WordPress Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

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You love WordPress because it allows you to take charge of your own website, put all sorts of bells and whistles on it via plugins, and run an amazing blog. And given that you log into your WordPress dashboard at least once a week or so to post blog articles, tweak your website copy, or make other changes, you also love learning new tricks that make WP easier to use and more accessible.

Say no more! Here are some cool tips and tricks that you may not know about, that can make your website-and-blog-updating experience a bit smoother and more enjoyable, not to mention better.

  • Log in! Ditch that silly widget link (the one in your sidebar called “Meta” that contains a link to your site log-in) and instead just bookmark your log-in page, or type in www.yourwebaddress.com/login to access it. Your website visitors don’t want to see your log-in link anyway!
  • Make your website run smoothly and securely. While you’re logged in to make changes, be sure to install any WordPress system updates or plugin updates. Keeping everything updated will give you the latest functionality, as well as fixes to any software bugs, and improvements to the security of your site.
  • Move seamlessly between editing and previewing your site. Use the gray task bar, the one that appears at the top of your screen whenever you’re logged in, to get around (see images below). When you’re in editing mode, you can use the “Visit site” or “View Post/Page” links to preview your work (right-click on them and choose “open link in new tab”). And likewise, when you’re viewing your site, you can click the menu to go to your WP dashboard, add a new post/page/etc., or click “edit page/post” to edit the page or blog post you’re currently viewing.
  • Use custom menus to display only the links you want to. Go to “Appearance > Menus” in your WP dashboard menu to craft custom menus to display on your site. If you have a lot of pages, and you only want your site visitors to see the most important ones and leave the rest hidden, a custom menu is the way to go (case in point, this website currently has 19 pages, but only 11 of them are accessible from the menu above; the rest are specialty items, such as landing pages).
  • Easily jump back to older versions of your blog posts. Say you’re working on a post, and you make changes to it, but then decide that the previous version was better. In the post editing window, scroll down to the very bottom to the box titled “Revisions”; there you’ll find a chronological list of all the versions, and you can revert back any one of them with a single click.
  • Keep your widget settings.When you remove a widget from your sidebar, and you want to be able to reinstate that widget at some point (maybe you’re just testing out different widgets, or removing them temporarily), DON’T drag it back to the “Available Widgets” box (the top box). Instead, drag it to the “Inactive Widgets” box (the bottom one). Any widgets that you drag to the “Available” box will be deactivated and lose their settings, whereas widgets that you drag to the “Inactive” box will retain their settings for future use.

What tips and tricks do YOU use to maximize WordPress? Is there anything you’d like to know that I haven’t covered here? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

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About Barbara Austin

As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!

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