Subtitle or secondary heading, as is known, supplies additional information for the main title. Though many theme developers have used custom fields or post excerpts to add WordPress subtitles, the easiest and most quick way is to use a handy plugin.
Note that, the plugins instanced in this tutorial are Secondary Title and Subtitles, which are foolproof even for absolute beginners. Meanwhile, there are several alternatives at the bottom of this page.
Option 1 > Using Secondary Title Plugin
Created by a seasoned developer named ThaiKolja, this “Secondary Title” plugin can add an alternative title to pages, posts and even custom post types in a super-simple way. Most importantly, this solution includes an extra configuration page where you can customize the subtitles to your preferences. Till now, it has been downloaded over 2,000 via the following URL.
Download URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/secondary-title/
Add WordPress subtitles
Needless to say, you should firstly install and activate this “Secondary Title” in WordPress. As for plugin installation, there are three different methods to get the job done. Upon activation, a new box will appear on your post edit screen as follows. Though this secondary title is placed above this “Enter Title Here” area, you will see a subtitle placed below the original title on the frontend.
Following is an example of what it looks like inside the default “Weddings” theme.
Perform advanced Settings
It is also possible to alter the default settings via “Settings” > “Secondary Title”. From here, you can decide whether display the secondary title inside certain “Post Types”, “Categories” as well as “Post IDs” or not. If you don’t want the subtitles show up automatically, just set this “Insert Automatically” option to “No”.
There is an option to adjust the “Subtitle Input Position” within the post editor area, and you can choose to display it “Below” the main post title box. Beware that, the default format would display the secondary title next to the standard title, separated by a colon. Just specify this “Title Format” to your liking as below:
The secondary title can also be added to permalinks, and you can only show it in main posts. Do check “Save Changes” lastly.
Option 2 > Using Subtitles Plugin
Subtitles, a free plugin developed by Philip Arthur Moore, can be a one-stop solution to add WordPress subtitles. With this simple-yet-powerful plugin, you don’t need to add template tags to theme any more. The best feature about this one is that you can scan both user and developer questions related to this plugin through this GitHub FAQ page. No coding required.
Download URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/subtitles/faq/
Add a secondary alternative title
Once installed and activated this “Subtitles” plugin, you will find a new place to “Enter Subtitle” beneath the main title. It’s a good practice to “Preview” the entered subtitle on the front page before publishing it. Note that, this plugin works great with almost all themes and also adjusts the style of subtitle to match your theme’s colour and layout.
Make Customizations to Subtitles
Also, the secondary titles can be extended to display in post archives, search results, widgets or other views. The following markup outputted for your subtitles is a span with a customizable class.
<span class="entry-subtitle">Your Secondary Title</span>
As all subtitles are stored within post meta, you can keep these entries even if this plugin is deactivated or uninstalled later on. At present, it’s impossible to clear out the subtitles from the database, but the plugin developer may add such an option in the future version.
Other Subtitle Plugins that May Interest You
Different plugins have different functions, and below are a couple of subtitle plugins that you may want to know:
- WP Subtitle – is a minimalistic plugin that allows you to add sub-headings to WordPress posts, pages as well as custom post types. It’s meant for tech-savvy person and compatible up to WordPress 4.2 release.
- KIA Subtitle – is adapted from another plugin called as “The Subtitle” and differs in class-based organization. It gives an option to retrieve a subtitle in the loop and only stores the post meta when needed.
- Visual Subtitle – is usually wrapped in a span to be modified differently. It provides a visual subtitle field for all views, and in the meantime, maintains as many SEO keywords as possible.
- Widget Subtitle – will embed a subtitle input field to all of your WordPress widgets. Furthermore, the subtitles will be displayed right under the widget title without any user input.