How To Customize Post Excerpts

First off, what the heck is a Post Excerpt?

Great question!  An excerpt is a shortened summary of a longer article/post.  This summary is displayed on the blog main page, along with a link to the full post.  A post excerpt can be added or modified by editing the given post within the Shopify admin, and is found under the label Excerpt.  

Note that if you wish to completely customize a post excerpt, you can always do so by editing the Shopify post and setting the excerpt to whatever you wish.  Just be aware this is a manual procedure, and one you might need to perform for every imported post, so generally it's better to use one of the more automated solutions described below.

Automatically creating a Post Excerpt during import

BlogFeeder allows you to configure how the post excerpt is created (or whether it's created at all).  By default, when a new feed is added within the BlogFeeder admin, all posts imported to Shopify will always have an excerpt set: if a summary is returned by the feed it will be used, otherwise the first 400 characters or so of content along with any images, will be used.  This behavior can be changed by editing the feed within the BlogFeeder admin:

As shown, the four available options are:

  • Use the post description returned by the feed, otherwise automatically generate a summary from the post content - This is the default behavior and will use the post summary/description returned by the feed, if it includes one, otherwise BlogFeeder will automatically generate one using the first 400 characters of the post or so, along with any images.
  • Automatically generate a summary from the post content, and ignore any post description returned by the feed - This will cause BlogFeeder to always generate the post summary based on the first 400 characters of the post content or so, along with any images.
  • Use the post description returned by the feed, otherwise don't create a summary - Use this option if you want the post excerpt to be completely controlled by your native blogging platform; BlogFeeder will just use what it finds in the feed.
  • Never create a summary - This option is useful if you happen to have a theme that will automatically display an excerpt from the post, or if you want the full post to be shown on the blog main page.

So, which excerpt setting is the best for you?  It all depends on what look you want for your blog main page, and happily it's easy to change this setting and then "Synchronize" your feed from the BlogFeeder feeds list page.  So feel free to experiment and see what you like the best!  And as always, if you encounter any issues or have any questions our staff is ready and eager to  help you.  But first, here's some points to help you determine the best setting for you:

  1. Do you want the entire article content displayed on the blog main page, or do you have a theme that formats the article excerpts on the blog main page very specifically?
    • If "yes", then you want to select Never create a summary
    • Note that if you use this setting and are still getting an article excerpt and want the full article content displayed, you may have a theme that automatically displays an excerpt from the post and you'll need to tweak the appropriate liquid template file in your theme
  2. Do you want a shortened summary (excerpt) of the article content displayed on the blog main page?
    1. By default BlogFeeder will use any post excerpt returned in the feed, otherwise automatically generating one from the first 400 characters and images.  If you like the excerpt your feed generates, but want to ensure that some sort of summary is always created, select Use the post description returned by the feed, otherwise automatically generate a summary from the post content
    2. If you don't like the post summary returned by the feed for whatever reason, and like having the first 400 or so characters along with any images used for the excerpt, choose Automatically generate a summary from the post content, and ignore any post description returned by the feed.  This option is commonly used for WordPress feeds, which don't typically include images in the post summary.
    3. If you like the excerpt your feed generates, and don't want BlogFeeder to automatically generate an excerpt when missing from the feed, select Use the post description returned by the feed, otherwise don't create a summary. This will use the post excerpt if the feed contains one, otherwise no Article excerpt will be created by BlogFeeder (leaving either the full article to display on the main blog page, or a summary generated by your theme, if you have a theme that automatically displays an excerpt from the post

Manually setting an excerpt cutoff

If the above options don't give you exactly the result you're looking for, for instance the excerpt just doesn't quite include all the text/images you want, you can set a manual excerpt cutoff point within the blogging platform that your feed is pulled from.

Despite being a manual process, this is generally more convenient than editing the imported post excerpt within the Shopify admin after the feed import, since you can set this cutoff at the same time that you're composing your blog content.  Simply do this by editing the post from your blogging platform, and adding the following after any and all content you want included in the excerpt:

<!--more-->

If you're blogging with WordPress there's already a convenient rich editor button to add this manual cutoff, called  "Insert Read More Tag":

To get the same effect in other blogging platforms, simply switch to HTML or Text mode and add the aforementioned cutoff token:

Why isn't my post excerpt displaying as expected?

If you've tried all of the above and the post excerpt still doesn't seem to be cooperating, odds are good that your theme is the culprit.  Some themes will ignore the Shopify post excerpt entirely and do their own thing.  You can verify whether this might be the case by logging into your Shopify admin and going to: Themes > Template Editor > Templates > blog.liquid  You should see something like the following:

If instead you see a line like:

{{ article.content | strip_html | truncate: 20 }}<br>

Then you know the theme is ignoring any post excerpts and generating its own based on the post content.  Perform any required edits to get the result you need, or  drop a line and one of our support agents will be happy to assist!

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us