Even though I’ve been using WordPress for close to seven years, I still occasionally come across features that I didn’t know about … or had forgotten about.
Whether you’re new to WordPress or an old hand, these are some little-known features you’ve probably not yet tried.
(And if you have? Congratulate yourself on being well ahead of most bloggers!)
#1: Using the Full Screen Writing Mode
If you write your posts straight into WordPress, rather than using Word or Google Docs or similar, this is a really handy feature.
At the top right of your posting box, just below the “Text” tab, you should see a little icon like this:
Click on it, and you’ll get a full screen editor with a simple toolbar at the top (this disappears when you’re writing, and reappears when you run your mouse over it):
#2: Adding a “Read More” Link
Some blog themes, like the DailyBlogTips one, automatically only display the start of your post on the blog’s home page (www.dailyblogtips.com). Others, like the Thesis theme I use on my site Aliventures, will display full posts by default.
If you have a theme like this, the home page can end up very long. You might prefer instead to show the first few paragraphs of a post, then get readers to click to read more.
There’s a very simple way to do this in WordPress: you just add a “Read More” link. In the post editor, click where you want to break the post, and then press this button:
#3: Making a Post “Sticky”
New blog posts always appear at the top of your blog, knocking older ones further down … right?
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way if you don’t want it to be. You can make a post “sticky” and keep it at the top of your blog. (You might have come across the same feature on forums.)
To do this:
- When drafting or editing your post, look at the “Publish” options on the top right
- For the post’s Visibility, click “Edit”
- Check the box “Stick this post to the front page” (under the radio button “Public”)
#4: Using the “Help” Menus
WordPress has tons of flexibility and loads of options … and this can sometimes be a bit of a mixed blessing. If you’re ever stuck or struggling to understand something, you can use the Help menu.
Never noticed this before? It appears in the top right of every screen on your WordPress Dashboard:
Just click the little dropdown, and a list of help topics will appear:
#5: Changing Your Screen Options
You might know about this one if you read this DailyBlogTips post a few months ago … but it’s such a handy and overlooked feature, I wanted to bring it up again.
Pretty much every screen of your Dashboard has various “Screen Options” (right next to “Help”). This dropdown allows you to change what you see on the screen. For instance, you might find that the “Author” box is missing by default — by turning it on, you can easily reassign a post to a different author.
Here’s how it looks when you’re adding / editing a post:
Most of the options you see will be default ones that come with WordPress, but some may be added by plugins you’re using. If there are particular options you don’t use on your blog (e.g. tags), then you can declutter your posting screen.
Was one of these features totally new to you? Or did this post remind you of something you’d forgotten about? Let us know in the comments…
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