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How to Add Subtitle for Posts and Pages in WordPress (Step by Step)

Do you want to add a subtitle for your WordPress posts and pages?

Subtitles can help catch the visitor’s attention and encourage them to read the rest of your content. This will keep them on your site for longer and get you more pageviews.

In this article, we will show you how to add subtitles to your posts and pages, step-by-step.

How to add subtitles for posts and pages in WordPress (step by step)

Why Add Subtitles to Posts and Pages in WordPress?

Subtitles, or secondary titles, allow you to show more information about your blog posts, which encourages visitors to read more.

Many popular blogs use subtitles in this way, including Medium, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Brain Pickings, and more.

Post subtitle example

Subtitles give you a chance to explain your title and tell readers what they will get from reading your WordPress blog post.

They will also encourage visitors to stay on your site for longer and read more content, which can increase pageviews and reduce the bounce rate. This sends positive signals to the search engines, so it may even improve your WordPress SEO.

With that said, let’s show you how to easily add subtitles to your WordPress posts and pages.

How to Add Subtitles to WordPress Posts and Pages

The easiest way to add subtitles to your WordPress website is by using Secondary Titles.

This plugin lets you easily add subtitles to your posts and pages and then customize how those subtitles look.

Final post subtitle example

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Secondary Titles plugin. For more details, see our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, head over to Settings » Secondary Title, where you can configure the plugin’s settings.

The WordPress subtitle settings

Secondary Title can automatically show the subtitle for each page or post by merging it with the standard title. Another option is to show the subtitle for specific pages and posts only.

Since it’s the easiest option, let’s start by automatically showing a subtitle for all pages and posts. In the ‘Auto show’ section, simply select ‘On.’

After that, you can change how the subtitle looks. By default, Secondary Title will show the main headline and subtitle separated by a colon, like this:

The Post Title: The Secondary Title

To change this, simply edit the HTML in the ‘Title format’ box.

For example, you might make the subtitle smaller or change its color. You can also replace the colon with any other symbol you want to use.

The ‘Preview’ will update automatically as you make changes, so you can try different settings to see what looks the best on your WordPress blog.

Change subtitle format

After that, you can control where the subtitles appear in the ‘Display Rules’ section.

First, we will select ‘On’ in the ‘Only show in main post’ section, as this means the subtitles will only appear if they are in the main blog roll.

Only show in main post on

In the ‘Post types’ section, you can choose the post types where you want to show subtitles.

To display subtitles on both posts and pages, simply check both boxes.

Select post types to display subtitles

Next, you can choose the post categories where you want to allow subtitles.

In the ‘Categories’ section, simply check or uncheck the different post categories.

Check boxes for post category display

Do you want to show subtitles for specific posts only?

Then simply type their IDs into the ‘Post ID’ box. For step-by-step instructions on how to find this information, see our guide on how to find IDs in WordPress.

Enter unique IDs for post or page

In the final ‘Miscellaneous Settings’ box, you can allow visitors to search for posts using their subtitles by selecting the ‘On’ radio button.

Depending on your site, this may be a good way to improve WordPress search.

Making your WordPress subtitles searchable

Finally, you can change whether the subtitle appears to the left or right of the primary title using the ‘Column position’ settings.

When you are happy with how the subtitle is set up, just click on the ‘Save Changes’ button.

Miscellaneous settings box and save changes

With that done, you are ready to create your first subtitle by opening a post or page.

Here, simply type your subtitle into the ‘Secondary Title’ box in the right-hand menu. Then, click ‘Update’ or ‘Publish’ to make your changes live.

Add subtitle and save post

Now, visitors will see the subtitle when they view your post.

Manually Displaying Subtitles on WordPress Posts and Pages

You can also add subtitles to your posts and pages manually. This gives you more control over where your subtitles appear on the individual posts and pages.

To do this, simply go to Settings » Secondary Title. Then, select the ‘Off’ option in the ‘Auto show’ section.

Turn off auto show subtitles

With that done, you can manually show secondary titles in your WordPress theme by adding code to your theme template files.

If you haven’t added code before, then see our beginner’s guide to pasting snippets from the web into WordPress.

You’ll need to add the code to the right template. For most themes, this will be post.php, single.php, or index.php page templates.

To help you find the right file, please see our WordPress template hierarchy cheat sheet.

After finding the file, simply add the following template tag code snippet:

<?php echo get_secondary_title(); ?>

This code snippet adds the subtitle to your posts or pages wherever you’d like.

We hope this article helped you learn how to add subtitles to your posts and pages in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to get a free email domain and our comparison of the best business phone services for small businesses.

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Reader Interactions

14 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. What if I want secondary title appear everywhere except on the top of a single blog page ?
    Thank you

    • If we’re understanding what you want correctly then you could use header blocks to add your subtitle in the article itself.


    • You can insert inline CSS in Title format input.
      If you using the manual method, you can add custom style or class like

  2. Any way to do it manually? I can use a custom metabox for this but I want it like this plugin, next to title. Not bottom of editor with other metaboxes

  3. It appears that the subtitle is inserted into the tag where the main title exists.

    This means that styling it can only be done with span tags and inline styles. This causes problems with things like sidebars that list recent posts.

    For example, I wanted the subtitle smaller and underneath the main title but font-size: 20px meant that it displayed this size in the sidebar too.

    Anyone else experienced this or know of a work around?

  4. Do you have to pay to join “Wpbegginer” ? I see your referrers to hosting says, “wpbegginer users get such & such off”

  5. Secondary Title is a great plugin! And your article was especially helpful re: for secondary title appearing below the primary title. Thanks very much.

  6. Oh wow I just installed this plugin….can’t wait to start using it. It looks awesome. Thanks so much for the heads-up….love this site!!!!

  7. If we have this plugin activated, but don’t need a secondary title can we just leave the secondary title line blank? Will it look different than just the basic title & post without the plugin?

  8. thank you for this article. exactly what I needed. do you know whether the subtitle shows on facebook?

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