WordPress is a piece of cake to learn.
We all know that!
But there are so many amazing, yet hidden features, tips and tricks that you are probably (definitely) NOT aware of.
So in this post I want to show you 7 stunning (yet hidden) WordPress features that can make your website/blog and how you work with it even more amazing!
1. Write Even Faster With Shortcuts
If you are a reasonable typer, then this is something worth learning asap.
WordPress now offers you the chance to add basic formatting to your posts without your fingers ever leaving the keyboard.
For example you can make a heading 2 element just by typing the following:
## my new heading
Notice that there are 2 hashes before the heading. That is a heading number 2!
The rest of the codes you can see below.
Once you learn them, you will be typing, creating and editing faster than ever!
Just type any of the follow characters followed by the words you need, then after you hit Enter, it will be converted by WordPress automagically!
## Heading 2
### Heading 3
#### Heading 4 (and so on...)
* Bulleted list
– Bulleted list1
. Numbered list
1) Numbered list
2. Get Focused with Distraction-free Writing
There is so much going on in the WordPress dashboard that it makes focusing on the task at hand challenging.
My suggestion: use the distraction-free writing mode to keep your focus until you are done!
Where is Distraction-free mode?
Just head to the top-right of your WordPress editor and click on the little symbol with arrows pointing outwards:
This will then expand your screen to fill with the editor, leaving you to concentrate on your work!
3. Recover From Lost Versions of Posts or Pages
Every time you save something with WordPress (or it does an Autosave) there is a new revision saved for you.
The problem is that most people do not know where they are!
There are a couple of ways you can get to your revisions:
- via the Browse link just below the Save Draft button (in the Publish Panel top right)
- via the Revisions Panel
To open the Revisions Panel first open the screen options (top left of the page)
After opening Screen Options, check/tick Revisions
Then scroll down and you will see the revisions below your post/page
4. Powerful Default Settings To Save Time
There are a whole bunch of things you do with WordPress every day, that you could just set instead.
For example, instead of resizing an image once it is uploaded in WordPress, you can have a setting that does it for you.
Setting Default Images Sizes
To set your default image sizes head to:
- Settings menu
- then Media
There you will see the following settings, which are the images WordPress automatically creates from your uploaded image.
Note: These are the image sizes you see when editing an image in WordPress.
Default Category For Posts
This one is maybe not going to save you insane amounts of time, but it is something that bugs me when I am writing all the time.
The default category is always “Uncategorized”.
If you know that on average a lot of your posts are about WordPress (taking me as an example) then why not just have that set.
That means when you create a post, it is automatically ticked by WordPress, and then you can change it later if you need. But if you forget, which happens, then at least it is not just Uncategorized or something else pointless to your content.
Here is where you will find the Default Category Setting:
- Settings menu
- then Writing
This will take you to the following page where you can choose the default category from the drop down menu as below:
5. Publish Posts While You Are On Vacation (or Sleeping!)
Sometimes you need to publish a post while you are not around. Hopefully that means you are taking a well earned vacation!
Never fear, WordPress has you covered.
Baked right into WordPress is a scheduling feature so that you can set and forget the publishing date and time of your next post (or posts).
This is a feature that is actually hiding in plain site, but here is the lowdown just in case you have not noticed it.
- Head over to the Publish panel (top right of your post)
- click on edit in the Publish section (shown below)
Once you click edit, you will see that you can now easily define the date and the time.
Once you have clicked ok the date/time are set but don't forget to actually press Schedule!
Scheduling should work fine, but it pays to check.
So before you write that post and head on vacation with it scheduled, do a trial run.
When you are writing your next post, even though you are around, schedule it to go out and make sure it did.
Why is this important? Some hosting companies do not provide all the facilities to keep this function working. I once had to add a plugin to allow for scheduling to work.
So don't get caught out!
6. Pimp Your Website With A Favicon (That Little Icon On The Tabs)
I am sure you have seen them around on the tabs in your browser. Those handy little icons that help you find that page you were on half an hour ago.
If you are anything like me, you have so many tabs open at once, those without favicons get lost in the crowd.
So do yourself a favor and add a favicon to your site today!
How To Add A Favicon
If you are running WordPress 4.3 or higher, this is now integrated into your website automatically.
Some Theme producers provide it in their options anyway, so you might also find it there (Theme Options) but everyone else can now find it in the following location:
- Go to Appearance
- click on Customize
This will open the WordPress Customizer.
Inside the Customizer you will see at the top Site Identity. Click on that.
Now you will see the Identity section, at the bottom of which is the favicon
Now you can upload your favicon file.
Now you are probably wondering how to create a favicon?
It is a good idea if you start with a square image/version of your logo. So you might want to crop your logo or create a relatively square one before you make the favicon.
But, if you don't know what cropping tool to use, don't worry, WordPress provides one when you upload your favicon file. (which could then just be your logo)
Once you have uploaded and cropped it, WordPress will generate the small favicon file for you and place it on your website!
Now your site will be easily found in that sea of open tabs!
7. Add Anything To Your Menu
The WordPress menu system is a very flexible (almost yoga-like) creature!
You can add menus, sub-menus, sometimes menus in strange places and link to all sorts of things:
- External Links/Pages
But what most people don’t know is that there are some hidden options on the menu page that allow you to link to even more parts of your website, and customize the links themselves.
How To Find These Hidden Options
First you want to head to the menu to edit it:
- Go to Appearance
- click on Menus
At the top right of the page you want to click on Screen Options. Now you will see something like this (the contents will vary a little depending on your theme):
How you can choose:
- which items can be added to the menu (Show on Screen)
- what properties of the menu item you can configure (Show advanced menu properties)
So what that really means is that you can now add links in your menu to things like:
- Tag Pages
- Category Pages
- Posts etc
You can also tune your menu links as well, but that is more than you probably need to know right now, so I will leave that for another post.
Time To Take Some Action
Above are 7 new areas you can improve your WordPress website or workflow today.
What should you do first?
Well, whichever you think is the most helpful.
They each only take a few minutes to find and learn, so I recommend you check them out, one per day for the next week or so.
If you have any questions, comment below!