How to Set a Minimum and Maximum Number of Words in WordPress

Does it matter how many words you write on a topic?

Some books are famously short. “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” barely reaches 60 pages, but it has inspired movies and TV shows for decades.

Some books are famously long. “Moby Dick” is over 700 pages, but it has also been enormously popular for over 100 years.

You can probably come up with many more examples, but it's fair to say that quality matters as much as length. So long as you write well, people will read a long blog post or a long book.

Still, there needs to be a sweet-spot. Posts that are too short are less likely to rank well in Google. Posts that are too long will probably start to lose the reader's attention, no matter how interesting they are.

HubSpot did research and found that 2,250 to 2,500 words was ideal for generating organic traffic.

Other experts may give you slightly different advice. Yoast recommends that you regularly hit 1,000-1,500 words, along with occasional 2,500 words posts. Their own Yoast SEO plugin won't give you a green signal unless you hit at least 300 words:

Set a Minimum and Maximum Number of Words for WordPress Posts

If you want to track your WordPress word count this tutorial will help.

If you are part of a team of writers, or just want to write in more disciplined and effective way, you should set up your WordPress site to follow some best practices. The PublishPress Checklists plugin for WordPress will allow choosing a maximum and minimum length of your WordPress content.

  • Install PublishPress Checklists.
  • Go to Checklists in your WordPress admin area.
  • Look for the “Number of words” fields. Choose a minimum and maximum number.
  • Now when you to go write a post, you'll see a “Checklist” box that tells you whether you've hit your goal. You can see below that this post is either too short or too long.
  • In the settings screen you save above, there was a “Prevent publishing” option. If you left that default setting, when you try to publish the post without hitting your goal, you'll see this message below. You actually can't publish your post without hitting the required number of words.
  • Alternatively, you can choose to set a warning, not block publishing entirely. If you take this route, you'll see the option to publish, despite not having met your goal.
  • Once you reach your goal, the red X will turn to a green check mark, as in the image below. You've achieved your target, exactly between your maximum and minimum number of words.


Does it matter how many words you write in a blog post?

Yes, for many writers, it does.

If you have a word goal for your content, give PublishPress a try with the PublishPress Checklists plugin. It's the best way to keep up good writing habits, no matter if you're writing alone or as part of a team.

Steve Burge

Steve is the founder of PublishPress. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. (P.S. This profile is generated by the PublishPress Authors plugin)

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