake-Amaro

Media graduate with a concentration in advertising from Oral Roberts University. Having worked with a diverse range of clients, from entertainment to e-commerce, coaching to health, I've learned the importance of creating custom solutions that reflect each client's unique brand and effectively communicate their message to their target audience.
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Are you a small business owner?

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