Cutline Theme for WordPress

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How to Improve Your Front Page and Gain Page Views in 10 Seconds!

November 15th, 2006 · 84 Comments · How To

Use post teasers to improve your total number of page views!It’s rare that you can accomplish anything noteworthy on the Web in just 10 seconds, but today’s little tip is the real deal. Instead of publishing full posts on the front page of your site, you ought to try implementing post teasers β€” inticing tidbits that you can use to lure in readers and get ’em focused on your content.

How to make a teaser with WordPress

A lot of folks have asked me how I get my teasers to work on the front page of this site, and I’m here to tell ya that it’s brutally simple.

If you’re using the Rich Visual Text Editor, just follow these steps:

  1. Place the cursor after the end of the text that you want to appear as your teaser.
  2. To create a teaser on your front page, click on the post separation icon in the Rich Visual Text EditorClick on the button shown in the image at right, and this will separate the post at your desired location and generate a teaser on your front page!

If you’re not using the Rich Visual Text Editor, then you’ll be happy to know that creating teasers is still a breeze. All you have to do is locate the position in your text where you’d like the teaser to end, and then simply insert the <!--more--> tag like you see in the image below.

In the regular text editor, simply insert the more tag as shown in this image

Why teasers?

There are a ton of reasons why teasers will improve your blog, but here are some of my favorites:

  • Your page views metric will increase because readers will have to click through from the front page in order to read the entire article.
  • You will be forced to learn to write high-impact copy at the beginning of your posts, because if your teasers aren’t inticing, no one will care to click through to read the rest of your articles.
  • You now have more flexibility with your styling on the home page. If you scroll down the front page of this site, you’ll see that I routinely involve the use of images to “spice up” the page. Teasers provide you with this advantage because they make more content available in a smaller area.
  • Teasers allow users to get accustomed to clicking around on your site, which places you in a favorable psychological position with your readers.

So, what are you waiting for? Reach out and tease someone!


84 Comments so far ↓

  • Hummerbie

    Hello Chris,

    Great Teaser, like it a lot.
    Just one question, what does it do if you have a full text Feed active?

    Does it still take the whole text, or does if give you a reed more in the Feed?

  • Chris


    I just checked the feed for this site in Bloglines, and I got entire posts.

    So, based on that little (and hardly scientific) experiment, I think it takes the entire text.

  • Hummerbie

    Thanks You Chris, as always a fast respons….
    I can sleep easy tonight.

  • Rick Beckman

    In the WordPress admin panel, under Options » Reading, there is an option to choose whether you want full text or summary displayed in your syndication feeds. πŸ˜‰

  • Tim

    Great post, thanks.

  • How to Implement Post Teasers with WordPress | Pearsonified

    […] Back in April, I wrote about how the use of home page teasers was a great way to boost page views. Problem was, I never showed you an easy way to implement them with WordPress. Seven months later, here you go β€” the 10 second post teaser solution! […]

  • Larry

    What is the Post Slug menu for? I’ve tried to the thing and I cannot get it to work.

    I open my admin panel and click on write post next it give title and write the post. After the second paragraph I added the the (MORE) and looked at it in the preview editor and it doesn’t give a like to the rest of the article. Help

  • Rick Beckman

    The preview isn’t going to display the More link; the preview shows you the entire article. You’ll have to publish a post and view it on the index, an archive page, or a search page to see the More tag in action.

    The Post Slug option controls what the post’s permalink address is. For instance, on this post here at Cutline, the post slug is “how-to-improve-your-front-page-and-gain-page-views-in-10-seconds,” which is most likely what WordPress automatically made up based on what the post’s title was. Had the author wanted, a post slug of “improved-front-page-using-more-tag” or similar for the sake of brevity.

  • Chris


    Rick’s explanation was spot-on. Thanks, Beckman!

  • Charlie

    Dig the article! Wrote a similar one myself a wee bit back, but yours wins due to the sexy images!

  • Why You Don’t Mess with Another Man’s Work | Pearsonified

    […] 2 I found out about this whole thing because apparently, the guy was naΓ―ve enough to leave a comment at the Cutline support site. Smart. […]

  • Jitendra

    Love the clean look…Great job

  • gio

    I followed exactly what you said but it doesnt seem to work for me. Any help please.

  • Chris


    It looks like it’s working…Did you manage to fix it?

  • gio

    yes i fixed it finally. Im validating my codes now. I really hope to make it xhtml valid. πŸ™‚

    This theme must be the most beautiful theme i have ever used. πŸ™‚

  • Nova

    Hi Chris

    My technical knowledge is pretty minimal. I have been trying to install the rich visual editor plugin on Cutline and nothing it doesn’t show up. I have been through the instructions about installation over and over. Does cutline support it?

  • lawton

    Chris, how do you do that cool text in the quotes? The different colors…are they CSS based?

    The text that says Post Teasers…

  • Chris

    Gio β€” It totally is πŸ™‚

    Nova β€” The plugin works with the WordPress Administration Panel and has nothing at all to do with the Cutline theme. The fact that it doesn’t work is an issue with the installation or with the plugin itself. Make sure you’re running a version of WordPress that is compatible with the plugin, and if that doesn’t help you, you may consider contacting the developer.

    Lawton β€” In this post, the “quote” is actually a graphic, not text. Now that really would be some CSS wizardry!

  • Torley

    Great, very crisp article! I use post teasers myself on occasion for longer articles. Sometimes, I just have a lot to say, but just like any good story, I agree, it’s useful to start off with a *BANG* and finish with a *PUNCH*. Or something like that! πŸ˜€

  • Larry

    Thanks for all the help guys. My blog is starting to come together with your help and the use of this killer templete.

    Question, how do make the text in an article wrap text, like above inthe POST TEASER.

  • Rick Beckman

    Larry: The above “Post Teaser” is an image, not text.

    But, line breaks in quotes are as simple as inserting a, well, line break. πŸ™‚

  • Peter

    What’s up Chris,

    I love the cutline theme…it’s very sharp. πŸ˜€

    Yet, I notice that my links in the sidebar stay black and not blue, is there a way to fix that?

    My site is


  • Chris


    You could also wrap text around a pullquote (which is text) as described in this article on professional publishing with Cutline.

  • Lucky Balaraman

    Terrific post… I was dismayed after plugins for teasers didn’t work and am over the moon at your solution.

    Plus I’m adding you to my blogroll.

    Thanks a ton!

  • Rich Harlos

    Hi, Chris. This is my first time to your site and I must say I’m very impressed with the Cutline template for WordPress.

    I’m having a bit of trouble, though, getting my new site (with only 3 “testing” posts) to display correctly in Firefox (IE, of course, shows fine).

    Your site appears fine but mine, with v1.3 as my first/only cutline template, has this ugly dark gray bar across the header menu, and the footer text on the header level on the right-hand side of the screen.

    If you could take a quick look at the url of my website on this comment, I’d be grateful.

    Thanks in advance for your help!


  • Chris


    The Spam Karma 2 plugin places that text in the wp_footer() hook that lies in the footer.php file. It shows up in the wrong place because the theme hook that the plugin uses is not in the right place within the code.

    Unfortunately, when I constructed the theme, I moved the wp_footer() declaration outside of the actual footer block, not knowing that it would affect plugins of this nature.

    I’ve gone ahead and fixed the footer.php file, though, so you can actually just download the theme again to correct the problem. This time, however, only upload the footer.php file to your server, and you should be fine!

  • Rich Harlos

    Chris, I’m completely dazzled by your quick reply and your fixing the footer file … THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    You have a new fan!


  • Timen

    Hi Chris,

    I’m looking at Cutline as a potential theme to base a new blog on. It’s really great. I have a question…

    I was wondering why you have “Search Results” code in your archive.php. I cannot get it to run that code because searches always use search.php. What’s the deal with this?

  • jp

    Thanks for this tip. Have implemented it immediately!

  • gio

    Hi Cris,

    Is it ok to modify your Cutline Theme AND have it available for download on my site? I will include your link and my link. Will that be ok?

  • Chris


    If you retain the attribution links in both the footer and the stylesheet (as they are on your site right now), then that would be just fine.

    I’m sure lots of folks would love to use your implementation β€” it’s nicely done!

  • Chris


    The search function searches all your posts from anywhere on your site. Given that fact, I’m not really sure I understand the nature of your question.

  • gio


    Thank you.

    BTW, I noticed I don’t receive any email notification from this comment althoug I’ve already subscribed.

  • Timen


    Sorry about that. I should be more clear.

    There seems to be code to display search results in archive.php as well as search.php. Why? When does the respective code in archive.php show?

  • Kevin Donahue

    Several people have asked how to do a pull quote or something similar to the “Post Teasers” image in the original post. There are a few pull quote plugins for wordpress that can do this with little/no effort. The pullquotes can be styled with a little css, and off ya go.

    You could (probably) do much the same with metadata, setting a Custom Field to contain the pull quote text, and then stylizing based on the key value.

    Or, if you really want to trick it up, you could further expand the blockquote css to include a pullquote class, changing the variables to meet your needs with a little float and other goodies.

  • Matt

    How do I go about setting my header text to align to the right..instead of the center. Also, is there any way to include some grey text underneath my title? A little catchphrase perhaps?

  • Chris


    I could eliminate that code. The only way it would ever show up is if you had nothing in your database, but you still tried to access an archive link.

  • Chris


    In this particular post, the “Post Teasers” pseudo-pullquote at the top is actually a graphic.

    Pullquotes with Cutline are a breeze!

    Aside from that, the easiest way (by far) to implement pullquotes is simply to use the embedded classes that come with Cutline. Learn more about them in my post, How to Post Like a Pro with Cutline.

  • amish

    Chris – I’m currently testing out Cutline and the search function doesn’t seem to work for me. Rather than returning any relevant search results, it appears to just be loading the front page of the blog.

    The search function here ( appears to be working fine, but when I install the theme, it starts acting up.

    Is there anything special that I need to do to get this to work properly?

  • Chris


    It’s extremely hard for me to troubleshoot your site’s performance if you fail to provide me with a link.

    I’m betting your search was behaving strangely because there was no content to search.

    Either that or the relevant files within your wp-includes folder have become corrupted. I’m certainly not going to bet on this being the case, though.

  • amish

    Sorry about that, I forgot to include the URL in both places.

  • amish


    I’m also going to shoot you a non-Cutline-specific question, since you seem to be a WordPress guru and I haven’t been able to find an answer elsewhere.

    I have a bunch of other html files within my domain. Some are within folders, some are in the root directory (where my wordpress installation also resides). When I try to view any of these pages in a browser, I get the wordpress 404 page instead of the actual contents of that particular file. It seems like wordpress is returning the 404 because these pages do not “exist” within Wordress? Do you know how I can disable this functionality?

  • amish

    Sorry to keep flooding your thread….

    The search bug is fixed. I screwed up some other things while messing around with WordPress and ended up deleting the installation and starting over. This time I installed to a different directoy, but changed the options to let it publish to root, and now search seems to work fine.

    Still having some issues with the 404 page stuff. Moving the WP installation helped – the pages now appear as they should. However I’m trying some tricky ‘php-in-html’ stuff to try to get these different files to redirect to other pages, and that seems to be causing problems. Basically I’m trying to redirect entries from my previous Movable Type installation to the corresponding entries in WordPress and somewhere along the line it is getting screwed up. Not sure if you have any experience in this realm, or if you have any thoughts in general, but any insight is appreciated.

    Also, I never actually told you how great I think this theme and your pearsonified themes are. Mad props.

  • Raquita

    I am about to launch cutline as my template cause I love it, however I’d like to make the header image a tad bit larger – is that allowed, and then pray tell how would I do it? I am still but a moron when it comes to this stuff I am only goodenough not to totally blow up my PC. and help you could provide would be totally WICKED – one more question to prove my moronity – what is a Rich Visual Text editor? and where would I find one….

  • Chris


    In the header.php file, the images all have width and height attributes applied to them. In the default configuration, the heights are all specified as 140px.

    If you want a taller header image, simply change all of the height declarations to however large you want your images to be.

    Of course, in order to make that work properly, you’ll have to produce some header images at the size of your choice πŸ˜‰

  • Raquita

    Chris you totally ROCK dude!!

    hey what is a Rich Visual Text Editor is that in wordpress?

  • Chris

    I knew I forgot to answer something β€” that’s what I get for doing 50 things at once.

    Anyhoo, the Rich Visual Text Editor is the default setup for composing posts in WordPress. You can toggle it on or off by going to the Users tab in your Administration Panel, and then by checking/unchecking the box that says “Use the visual rich editor when writing.”

  • Mike


    The theme is just what I was looking for. I have to add some company info down on the footer for compliance reasons. Is there any way I can add the company info down there without disrupting your default footer.

  • Raquita

    hey one last question how do I remove the basic black type at the top of the page – or at the very least make it smaller…

  • Raquita

    never mind I think I got it!!

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