More Little-Known WordPress Features

Following up on previous article, here are more little known WordPress features.

1. Comment Notifications

Ultimately, websites and blogs are tools that help you connect with a larger audience. Other than regularly providing them with content, you must also listen and be responsive to their feedback. While you’re at it, you must also respond to them as quickly as possible for maximum engagement.

For this, you need to enable email notifications whenever someone leaves a comment in your posts. Simply go to Settings > Discussion and look at the options for Email me whenever. You can also set to receive notifications when a comment is withheld for moderation.

2. Dashboard Screen Options

In the Home section of your dashboard, you are presented with a set of sections such as Activity, At a Glance, Quick Draft, and so on. For personalization, these sections can be rearranged by dragging and dropping.

You can also specify which sections to show by clicking Screen Options at the top-right corner. Just select the items you wish to display and the dashboard will be updated automatically.

3. Dragging and Dropping Photos into the Editor

Traditionally, users can add photos to a post by clicking the Add Media button in the editor. Now, you simply need to drag the image file from your desktop or folder straight into the content. You still have to wait for the upload to finish before you can press Insert into post, but this process cuts the time it takes to add visual content to your blog posts.

4. Multiple Pages for a Single Post

If, for some reason, you want to split a single post into multiple pages, all you need to do is use the <!–nextpage–> tag.

Simply insert it in-between the sections of the post you’d like to split as individual pages.

Just remember that this must be done using the plain text editor, not the default visual editor.

When used, each page of the post can be accessed by clicking the appropriate page number at the bottom. This feature is useful if you have a long-form post or if you want to intentionally split items in a list or compilation.

5. Widget Accessibility Mode

WordPress allows you to easily edit what appears in widget areas using a drag-and-drop interface. This is accessible by going to Appearance > Widgets. However, you can also enable the accessibility mode, which displays an Add button next to the available widgets.

To do this, click Screen Options > Enable accessibility mode.

By clicking the Add button, Of course, dragging and dropping widgets is a lot faster than going through this entire process. But it is useful if you’re using a device where it’s difficult or hard to perform the drag-and-drop action – like an old laptop, for example.

6. Faster Contextual Links

Linking out to useful resources is a great way to improve the reading and learning experience of your audience. The usual process of inserting links is to highlight the desired anchor text, use the Insert/edit link feature (Ctrl + K), paste the URL in the right field, and click OK.

However, a much faster process is to replace the last three steps with Ctrl + V.

In other words, simply highlight the desired anchor text and use the keyboard shortcut for paste. If successful, WordPress will show you a small window indicating the full URL of the inserted link.

7. Interacting with a Theme’s Live Preview

Browsing for a theme is one of the more enjoyable things about WordPress. To check out how a theme looks on your site, simply click on them from the library or click the Preview button.

However, some WordPress users fail to realize that the preview is actually interactive and simulates a full website. To determine whether a theme is for you, don’t forget to navigate through the preview and check how each page would look.

8. Image Editor

Most users prefer editing images first before uploading them to WordPress. As a result, they often miss the built-in image editor that allows you to perform basic edits. Simply look for the image from the media library and click Edit, which will appear when you hover your mouse. You can also select the Edit Image option whenever uploading something new.

With the built-in image editor, you can crop, resize, flip, and rotate the image using the simple interface. You can also edit the caption, alt text attribute, description, and the image’s thumbnail.

9. Advanced Shortcodes

You may have come across plugins that can be added on a post via shortcode. However, did you know that there are also built-in WordPress shortcodes you can use? With shortcodes, you can create anything from galleries to media playlists.

All you need to do is type these words below inside the open (“[“) and closed (“]”) brackets to access the shortcodes:

  • audio
  • embed
  • gallery
  • playlist
  • video

For example, if we use the gallery shortcut, it will show the images available from your media folder in grid format like the one below:

So here you go – another 9 little known WordPress features that I think are useful. If you found this useful, you might also want to check out how an WordPress-optimized web host can make things differently.