I'm using the_excerpt(); on an archive page; my problem: manual excerpts display, but automatic excerpts do not (just for clarification: an automatic excerpt meaning a snippet generated from the_content(); when a manual excerpt isn't present)

What I've Tried/Figured Out So Far:

  • I eliminated the possibility that the word/character length could be set to 0
  • the_content(); shows up fine
  • I removed my custom functions.php to make sure there wasn't any conflicting code on my end
  • I've tried the_excerpt(); and get_the_excerpt();
  • Settings > Reading "For each article in a feed, show" (1) Full Post (2) Summary. I selected both, but nothing changes
  • The excerpt content doesn't show up in the DOM (ie. it's not a CSS issue)
  • I disabled all plugins

Worth Noting: I am using a template, but until recently the_excerpt(); worked.

edits: I forgot to note, the "Read More" Button shows up

enter image description here

  • By "pop up," you just mean "display," right? Not sure what you mean by a "listing page," but I'm assuming you're talking about a query loop and a more or less typical "archive. Might be clarifying if you showed the template or the relevant portion of it. Also, obviously, what's changed or otherwise different about current conditions since "the_excerpt() worked"?
    – CK MacLeod
    Sep 1, 2016 at 16:11
  • Has the template been updated recently?
    – Fencer04
    Sep 1, 2016 at 18:58
  • @CKMacLeod 1. I added an image. 2. Yes, an archive. 3. Yes, I meant "display" when I said "pop up", my apologies for the slang! (I'll edit my post to remove confusion). Unfortunately, I'm unsure what changed because I'm not really sure when it changed. It could've been something I did or my client Sep 1, 2016 at 19:17
  • 1
    Can you provide a link to the site?
    – Fencer04
    Sep 1, 2016 at 19:19
  • 1
    My first suggestion is never develop without some kind of save "last good state(s)" system - like NetBeans or such. Otherwise, if the_content() and other tags are working, then I wonder whether there's any function (in functions.php, template, or plugin), meant to modify $excerpt but forgetting to return anything. Simplest way to check is to try the template under a basic theme, all plugins-off. Might also be helpful to see what get_the_excerpt() returns when you give it the post ID. I think we'd need still more in the way of the code you're working with and environment to go further.
    – CK MacLeod
    Sep 1, 2016 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


It turns out my client added shortcodes to the beginning of the posts and the only thing I can think of is that the_excerpt was choosing what words to use from the content before stripping shortcode tags out, thus, returning a blank excerpt.

Hope this helps someone in the future

  • Glad you were able to solve your own question. Be sure to mark it as resolved tomorrow. Sep 2, 2016 at 22:40

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