When I switched to WordPress, I had a lot of decisions to make about my blog. Switching to WordPress was the perfect time for me to rethink my branding, blogging strategy and little details about my blog design. One thing I thought a lot about was truncating my blog posts. Eventually I decided that I wanted to do it and I am so glad that I made the decision to.
For those of you that already know you want to truncate your posts, I’m showing both Blogger and WordPress users how. For those of you that aren’t sure or aren’t convinced, I’m sharing a few reasons why I think truncating your posts is a great blog design choice and more effective way for your readers to navigate your blog.
Truncating your blog posts simply means not showing the entirety of a post on the main page of your blog. You’ll see the words “Read more…” or other similar language with a link directing you to the full post.
Truncating Blog Posts on WordPress
There are two main ways to do this. One is automatic and one is manually. Personally, I prefer the manual way, because you are able to control exactly where you add a read more button. This does take more work though because you have to add it for each post. Once you’ve been doing it for a little while though you definitely get used to adding the read more in and it doesn’t seem like an added task.
How to add a manual read more button on WordPress:
When you’re in your post editor, you’ll find the read more button within the style editor toolbar.
Adding the read more tag will add a dashed line to your post on the visual side of the editor.
On the text side of your post editor, you can add in?<!–more–> wherever you want the page break added.
This is my preferred way of adding in a read more link because I’m able to add in some consistency within my posts and control exactly what shows on my homepage. I usually do my introductory paragraph(s) and my hero/pinable image on the main page with the rest of the blog post hidden by the read more link.
How to add an automatic read more button on WordPress:
The easiest way to do this is by using a custom excerpt plugin. This will allow you to control how many characters or words you want shown on the homepage per post. This plugin (Advanced Excerpt) hasn’t yet been tested with the most current version of WordPress, however I have been using it on some of my design clients sites (since before the update) and it hasn’t caused any issues!
Here is a settings screenshot from the plugin homepage:
Truncating Blog Posts on Blogger
To manually add in a read more break in your blog post on Blogger, you can find the icon on your post edit toolbar (make sure you’re on the compose side of the editor).
This will add in a page break that is shown on the homepage of your blog.
If you’re interested in learning to automatically set up post truncating on Blogger, you can follow this tutorial.
There are a few reasons you may want to consider truncating your blog posts:
+Decreased bounce rate (read more on that here)
+Easier navigation on home page of blog
+Gives new visitors a chance to easily see multiple days of content (rather than viewing only one post at length)
+Decreases the chance of dead pins
When you show your entire blog post on the homepage, people may pin from your homepage, rather than the blog post itself. This results in broken pins that will decrease the likelihood of readers engaging with older posts
Truncating blog posts is definitely something most people are fairly opinionated about. I personally have grown so accustomed to having truncated blog posts that it bothers me when I try to read a blog that doesn’t have them. But I know some people are the exact opposite!