Homepage Excerpts WordPress Plugin

by Daniel in — 241 Comments — Updated — Reading Time: 3 minutes

I am glad to finally release Homepage Excerpts, a WordPress plugin that I have been developing with a friend for some time already. The plugin has two main objectives. The first one is to make blogs that use full posts on the homepage more search engine friendly. The second one is to give flexibility to people that want to use both full posts and excerpts on the homepage.

Homepage Excerpts for SEO

We are all aware that Google and other search engines penalize websites that contain duplicate content. Ideally, therefore, the content of your posts should be displayed fully in one location only, and that is the single post page.

Most blogs, however, display full posts on the homepage as well, and the posts remain being displayed in full even when they slip out of the homepage into page two, three and so on.

The Homepage Excerpts plugin can be used to reduce this duplicate content while keeping full posts on the homepage. Suppose you have 8 full posts on the homepage. Once you activate the plugin you will have the option to select how many posts to display fully in the homepage. The options will go from 1 up to 8. If you select 8, all your posts on the homepage will keep being displayed fully while all the other posts (the ones on page two, three, four and so on) will turn into excerpts.


Remember that new pages usually take one week or more to get indexed by search engines, so that by the time your single post page gets indexed the post will already be out of the homepage, and it will be displayed as an excerpt, removing the duplicate content issue.

Apart from SEO benefits this change might also improve the user experience. Displaying only post excerpts on the subsequent pages will make it easier for readers to scan them quickly while searching for the post that they are looking for.

Homepage Excerpts for Layout

The plugin can also be used if you want to use an hybrid layout on your homepage, displaying the most recent posts in full and the older ones with an excerpt. On this blog usually I display the most recent post in full while making the others show excerpts, so that the reader can scan quickly through all of them. Some other people might want to display half of the posts on the homepage fully and the other half with excerpts. With the plugin you have complete control over this.


Notice that you can also select if the plugin should extract the custom excerpt from WordPress (the one that you insert manually when writing an entry) or if it should automatically grab the first X words of each post, where X is a number that can be specified on the options panel.


  1. Download and unzip the plugin
  2. Uploade the file homepage-excerpts.php to your plugin directory. (Usually
    located in wp-content/plugins/)
  3. Log into the WordPress control panel, then go into “Plugins” and activate the
  4. Still inside the WordPress control panel go into “options” and then “Homepage Excerpts”
  5. Update the plugin options as appropriate

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241 thoughts on “Homepage Excerpts WordPress Plugin”

  1. Awesome plugin man. Just what the doctor ordered. Thanks a lot and continue developing such useful plugins. Appreciate it.

  2. @Paul on September 11th, 2007 12:14 pm

    I get the same problem. Perhaps in a next update of the plugin this would be resolved?

  3. Though i really did not think much in terms of the SEO part, coz i why would SE peanilize me as both the pages are on my website and i am sure now SE’s recognize which is a blog and which is not. Never the less, this is a very good plugin from the readers point of view. Thanks

  4. Hello, I’ve just read your post and installed your useful plug-in on my Blog. I’ve heard about the search engine penalization for duplicate content but I’ve not seen it written about so thanks for the info.

    Jason Slater Weblog

  5. @Dan, it should have the 0 option there already, I will double check in any case.

    Finally, yeah there might be conflicts with other plugins, but it should be a rare case.

  6. Wanted to let you know that Homepage Excerpts conflicts with the Amazon Machine Tags Plugin (which allows bloggers to include cover image, title, and link to Amazon products). Apparently, both plugins add a filter to the_content, and Homepage Excerpts prevents Amazon Machine Tags from working on the home page.

  7. Homepage Excerpts is a great plugin. Unfortunately it breaks password protected posts in the BlixKrieg theme. I posted my first password protected post today and found the problem. I am using version 1.0 of Homepage Excerpts. I had to disable the plugin, but look forward to re-installing when the problem is fixed.

    Thanks for the great work,

  8. In #85, you said that “the plugin is now updated and you can select 0 as an option.”

    I downloaded using the link in the post and it still doesn’t give me 0 as an option–only 1-10. Did I miss something somewhere?

  9. Glen, I tested it until version 2.1.3 and it was working.

    Not sure if 2.3 introduced anything that could clash with the plugin, but I doubt.

    Did you set all the options?

  10. If you want to keep your text formating and any html, images and videos, you will need to use the custom excerpt option, and include the part of the post that you want to appear on the homepage on the “Optinal Excerpt” field that you have below the WP text editor.

  11. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing. I am a complete novice and WordPress (and bloggin for that matter) and this was exactly what I wanted. Evne better it was easy enough for me to actually activate. Cheers Daniel.

  12. I like the plugin, but I’m not certain about how it works when I set it to use the first X words instead of a custom excerpt. It seems to strip all the formatting from the text, so that links in the excerpt are no longer links, and so forth. Is there a way to set it do an excerpt based on the number of words but have it keep the formatting in the excerpt?

  13. Hey Daniel,

    great plugin, any chance to fix this problem Paul (43) told you. When you have a very short text and after that a video, it’s not showing the link.



  14. Thanks a lot for the great plugin.

    Is it possible to make set number of posts to display fully to “0”. So all posts in the front page will be post as excerpt.

  15. Joe, yeah, you need to set the options of the plugin to use the custom WP excerpt (the one you can insert below the text editor), then just add the picture code there.

  16. Daniel,

    Outstanding plugin!

    One question…

    Is there any way to allow the excerpt to include a post’s opening pic?

    For example, if a post began with a left-justified 150 X 150 photo, is there any way for the photo to be included in the excerpt?


  17. Hey, I’m not sure but it seems that this plugin makes my feeds partial feeds. In WP settings I’ve chosen that full text is shown in my feed but they are still partial texts.

    Is there a way to configure this plugin so that full text would be shown in the feed rather than partial text?

  18. Great plugin! Now, if only it would allow option for images and the “more” tag, it would be perfect. Any chance of an updated version coming any time soon?

  19. How do you turn all the posts on the home page to show only excepts? I write long articles and would like to keep my home page brief.

  20. Hey, this is really great plugin. I remember those mistakes of mine when even PDF print versions of articles allowed to be indexed… 🙂

  21. Hi, great plugin but there are 2 things: the “more” tag is disabled (is it possible to re-enable it trough the plugin editor?), and it would be nice to add a resized image alongside of the excerpt.

  22. is there any way that I can use tag on the first post?

    by the way, this plugin is great I’ve been looking for this for almost a month now.

  23. Thank you very much for this plugin. I had been trying for the past week to figure out how to have my first post on my blog page show up in full while the rest were shown as excerpts and your plugin solved that problem perfectly! Once again, I am extremely grateful. Keep up the excellent work.

  24. This is a fantastic plugin! I’m using it on a non-profit blog I helped put together. My only concern is that a lot of the posts have images that I’d like displayed on the homepage, but the plugin seems to be set up so that the images aren’t displayed no matter how many words are in the excerpt. Is there any way to tweak this? I noticed a similar comment earlier (about YouTube videos) but didn’t see a reply.

  25. Hi Daniel,

    I’ve been on your site most of the day, reading your valuable posts. I have been researching robots.txt and duplicate content, and you have covered both subjects very well.

    I downloaded your Homepage Excerpts WP plugin, and it’s working perfectly. That was one thing I had been looking for, and luckily I landed on your site, and took the time to read some of your older posts.

    Thank you for the great plugin, and for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us. It’s most appreciated.

  26. This plugin ROCKS! This was exactly what I was looking for. I just wish there was an option to make an excerpt of the latest article as well, but a bigger excerpt. So, in the case your latest article is quite long, you could split it up.

  27. Great plugin, Daniel.

    One thing I’ve found isn’t being applied to my homepage, is the length of excerpt. I want to show a little more text than at present, but updating the 30 words to 50 or 60 doesn’t seem to have an effect.

    Have you come across something similar?

    Off-topic, I’m publishing my prize draw winners in a couple of hours. Thanks again for the kind donation.

  28. Oops. The admin page should be titled “Homepage Excerpts Options”, not “Homepage excerpts options”, to remain consistent with other options pages.


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