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Quick Tip: Display Excerpts of Child Pages with a Shortcode

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Sometimes we have a page just for the sake of making it a parent of other pages. I've even seen these pages left blank! You should at least have a small paragraph for the sake of search engines and visitors alike, but what about also offering a snippet of the subpages to read similar to how your blog page does posts?

In this quick tip, we'll create a little function that will query the page for child pages, display titles, excerpts and links if it finds any, and add it to a shortcode for use from the WordPress page editor.

Create the Function

This code performs a simple query for the current page's children.

  • Query the child pages
  • If the query returns pages, loop through them and create an output with an unordered list that includes the linked title, the excerpt, and a "Continue Reading" link
  • If the query doesn't return anything, set the output to say that nothing was found. You could set this to whatever would be the most useful for your application.
  • Don't forget to reset the post data!
  • Return the results rather than echo them so that it can be used as a shortcode

Create the Shortcode

Creating shortcodes out of functions is pretty simple with the built in WordPress function. You could also simply echo the function from within a template. If you really wanted to get creative, you could add it to a custom widget!


That's all, folks! This is a pretty handy way of handling subpages and offering a preview to readers. Your output should look something like this:

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