How Changing This Setting On Your WordPress Blog Will Help It Gain More Views

Do you have email subscribers to your blog? If so, every time you publish a new blog post, they get a ‘New Post’ email notification.

Banner for the blog post 'How Changing This Setting On Your WordPress Blog Will Help It Gain More Views'
How Changing This Setting On Your WordPress Blog Will Help It Gain More Views

Here’s a screenshot of an email notification I got from WordPress when blogger Sally Cronin recently published a new blog post.

Screenshot showing a new WordPress blog post notification from Sally Cronin
WordPress New Blog Post Notification

Notice how only the first part of the post is visible to me. 

To read the whole post, I have to click on its title or the ‘read more of this post‘ link (highlighted in the above image). This means I have to visit Sally’s blog to read the post, thus improving the viewing statistics on her blog.

Are there any disadvantages in displaying whole blog posts in email notifications?

Yes. WordPress has a setting available that allow users to either show the whole post or a brief summary of the post in emails. Therefore, unless the setting is changed, readers do not have to visit a blog to read a post.

If you’re an author or sell goods or services on your blog, this means your email subscribers won’t see them unless they visit your blog to leave a comment. This also means they may not be tempted to discover anything else on your blog or see any ‘Pages’ you have (such as your ‘About Me‘ page).

I get lots of email notifications from bloggers where I can read the whole post in the email, so I don’t have to visit their blog. Videos and YouTube videos don’t display in the email, thus making it look uninviting to read. Photos and other images in the email version of a blog post can also be distorted and affect the formatting of text. The result can look messy.  

Not visiting the actual post also discourages some readers from leaving comments. 

How Do I Change The Email Display Setting On WordPress?

To change the setting so your whole post does not show in the email, follow the guide below.

  • On the dashboard of your blog, click on ‘Settings‘ then on ‘Reading.’ 
Screenshot highlighting where to find Settings and Reading on the dashboard of a WordPress blog
Where to find Settings and Reading on a WordPress dashboard
  • On the ‘Reader Settings‘ page that opens, look for ‘For each post in a feed, include‘ and change the setting from ‘Full Text’ to ‘Excerpt’. 
Screenshot showing the 'For each post in a feed, include' setting on a WordPress blog
Where To Change The Email Summary Settings

Press the ‘Save Changes‘ button at the bottom of the page.

Your setting is now saved, and your new blog post email notifications will only display a brief summary of every new post you publish. This means readers have to visit your blog to read posts. 

Don’t forget that you can also write your own excerpts for your blog posts. My blog post ‘How To Use Excerpts To Get More Visitors To Read Your Blog Posts‘ gives full details.

If you don’t write your own excerpts, WordPress will use the first 55 words of your blog post as the excerpt.

Let’s Wrap It Up

  • By default, WordPress automatically shows the entire contents of new blog posts in email notifications.
  • Unless the ‘For each post in a feed, include’ setting is changed, email subscribers to your blog don’t need to visit your blog to read your posts.
  • By not visiting your blog, readers may be put off from leaving or reading comments.
  • If you sell books, services or any goods on your blog, readers won’t see them if they can read blog posts on email notifications.
  • Changing the ‘For each post in a feed, include’ setting to ‘Excerpt’, will mean your email notifications will only display a snippet of your new blog posts.
  • Changing the setting is easy to do. Follow the guide in this blog post.

Any questions about changing the ’email summary’ setting? Leave them in the comments section.

This is an updated version of a previous post I originally published in 2016. It has been updated to take into account changes on WordPress.

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126 thoughts on “How Changing This Setting On Your WordPress Blog Will Help It Gain More Views

  1. Thanks for this advice. I checked my settings and thankfully I seem to have done the right thing by instinct 🙂 Although on mine the choice is ‘Full text’ or ‘Summary’ – I opted for the latter.

    1. Yes, up until the day this post went live, I was also seeing ‘Full Text’ and ‘Summary.’ Then ‘Summary’ was changed to ‘Excerpt.’ It seems WordPress is gradually making the change on all blogs, so expect to see the change on your blog soon.

  2. I used to have mine set up as extract (on my site settings it shows as summary) but had feedback from some followers they were getting issues leaving comments. The problem went away when I reverted to full text. No idea why there should be a connection but WP does throw some odd things our way

    1. Until the final draft of this post, it used to show as ‘summary’ on my blog. Then I discovered that it had changed to ‘Excerpt, so I had to change the post to reflect the change. I wouldn’t be surprised if it changes on your blog very soon (if not already).

      Since my early days of blogging (2014), I’ve been using this setting and have never had anyone tell me that they’ve had problems leaving comments on my posts since I made the change. Do you know if they were trying to leave comments via the WordPress Reader or via the email notification? The problem may have since been fixed, but if you want the email notifications to only show an excerpt of your posts, it may be worth giving it another try.

      1. I seem to recall they were trying to do it via the email notification. I’m going to have another go and see if WP has made any chances in the background that might have fixed this

  3. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this very helpful post from Hugh’s Views and News blog titled: How Changing This Setting On Your WordPress Blog Will Help It Gain More Views.

    I changed this setting a while ago and can attest that this tip really works.

  4. One more question while I’m at it, Hugh. I used to receive notifications when the original blogger would respond to my comment, but now I often don’t get those. I comment on many blogs, so unless I remember to check back I don’t know if the blogger has replied. Is that something in their settings or mine?

    1. Pete, are you putting a tick in the ‘Notify me of new comments via email’ box when leaving comments? You can also check for replies under the ‘Comments’ tab in the WordPress notification centre (bell icon in the top right-hand corner of your blog) and reply from there (rather than having to keep revisiting a blog to check if a blogger has responded to your comment). If you are ticking the box and getting no emails, it’s worth reporting the matter to WordPress as it could be a bug on the theme you use for your blog.

  5. Thanks for the tip, Hugh. I checked mine to make sure it’s set on excerpt. And thanks for using Sally’s post about my new book! That was such a treat to see it here. Ha ha. I’ll take all the promo I can get. Happy Summer!

    1. Sally’s new post email notification from WordPress was the perfect example for this post, Diana. Glad to have helped with a little promotion for your new book. Having read some reviews for it, I’m sure it’ll be a hit.

  6. Thank you for another very interesting information, how WP could give more back to authors and writers. Very good advice. I hope i will remember by reopening my blog soon. Have a beautiful Friday, and enjoy the weekend! xx Michael

  7. I would have bet my life on having already changed this setting but you prompted me to check it – and I hadn’t! Many thanks for the tip.

    1. You’re welcome, Clive. Sometimes, and without any reason, these settings can revert back to the default setting without us knowing about it. It’s good to know that this post has got bloggers checking the settings.

      1. I was sure I’d set it right, but am grateful to you for reminding me of it. I follow my own blog to check that all is well with it, and the email for yesterday’s post did indeed contain the whole piece. I’ll be sure it doesn’t next time!

  8. thanks for the useful tip…

    less than 3% of my followers do so through email; the rest all follow via WordPress. Do you know if that is a normal split between the two?

    1. Jim, anyone who follows you via WordPress has the option of getting new blog post notifications via a WordPress email (like the one I showed in this post). This is different to those that sign up via an email option where WordPress is not involved.

      Many will, while many won’t want a WordPress new post notification email whenever a new blog post is published. As far as I am aware, there is no way of knowing how many of those who follow you via WordPress have chosen the option to receive emails whenever you publish a new post. The spilt will vary from blogger to blogger. For example, I don’t use the WordPress Reader, so I get email notifications from WordPress for most of the blogs I follow. Other bloggers may choose to never get WordPress email notifications.

      1. OK, now I understand. thank you for the explanation. I just use the WP Reader, since I was getting way too many email notifications when there would be a new blog post…

        1. I know what you mean, Jim. It’s one of the reasons why I cut right down on the number of blogs I was following. Also, to cut down on the number of emails, you can select to receive new post notification emails from WordPress daily or weekly. For some of the blogs I follow (because they publish more than one post daily), I have one weekly email where all the links to all their posts are included.

    1. You’re welcome, Sally. I hope you didn’t mind me using your blog as an example? I should have asked you first, but it was a perfect example of what I was explaining in the post.
      Many thanks for sharing the post in the Blogger Daily. Much appreciated.

  9. Thanks. I made this change back in April and it works great for email followers. I wonder why it doesn’t apply to the Reader? I suspect many followers may read the entire post in the Reader and not ‘visit site.’ Is that a different setting? I’ve seen other blogs that only show an excerpt there too but maybe that requires additional setup changes or something custom?

    1. The ‘WordPress Reader’ is a whole different ball game, Susanne. Unfortunately, whilst reading a post on the WP Reader registers as a visit on your stats, readers won’t see what else you have on your blog. I’m not aware of any setting that only allows an excerpt to show on the reader. Given that the reader only initially shows a snippet anyway, I’d be surprised if there were one. However, I will investigate and let you know if if I find anything. I do like, though, that the WP Reader gives the option of visiting the blog by way of the ‘visit link.

      1. Thanks so much for your reply. For some reason I was under the impression that reading a post in the Reader without visiting the site was not included in stats. I’m encouraged to know it’s included in your ‘view’ count. I’m pretty sure I used to see posts in the reader that displayed an excerpt and said ‘read more of this post’ but perhaps it was custom code. The software changes so often it’s hard to keep up.

        1. Look at the ‘referer’ stats of your blog and check the stats for WordPress.Com Reader. That figure all goes towards the stats of your blog.
          I still haven’t been able to find out if it is possible to only show an excerpt of the post on the WP Reader, but if I do, I’ll be sure to let you know where the settings are.

        2. I guess I assumed those readers chose to ‘visit site’ rather than read the entire post in the reader. I may clarify with a ‘happiness engineer’ since I pay for that..And also ask if it’s possible to put an excerpt in the reader. Thanks again for your help.

  10. My WordPress offers: Full Text or Excerpt. I’m wondering that if I change to Excerpt that means I must put text in the Excerpt box when writing a post. Or does WordPress automatically just include something.
    Thanks Hugh for the, as ever, great info 😀

    1. I’m not sure why WordPress default to the ‘Full Text’ option, Terri. After all, most bloggers want more traffic and people to visit their blog, so I would have thought the default option should be ‘Summary.’ Anyway, I’m glad I found it early on in my blogging journey.

    1. For the mobile app, try this –

      Go to My Site > Themes > Customize

      The Customizer will then open in a browser window > Go to Themes Options.

      Put a tick in the ‘Show Excerpt ‘ box.

      1. I had the same issue and turned to my computer and made the change. Then I saw your suggestion and looked on my mobile to see if the change carried over. It did not.

  11. I was going to make this change on my blog and started to go through the steps. Rather than “summary” the choice I have is “excerpt.” Is that the same thing?

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