I'm trying to add some static (welcome) text above my post excerpts, for which the posts page has been set up to display a category, in this case News. Link

I've tried entering the following:

<?php echo category_description(); ?>

into the index.php and then adding a category description, and it sort of works, but I end up with a huge white, empty space below the static text, and before the first blog excerpt. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

3 Answers 3


You can use the the_excerpt and maybe also the_content filter hook, to catch when the excerpt is going to be print, and output your text before that.

Those filters are called just before the current post excerpt (or content) are printed to page.

Sample code:

 * Function that runs when the excerpt for the post is going to be printed
 * and allow to edit it just in time
 * @param string $excerpt Current post excerpt
function prependNewsDescription( $excerpt ) {
  // let's check if we are in the archive for 'news'
  // and that we are looping main query
  if ( is_category( 'news' ) && in_the_loop() ) {
    // if so, let's get the description for current queried object
    // that is the "news" category term
    // also, remove any additional html tag
    $desc = wp_strip_all_tags( get_queried_object()->description, true );
    // finally, edit the excerpt prepending the description and a line break
    $excerpt = $desc . '<br>' . $excerpt;

  // always return the (maybe edited) excerpt
  return $excerpt;

add_filter( 'the_excerpt', 'prependNewsDescription' );
add_filter( 'the_content', 'prependNewsDescription' );

This way you don't even need to edit your templates.

More info on the functions used:

  • Thanks, but I'm afraid much of that went over my head.
    – Ken A
    Dec 4, 2015 at 17:25
  • @KenA added comments, and link to functions documentation
    – gmazzap
    Dec 4, 2015 at 17:36

Category descriptions are formatted in paragraphs, which can add unnecessary white space.

(By looking at your page I see this inline style:

<p style="min-height: 3616px;">

This is causing the problem. You should find and correct this parameter. Since it is inline, it is not in your style.css file, but in your .php files where you call the specific text.)


Go where you added the

<?php echo category_description(); ?>

Replace it with this

<div class="my-term-description">
<?php echo term_description(); ?>

Then go to your functions.php file and add this at the bottom

  • Thanks, I added what you suggested to functions.php and nothing happened.
    – Ken A
    Dec 4, 2015 at 14:07
  • Thanks, I've been trying to find out where <p style="min-height: 3616px;"> is.
    – Ken A
    Dec 4, 2015 at 22:52
  • Tried again this morning, and I get <p style="min-height: 3459px;">. Still can't find where to edit it though.
    – Ken A
    Dec 5, 2015 at 7:07
  • @KenA Please read my updated answer and if correct mark it so.
    – IXN
    Dec 5, 2015 at 11:54
  • Thanks but no joy I'm afraid, it's not made any difference.
    – Ken A
    Dec 6, 2015 at 13:55

If anyone is interested, I have used the following solution:

<div id="cat-desc"><?php echo category_description(); ?></div>
<style>#cat-desc{ min-height: 0px !important; }</style>

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