How to Create Post Excerpts
Maria Cadwallader, Director of the Valparaiso Public Library asked me the other day how to create a blog post which appears as an excerpt (i.e. shortened version) on the home page and then offered the reader a “more” link to be able to go to a Web page containing the complete post. This way, your site’s home page isn’t taken up by one or more post of longer than usual length.
At first she, and I, thought that this was theme based; some had this feature, some didn’t. While that seemed to be true at first glance I though that adding a plugin for those that wanted this feature might be a better option. It turns out, that this feature is currently available to everyone, I just didn’t realize it.
Instead of repeating all of the instructions here I’ll instead point you to the WordPress Support Page for The More Tag. There you will find instructions for just how to pull this off through a button on the Add New Post page.
One word of advice: please use this sparingly and only on longer posts. Studies have shown that when you make the use click a link to read the rest of a post, the number who do is much lower than you would expect. So, when you do use this feature, don’t bury the lead. Make sure the important bit is in the excerpt that appears on your home page.