Experimental Feature: Extracts in Post Archives

I have just made a change in the configuration of extract generation when posts are displayed in what WordPress calls an “archive”.  This includes posts displayed when you select:

  • All posts by a member
  • Posts from a specified month and year
  • Posts in a category
  • Posts with a given tag

Previously, these showed the full text of the selected posts, regardless of their length, unlike posts shown on the home page or in search results, where only the excerpt was shown if the post was longer than two paragraphs and you could read the balance by clicking a “Read More” link.

Showing the full text meant you didn’t have to click though the “Read More” to see the entire post, but it also meant that if you wanted to scan through the posts you’d selected to find the one(s) you were looking for, you had to scroll through all the text of each post to get to the header for the next one.  Further, users on mobile devices had to pay the data charges to download the full text of every post even if they were only looking for one.

I changed the configuration of the Auto Limit Posts plug-in (which generates the excerpts) so that these archive pages will now show excerpts instead of the full text of every post.  This seems to be a big improvement to me, as scrolling through a bunch of long posts could be very tedious, especially on a mobile device.

If this change is, on balance, deemed detrimental to the site’s ease of navigation and use, it can be reversed with a simple click of a button in the plug-in configuration page.

Let me know what you think  in the comments.

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Author: John Walker

Founder of Ratburger.org, Autodesk, Inc., and Marinchip Systems. Author of The Hacker's Diet. Creator of www.fourmilab.ch.

2 thoughts on “Experimental Feature: Extracts in Post Archives”

  1. What did those guys used to say?  Oh, yes, and please don’t take this wrongly:

    Live forever, Oh King!

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  2. I don’t search all that often, and I would never think of using my phone for search; whatever it is, it can wait until I am back at a P.C.

    This seems like a reasonable change; more likely to be helpful than leaving it as it was.

    Thanks for working so hard to maintain a positive platform for Ratburger.org.   This is the best I have seen on WordPress.

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