Are you debating whether it would be better to use a post excerpt rather than the complete content in your archive pages? 

Your visitors will get a better understanding of your material after reading the summary that you provide for them. Users have the option of reading the brief extract and deciding for themselves if they would want to view the whole blog post. Using the complete post, on the other hand, does not involve any more activity on the part of the user, which may result in more people viewing the content. But which one is preferable? 

In this piece, we will contrast the entire post with the summary (excerpt) that appears on the archive pages of your WordPress site. 

What Exactly Is an Excerpt, and How Do I Insert One Into WordPress? 

An article can have a short summary of it that can be displayed on the archive pages in WordPress. This is called an excerpt. The whole article is also available to users by clicking the link that is included in the extract. 

When you just have a limited amount of space available on your WordPress website, using excerpts to display descriptions of your content is a fantastic option. 

The first 55 words of a blog post will be taken by WordPress and displayed as an excerpt if the post is using the default settings. You also have the option of manually inserting an excerpt. 

Including Quotes and Snippets in WordPress Posts 

To begin, you will need to either create a new post or make changes to an existing one. After you have entered the WordPress content editor, you can access the settings panel by clicking the ‘gear’ icon located in the upper right hand corner of the screen. 

After that, move down to the section labelled “Excerpt,” and then type your content into the form labelled “Write an excerpt (optional).” 

When you are finished, you can either publish your blog post or update it. 

Including Quotes in WordPress Posts and Pages 

You will notice that there is no option to add an excerpt to a WordPress page if you need to add a summary to the page. On the other hand, you merely need to include the following code on your website: 

add_post_type_support(‘page’, ‘excerpt’); 

Installing and activating the WPCode plugin is required for you to add the code. Please refer to our installation instructions for WordPress plugins if you require any further clarification on this matter. 

After the plugin has been activated, navigate to the WordPress dashboard, click Code Snippets > Add Snippet, and then choose the option to ‘Add Your Custom Code (New Snippet)’. 

Next, you can enter a name for your code snippet. 

After that, copy and paste the snippet into the ‘Code Preview’ field, then use the drop-down menu to choose ‘PHP Snippet’ as the appropriate code type. You may then select the location on your site where you would want the snippet to be added by scrolling down to the “Insertion” section and making your selection there. 

Next, select the ‘Run Everywhere’ option from the ‘PHP Snippets Only’ dropdown menu by clicking on the ‘Location’ dropdown menu’s dropdown arrow. 

After you have finished entering the code, you can activate the snippet by clicking the toggle at the top of the page, and then you can click the ‘Save Snippet’ button. 

This will cause a ‘Excerpt’ meta box to be added to the settings panel in your WordPress editor. Here, you will be able to easily write a summary for the page you are editing. 

Having stated that, let’s examine the benefits of utilising a summary as opposed to a full post when it comes to archive sites. 

Advantages of Reading Only the Summary of an Archive Post as Opposed to the Entire Thing 

The decision of whether to include excerpts or full posts in archive pages can be a significant factor in the overall quality of the user experience provided by your website. You want users to be able to navigate the website without any difficulty, locate what they are looking for, and boost the website’s rating in search engines. 

You are able to deliver a better experience for the user if you employ summaries. It assists people in locating the content that they are looking for to read. In addition to this, it helps to keep your page organised and gives you the ability to display several posts on a single page. If you show full posts in the archives, then this will be a really challenging task. 

In light of this, the following is a more in-depth examination of the reasons why we advise you to use summaries (excerpts) rather than full posts on the archive pages of your WordPress website. 

  1. Accelerates the loading of web pages

Did you know that Google now uses the speed of your website as a factor in the rankings? The search engine will provide greater rankings to websites that load quickly as opposed to those that take a significant amount of time to load completely. 

You can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes for a page to load on your archive pages by using excerpts. 

Imagine that there is an archive page that only displays 10 posts at a time. If each of those 10 pages contains more than 500 words of content and five photos, then the viewer will have a lot of content to scroll through. Additionally, the page will load more slowly than usual. 

You may dramatically improve the user experience by utilising excerpts in your content. 

Our category, tag, date, and other archive pages can be swiftly loaded, and users may navigate through them without any difficulty. When it comes to search engines, you will observe an improvement in ranks for archive pages, as well as an improvement in WordPress SEO, when page load times are decreased. 

  1. Prevents Content from Being Duplicated

You can avoid being penalised for having duplicate material in search engines by displaying excerpts on the pages that include your archived content. 

For instance, WordPress sites come equipped with category, tag, date, and author archives by default. When you publish full posts in archives, each individual piece will be displayed in its entirety across a number of different pages on your website. 

Even though search engines are very good at locating the canonical URLs for each post, they are still able to flag the site for having duplicate content, which will have a negative impact on your rankings in the search engines. 

  1. Drives up the number of pageviews while simultaneously lowering the bounce rate

The bounce rate can be lowered and the number of pageviews can be increased by using summaries or extracts. Users who wish to read the complete story can do so by clicking through to the post in its entirety. 

If you just display full posts on the archive pages, visitors will not see any of the other features that are on the blog page itself. For example, they will not see a widget that displays popular posts anywhere inside the post or page content if you only display full posts. 

Users might just quit your site after browsing at a single page if the complete content is displayed because it is too much information for them to take in at once. 

Your archive page will become more engaging for your readers and will assist them to find more information more simply if you provide a synopsis. 

The Drawbacks of Using Summaries in the Archives as Opposed to Full Posts 

  1. The User Experience Is Ruined by the Shortness of the Excerpts

WordPress will generate a summary of the article based on the first 55 words if you do not specify an excerpt for blog articles. If you do provide an excerpt, WordPress will ignore it. This is too short, and as a result, occasionally your phrases may be split in half, which will result in a negative experience for the user. 

There is always the option to adjust the excerpt length in a WordPress theme, however doing so will not solve the issue completely. 

One possible option is to compose a one-of-a-kind extract in the content editor before the piece is published. Another alternative is to produce brief introductions that are both interesting and easy to utilise as extracts. These should be written in such a way that they are likely to pique the user’s attention. 

  1. Hidden Content

Some visitors would rather read the entire item on a single page than having to navigate to another website to finish reading it, so they can save time. This will come in handy for you if the blog entries you write are brief and don’t contain a lot of photographs. 

These users are more likely to stay on your site for longer, even if they don’t click on any other pages, which is another parameter that Google utilises to decide where a website ranks in the search engine results page. 

When Viewing Archive Pages, Should You Display the Full Post or the Summary Instead? 

If your postings are brief and do not contain a significant number of images, you may be able to get away with displaying the whole post on the archive pages of your website. 

On the other hand, we strongly advise you to make use of summaries or extracts whenever possible for your archive sites. A majority of WordPress themes come pre-packaged with a built-in feature that gives users the ability to select full posts or excerpts from within the theme’s options. 

A better user experience is provided by excerpts, and your website will appear cleaner and more organised as a result. On your archive sites, you can increase user engagement, pageviews, and the number of articles displayed by showing more ones. 


We have high hopes that this article has provided you with the answer to the question of whether you should use a complete post or a summary in the archive pages of your WordPress hosting site. You might also be interested in checking out our advice on how to easily convert a WordPress site from HTTP to HTTPS as well as our WooCommerce simplified tutorial. 


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