Use the More Tag for “Continue Reading” and/or “Read More” and More Pageviews

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/mrphilbell/status/49110640052289536"]

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

I honestly get this question at least once a week and it just makes sense that I create a post so that I can direct people to the answer easily.

You often see these links in people’s posts, especially on the main page of a blog and it could have any number of phrases like:

  • Read More…
  • Continue Reading…
  • Read On…
  • More…
  • Leave a Comment…
  • Etc.

As you can see on my blog I use the simple phrase “Continue Reading…”:

Continue on my friend!

Now how does one actually get your blog post to “cut” your post into two parts, essentially, where it shows a portion of the blog post on the homepage and the rest of the post on it’s single post view?

In WordPress it’s as simple as clicking the “More” tag in your editor:

That was easy!

See it right there? The icon makes it look like someone is cutting the post into two parts. You can click that if you’re in the Visual Editor or if you’re in the HTML Editor you can simple add this line of code here:

[cc][/cc]

 

And that’s it!

Why Use a More Tag?

There are a lot of thoughts surrounding the usage of the ‘More’ tag but here are generally the most prevalent thoughts that you might hear:

  • It cleans up the homepage so you don’t have to scroll forever to see all of the posts. This is one of the reasons I use it because it makes the homepage more pretty.
  • It gets you more clicks on your blog since they have to commit to clicking at least once to see the rest of the content. Personally I don’t use the ‘More’ tag for this purpose explicitly but it’s a nice side benefit of making your blog look prettier. The fact is 99% of the time I’m linking to a direct post to begin with so the reader never sees the use of the tag.
  • Because the blogger likes it. Pretty generic but a lot of people just like to use it with not much thought behind it. Still a legitimate reason, by the way!

All in all I suggest you start using it because it makes your front page more clean and provides some additional clicks and pageviews for those that might visit your top domain first.

Have fun!

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

  • Suzanne

    You. Are. Kidding. Me. I always thought it was a theme thing – like some themes allowed it in their additional settings! The time I have wasted looking for themes…….

    Thanks John!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      hah! seriously!

  • Ron Edmondson

    Very helpful

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sure thing ron.

  • http://youthworktalk.com Phil Bell

    Thanks for posting my answer! Great stuff!!!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sure thing dude! easy enough.

  • http://jonwellman.com @jonwellman

    I started doing this based on the advice you gave in your critique of my blog, and I really like the look. It’s one extra step, but worth it.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      and it doesn’t take that much extra time, right?

  • http://miriamgomberg.wordpress.com Miriam Gomberg

    Wow! I hope you know how much your posts help me. I love the idea of cleaning up the home page but had no idea how to do it.

    Thanks!
    Miriam

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sweet! good for you.!

  • http://www.tillhecomes.org/blog Jeremy Myers

    I have been wondering about this for a while. I just implemented this two weeks ago…and my page views are actually decreasing! I’ll keep watching it, as two weeks is not enough to tell for sure.

    • http://www.tillhecomes.org/blog Jeremy Myers

      Well, I think I figured out my drop in pageviews.
      First, what I meant was “pages/visit.” I have seen an nearly 50% drop from 5 pages/visit down to about 2.5 pages/visit.

      About two months ago when I installed Google Analytics, I made a mistake and installed it twice. Once manually and once with a plugin. This caused my by bounce rate to drop down near 0% and doubled my pages/visit. I found the mistake two weeks ago, removed the duplicate code. Now my bounce rate is back to normal, and my pages/visit reflect reality.

      I LOVE GOOGLE ANALYTICS as it clued me in to what was going on.

      • http://john.do John Saddington

        you, sir, are on top of things.

  • http://www.tillhecomes.org/blog Jeremy Myers

    I notice that a lot of blogs in my Google Reader only provide a short intro, and then you have to click to read the rest.

    Why do you use this option on your blog, but not in your RSS feed?

    • http://www.iamanoffering.com Ryan Egan

      To me, it’s a courtesy to your readers. If your readers have taken the time to subscribe to your content, that means they want it! So, make it as easy as possible for them to read it without having to click through to your blog from a reader to get it.

      • http://www.tillhecomes.org/blog Jeremy Myers

        Yes, that makes sense. I get annoyed at the RSS feeds that make me click on the item to go read the rest. Thanks (and thanks also for the Twitter tips you sent me yesterday).

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          ryan is awesome.

          • http://www.iamanoffering.com Ryan Egan

            Thanks, John – means a lot!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      i am ALL for giving people full feeds. I’ve mentioned this a couple times on this blog here.

      give them the full feeds!

  • http://iamrelevant.wordpress.com rebecca

    LOVE it. Just started using WordPress and I need a good resource with helpful, useful tips. Added you to Google Reader, looking forward to your posts.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sweet! thanks for subscribing! do you have any questions?

  • http://everydaysnapshots.com Dave Anthold

    Love it! I use it for longer posts, but the shorter ones, I just keep as is. Great stuff! Thanks.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      good stuff dave.

  • http://conniemcknight.com Connie McKnight

    I’ve been using (more…), but I never know how much of the post I should have showing prior to the continuation break. Is there a standard answer for this?

    Since you showed the formatting icons in your example, you got my curiosity. I only have the first line. How do you get the second line which begins with “Paragraph and ends with ?, which looks like a Word tool bar?

    Connie

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      no, there isn’t. but, if you can establish a rhythm and pattern for what you write and where you cut it off then that’ll be good for your readers.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      right next to my bird icon… expand!

      http://cl.ly/5M68

      to this:

      http://cl.ly/5N7I

  • Gabe Smith

    All of my post are very short (by design), so I’m not utilizing not utilizing this. But the home page is pretty uncluttered and simple to navigate. I can definitely see how this would tidy things up on a home page with longer posts.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      neat gravatar.!

      • http://www.haikupedia.net Gabe Smith

        Thanks! This is the artist who designed it. http://www.mastastealth.com/

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          sweet!!

  • Rob Still

    Thanks for this tip John, I started using it today and it’s really easy.

    How do I submit a question for you to answer (maybe a blog topic)?

    I have been trying to figure out how to use “page re-direct” for the music page of my blog site and have it take them to my .bandcamp page. Thanks.

  • http://www.graphicdesignboss.com GraphicDesignBoss

    John, I totally agree that this will clean up your home page.

    Question I have is I’ve seen on a number of blogs the continue reading is a button or a bit more fancy. Can you do the same thing in Standard Theme easily? I’m not a coder so I struggle with this bit.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      you could easily do this by doing something as simple as replacing the text with an image:

      [cc]< ?php the_content('Read more...read more‘); ?>[/cc]

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      or, use css styling:

      [cc].moretext {
      width: ???px;
      height: ???px;
      background:url(/images/tentblogger-says-read-more.gif) no-repeat right middle;
      padding: ???px ???px ???px ???px}
      [/cc]

      anything you want!

  • http://www.sharonmarkovsky.com Sharon Markovsky

    Great advice…particularly for me as I tend to be pretty verbose!

    Thanks!
    Sharon

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      ;) not a bad problem!

  • http://www.manyhatsmommy.blogspot.com Jenny

    I come here because Michael Hyatt tells me to. :) Thanks for your great information!

    Do you have any idea how to do this in Blogger? I tried “insert jump break” but it didn’t do anything. I know almost nothing, so please be gentle.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      not sure about blogger… you should consider moving off of it!

      http://john.do/migrate-blogger-wordpress/

      • http://www.manyhatsmommy.blogspot.com Jenny

        Thanks. I’m actually in the process! It’s like learning a new language, but I’ve been assured by many I will love it once I’m done.

      • http://www.manyhatsmommy.blogspot.com Jenny

        What do you think so far?
        http://www.manyhatsmommy.com (via WordPress)

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          looks greaT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ThatGuyKC

    I had NO idea it was that easy.
    Thank you!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      simple. i like.

  • http://www.craigmccourt.com Craig McCourt

    So how do i get the “read more” tag to read something else, like Keep Reading

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      you have to edit some things within wordpress and your template. do you have an FTP editor, etc?

      http://john.do/code-ftp/

  • chadfluegge

    John, I know that this is a little late, but felt like commenting anyways… lol

    I had been on the search for this a few months ago when I started my TBA site. A short search in google brought me here:
    http://goo.gl/tuP3O

    While this is the quick and dirty way to do it, it affects all posts. I think that I prefer your quick and “easy” way of doing it. :)

    Thanks, again, for a great post!

    PS: Also…I’m on my chromebook and I don’t have my gravatar details handy, so I hope that I got right. lol

    • Chad

      Ok…so, yeah, I didn’t have my gravatar details right. :)

      • http://john.do John Saddington

        ;)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      excerpts are limiting and that’s why i don’t use them.

      • Chad

        clearly. :-D

  • http://www.maztek.com Tracy Mazelin

    I was just wondering about this and had no idea it was so simple – thanks!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sure thing tracy!

  • Matt Fraser

    John, would you also agree that it helps with SEO as instead of the content getting indexed from the home page it gets indexed where it should, under the proper category?

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      more tags do not do that natively.

  • http://www.lifesjugglingact.com Taryn Saunders

    Brilliant as always! Been meaning to work this one out for a while! Thanks! :-)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sweet! it’s simple… but very effective.

  • melanie

    do you know if there is a way to have visitors click “continue reading” and, instead of taking them to a new page with just the full post on that page, it simply expands the whole post? then any posts below that post are still there on the same page, so that the visitor doesn’t have to then use the back button to get back to the homepage? i’ve seen this on other sites but have no idea how to implement it!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      there’s a few plugins that do this i believe.

  • http://www.inventivedenim.com Heather

    Hi John,
    Not sure if you’ll still be looking at these comments but I thought I would try anyway!

    I have been able to insert the “more” tag but I am having a problem.

    How can I change the color of the font for the word “more” so it doesn’t blend in with my text? I’ve tried highlighting it and changing the text button but this doesn’t work.

    Thank you!!

    • http://john.do/ John Saddington

      you have to use a little css magic and edit the code a bit.

  • http://www.inventivedenim.com Heather

    Thanks so much John. By any chance do you recommend any particular site or book for beginning css. Total newbie!! :)