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Customize Your “Read More” Tag

August 29, 2007 | Blogging Tips, Wordpress

Previously, I talked about how you can use the <!–more–> tag to keep your home page tidy and yet still have truly full RSS feeds. Keeping with the similar theme of the <!–more–> tag, I thought I would mention a few tips on how you can encourage your readers to click through by customizing your <!–more–> tag.

By default the <!–more–> tag will insert the very bland “Read more…” (or similar, depending upon who coded your theme) text wherever used. This may be functional and get the basic job done, but it does little to encourage readers to actually click to continue reading. So how can we change this to something more personal and pleasing?

Edit Your WordPress Template
The first way to change this is to edit your WordPress template files. Here is the code to look for:

<?php the_content(__('Read more'));?>

To customize the tag just replace ‘Read more’ (make sure you keep the quotes) with your choice of text. Now instead the bland “Read more…” your readers will hopefully see something a little more inspired.

With a little more work you can even make the tag specific to each post. You may have noticed that here on Average Joe Blogger I use Continue Reading “The Title of The Post”. To accomplish this I replaced the line of code above with this:

<?php the_content("Continue reading " . the_title()); ?>

In this example I have the words “Continue reading” followed by the title of the post. You could replace this with whatever you want. Also, there are parameters that can be set for the_title tag if you want to incorporate something before or after the title of your post. I choose to use quotation marks but almost anything can be used. Just add it to the “the_title” tag like so: the_title('before','after').

Customize On The Fly
Alright, you have your <!–more–> tag all customized the way you want them via your template files, but what if you want to do something specific for only one post? It just so happens that WordPress has incorporated a way to change this at the individual post level. Here’s how it works:

It’s really very simple an almost needs no instruction, but here it is anyway. To change the <!–more–> tag on the individual post level just type whatever you want it to say right in the middle of the tag. Let me show you some examples.

<!–more Keep Reading My Post–>
<!–more Customize Your Tag On The Fly–>
<!–more See I Told You This Was Simple–>

These are just a few of the countless ways you can spice up your <!–more–> tag. With a little imagination you could find even more ways to encourage your readers to click through and continue reading.

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3 Responses to “Customize Your “Read More” Tag”

  1. MyAvatars 0.2 Dan |

    Thanks for this tip. I knew how to globally change it using my template files, but I did not know you could change it individually for each post. I will definitely be using this in the future.

  2. MyAvatars 0.2 Nate (Average Joe Blogger) |

    Dan: It’s a nice little feature.

  3. MyAvatars 0.2 healthynerd |

    A little typo on your Title “Customize”, might affect this page’s ranking, if at all! I’m not sure. Good tip!