At this point, you might think that it’s not worth the trouble to write excerpts for
all your posts. And you could be right, if you use a standard theme and you don’t
think that your visitors are going to be searching for posts. However, there’s another
factor to consider: Some themes use excerpts for other purposes.
For example, many themes use excerpts as the display text for posts on the home
page. This way, the excerpt acts a bit like a teaser. The difference is that the standard
WordPress teaser comes from the first part of a post, but you control the wording
in an excerpt.
The Brightpage theme described earlier (page 192) uses this system. If you provide
an excerpt for a post, that’s what shows up on your home page, not the post content.
The Oxygen theme, available for both WordPress.com and self-hosted sites, does
the same thing, as you can see in Figure 6-21.
NOTE None of the year themes like Twenty Twelve make much use of the excerpts feature. They use them
in searches (as shown in Figure 6-20), but not on the home page.
If you switch to a theme that makes heavy use of excerpts, you might find the summary
so valuable that you want all your posts to use them, even the ones you’ve
already created. WordPress has some plug-ins that can help. For example, the Excerpt
Editor (http://tinyurl.com/csudedx) can give you a summary for every existing post,
without you having to edit each one individually.