Blog Homepage: Excerpt vs. Full Size Post

Newspaper's First Page Has Article Excerpts

In this article Karan Singhal of Trafficke wants to solve the battle between excerpts and full sized posts on the blog homepage. You can express your unique blogging view or blogging tip by following our guest blogging guidelines.

A widely debated issue in the blogging community is the question of leaving your blog homepage with full-sized posts or excerpts. Should new visitors see a preview of your posts, or should they be able to read each of them easily by simply scrolling down?

The best choice might seem, at first, to keep full-sized posts enabled, but if you look closer you’ll find this is a big mistake for your blog.

Implementing excerpts is definitely, and I mean without a doubt, the best choice for your blog, no matter what niche you’re in. Here’s why:

Too Much To Handle

Have you ever thought of the possibility that full-sized posts on your homepage might just be too much for a new visitor to handle?

A visitor who is overwhelmed at the first sight of your blog is very likely to close out and never come back. You don’t want your visitors doing this. The only way to keep it simple for your visitors is to use post excerpts that give the reader an option to read more.

Difficulty For Visitors

Even if you’ve managed to pull in a few dedicated readers that have become used to your (stupid) overwhelming homepage, all is not well. At least for your visitors. Have you ever thought of how hard it is to keep on scrolling through posts that you really don’t want to read? (don’t laugh at me, I’m serious) By putting full-sized posts on your homepage, you are creating huge difficulty and potentially setting yourself for a higher bounce rate.

This too, can turn your blog into a waste of time for your readers.

Benefits of using post excerpts:

Bite-sized nuggets of information – By providing excerpts instead of posts on your homepage, you are providing quality information that they can easily swallow, and if they aren’t interested, scroll down a little for more. If they are interested, they can just as easily read more by simply clicking on a link for the full post. By doing this, you are making your homepage manageable for your traffic, especially for new visitors.

Pull in more visitors to your content – If you use post excerpts, you’re making your content much more inviting. I always feel much more attracted to a small readable paragraph instead of a huge 500-word full sized post. And most likely, so do your readers. After all, which would you like better: getting a small taste and being invited for more, or getting the entire meal at once? I think the choice is clear, for you and your readers.

A better opportunity for you – Excerpts are what your visitors will read. Post excerpts give you an added opportunity to pull in the traffic your posts were made to get. This means a better performance for all of your posts. But you can also add to this opportunity by really spending a good amount of time writing you excerpt so that it brings even more traffic to your posts.

There are many reasons why you might want to use post excerpts on your homepage instead of simply leaving the WordPress default of full sized posts. This post has just listed a few. To summarize, just know that using post excerpts decreases your bounce rate and reduces clutter and difficulty for your website traffic, especially new visitors. They also help your posts perform better and attract much more traffic.

Thanks for reading! Please retweet, I spent a lot of time writing this article for you!

  • I will try to use excerpt in my homepage. Thanks for your comparison. I can see many benefits of using excerpt in homepage.

  • One point in favor of placing the extracts on the cover of any blog is the fact that decreasing the time of page load and increase speed. Remember that in the world of SEO this is a very important factor that take into account the search engines like Google to position websites. Very nice post. Greetings.

  • I always go with excerpts because a large portion of people will find your blog through search engines so then if they do go back to the full page or archives, I believe it’s better to allow them to skim the posts vs. getting overwhelmed with so much information.

  • I also prefer to use excerpt. I think it is great to build the curiosity of our readers to click more blog post.

  • I absolutely agree with this article.

    I hate seeing ‘full posts’ on the homepage. It just does not make sense to have long posts just take up the whole space on the homepage.

    It also looks ugly design wise, while Excerpt posts look friendly and nice. They are easier to manage by the reader, as he/she can overview the articles before deciding which one to read.

    Thanks for sharing this post.


    PS: Post Re tweeted

  • I think displaying excerpts is a nice idea as it allows readers to have a look on more content with less page scrolling which in turn increases the number of visits/user. This is just one benefit among many others.

  • I use post excerpts in my blog as it looks better but even now there are high money making blogs that shows few full posts on the home page. Since many blogs get most traffic from search engines I think they don’t care whether excerpts or full posts. But showing full post in homepage has a problem. Both the post page and homepage gets indexed and search engine sees it has duplicate. So from this point of view using post excerpt is better.

  • Totally agree! Excerpts let you show a lot more on one single page! And if the visitor seems to like some topic, he can always click the link.

    Bloggers always think in terms of “how to improve the usability” and stuff… but the user really isn’t that stupid… unless you totally mess up your design 😛

  • Hi Karan,

    You have developed the discussion very nicely. These days I don’t see anybody throwing the whole post to their home page, it is completely unimaginable. Throwing just excerpts can tempt users to make another click on the page to read the full article and greatly help to reduce bounce rate as well.

  • Yay, I totally agree with your post and with all the comments! But, unlike Suresh, who said ”
    These days I don’t see anybody throwing the whole post to their home page, it is completely unimaginable.” I actually see A LOT of full post home pages, including on rather nice blog sites. It feels so wrong to me it’s really surprising to see. But I do see it all the time!

  • rndtechnologies786

    Good blog.

  • I do see a lot of full post sites…those also tend to do well 🙂 I guess it really depends how your visitors read…a blog like Seth Godin’s blog makes perfect sense to do full post, but on Copyblogger, it would be disastrous.