7 CSS Snippets for Creating Stylish Content Excerpts


Article excerpts can significantly impact your website’s user experience. They offer readers a sneak peek into the content, enticing them to click through and read the full post. Most content management systems, such as WordPress, have default settings to display custom excerpts or limit the number of words from the article.

However, many website owners overlook the potential of customizing excerpts for style and functionality. When done correctly, custom excerpts can enhance the appearance of your website’s homepage and also provide additional utility to your visitors.

We have curated a collection of ways to improve excerpts beyond just a simple piece of text on your homepage. The following CSS and JavaScript snippets include creative ways to improve the appearance and functionality of excerpts. These custom excerpts can add a touch of professionalism to your website and make it stand out from the crowd. Let’s dive in!

Excerpt Tabs

When space is limited, this tabbed navigation example could be of great use. Think of it as a way to showcase posts from specific categories. The way it’s currently set up, you’ll get just one post per tab. But with a little creative coding, you could make each tab home to, say, the top 5 posts from each category.

See the Pen Simple Tabs Widget by Kevin Lesht

Scroll to Full Article

One trend we’re seeing is using excerpts on an article’s page itself. Here we have a snippet that displays the excerpt upon the page’s loading. Then, scrolling reveals the entire article below.

In this case, the user’s viewport is detected via JavaScript and is used to display the article at a specific point during the scroll. This enables the use of some fancy special effects.

See the Pen Element Viewport Detection by Ryan Altvater

It’s All in the Card

Content cards have turned into a very popular way to display a list of articles. Design-wise, they can be very organized and compact. They also provide a nice visual separation between posts – making for easier reading.

What’s interesting about this example is that, instead of linking to a full post on a separate page, this card allows you to read the entire article right within the same container. The use of the scrollbar makes this extra handy. This one’s probably best for shorter content.

See the Pen Article Card UI – Read More CSS Animation by Kitsune

CSS Reveal

The right image can certainly serve as a useful way to provide readers with a hint as to the contents of an article. If your site has a focus on using featured images, this example might be right up your alley.

It uses pure CSS to reveal a text excerpt as the user hovers over an image/headline card. This won’t work for every site, but it adds a nice bit of interactivity when paired with great imagery.

See the Pen Text Overlay Using CSS Transitions by Mack Richardson

A Revealing Perspective

A different take on the hover reveal can be found in this example. Rather than the multi-column card layout, this resembles more of a traditional blog. The advantage here is that it allows for larger headlines and can handle excerpts of various lengths.

See the Pen Article list concept with background image by Michal Niewitala

Full Screen Intro

This example targets an article’s page and provides a full screen to show off a title, excerpt, and featured image. Scrolling down then reveals the full article. This could add a nice touch to long-form content.

See the Pen Article Intro Effects by Romswell Roswell Parian Paucar

Stand in the Spotlight

At first glance, the excerpts below look nice enough. But hovering over an article is where the real magic happens. The chosen article’s container expands, while a dark background mutes the others in the listing. What a great technique for making content stand out.

See the Pen Reveal article display by JL

More Than Words

The examples above are proof that excerpts don’t have to be boring. They can become an asset in both UX and your overall design. With a bit of creative thinking, you can add some extra layers of interactivity and tempt users to keep on clicking.

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