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Technology, WordPress

WordPress hacks for beginners you didn’t know about

WordPress is one of the best platforms for building a blog, an online store, or launching any business you can dream of. Thanks to its versatility, and the fact that it integrates with thousands of high-quality plugins and third-party tools, WordPress is the go-to platform for budding entrepreneurs.

But if you’re new to using WordPress, you may not be taking full advantage of this flexible platform. Let’s break down 10 WordPress hacks for beginners.

Duplicate posts

Do you write a lot of blog posts or have a lot of very similar posts due to your niche or industry? In that case, you probably spend a lot of time making new drafts and copying/pasting outlines or old versions of existing articles.

But there’s a faster and easier hack to duplicate your posts. Duplicate Posts is a handy WordPress plugin that lets you clone your posts in a single click, then edit them for your current needs.

With Duplicate Posts, you’ll be able to use a specific “clone” button under each of your existing posts, allowing you to duplicate any article currently on your WordPress site. Talk about convenience!

Illustration of uploading images

Upload and edit images at once

If your WordPress site uses images, you can upload and edit several images simultaneously, cutting down on a lot of the painstaking work..

First, download  NextGEN Gallery —  one of the most popular WordPress gallery management plugins out there. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the plugin, you can start using the batch upload feature to upload multiple photos at the same time.

More importantly, you can import metadata, plus add or delete photos. NextGEN Gallery even allows you to create tags, edit thumbnails, and sort your photos altogether. This single plugin will likely save you hours of work over time. 

Alternatively, if you feel that adding images/graphics is completely outside your expertise, you can hire a web designer to help. This involves creating a web designer contract and setting specific goals and benchmarks. Key factors to include in a contract with your web designer include setting the description of services for the full scope of work, timelines for completing each step in the process, and payment terms.

Did you know that there’s an easy hack to add live links with a shortcut rather than having to select text with your cursor and clicking the annoying “insert link” button? It’s true!

Open a new tab with the page address (the URL) you want to link. Then, in the address bar, highlight the text and press CTRL + C. Once this is done, highlight the text that you want to attach a link to in your WordPress post and press CTRL + V. It’s that simple. Note that this trick also works in Microsoft Word and most other word processors.

illustration of keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut comment moderation

If you allow comments on your WordPress posts, you’ll have to moderate them to avoid alienating your audience and remove potentially harmful or insulting content. Depending on your posts’ average traffic and comment frequency, this can be a lot of extra work.

Fortunately, you can make your work a little easier by leveraging comment moderation keyboard shortcuts. In the WordPress editor, you can use shortcuts like:

  • A —  approves a currently selected comment
  • S — marks a selected comment as spam
  • Q — activates “Quick Edit” so you can rapidly edit a currently selected comment
  • U — approves a selected comment and puts it into the moderation pool
  • Z — restores a comment in the trash or undoes a previous command
  • D — moves a comment to the trash section, or deletes it, depending on your WordPress version
  • E —  takes you to the editing screen
  • R — allows you to reply to the currently selected comment

Expand your editor toolbar

WordPress allows you to adjust your default editor toolbar, but you can use a special plugin called TinyMCE Advanced.

With this plugin, you can add code blocks, tables, and quotes to your default WordPress editor, all with a few button presses. This makes your WordPress content creation and editing much easier and more specific, giving you finer control over the content your site produces.

Set articles for “Pending Review”

Do you have a lot of freelance writers who post blogs or product reviews on your WordPress site? Or do you have guest contributors who put their content directly into your WordPress platform? In these cases, you should use the Pending Review function to organize your editorial list.

Simply have your writers set each post’s status to “Pending Review” when they’re prepared to submit content. Then, you can see which WordPress posts are ready for you to edit and review at a glance. 

Look for quick stock photos on WordPress

WordPress makes it easy to find the perfect stock photos without having to open up a separate window or tab. Use the plugin ImageInject, and in three clicks, you can insert an image into a blog post from popular stock photo sources. 

Customize your widget view

As you install more WordPress plugins, your widgets may clutter your dashboard and make navigation a pain. To fix this, click on Screen Options in your dashboard’s top right-hand corner, where you’ll see all the widgets and plugins you already have. Then you can uncheck the boxes next to the widgets to hide them from view. This is a great way to only keep the plugins you commonly use in view and remove the lesser-used ones until you need them.

illustration of text styling

Fast text styling

The Markdown plugin is another phenomenal WordPress hack that allows you to quickly and easily style your text. Download and install this plugin, and you can instantly create things like::

  • Brand-new heading styles by putting “#” at the beginning and end of a chosen text chunk.
  • Block quotes using “>” at the beginning and end of your desired text.
  • Bullet and numbered lists using basic keyboard commands: “-” for bullet lists and “1.” for numbered lists.

This is one of the best ways to quickly style your text and make it easier to read: a key concern when creating blog posts you intend your readers to skim through and quickly absorb. Plus, it’s great for writing or posting WordPress articles on a mobile device.

Take full advantage of WordPress hacks

As you can see, WordPress has much more than you may have initially imagined. With the above hacks, you can easily learn WordPress features, avoid frustration, and shape your website the way you envisage it.

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Gary Stevens avatar

Gary Stevens

Gary Stevens is a web developer and technology writer. He's a part-time blockchain geek and a volunteer working for the Ethereum foundation as well as an active Github contributor. More articles written by Gary.

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