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hello everyone welcome to another
WordPress tutorial in this lesson we'll
be learning how to add read more links
or excerpts to our website so for
example in front of you you can see a
blog post now we probably don't want to
output the entire body text of this blog
post on the initial blog listing screen
we likely only want to output the first
30 to 50 words and then include some
sort of a read more link and then if a
user clicks on that it then takes them
to the full article with the full text
well in this lesson we're going to
review a few different paths that we can
take to achieve just that so let's get
started your first option is to edit the
post that you would like to add and read
more link to so this one is titled
alternate opinion post I will hop over
to my dashboard click on posts here's
the one that I'm interested in okay so
let's say I only want mmm the first
paragraph to display and then I want to
read more link I simply place my cursor
at the end of the paragraph and then
there is this insert read more tag in
the WordPress content editor so if I
click that it will add this more line
now if I click update and then if we go
and refresh the actual website you can
see that it's that simple there's now a
more link and if I click that it takes
me to the full article now really
quickly let's hop back over to the
dashboard again and I want to point out
that we were using the visual editor
that WordPress offers but if you click
the text if you use the text version of
the editor the same exact behavior
applies you can simply click this more
button and it will insert this code that
functions the exact same it's just a
code representation of this more line
you may be thinking okay but what if I
don't want it to read more dot can I
customize it you absolutely can so in
your code editor go ahead and open up
whatever theme page you're interested in
editing in this case I'll be editing
index.php and look for where you're
outputting the content look for where
you're using the the content function
inside the parentheses for the
function single-quote now you can
include any text you'd like so if I want
to say continue reading and then arrow
is the symbol for a right facing arrow
if i refresh we can see that that takes
place it's that simple to customize the
text so we can see that the word press
read more button is very powerful and in
certain circumstances it's your best bet
however there are other options out
there so please do not think that this
is your only option because the old
saying goes if your only tool is a
hammer you begin to treat everything as
if it were a nail for example this is
our blog listing page you can see we
have multiple blogs on this page or
excuse me multiple blog posts and what
if we don't want just some of them to
have a continue reading link what if we
want each and every one of them to only
display you know a few sentences and
then have a read more link well in that
case maybe it doesn't make sense to rely
on manually adding a read more button
from the content editor maybe we should
do things a bit more programmatically if
that's the case then I recommend
temporarily ignoring the read more
button and instead hopping over to your
code and instead of using the the
content function let's use the the
excerpt function now you can see that
every post on this blog listing page now
uses the excerpt well what is the
excerpt you asked in your wordpress post
editor you probably won't see the
excerpt field by default but if you
scroll to the top and you click on the
screen options tab you should get some
sort of a slide down and then look for
the excerpt check box and check it now
if you scroll down you'll see this new
field named excerpt and if we add custom
text in here
and go ahead and click update we can see
that this post is using that custom
excerpt text that we just input now if
we click on this post we can then see
here is the full body text now on this
blog listing page you can see that we
didn't manually enter excerpts for any
of these other posts WordPress's
automatically because we left that field
empty for all these other posts it's
automatically grabbing the first 55
words of the post and only outputting
that so if I click on this post here's
the full text a quick side note for any
of you who have been following along
this entire WordPress video series we
need to make sure that our theme folder
has a file name single dot PHP so if
you've been following along you'll
notice that we haven't created this file
together yet I just created it behind
the scenes and all I did was duplicate
index dot PHP and change this line where
we just changed this to the excerpt one
single dot PHP I just changed it right
back to the content so if you've been
following along just go ahead and make
sure to make that change as well but if
you're really just trying to adjust a
different theme then this doesn't matter
at all because your single dot PHP file
should already be good to go so moving
on if we head back to the home page you
might realize that when we were using
the content and then clicking the read
more button in the WordPress content
editor we had a nice
continue reading link but now that we're
using the excerpt instead we get in this
case nothing and in this case brackets
with three dots neither of which is very
useful so what if we would like to add
back in that read more or continue
reading link it's actually fairly simple
we'll head over to index.php now
remember where we just changed this from
the content to the excerpt for our home
page well we're actually going to change
it to get the excerpt and what this will
do we obviously need to echo it then
it will return the excerpt text but it
won't try to help us with HTML which
means we need to wrap our own paragraph
tags around it and then directly after
the excerpt we'll just manually include
read more link so we will say create a
link says read more oops they right
facing arrow and for the actual URL
value can just drop into PHP and say the
permalink okay so now if we refresh you
can see that it's that easy we have read
more links and if we click them or take
into that page okay so now that our
excerpts have a read more link the next
step would be to customize the length of
the excerpt itself so by default I
believe WordPress will grab the first 55
words but let's say you wanted it to
only be 25 words
well it's quite easy to customize let's
head over to our functions dot PHP file
and our theme folder I'm going to create
a new comment that says customize
excerpt word count length okay and we're
just going to create a new function
named custom excerpt length you could
actually name this function anything you
would like and then inside the function
all we want to do is return an integer
so I will say return 25 okay so that's
all the code we need for the function
but now we need to tell WordPress to
actually run this function at some point
so WordPress has a function named add
filter and this will allow us to hook on
you can almost think of them as events
but in this case we're going to hook on
to a filter named excerpt length and
then we get to say what we want to
replace the default behavior with so we
want to tack on two excerpt lengths and
then we want to replace it with this
function that we just created aimed
custom X or plain so now add a semicolon
and if we refresh you can see the
excerpts are now only using 25 words
instead of 55 so now that we see how
excerpt works you might be thinking to
yourself hmm well I would like to have
the best of both worlds what if on my
home page I want to display the full
complete text for posts if I don't enter
an excerpt
but if I do enter a manual excerpt then
only show the excerpt well that's
actually not that difficult to set up so
let's hop over to our index.php file and
we're going to add some new code right
around this area we'll use an if
statement so we'll say once we drop into
PHP we'll say if the current post is
being looped through has a excerpt then
we'll do something but if it doesn't
else then we'll do something else okay
so now it's just a matter of placing
this code in the brackets that will run
if there is an excerpt and I'll drop
into and out of PHP where it's
appropriate and then in this set of
brackets this is what happens if there
isn't an excerpt so then we simply just
want to output the content so if we
refresh you can see that our first post
because remember we entered a manually
crafted excerpt in the excerpt field
it's only displaying the excerpt with a
read more link but these other posts
because we didn't enter anything in the
excerpt field they're simply displaying
the full text so as you can see there's
a lot of different options for how you
want to use read more links and excerpts
but hopefully this video gave you a good
introduction as to what's out there and
how you can achieve what you would like
so thank you very much for watching I
hope you feel like you learn something
and stay tuned for more WordPress and
web development tutorials thanks bye

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