Before i proceed with this article i just have to let all Blogging Tips subscribers know – all posts here will be in full. No posts will be split with the more tag from now on
David Culpepper from PureBlogging recently did a review of Blogging Tips. He said that
Some of Kevin’s posts are very long so I certainly understand the use of the more tag to split his posts up. Unfortunately for feed readers like myself, the more tag is not feed friendly and may cost him a few subscribers in the long run. I would suggest either not using the more tag or installing Full Text Feed, a plugin that prevents WordPress from adding the more link to your feed.
I like to use the more tags for a few reasons. The main one is for search engine optimisation. It ensures that the full article isnt posted on several pages on your site (eg different categories, index, archives and the actual post). It also splits up the long guides that i have written – some of these posts are pretty long and if you are not interested in the topic it would be a bit of a pain to have to scroll all the way down to get past it.
I did realise that it would also cut the feed but i didnt think it would be a major problem. Mainly because im one of those weirdos who uses his feed reader to see the latest posts and then just opens the post in a new page instead of reading it through the reader (what i do is open the posts i wanna read in the background tabs in opera). My aim has never been to force people to go to the main site (im happy if the feed stats keep going up haha).
The first thing i did was check out my wordpress.php file. Around line 27 you’ll see the function the_content_rss and there are 1 or 2 references to the more tag.
It wasn’t until Arpit Jacob said that i could use the_Excerpt instead of the the_content function in index.php etc that i realised this could be done without any major hacks to the wordpress files.
I tried out the excerpt function in my test blog. It worked but hardly the way i hoped. Images were removed, text was all crushed up and the front page post was cut off after 55 words before a link to the rest of the article was placed. I searched through wordpress.org and saw that i could edit this figure. I changed the $excerpt_length from 55 to 200 in the formatting.php file. A little better but still not good – the text was still all crushed up and images etc were removed. It was pure ugly if im honest.
After more playing around i came across a few plugins which improved what was displayed in the excerpt. Namely The Excerpt Reloaded and the content extract plugin. Both improved what i was trying to do but neither did exactly what i wanted it to do.
The search continued.
Leave More Tag and never show your ugly ass in our RSS Feed again!!
I eventually found a plugin on a german wordpress site called FH more killer. The plugin simply removes the more tag from rss feeds. The more tag is still used on the blog but rss readers will see the full post.
Those of you at the front of the class who are paying attention will realise that David Culpepper actually suggested a plugin which did exactly what i needed called full text feed. I’ve got absolutely no idea how i missed that link but regardless, a huge thank you to David from Pure Blogging for posting the link for me – much appreciated 🙂
The more tag on Blogging Tips
If you are like me and want to split up your posts but not cut off posts from feed readers, the two plugins i mentioned above should help you out if you have a wordpress blog.
I am going to continue to use the more tag to break up long posts here to make browsing older articles cleaner however i hope regular feed readers here are happy that they can now see all of the post without having to follow an external link from their feed reader 🙂