5 Little-Known WordPress Features

WordPress has gone a long way from a simple blogging system. Today, it’s evolved to the most popular, powerful, and flexible content management system (CMS) in the world. Its official repository offers thousands of themes and plugins – enabling virtually limitless combinations for your own website.

To maintain its dominance in the CMS world, WordPress never really stops growing and changing for the better. More and more features were added and sadly, many of them remained little-known to bloggers.

Here are 5 of them that you might overlooked in the past:

1. Sticky Post

In most WordPress themes, the recent posts section displays articles chronologically. But what if you want to somehow pin a specific post at the top of your website – be it a very important announcement or bit of information you’d like all your readers to know about?

Sure, you can create a custom-built homepage that pulls in a particular post for your homepage. But an easier solution would be to use the built-in sticky post feature.

To use this feature: Simply open the post editor then select Visibility > Stick this post to the front page.

2. Additional Keyboard Shortcuts

Everyone knows that the WordPress post editor supports universal shortcuts such as Ctrl + C for copy and Ctrl + V for paste.

What you probably didn’t know is that there is a number of additional shortcuts that make content development a lot easier.

For example, typing in “>” to start a paragraph enables the blockquote feature.

Shift + Alt + C is the shortcut for the align center formatting option.

To see the full list of keyboard shortcuts, click the question mark button from the main editor.

3. Distraction-Free Writing Mode

One of best things about WordPress is also one of its downsides. Since it utilizes a unified and somewhat cluttered interface, writing or editing content right on WordPress is not ideal – unless your browser isn’t maximized or you’re using a mobile device.

Thankfully, you can activate the distraction-free writing mode to hide the dashboard along with the Publish, Categories, Tags, and other sections in the editor as you type.

It’s not a significant change, but the distraction-free writing mode works in promoting better focus and productivity. To temporarily disable this mode, simply hover your mouse outside the editing area.

4. Custom Permalink Structures

Let’s get some things straight – the default permalink structure in WordPress isn’t good for SEO. It’s also not very readable or optimized for users who’d rather type in a specific page’s URL in the browser. To fix this, you can pick a different format in Settings > Permalinks.

You can also create a custom permalink structure by picking Custom Structure. Below is a list of the tags you can use:

  • %year%
  • %monthnum%
  • %day%
  • %hour%
  • %minute%
  • %second%
  • %postname%
  • %post_Id%
  • %category
  • %author%

Take note that each tag can be separated using the “/” symbol.

For example, if you want to use a permalink structure that displays the author and the post’s title, you can use:

http://yourwebsite.com/%author%/%postname%/

5. Post Scheduling

When blogging, it’s crucial to publish your posts when your target audience is most active. That’s why WordPress includes a feature that allows you to schedule a post to be published at a later time. All you need to do is look at the Publish section and click Edit next to Publish immediately.

After specifying a target date and time, click OK to save your specifications. Notice that the Publish button now changed to Schedule.