I have a problem with displaying some content on my homepage. First i'm going to explain my problem. I have a page with all my blog posts on it (use of excerpt function). When you click on a read more link on the blog posts page, you get the whole article.

On my homepage I want to show the 3 latest posts. I already have the top 3 off the posts. (with the use of the excerpt function) but these teasers or to long. There is to much text. I don't want to make it shorter because when I do this, the page with all the blogposts is also going to change.

I was thinking to use the custom fields in the blog posts. Then I can make an extra field for the teaser content on the homepage? Is this the right solution or is there something else?

  • 1
    This is a difficult question to understand. You should consider formmating your question using paparagraphs and the wysiwyg tools
    – Blowsie
    Jan 31, 2013 at 16:57
  • I don't think <custom-post-type> is the right tag for this question.
    – Simon
    Jan 31, 2013 at 17:18

4 Answers 4


Custom Fields are perfect for this when you want not different excerpt lenght, but also different excerpt content.

Following code will add additional TinyMCE editor to the Edit Post admin page so you can write formatted excerpt specially for your front page. Excerpt will be stored in _wpse83958_front_page_excerpt custom field. Preceding underscore makes it invisible in Custom Fields metabox.

Put it to your functions.php:

// Do not use 'add_meta_boxes' with TinyMCE
add_action( 'edit_form_advanced', 'wpse83958AddFrontPageExcerptEditor' );
add_action( 'save_post', 'wpse83958SaveFrontPageExcerpt' );

function wpse83958AddFrontPageExcerptEditor() {
    global $post;

    wp_nonce_field( 'wpse83958_front_page_excerpt', 'wpse83958_front_page_excerpt_noncename' );

    echo '<h2>Front page excerpt</h2>';

    // 'textarea_name' argument is necessary because of 'editor_id' parameter limitations (http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/wp_editor#Parameters)
    // See http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/19173 for information about Editor moving (drag'n'drop)

    // second argument ($editor_id) must contain lowercase letters ONLY ([a-z])
        get_post_meta($post->ID, '_wpse83958_front_page_excerpt', true),
            'textarea_name'     => 'wpse83958_front_page_excerpt',
            'wpautop'           => true

function wpse83958SaveFrontPageExcerpt( $post_id ) {

    if (defined('DOING_AUTOSAVE') && DOING_AUTOSAVE)

    if( isset($_POST['wpse83958_front_page_excerpt']) && !wp_verify_nonce( $_POST['wpse83958_front_page_excerpt_noncename'], 'wpse83958_front_page_excerpt' ) )

    if ( !current_user_can( 'edit_page', $post_id ) || !current_user_can( 'edit_post', $post_id ) )

    $wpse83958_front_page_excerpt = $_POST['wpse83958_front_page_excerpt'];

    if('' != $wpse83958_front_page_excerpt)
        update_post_meta($post_id, '_wpse83958_front_page_excerpt', $wpse83958_front_page_excerpt);
        delete_post_meta($post_id, '_wpse83958_front_page_excerpt');


And get your excerpt inside front page loop:

$front_page_excerpt = get_post_meta($post->ID, '_wpse83958_front_page_excerpt', true);
// Change double linebreaks to '<p>' elements as only 'the content' and 'the excerpt' do use them automatically
$front_page_excerpt = wpautop($front_page_excerpt);

echo $front_page_excerpt;

I think what your trying to ask is.

How can i have multiple excerpt lengths?

See this similar question on StackOverflow



No need for custom fields. WordPress already has this - the Excerpt meta box. On WP3.2+ this is usually hidden by default. To display this text box, open the Screen Options found in the top right corner of the post edit screen, then look for the excerpt checkbox and enable it. You should now see an Excerpt text box somewhere below the content editor. Write your custom excerpt here.

  • Thank you for your answer but When I add this option, all the excerpts are changing. I only want to change the excerpts of the top 3 on the frontpage. Jan 31, 2013 at 18:23
  • hmmmm.. so, you only want to show the custom excerpts on the homepage only?
    – WP Themes
    Jan 31, 2013 at 21:40

By using a custom field, you will be able to use a custom text instead of just a truncated text, which is best for SEO : you could write real teasers. But, it's also more work when publishing.

If there is not point, you you just need to change the lenght of the except, I would use one built-in functions of WP which is wp_trim_words (http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/wp_trim_words).

I would propose this structure :

<?php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); 
static $firsts = 0; ?>
    <h1><?php the_title(); ?></h1>
        <? if ( $firsts < 3 ) { 
            $extrait =  $post->post_excerpt;
            if ( $extrait ) {
                echo wp_trim_words( $extrait, 10, '[...]' ); // 10 words 
            } else {
                $extrait = strip_tags ( get_the_content() ); // if no excerpt, use content
                echo wp_trim_words( $extrait, 10, '[...]' ); // 10 words 
        } else {
        } ?>
<? $firsts++; endwhile; endif; ?>

So you could have an specificly written excerpt using the dedicated field on a post, cut to a specific number for the first three posts, and the automatic excerpt for the rest of the loop.

Hope this helps. Regards

EDIT I changed the original code proposition because get_the_excerpt() is never empty (according to codex, it returns a empty string with [...] at the end) so I use the $post->post_excerpt in place. Tx to Niels Jansen for pointing this out.

LAST EDIT Referring to the codex, the_excerpt() always returns something:

If you do not provide an explicit excerpt to a post (in the post editor's optional excerpt field), it will display an automatic excerpt which refers to the first 55 words of the post's content.

In practise: When you post a new post, I assume there is always content? Why should we blog otherwise? So this is the code I will maybe use:

$extrait =  get_the_excerpt();
     if ($extrait)
         echo wp_trim_words($extrait, 20, '...');

EDIT AGAIN I have try to introduce the idea of having the first three post having a different excerpt from the rest of the loop. We could have use offset, too.

  • 1
    Simon, your variable $extrait will always be something, so we never came to the else part. If i just echo the $extrait, i always see something. Jan 31, 2013 at 23:00
  • Thank you Niels to pointing that out. I made a change that I suppose is correct inside the loop.
    – Simon
    Jan 31, 2013 at 23:15
  • Simon, I think there is a lot of code not necessary. I will try to explain in the post above. Jan 31, 2013 at 23:21
  • I edit again because the question was to change the excerpt only for the three first posts. Thanks for you edit.
    – Simon
    Feb 1, 2013 at 0:04

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