The question

What is the prescribed way to configure Wordpress to display only article summaries on the front page (with 'Read more...' type links)?

The background

I know this seems like a trivial question, but google tells me how to hack my theme to do this, which isn't my question.

Several years ago, I created a personal blog using Wordpress 3.something and the F2 theme. I easily configured it to display only article summaries, but I don't remember how. I've since upgraded that system to WP 4.2.2 and the summaries mode continues to work.

More recently, about 2 weeks ago, I started a new blog on a new topic, by installing WP 4.2 with the Accent theme. It shows full articles on the front page. I figured the Accent theme perhaps didn't support the functionality I desire, so as a test I installed the F2 theme on my new blog as well, and was unable to determine how to switch to summaries views.

The closest configuration option I can find is under Settings -> Reading, where it says "For each article in a feed, show: Full text, Summary". It is set to Summary, but as described above, had no effect, even on a theme which I know supports this operation.

I expect I'm missing something super simple, but Google tries to give me complicated answers. What am I missing?

  • FYI, Wordpress has its own StackExchange site. I recommend removing your question from this website and posting it there. Do not post there without removing this question first as cross-posting is prohibited.
    – John Conde
    May 13, 2015 at 15:42
  • @JohnConde: yes, but it's just for developers. I'm not asking a development question. If this question is off-topic here, though, I understand.
    – Flimzy
    May 13, 2015 at 15:44
  • I didn't close it as it is on-topic here, too. I just wanted to point out the other site just in case it was better suited for you.
    – John Conde
    May 13, 2015 at 15:46
  • You need to hack the theme if the option is not available already in the theme.
    – m4n0
    May 13, 2015 at 16:52
  • @ManojKumar: Obviously. But I know the option is available in at least one of the themes, as explained in the question. So where is that configured when it is in the theme?
    – Flimzy
    May 13, 2015 at 17:36

2 Answers 2


I believe the Settings -> Reading, where it says For each article in a feed, show: Full text, Summary setting actually will only affect the RSS feeds generated from Wordpress.

I believe to achieve what you desire, you have 2 options. You can either manually set an "excerpt" in the New Post screen (you might need to activate that option under the Screen Options tab).

Alternatively when writing your posts you can put a <!--more--> tag in at the point you want the "excerpt" to end. The Wordpress editor actually includes a button specifically for this tag also:

Visual Wordpress Editor Text Wordpress Editor

Though I believe you're theme will have to be using the_excerpt() function in whatever template you're dealing with, and not the_content().

  • Good call. I found the 'Excerpts only' option on the F2 "Theme Options" page, so it is clearly a per-theme configuration option. I'll decide whether to switch themes, or hack the 'Accent' theme to do what I want.
    – Flimzy
    May 14, 2015 at 16:24

Your display depends on your theme you use. A theme using the_content() will display the full article while a theme using the_excerpt() will display the article excerpt.

It sounds like the proper way to do what you want would be to make a child theme off of your Accent theme and change the front page code from the_content() to the_excerpt().

Refer to http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/the_excerpt for advanced usage.

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