Blog Ambitions received its first blog comment before it even went “live.” I was excited when I got the email notification saying someone had commented on my blog. Until I read it, that is. Here is what it said:
I’m glad to see someone else use the Jane theme from StudioPress. I like the way your site looks with the Green in the theme. (My site, currently in development using Jane, will be red, and hopefully read.)
By the way, may I suggest that your posts seem to run a bit long? You may wish to consider adding a “Read more” type of function after several lines of a blog. Readers may be put-off by miles of scrolling to see other articles.
Good luck with Jane.
I was so sad. My very first comment and it was criticism. I just wanted to cry. Then, I moved past that and realized Gordon was just trying to help me. I didn’t want to listen at first. I liked my full posts! Why would I want to hide them in short summaries? I also thought that people would be annoyed with having to click to read more.
The more I thought about it though, the more the pros of excerpts outweighed all the cons.
The benefits of display post excerpts instead of full posts.
There are many reasons to use post excerpts (summaries) instead of displaying the full article in your blog feed. Here are just a few of them.
- Easier navigation. Displaying short summaries of your articles allows readers to skim your blog to find posts they are interested in.
- Faster load time for your blog page. Most bloggers use a lot of images these days. And most of you use your blog page as your home page. Combine the two and that makes for a lot of content to load on one page. Displaying excerpts will allow the blog page to load faster.
- Increased page views & time blog, decreased bounce rate. Google analytic can only track how long someone views your blog if they perform an action on your blog. Take a look at your analytics, do a lot of your visits show 0.0 minutes on your site? That’s not necessarily true. They might have read your whole post and loved. Google just doesn’t know. Setting your articles to only display excerpts encourages more page views and allows Google to track your reader better.
How to only show blog post summaries.
I am going to show you several ways to display post summaries. The first two are available for all themes, the last one is Genesis specific.
Show only summaries on all posts:
From you WordPress dashboard, navigate to Settings – Reading. Where its says “For each article in a feed, show” select Summary.
Add “read more” to blog posts:
This option allows you to control where the post cuts off. You will have to complete this task for every blog post you write. Inside your post, make sure click the add more button where you want the post summary to end.
Show post excerpts using Genesis:
Genesis allows you to have a little more control of your excerpts. From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Genesis – Theme Settings. Scroll down to the section Content Archives. Select to display excerpts. You can also choose whether you want the feature image to be displayed and what size.
Helpful tutorials for displaying excerpts with Genesis:
Adjust Post Excerpts – This article includes snippets for changing the text for the “read more” link and how to change the length of the excerpts.
Full posts followed by excerpts – This is a fabulous alternative! The tutorial shows you how to display a full post for the first article, and then excerpts after.
Taking criticism is hard, especially when it is about your
baby blog. I am thankful for Gordon though, and that he pointed out my posts were too long to display in full. I’ve really grown to like post excerpts. Leave me a comment below if you decide to switch your blog to display excerpts!
Have you had blog criticism that ended up improving your blog?