10 WordPress Tips and Tricks Every Beginner Must Know

If you are asked to reach some destination and you are given an option to choose from two different routes – one is longer and harder while the other is a short one and very easy, which one will you choose?

Obviously, you will go with the shorter one!

The same thing also holds true when you use WordPress as your blogging platform.

There are many shortcuts, or let me say, many WordPress Tips and Tricks that can be used to make your work a lot easier!

Using certain of these shortcuts in WordPress, you can write a complete post and format it with various sub-headings and other formatting options without touching your mouse. You can do everything with your keyboard and it will be fast and very simple.

That is only one of the many WordPress Tips, Tricks, and Hacks that will help you save a lot of time and do things more productively.

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10 WordPress Tips and Tricks For Beginners

In this article, we are going to see some of the most popular but relatively unknown WordPress hacks that will help you save your time and turn you into a serious blogger.

1. Remove “Uncategorized” Category

Whenever you install a WordPress blog, there will always be one category by default in your blog, the “Uncategorized” category.

This is the default category for all your posts and unless you change the category of your post to some other relevant one, the post will fall under the uncategorized section.

To prevent this from happening, you can do two things – one is to change the default category to something else.

Go to Settings > Writing from the left-hand menu and change the Default Post Category to some other category like “General” or “Articles”.

Writing Setting Default Post Category

Writing Setting Default Post Category

This setting will make sure that when you forget to choose categories for some posts, it won’t automatically choose the “Uncategorized” section.

The second option is to just change the name of the “Uncategorized” category. If you have just installed a WordPress blog, then this is a much better option.

Go to Posts > Categories from the left-hand menu and choose the “Uncategorized” one, click on the Edit button below it and then simply change the name to something better.

This will change the default category and completely remove it from your blog.


2. Distraction-free Writing

Whenever you are writing a blog post, you need to give your 100% to it. But there are times that you get distracted and start checking some other posts.

These distractions slow you down and affect your productivity.

There is a very simple solution to avoid all the distractions and improve your productivity right in your WordPress dashboard.

When you are writing a post in the editor, you will see a small button on the top-right corner of your Visual Editor, right below the “text” tab.

Distraction Free Writing Mode

Distraction Free Writing Mode

Click on the button and your Visual Editor will go full-screen!

All the formatting options will be present so don’t worry about that. To go back to the previous screen, simply click on the button again or press Escape.


3. Quick Edit Your Posts

When you have published an article on an evergreen topic and you need to update it a little bit like changing the title and the published date, you will go to that post in your dashboard, edit it and then you will again publish it.

If you have to update the content of the article, then this is the correct way to do that, but when you just need to update the title, change the date or add or remove categories and tags, then this is a time-consuming way.

Instead, you can use the “Quick Edit” feature to save your precious time.

To use this option, you need to go your Posts section and choose the post that you want to edit. Under the title, you will see a “Quick Edit” button.

WordPress Quick Edit Feature

WordPress Quick Edit Feature

When you click on the Quick Edit button, you will see options to change the following things for your post:

  • Post Title
  • Permalink
  • Published Data and Time
  • Change Categories and Tags
  • Allow or Disable Comments & Pings
  • Change the Post Status
  • Make it Sticky Post
  • Password Protect the Article or make it Private
WordPress Quick Edit Options

WordPress Quick Edit Options


4. Make a Standard Post into a “Sticky” Post

Sometimes when you publish the perfect tutorial or a resource post that people love to read, you will want the post to stay on your homepage for as long as you want so that every new visitor gets an opportunity to read the article.

And to do that you don’t need to keep changing the date of the article or stop publishing new posts so that it remains on top.

You just have to make this simple setting in your post area.

In your Post Editor, you will find the “Sticky” setting in the Publish Module. Click on the Edit link next to “Visibility: Public” option and choose the option “Stick to the front page” and click OK and then hit the Publish button.

Stick this post to the front page

Stick this post to the front page

This will make that particular article stick on top of all your articles on the homepage for as long as you want.


5. Use WordPress Shortcuts

In the beginning of this post, I said that you can write an article and format it completely without touching your mouse. Now I will show you how you can do it using the various WordPress shortcuts!

There are many shortcuts in WordPress that you can be used to save time. Why do you have to grab the mouse and hover over the simple formatting options like Bold, Italic or to choose the sub-headings when you can do that easily with your keyboard?

Here are the keyboard shortcuts that you can use in the Post Editor. (Use CMD + Letter for Mac)

  • Ctrl + B = Bold
  • Ctrl + I = Italic
  • Ctrl + U = Underline
  • Ctrl + 1 = H1 title tag
  • Ctrl + 2 = H2 title tag
  • Ctrl + 3 = H3 title tag
  • Ctrl + 4 = H4 title tag
  • Ctrl + 5 = H5 title tag
  • Ctrl + 6 = H6 title tag
  • Ctrl + k = Insert/Edit link
  • Alt + Shift + l = Align Left
  • Alt + Shift + c = Align Center
  • Alt + Shift + r = Align Right
  • Alt + Shift + t = Read More tag
  • Alt + Shift + m = Insert image

You can check the WordPress shortcuts page to learn more about all the available keyboard shortcuts that you can use in your post.


6. Use Shortcodes or Auto-Embeds to Insert Media

There are times when you want to add a video or an audio file in your blog post; and at such moments, you can use the shortcodes in your post to easily add the media files.

Using the various shortcodes in your post editor, you can display an audio player, a video player and image gallery in your post.

Here are the most used shortcodes:

  1. [audio] – To show audio player on your published post.
  2. [video] – To show video player on your post.
  3. [gallery] – To display a gallery of images in your post.

You can use these shortcodes directly in your Visual Editor – in either Visual or Text Mode. You can use them as follows:

  1. [audio src=”audio-file.mp3″]
  2. [video src=”video-file.mp4″]
  3. [gallery ids=”23, 36, 34″]

(The ids represent the image ids)

These are really simple and time-saving feature but there is a much simple and better option than the shortcodes.

This simple feature is the auto-embed feature.

When you want to display a video in your post editor, you simple have to paste the URL of the video wherever you want the video to appear.

For example:

Watch this cool video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frG8yUrxcQ

The above code will automatically embed the video in your posts. WordPress supports many more video sites like YouTube.

Here’s the complete list for auto-embeds feature that WordPress supports:

  • Animoto – video
  • Blip – video
  • CollegeHumor – video
  • DailyMotion – video
  • EmbedArticles – various
  • Flickr – images
  • com – video
  • Hulu – video
  • Imgur – images
  • Instagram – images
  • iShare – articles
  • ISSUU – documents
  • com – various
  • Mixcloud – music
  • Photobucket – images
  • PollDaddy – polls/surveys
  • Rdio – music
  • Revision3 – TV
  • Scribd – documents
  • SlideShare – presentations
  • SmugMug – images
  • Soundcloud – music
  • Spotify – music
  • TED – video
  • Twitter – social media
  • Vimeo – video
  • tv – video
  • YouTube – video

If you use one of these services, then start embedding!


7. Create a Simple Editing Workspace

Your Post Editor is a lot cluttered most of the times, and when you use a premium WordPress theme, it will add a lot of different options to your editing dashboard.

This creates a lot of confusion because you might find it difficult to search for a certain option in the editor dashboard. The simple solution to remove all the useless junk and keep only the important things is to use “Screen Options”feature.

On the top-right corner of your dashboard in the post editor area, you will see a Screen Options button. Click on it and you will see a number of options selected.

WordPress Screen Options

Check only the options that you really need in all your posts and uncheck the others to create a better workspace.

The most important options to choose are as follows:

  • SEO
  • Discussion
  • Sharing
  • Format
  • Categories
  • Tags
  • Featured Image

Remember that these options might change depending on the theme you are using and the number of plugins you have installed on your blog.


8. Manage Roles of Your Team and Use “Pending Review” feature

When you run a blog with multiple authors, then you can save a lot of time by assigning various roles to other members of your team.

Here is a complete overview of all the roles:

  • Administrator – has access to all the administration features of the site.
  • Editor – has the ability to publish and manage posts and also the posts of the other users.
  • Author – has the ability to manage and publish their own posts.
  • Contributors – can only write and manage their own posts but they don’t have the authority to publish them.
  • Subscriber – they can only manage their profile and nothing else.

And for better workflow, you need to use the “Pending Review” option.

You can find this option in the Publish Module in the post area and brief all your writers to draft their posts under this section instead of publishing them directly.

When you run a blog with multiple authors, you have to choose some editors and contributors so that a lot of your time can be saved.

The contributors will write the posts and the editors will then review it and pass it on to you for your final approval or publish them directly.


9. Use 100% Optimized Images

When you add an image to your post, WordPress will compress the image to 90% of its original quality automatically. This isn’t a big deal for us but if you want to show the images at 100% quality, then you can use the following code to do so.

Add the following code in your functions.php file:

add_filter( ‘jpg_quality’, ‘high_jpg_quality’ );
function high_jpg_quality() {
return 100;
}

Read this image optimization guide to better optimize your blog post images.


10. Use Shortcodes in Text Widget

Nowadays, almost all the WordPress themes support the shortcodes and allow you to easily use them in your blog. You can add buttons and other such formatting options in your post area using shortcodes but you can’t use them in the Text widget in your sidebar or footer.

However you can add the following code to your functions.php file to enable the use of shortcodes in Text widget:

add_filter( ‘widget_text’, ‘do_shortcode’ );

Credits for the #9 and #10 hack goes to WPMUDev!


Wrapping Up:

These 10 WordPress Tips and Tricks are not the only hacks available for WordPress but there are many more.

The reason I have added these hacks in this post is because the sole intention of the article was to show you the hacks that can help you save your time in doing various tasks like writing a post or editing them.

If you didn’t know about any of these hacks or you knew but never used them, then I recommend you to start using them because it is going to save a lot of your time.

And if you know about some other shortcuts that can save a lot more time, then do mention them in the comments section below.

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