Posted by Chloe Spencer
Believe it or not, your WordPress website has secrets, shortcuts and tricks you never even knew about. WordPress has a plethora of special features, and the hard part is not using them, but knowing they all exist. There are so many great little tips and tricks for WordPress that many of them go unnoticed by WordPress newbies and veterans alike. Read on to discover 5 things you may have never known about your WordPress website until now.
1. Set any custom page as your homepage.
Many WordPress newbies get stumped about setting a page other than the recent entries blog page as their site’s homepage. It can be confusing to work out how to change this, and many people don’t even think twice about changing it because they didn’t know it could be done. Well the good news is–it can! And it’s actually very simple. Just log into your WordPress dashboard, click “Settings”, then “Reading”. The Reading Settings page will have an option right at the top for selecting what your front page displays. It will automatically be set to “Your latest posts”, but underneath that you can click “A static page” then select which page you would like displayed as your home page.
2. Internet go down and lost most of your post before? Customize your autosave interval.
Don’t you hate it when you’re typing up a blogpost or a page and your internet goes down or your browser suddenly quits, and with a sigh of relief you open your last autosave only to find you still lost a large amount of work? From now on, your problem is solved! The solution is a little trickier than in number one, but can still easily be done. If you have your wp-config.php file modified and ready to go, just add this code to it and change the number to the preferred amount of seconds you wish to set your autosave interval to:
define( ‘AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL‘, 160 );
If you don’t have a wp-config.php file, you’ll need to create one, since a downloaded copy of WordPress does not automatically come with it. Just modify the wp-config-sample.php file in your WordPress directory. You can read more on this here: Editing wp-config.
3. The default search bar needs to be tossed and replaced with a plugin.
WordPress comes with a default search bar for your website. The only problem is that the algorithms this search bar has are a little off. First of all, when a search loads the results are displayed chronologically, instead of “most relevant” or “most popular” which is how searches usually work. So this means that results that aren’t as relevant may be displayed at the top, pushing the results the user was actually looking for way down. Also, the default search option will often only search posts and will not search pages. These problems can be fixed in the code, but the easier option is just to download a plugin for a better search bar.
4. Embed: the highly-convenient highly-unknown embed feature.
One of WordPress’s best media functions is oEmbed. This function will turn any media URL from Youtube, Vimeo, etc automatically into rich media after you save the page or post. All you need to do is paste the single URL in the text box, save, and voila! The video will be displayed on your page without need for a media plugin or any HTML editing. This little trick is such a time-saver, but is surprisingly unknown!
5. Speed up a slow site with a simple plugin: W3 Total Cache
Is your site chock-full of plugins or content and is running a little slow? Here’s a quick fix for a slow site: W3 Total Cache. This plugin works by caching all aspects of your site, improving your server performance, and therefore speeding up page loading time. It’s one of the handiest, must-have WordPress plugins there ever was.
These are just 5 secrets to improving your WordPress website, but there are literally hundreds out there. So do your digging, and you will unearth more exciting tricks for your WordPress website than you ever imagined!