this is a RSS-question: Im pulling an RSS feed from a site to display on my homepage. It displays the titles correctly, but I want to truncate the number of characters per post so it doenst take up a long section if the title is long. How do I do that? here is the code Im using

<?php // Get RSS Feed(s)
include_once(ABSPATH . WPINC . '/feed.php');

$rss = fetch_feed('http://examplesite.com/rss');
if (!is_wp_error( $rss ) ) :

    $maxitems = $rss->get_item_quantity(5); 

    $rss_items = $rss->get_items(0, $maxitems);

    <?php if ($maxitems == 0) echo '<li>No items.</li>';

    foreach ( $rss_items as $item ) : ?>
        <a href='<?php echo $item->get_permalink(); ?>'
        title='<?php echo 'Posted '.$item->get_date('j F Y | g:i a'); ?>'>
        <?php echo $item->get_title(); ?></a>
    <?php endforeach; ?>

well I am trying to limit the number of words displayed in the excerpt Basicly, the problem is that I want to use the same excerpt in two different loops. The first one will display the whole excerpt, the second loop will only display a smaller part of it. Therefore I cannot limit the words number of ALL the excerpts, but I would need to do that locally. Ideally, if there is a solution to this I can use the same excerpts in many different places on the blog, using the same excerpt but in its longer/shorter version depending on the situation.

<?php $little_excerpt = substr(the_excerpt(),0,XY); ?> 

doesn’t work because the_excerpt() is not at string.

well we can Use get_the_excerpt() instead, that will do the trick. However, this is still limiting characters, not words.

I just found a solution to limiting the number of words in the excerpt without plugins. Put the following piece of code in your templates functions.php file:

function string_limit_words($string, $word_limit)
  $words = explode(' ', $string, ($word_limit + 1));
  if(count($words) > $word_limit)
  return implode(' ', $words);

Next, put the following piece of code in your template where you want to display the excerpt:

  $excerpt = get_the_excerpt();
  echo string_limit_words($excerpt,25);

Where 25 is the number of words to display.

1 Answer 1


Use PHP string functions like substr to return a number of characters rather than word count.

The post content aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaa will be much longer than a a.

$max_length = 150;

echo substr( $string, 0, $max_length );

As a function it might look like:

function string_limit_words( $string = '', $count = 25, $after = '...' ) {
    if ( strlen( $string ) <= $count ) {
        return $string;

    return substr( $string, 0, $count ) . $after;

echo string_limit_words( "This is a lot of words", 10 );

// This is a ...

the_excerpt() prints the output while get_the_excerpt() will return the string to allow manipulation before output.

  • so i can use this to limit the fetched RSS-Feed in addition to this here ` <?php // Get RSS Feed(s) include_once(ABSPATH . WPINC . '/feed.php'); $rss = fetch_feed('examplesite.com/rss'); if (!is_wp_error( $rss ) ) : $maxitems = $rss->get_item_quantity(5); $rss_items = $rss->get_items(0, $maxitems); endif; ?> <ul> <?php if ($maxitems == 0) echo '<li>No items.</li>'; else foreach ( $rss_items as $item ) : ?> <li> <a href='<?php echo $item->get_permalink(); ?>' ....[...]....` Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 19:39

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