How to change excerpt length in WordPress

An excerpt is a post summary which is being used to describe your article in a few short sentences. Those descriptions are a great way of letting your visitors see what’s the post about and decide if they’re interested in reading the rest of your article. Also, it is a great tool for RSS readers.

In WordPress, excerpts can be manual or automatic and they’re slightly different from teasers (text before <–more–> tag) just because WordPress is handling them differently. If you don’t write your own excerpt, WordPress will make a summary automatically and take first 55 words from your post.

If you are new to WordPress and now you’re trying to find your own excerpt box where you want to write a manual summary, you have probably found none. That’s because excerpts are hidden by default. To make the textbox visible, while you are editing a post or writing a new one, click on “Screen Options” which can be found on top of the page where you have to check “Excerpts”. Now you’re ready to scroll under your post and write your excerpt.

But as you can see, there is no option which would simply change the length of an excerpt. That’s probably why you’re reading this article and in the next few lines, we’re about to show you a quick and simple way of doing that.

    1. Go to Appearance-> Editor
    2. On the right side, find function.php file or open the file from your FTP client
    3. Copy and paste the following function:
    4. function my_excerpt_length($length) {
      return 110;
      add_filter('excerpt_length', 'my_excerpt_length');
    5. Save changes after which your excerpts will have a limit of 110 instead 55 words

    Of course, you are free to change the number to any integer you want. But remember we’re talking about summaries – you don’t want your summary to be too short, but there’s no need for exaggerating. You can always put a “read more” link after each excerpt.

    If you want even more control over your excerpts, you should consider Advanced Excerpt plugin which is capable of doing the same job with some extra features, plus, you won’t have to deal with the code and PHP files.


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