Full Posts or Excerpts?

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“Read More…” It’s a phrase that can change someones opinion on a blog – some love to see it and some will click that cross in the corner quicker than you can say “read more…”

If you’re a blogger who posts lots of images in each post, or if you’re writing essay length posts (although try not to do that all the time – most blog posts average at about 300 – 500 words a post, so if a reader is hit with 1000+ word posts each time, they’ll probably thing tl;dr and click away from your blog

The good thing about showing excepts from each blog post on your home page (like we do!) include your blog loading faster (a slow loading time means readers can get bored and go elsewhere) and being able to show a variety of posts (new readers can see what sort of things you blog about on a regular basis and decide if it’s interesting)

The cons of having excerpts of your posts on your homepage include it being more work for a reader to work their way back through your archives (especially if you don’t have links to previous posts on each page) and that the excerpts of each post (especially if they’re automatically generated) might not be a true representation of what you’re posting about.

It depends really on what sort of blog or website that you have. We chose to have excerpts from each post show on our home page because Bonjour, Blogger! is more of a site that you can dip into when you need something specific (also if you did want to read everything, awesome!) but on personal blogs, full posts work much better.

With regards to excerpts on RSS feeds, however, our opinion is always have full posts – allow the reader to choose how to read your blog, instead of forcing them to click over to your blog. Excerpts in RSS feeds are a sure way to lose subscribers!

What do you think? Does your blog genre affect your choice on whether to have full posts or excerpts of them on the home page?

  • Maria

    I cannot stand ‘read more’ except on a blog like this which I use for reference! Usually when I am reading and commenting on blogs, I am in for a long haul session and it is just too much effort otherwise.

    Maria xxx

    December 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm Reply
  • Amy

    I don’t mind “Read more” on a blog homepage, especially on blogs like this that are for reference. For me, I used to have all of my posts in full on the homepage in a list but when you’ve got a food blog and people are browsing recipes it does more harm than good!

    One thing I absolutely, positively, totally cannot ABIDE is people who set their blogs so that you have to click to read more in an feed reader. They are ONLY doing this to get clicks, and it is very rare that I will continue a follow a blog that does it.

    December 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm Reply
  • Catherine @ Not Dressed As Lamb

    This is really interesting – I did a post about exactly this on my blog a few months ago http://bit.ly/JejoFD and did a poll as well. The result was an overwhelming “NO” to a jump break (78%)! This was of course in relation to my blog, which is a style blog… but the comments proved how much people detest them! The benefits of a faster loading home page are totally outweighed by the fact that people want to see posts in full and find the jumping back and forth to see other posts irritating.

    So I agree with you about this type of blog that it works, but if anyone has a fashion or style blog and is reading this – don’t do it!!

    Catherine x

    December 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm Reply
  • Sophie

    I don’t really like ‘read more’ as I find it makes it harder to just scroll through a blog, I always end up getting a bit lost!

    Great post though I love these blog debates!

    December 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm Reply
  • SJP

    I was thinking about implementing this for my blog but I got so irritated when I have to read a blog like that that I decided against it. I don’t mind it too much but when it’s combined with a blog that only features two posts per page, it just feels like such hard work!

    December 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm Reply
  • Maree

    Interesting. It never occured to me that the “Read more” could be turning people off. I like excerpts especially when I visit a new blog and want to sort of look around, see what the latest couple of post were about, before I start reading away. And I find it highly annoying when to check the 5 most recent posts I have to scroll myself under the table. … Thanks for bringing up the topic. I should think about what it does for my blog and whether maybe I should change up my strategy.

    December 14, 2013 at 11:04 pm Reply

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