Excerpts, complete posts, and fancy steps

A perennial problem for bloggers is whether or not to display complete posts on their blog’s homepage, aside from SEO duplicate content issues, there is the problem of making the homepage so long that it takes a half hour just to scroll to the bottom to see the earliest post. WordPress has a built in php function “the_excerpt” that helps with this. It allows you to display the introductory clips from your most recent posts and direct readers to follow a “Read on…” or “more…” link to the full story on its own page.

One plugin, the_excerpt_reloaded allows you to customise how this works and to just a special piece of code the “more” tag to break posts on an ad hoc basis at a suitable point in your text. But, that means manually choosing where to make the break and remembering to do it with each post. Much better, possibly, is the fancy excerpt plugin, which makes the break automatically at the end of a sentence rather than mid-flow.

None of this, of course, answers the question, “should I or shouldn’t I?”, display full posts or not. What do you think, would you prefer fewer but complete posts on the homepage instead of half a dozen or so excerpts?

Author: David Bradley

Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Photographer and musician.