How-To-Edit-Featured-Image-&-Blog-Post-Excerpt-Length-In-Genesis

A website’s blog post excerpt is an important thing as that is what a lot of visitors will read before clicking onto one of their posts.  For that reason, it is important to make sure that your post excerpts are looking great for all your visitors.  Anything less and you could be losing out on traffic!

What Are Post Excerpts And Why Are They Good?

When you run a blog, you publish lots of different posts on a regular basis (or at least you should be doing).  All these posts need to be found on your site, otherwise they will just get lost under more and more content.

One of the best ways of letting people find all your content is to categorise them and present them on ‘Category Pages’ and ‘Blog Pages’ (just like the ones we have).  These are essentially just pages that list your posts one after the other depending on what category you add them too.

Post-Excerpt

Now, instead of having a (category) page that displays the full versions of your posts one after another, you can choose to display a post excerpt for each post.  This is good for several reasons;

  1. It helps speed up your site – Instead of having one LONG page with several posts all loading (with included pictures, video, audio, etc.), you simply have a page listing your latest posts with a short description next to each of them.  This helps to cut down on load time and speed up your site.
  2. It increases pageviews – By listing your posts with an excerpt, you are encouraging visitors to click on and read your post on a single post page.  This boosts your pageviews as you are getting visitors to navigate around your site’s different pages, which can be good for advertising revenue.  You also encourage them to leave comments and share the post via social media as those features can only be displayed on single post pages.
  3. It helps people find what they are looking for – Post excerpts can be seen on category pages, tag pages, blog pages, search result pages, archive pages, etc.  This greatly helps visitors to quickly browse through all your posts to find what they are looking for.  This is especially relevant if you have a large site.

Enabling Post Excerpts In Genesis

In order to enable post excerpts in Genesis, you need to make sure your theme is setup correctly.

Quick Note: Your theme may already by default be set to display post excerpts.

Navigate to ‘WordPress Dashboard > Genesis > Theme Settings’ and scroll down to the ‘Content Archives’ section.  Here you can switch between ‘Display post content’ and ‘Display post excerpts’.

With post excerpts selected, your blog pages will display your posts with the first few paragraphs next to your featured image.  For most people that will probably suffice, but what if you want to change the length of the excerpt?

Editing Your Post Excerpt Length In Genesis

For whatever reason, Genesis doesn’t allow you to edit the excerpt length in the theme options.  In order to do so, you need to add the following code to your functions.php file.  (WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Editor > Theme Functions – functions.php)

//* Modify the length of post excerpts
add_filter( 'excerpt_length', 'sp_excerpt_length' );
function sp_excerpt_length( $length ) {
return 50; // pull first 50 words
}

Add this code and simply edit the number (50) to however many words you want your excerpts to display.  In order for this to work you MUST have selected the ‘Display post excerpts’ in your theme options.

Now that we have sorted that out, what about the featured image size?

Edit Featured Image Size

There are a few different ways to edit the size of your featured image next to your post excerpt.

Firstly, you can select one of the pre-existing sizes.  Go back to your theme settings (WordPress Dashboard > Genesis > Theme Settings) and scroll down to the ‘Content Archives’ section again.  Here you can simply choose to switch to one of the other images sizes to use.

If none of these pre-existing sizes is of use to you and you want to use a different sized image, you will need to set that up.  Either;

  1. Navigate to your Media Settings (WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Media) and change one of the image dimensions to suit.  Make sure you don’t change one that you are already using!
  2. Navigate back to your theme functions file (WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Editor > Theme Functions – functions.php) and edit/add to this code.

Featured-Image-Size

Once you have set your preferred image dimensions, simply select that in the theme settings options.

Now you have customised both the excerpt length and featured image size.  If you have any questions about this, let us know in the comments section.