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In my last post, I showed you how to change the post excerpt length in WordPress. Today I’d like to share with you how you can easily change the read more link to something less ubiquitous. For instance, “…are you eager to read more?” or “…click here to read the rest of the post”… you can even add an image or HTML character entities/extended characters. Try this ‘« « « «’

Here are two easy ways to customize your WordPress read more link. If you’re looking for a really good web host for your blog, try Bluehost – I found the setup procedure and their control panel very easy to adapt to and their IT team is awesome!

Method 1: Using a WordPress Plugin.

There are several WordPress plugins that you can use to change the read more link.  I wouldn’t recommend any (unless you really hate writing code to your site!) since the couple I tried had limited functionality or didn’t work.  Search for “read more plugin” on the WordPress plugin directory and take your pick.

Method 2: Edit your template’s functions.php

This requires very little knowledge of php or html. It’s easy as copy and paste.

Step 1: Find the functions.php

There are two ways to can access your template’s function.php: WP dashboard or your cPanel. From your WordPress Dashboard, go to appearance-editor. From the right hand sidebar, choose the functions.php file.  Please note that you do not have access to the undo changes function and any saved changes are permanent!  From your cPanel, you can edit the functions.php through the file manager. In most cases you will find it in this folder path: /public_html/wp-content/themes/YOUR THEME/.  Most cPanel file managers allow you to search for the file, at least mine does!

Step 2: Edit functions.php

The next step is to copy and paste the following code to your functions.php. Where? Anywhere generally works, but try and paste it just before the end, inside the ?>. The ?> marks the end of the code in functions.php, so you want to add your code just inside that. Here’s the code. You need to copy and paste everything from // to ; and remember to edit the text in Bold!

// Customizes read more link in excerpts
function new_excerpt_more($more) {
global $post;
return ‘ <a href=”‘. get_permalink($post->ID) . ‘”>  <strong> … on the edge of your seat? Read more! </strong> </a>‘; //you can change this text to whatever you like
}
add_filter(‘excerpt_more’, ‘new_excerpt_more’);

Step 3: Save functions.php

Save the functions.php file and you’re done.

Would you like more WordPress customization tips?  Leave a comment and let me know.

6 thoughts on “WordPress Tips: Change WordPress Read More Link

    1. Kongo

      Thanks for reading, I sure do. I’ve been meaning to blog about a cool java app called colorpix and firebug, which I use on a daily basis. I’ll put that on my to-do-list.

  1. onurucuncu@live.nl

    Hi, I just inserted the code above in the functions.php and now all of a sudden my whole website is blank, it does not work anymore. What should or can I do? Please help!

    1. Kongo Post author

      Hi, the first thing you need to do is delete the code from your functions.php. You should not be testing code on your live site. There could be a lot of reasons why the code broke your site. Send me a link to your site and I’ve have a quick look. Are you using a premium theme?

  2. Bill Robbins

    It looks like the single and double quotation marks in your code snippet have been converted to fancy quotes which is why your reader’s site crashed. You’ll want to swap those back to straight quotes. You might also consider using Github’s Gist service so your snippets stay correct as you do things like change themes and plugins.

    1. Kongo Post author

      Thanks Bill for the reminder, that been on my to do list for a while now. I always use a text editor, for instance Notepad++, to edit code. Before I move the code to Pastebin or github, please first paste the code into a text editor (notepad is good) and then paste it into your fuctions.php. And always test on your localhost before going live…

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