Once you get started with WordPress you start to realize how user-friendly the dashboard is, and it’s actually quite easy to learn the tricks that make it work well for your business or personal use. But what about unique WordPress tips and tricks that you have never heard of before?
Are there little tweaks or buttons that are hiding from view that could make your life a whole lot easier? WordPress is similar to Excel; people use a small amount of the features and don’t always realize how powerful the interface is until they start digging.
Let’s take a look at some unique WordPress tips and tricks to see if they can help you expedite your content creation process or even make your site look a little nicer.
Post the Perfect Sized Images Every Time
I often encounter images that just don’t look right after uploading or I have to crop and resize them over and over until they get just right. Why not just make your images the perfect size every time?
Go to Settings > Media to change the default sizes for Thumbnails, Medium, and Large images. These are like quick keys for images. So if you want most images to cover the entire width of a blog post, make the large option as wide as your posts.
Then when you go to insert an image you can grab these quick keys for instant resizing. This is located in the Insert Media window.
Block Out Distractions with Full Screen Mode
There is a Distraction Free Writing mode that sits in the upper right hand corner of the WordPress editor. It allows you to block out everything else that is sitting on your screen such as browser tabs and tempting games. All the necessary tools are still available so you can link to other articles and make your headers look right. Simply click on the full-screen button and you are well on your way to writing for hours without distractions.
The Alt +Shift + W shortcut also pushes you to the full-screen mode.
Place a Link with a Simple Shortcut
Links require you to copy, paste, click the Link button and specify where you want the link to open. It’s an unusual amount of work for a simple link. Skip the step of searching for the Hyperlink button by using this shortcut to pull up the linking screen:
Remember you have to highlight text first.
Display Em and En Dashes
Simply type in two hyphens to receive a dash on the WordPress frontend. Keep in mind that the two hyphens don’t convert in your WordPress editor. You have to preview or publish the post for them to come up. Avoid using three hyphens to form a dash because this gives you a divider on your screen.
Perform Click and Drag Uploads
This is a recent feature, but it saves quite a bit of time with one of the more time-consuming aspects of creating content in WordPress. Articles with lots of pictures are tedious because you have to save the image to your computer, name it what you want, click the Add Media button and then wait for the upload. This takes one step out of the process, and it surprisingly speeds things up.
Open up your computer file manager and locate an image you want to place in the post. Click and drag the image into your WordPress editor and it takes over uploading the image onto the server. There’s two reasons I like this: One, locating the Add Media button is strangely difficult even though it’s always in the same spot. Two, I usually have my files open before uploading anyways, so why not just drop in the image right there?
Create a Workflow with Writers Using the Pending Review Function
Are you just getting started working with other writers on your own site? You probably don’t want them publishing content directly to your site before you have a chance to review it. Therefore, it’s best to instruct them to either submit their articles as Pending, or to create a Submit for Review button so that they can just send it to you for editing.
Find the Status tab in the Publish area and notice that the drop down menu includes a Pending option. Simply have writers modify this before submitting.
The Edit Flow plugin also works nicely to develop an editorial schedule and provide buttons for writers to submit their articles for review before publishing it on the site.
Type in Code Without Any Knowledge of Code
Shortcodes are often common knowledge for seasoned WordPress users, but for those of you who haven’t heard of them before, brace yourselves. There are times when you want to modify content and make things look different, but you know that the only solution is code modification.
Shortcodes are shorthand for complicated code you might not know about. So if you want to insert a photo gallery, but don’t know how to code it, just punch in the short code.
Just an FYI: The numbers reflect image ids. Find the entire list of shortcodes here.
Completely Remove the Uncategorized Category Option
A pain in the butt with WordPress is the Uncategorized category, where you create a post and then it ends up in a junk category which is useless for your users.
How do you get rid of this? You can either rename the category or choose a new default category.
To rename the category, go to Posts > Categories and simply rename the Uncategorized option to something more friendly. If you want to change your default category, go to Settings > Writing and change the area that says Default Post Category.
Customize What You See on the Dashboard
The dashboard is intimidating, so why not remove items you don’t use as much? Go to the upper right hand corner of your dashboard to locate the Screen Options tab.
Pull this down to uncheck things you don’t want to look at. Keep in mind that the Screen options are different for each page. So modify the dashboard, editor, and more.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about these unique WordPress tips and tricks.
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