How to Customize WordPress Excerpts Without Code

Learn now how to edit and customize WordPress posts excerpts area without code to keep your homepage or blog page short and focused

How to Customize WordPress Excerpts

When viewing a WordPress site, you’ll see the posts are not displayed fully on pages. Instead of that, only a part of the content is displayed. That part is called an excerpt. See now how to edit and customize WordPress posts excerpts area without code.

Here is a screenshot that uses an excerpt on the blog page:

How to Customize WordPress Excerpts Without Code
How to Customize WordPress Excerpts

Excerpts in WordPress themes

Using excerpts from WordPress themes has some benefits:

  • It keeps your homepage or blog page short and focused. Your readers see only the brief description of the posts. When they need to see more information, they can just click on the posts to read more.
  • It makes the WordPress design clean and clear. It gives your readers “a space to breath.” If you’re a designer, you’ll know that using white space well is essential to a successful design. That’s why most WordPress templates use an excerpt.

The Problem With WordPress Excerpts

While using an excerpt is very common, it has a problem: the number of characters or words in the excerpt is usually fixed by the theme. A number X might look fine in one language but not another. Even when you design your post with some page builder, the post excerpt shows codes on it.  And because of that, the excerpt length (or excerpt limit) should be able to change.

Customize Excerpts

There are 4 ways to change the excerpt length.

1. How to Add Custom Snippets in WordPress (Default) Block Editor

Adding custom excerpts in WordPress is easy. First, create a new post or edit an existing one.

You should see the Extract drop-down menu in the WordPress content editor’s right pane. Next to it, click the down arrow.

How to Add Custom Snippets in WordPress (Default) Block Editor

It expands to reveal the Statements panel. Here you can enter your custom release statement. We just copied the first paragraph of the post ourselves.

Note: If you still use the old classic editor, click the Screen Options tab in the upper right corner. Then tick the “Excerpt” box. Below the field where you wrote your contribution, you will now see the location of your excerpt.

expand to show the excerpt box. You can type your custom post excerpt here

Your WordPress theme will now use the custom excerpt from this post.

As you can see, the “read more” link does not appear after the excerpt. Depending on the theme used, custom excerpts may not have this link.

Readers can still click on the post title or image to read your whole post.

2. Manually Customize Excerpt Classic Editor

WP screen options zoom
How to Customize WordPress Excerpts Without Code

There are 2 types of an excerpt:

  • The automatic excerpt: is generated from the content of the post. Usually, the automatic excerpt takes 55 first words from the post content. Of course, the number of words (55) is what we’re going to change.
  • The manual excerpt that users can enter themselves when editing a post. The manual section is entered in the Excerpt meta box below the main editor, as in the screenshot below:
There are 2 types of a field on classic editor:
How to Customize WordPress Excerpts

Manually enter the excerpt

Not many people know and use the manual excerpt! It’s a big mistake. Using manual excerpt helps you to:

  • 100% control of what displays in the excerpt
  • Improving SEO score

Regarding SEO, some SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO, automatically take the excerpt content and display it as the description in the search results. You can customize this description using a manual excerpt and increase the click-through rate. To enter the manual excerpt, simply enter the content in the Excerpt meta box below the editor, as shown in the screenshot above. That’s very simple.

But just note that the read more link might disappear if you use a manual excerpt. This depends on the WordPress theme you’re using. It doesn’t always happen but happens in most cases. You should look at the automatic excerpt to keep the read more link.

3. Change Excerpt Length With Code

If you know the code, you can customize the excerpt length easily. Open the functions.php the file of your theme and enter the following code:

add_filter( 'excerpt_length', 'your_prefix_excerpt_length' );
function your_prefix_excerpt_length() {
    return 30;

Remember to change to30 the number of words you want to show in the excerpt.

When using a code, it’s recommended to use a child theme. Because when you’re current WordPress theme updates, your customization will be lost.

How to Customize WordPress grid shot content
How to Customize WordPress Excerpts

4. WordPress Plugins To Change Excerpt Length

The 3rd way and easiest way to change excerpt length is using a WordPress plugin. We have researched, and here are the 3 best WordPress plugins to change excerpt length.


Author(s): Ashkar

This plugin is very simple. It adds only 1 option in the Settings → Reading page for excerpt length. You just need to enter the number of words in the excerpt! Plugin settings page


Author(s): The Krotek

This plugin is very similar to the plugin above. It also adds an option for excerpt length in the Settings → Reading page:


Author(s): Lee Kelleher

This plugin not only helps you to customize the excerpt length but also the excerpt more text. It’s similar to both the plugins above. These plugins are very simple and very lightweight. They don’t affect your website loading speed but provide a very good way to customize the website without touching code. We have tested these plugins and used them for some of our customers. It works nicely.

How to Customize WordPress Excerpts
How to Customize WordPress Excerpts