27 WordPress Hacks Every Serious Blogger Needs to Know

27 WordPress Hacks Every Serious Blogger Needs to Know

Let me take a wild guess.

Your days aren’t exactly overflowing with free time.

You dedicate as many hours as you can to your blog, but it never seems enough.

If only you could spend more time on the stuff that really matters.

Like writing. Or researching. Or connecting with other bloggers.

Surely you must be able to save a little time somewhere.

Well, how about WordPress?

As a blogger you camp out in WordPress for hours, even days.

But are you really working as quickly, efficiently and productively as you could?

Probably not, right?

Of course, you could always research a few nifty shortcuts. But that will take time – which is exactly what you don’t have.

Fortunately, you can undo any time-wasting habits with these little-known WordPress hacks.

Each one is guaranteed to help you wring every last second out of your blogging routine.

Simple Hacks That Still Feel Like Super Powers

1. Go full-screen for zero distractions

To write as efficiently and effectively as possible, you need zero distractions.

Problem is, the standard WordPress editor has a ton of them.

The simple solution is to switch to full-screen editor, which gives you a stark-white canvas to work from.

The essential formatting tools such as headings, links and lists are still there, but they’re hidden away, appearing only when you place your mouse pointer at the top of the screen.

To get into the full-screen editor (called the Distraction-Free Writing Mode in WordPress), click the full-screen icon from your standard WordPress editor menu.

go-fullscreen

You can also get there by using a keyboard shortcut. Just press Alt + Shift + w.

To close the full-screen editor, press Escape. Or click the “Exit full-screen editor” link. (Actually, just press Escape. It’s faster, and that’s what this post is all about, right?)

2. Adjust the editor to perfectly match your blog layout

The one problem with the full-screen editor? It’s way too wide. Like Marianas Trench wide. You can fit 21 words on a single line!

wide-headline

So here’s the solution: Change the width.

Press CTRL and – to make it narrower. Press CTRL and + to make it wider.

(Tip: If your cursor is blinking inside the headline or the body, the keyboard shortcut won’t work. Click outside the editor, into the whitespace in the margins, then try the shortcut again.)

If you shrink the width to match your blog layout, you’ll get a better sense of how your writing will actually look on the page. Content that appears balanced at one width can look dense and crowded at another, so use this hack to avoid unpleasant surprises when clicking Publish.

ah-thats-better

To get things lining up just right, open the post preview in a new tab and compare the editor view to the post preview, side-by-side. Then adjust the editor width until the lines break at the same point as the preview.

3. Switch heading styles in the blink of an eye

This hack is so useful, you might find yourself trying to use it in Google Docs and Microsoft Word. (Sadly, it won’t work outside WordPress.)

It allows you to change the heading style of a line of text with the tap of a key.

For instance, to change a piece of text to an H2, place your cursor anywhere on the line, and press the following keys:

  • CTRL+2 for Windows/Linux users
  • CMD+2 for Mac users

You can switch up the number here and change the heading to anything from H2 all the way to H6.

And here’s a pro tip: It works both ways!

If you’ve ever started typing on a line only to find it appearing as an unwanted heading, you can use the same, simple keyboard shortcut to place things right with the world again.

CTRL (or CMD) + number to make a heading. CTRL (or CMD) + number to remove a heading.

4. Never waste time hunting for the Read More button again

Ever find yourself hunting for the right icon to insert the Read More tag into your post? (Invariably, I’ll click on the horizontal bar or the kitchen sink icon first.)

read-more-icon

With this hack you can avoid clicking altogether and insert your Read More tag in milliseconds.

Here’s how:

Place your cursor where you want the Read More tag to appear.

Press Alt + Shift + t.

Easy!

5. Insert links without touching your mouse

While the correct button to click for Read More is a little elusive, the hyperlink button is so obvious and enticing that it’s all most bloggers use for inserting links.

But here’s the thing: When you’re writing in the full-screen editor (see Hack #1), you won’t see the formatting menu or the icon. Dragging your mouse up top to make the menu appear is time-consuming, jarring, and a clear opportunity to improve.

That’s why the WordPress pros use a keyboard shortcut.

Here’s how: Select the text you want to link. Press CTRL + k (if you’re a PC user) or CMD + k (if you’re a Mac user).

Of course, you’ll still need to tell WordPress where you want to link, which brings us to …

6. Let WordPress do the heavy lifting when finding internal links

On the Buffer blog, we love to build internal links from our new articles to those in our archives. So whenever we come across an opportunity to link to something we’ve written before, we’ll jump at it.

In the past, this led to a ton of “site:blog.bufferapp.com keyword” searches in Google to find suitable content.

But a far better way exists.

Inside the dialog box to insert/edit a link, there’s an easily-missed option lurking at the bottom – “Or link to existing content.”

link-to-existing

When you click that link, the dialog box expands to show all the posts and pages you’ve ever written on your blog and a search field to find just the ones you’re looking for.

Start typing, and the results start automatically sorting to help you find exactly what you need. (The first results you get will be exact matches with your keyword and a post title, followed by results that have your keyword somewhere in the body of the post.)

Click the post you want to link to and WordPress automatically copies that post into the URL and Title fields up above.

7. Avoid funky formatting when pasting rich text

Ever tried to copy a cool quote into your blog post from another web page or document? If you don’t paste it just right, you can find yourself swimming in alien formatting, div tags, and a whole mess of secret code that latched onto the quote you wanted.

WordPress has a solution to this. You can paste text minus the formatting by clicking the plain-text clipboard icon in the menu.

paste-plain-text

Now, every time you paste formatted text into the editor, WordPress will remove the formatting for you.

That’s fine, except next time you cut and paste a section from your own post, it gets stripped of all the formatting. So you have to remember to change back to regular pasting, by clicking the “Paste-as-text” icon again.

So here’s the hack: Keep the WordPress settings the way they are normally, and paste as plain text – sans formatting – using a keyboard shortcut.

CTRL + SHIFT + v for Windows and CMD + SHIFT + v for Mac.

Bonus: These shortcuts work system wide, so you can use them beyond WordPress too.

8. Use this reference to compile your own go-to list of killer shortcuts

You’ve seen some of my favorite, time-saving shortcuts, but you’ll want to add a few that match your own writing flow.

WordPress has a huge list of shortcuts to choose from:

shortcuts-1

shortcuts-2

Found a shortcut that’ll make life in WordPress a little easier? Add it to your list.

Note: You can also access this shortcut list any time by clicking on the question mark icon in the WordPress post editor menu.

9. Easily keep tabs on your word count

You can check your word count at any time by looking at the bottom of your post editor:

  • In the standard editor, the word count is at the bottom of the text box, just above the custom settings.
  • In the full-screen editor, put your mouse at the top of the screen so the menus pop up, and the word count will appear below.

10. Insert an “em” without the “um”

Do dashes confound you? Em dashes, en dashes, hyphens – things quickly get confusing.

Thankfully we stick to a solid content style guide over at Buffer, using em dashes to separate ideas inside sentences.

Here’s the simplest way to insert these with WordPress.

Type three dashes in a row.
---
WordPress automatically converts this into an em dash when the post is published. (Note: It’ll still always appear as three dashes in your editor.)

11. Edit your posts without actually “editing” your posts

While browsing the “All Posts” page, you can quickly make changes to any post you see in the list without needing to click through to the post editor.

Hover over the title of the post you want to edit, and you’ll notice a list of links appear immediately below the title. These include a “Quick Edit” option.

“Quick Edit” saves you a click and the loading time to get to the post editor, and allows you to:

  • Change the title
  • Change the permalink
  • Change the publish date
  • Set post to password-protected or private
  • Edit the categories
  • Edit the tags
  • Turn comments and pings on/off
  • Change the status of the post
  • Make the post sticky

Basically, you can do anything except make edits to the body of your post.

12. Skip the media library and drop images right into your post

This one’s less of a WordPress hack and more just a new – and really cool – WordPress feature.

For a while now, you could drag and drop images into the media upload window inside WordPress. Super. Great. A really helpful time saver.

But with the most recent versions of WordPress, you can now drag and drop directly into the post itself, bypassing the “Add Media” button entirely!

Intermediate Hacks Worthy of a WordPress Wizard

13. Turn a standard post into a sticky announcement

If you’ve got a big announcement or a really awesome post that you’d like to stay at the top of your blog (even after you’ve published new stuff), this is the hack for you.

It’s a simple setting inside the post editor.

In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to “Visibility: Public.”

stick-this-post

Check the box to “Stick this post to the front page.”

Unchecking the box places the post back into chronological order.

14. Avoid time-consuming blunders by managing the roles of your team

If you manage a blog with multiple team members, you could save yourself a bit of time – and any prematurely published posts by guest authors or contributors – by setting up the correct roles.

Here’s an overview of the available roles:

  • Administrator – has access to all the administration features within a single site.
  • Editor – can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users
  • Author – can publish and manage their own posts
  • Contributor – can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them
  • Subscriber – can only manage their profile

If you have a guest author for your blog, the preferred role for them is likely a Contributor.

If someone tweaks your writing before publication, but you don’t want to give them unlimited power, they’ll likely be best off with the Editor role.

And so on and so forth. You’ll be able to figure out what’s best for you here.

You can change the user roles in the WordPress settings. From the left-hand menu, go to Users > All Users.

Select the users you want to change by placing a checkmark in the box next to their name.

Above the list of names, click to open the box that says “Change role to…” Making a change here will update the role for all the users you’ve selected.

Done!

You can also change the roles individually per user by clicking through to their user settings page. But we’re all about saving time here, and the bulk edit will be the quickest, easiest way to do this job in batches.

15. Create a professional editorial workflow using “Pending Review”

While you’re poking around the “Publish” module in the post editor, you’ll also come across the “Status” option.

You may recognize this as the “Oh wait – I didn’t mean to publish that one just yet. Quick! How can I change it back to a draft?”

Indeed, it can be used to move posts from published back into drafts.

It can also be used to coordinate a publishing program with guest contributors or additional authors. When they’re finished with a post, they can set the status to “Pending Review.” Editors can then go into the “All Pages” section of WordPress and see which stories are ready to be checked.

Advanced Hacks for Seasoned WordPress Pros

16. Add code without doing any coding

If you’ve been using WordPress for a while, you may have heard about shortcodes. If not, prepare to have your mind blown.

Shortcodes are special tags you can insert in the body of your post which act as a kind of shorthand for more complicated coding. Whenever WordPress “sees” one of these tags in a post, it automatically replaces it with the corresponding HTML on-the-fly. Pretty rad, huh?

Here are a few examples of the available shortcodes for self-hosted WordPress:

  • [audio] – embeds an audio file and displays a simple audio player in the page
  • [gallery] – creates a simple gallery based on a set of images
  • [video] – embed a locally-hosted video in the page

You can type these shortcodes directly into the post editors (in either Visual or Text mode) and most take one or more additional parameters for configuration.

For instance:

[audio src="audio-source.mp3"]

[gallery ids="729,732,731,720"] (the ids represent image ids)

[video src="video-source.mp4"]

Check out the full list shortcodes to see all the possibilities.

But in some cases, embedding can be made even easier…

17. Use auto-embeds to insert media in a breeze

Shortcodes are simpler than HTML code.

Auto-embeds are simpler than shortcodes.

With auto-embeds, all you need to do is paste a URL from a supported site into your post editor on its own line.

For instance, here’s how you could embed a YouTube video:

Check out this cool video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ

That was a cool video.

Simple, huh?

YouTube is just one of 28 sites that WordPress supports – here’s the complete list.

  • Animoto – video
  • Blip – video
  • CollegeHumor – video
  • DailyMotion – video
  • EmbedArticles – various
  • Flickr – images
  • FunnyOrDie.com – video
  • Hulu – video
  • Imgur – images
  • Instagram – images
  • iShare – articles
  • ISSUU – documents
  • Meetup.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
  • WordPress.tv – video
  • YouTube – video

Recognize any services that you use? Then get embedding!

18. Pimp your WordPress dashboard

The WordPress dashboard throws a lot of information at you, and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming.

The good news is that you can customize it to suit your own preferences and workflow.

If you don’t want to see recent comments, hide them.

If you don’t want to see the latest posts from the Automattic team, hide them too.

Here’s how to get your dashboard looking exactly the way you want.

In the upper-right corner of your dashboard, you have two buttons: “Screen Options” and “Help.”

Click “Screen Options.” Voila!

Now you can choose to show or hide any of the widgets that appear on your dashboard. Here are some of the options you may see (the exact list will depend on what plugins you’ve installed).

  • At a Glance
  • Activity
  • Quick Draft
  • WordPress News
  • Welcome

Keep what you need; hide what you don’t.

But wait, there’s more! 🙂

From the dashboard, you can also drag and drop these widgets to appear in the order and position you prefer.

But wait, there’s even more!

You can minimize each of the widgets by clicking the small triangle in the upper-right corner of any widget.

Phew, that’s a lot of customization.

Here’s what my setup looks like – lean and mean.

lean-dashboard

19. Create your ideal editing environment

Have you ever spent ages trying to find one specific setting in the WordPress interface?

I once spent 45 minutes trying to figure out how to turn off comments and pingbacks on a post. I couldn’t find the little box with the checkmark anywhere!

That’s because it wasn’t there.

Just like with the WordPress dashboard, you can show or hide different sections of your post editor. (Turns out, my comments box was hidden. Mystery solved!)

Click on the “Screen Options” button in the upper-right corner.

Here are some common screen options. (Again, your options will depend on the plugins you’ve installed.)

  • Excerpt
  • Send Trackbacks
  • Custom Fields
  • Discussion (<– my missing comments box!)
  • Slug
  • Author
  • Categories
  • Tags
  • Featured Image

I run a pretty lean setup here too. Just the essentials: Excerpt, Categories, Tags, and Featured Image.

lean-post-screen

You also have another option – under “Screen Layout” – the choice of either one or two columns.

no-of-columns

One-column layout gives you some of the focus of the full-screen editor – the standard editor widens to fill the window. You’ll still have the main WordPress menu to the left, but without the distractions of the right-hand column.

20. Banish “Uncategorized” posts forever

As soon as you start writing a WordPress post, it receives a category.

And unless you’ve changed the category settings, your default category will always be “Uncategorized.”

Not too descriptive, right?

Fortunately, there are hacks to fix this.

First off, you can change the default category for your posts. This way, whenever you begin writing a new post, it automatically starts off with the category you’ve chosen.

From the left-hand menu, go to Settings > Writing.

Change the Default Post Category to whatever you want, for example, your most common category.

default-category

Alternatively, you could rename the “Uncategorized” category itself. Not only will this affect how new posts are categorized, but it will also update any posts from the past that were saddled with the “Uncategorized” tag.

You could, for instance, create a friendlier, catch-all category such as “General” or “Tips.”

From the left-hand menu, go to Posts > Categories.

Find the “Uncategorized” category in the list at right. Click on it.

Edit the name of the category and the category slug (the permalink for the category page).

Click the “Update” button.

Now you’ve got yourself a brand new default category that should be a little more descriptive and professional than “Uncategorized.”

21. Never lose sight of a draft again

Like many bloggers, you may have multiple WordPress drafts in development at the same time.

Sure, it’s easy enough to get to them through the “All Posts” page, but when you log into WordPress, wouldn’t it be more convenient to access any drafts-in-progress in no more than one click?

WordPress does have a Quick Draft widget that happens to show your most-recently edited three drafts, but if you have more drafts, they won’t show up.

list-drafts

Here’s a clever hack for people who have lots of drafts floating around at any one time. It uses the “Activity” widget to put all of your drafts front-and-center.

By default, “Activity” shows your recently published posts, your recent comments, and – here’s the kicker – your upcoming scheduled posts.

So if you schedule your drafts to be published way off in the future – like years from now – the “Activity” tab will show those posts.

You’ve now got a way to place up to eight drafts on our WordPress dashboard.

22. Add categories and tags in bulk

On occasion, you may need to update categories or tags for multiple posts at a time, either because you realized a bunch were missing or you thought of a new tag you wanted to use.

Rather than go through all the posts one by one, try this quick workflow hack.

Let’s say you wanted to add the tag “email” to all your posts that mention email marketing tips.

From the main “Posts” screen, use the “Search Posts” feature to find all posts with the keyword “email.”

On the results page, place a checkmark next to each of the posts that warrant the “email” tag.

Click the “Bulk Actions” dropdown at the top of the page. Choose “Edit.”

A “Bulk Edit” menu will appear.

You can now change the categories, tags, author, comments/pingbacks, post status, and sticky settings for all the posts you have selected.

23. Insert images at the perfect size every time

You’ve found the perfect image for your post, uploaded it to WordPress, added it to the editor, previewed your link and … hmm, it doesn’t seem to fit exactly right.

So you put on your graphic designer’s hat – resizing, re-previewing, and rechecking until the image is flush with your blog layout and everything looks pixel perfect.

It’s time-consuming and you’d rather be doing other things, right?

Here’s a hack to help.

It requires changing the default media size for uploaded images.

But what does this mean exactly?

Well, whenever you choose to insert an image as “Thumbnail,” “Medium,” or “Large,” WordPress pulls those pre-set image sizes from your blog settings.

If you want your “Large” images to take up the full-width of your post layout, you can make it so.

From the left-hand WordPress menu, go to Settings > Media.

Adjust the “Max Width” and “Max Height” settings to fit your blog sizes.

Here are a couple neat ways I’ve found to play with these settings:

  • Set the “Medium” size to take up 1/3 of your post layout, then use these “Medium” images as feature images for your posts by aligning them to the right.
  • Set the “Large” size to fill the full width of your post layout.

But what exactly is the full width of your post layout?

I find mine using the “Inspect Element” option in my Chrome browser.

Right-click anywhere inside the text of your post, and choose “Inspect Element” (the exact wording may be different, depending on your browser).

A window appears, filled with all the web code for your page. If you mouseover the code, you will see the respective parts of your blog design highlighted, along with a display of height and width of the element.

You could grab the post size from here. I like to go one step further. On the right-hand side of this new code window, click the tab for “Computed.” You should see a graphic of boxes with numbers in the middle. Those numbers are the size of your post, with the first number representing the width.

inspect-element

True Ninja Hacks for WordPress Warriors

The following hacks are not for the faint-hearted as they involve digging deeper into the files which implement your blog’s functionality – and one wrong step could break your entire blog.

But these are true ninja hacks, so let’s just dive in.

The functions.php file handles all the low-level customizations of your blog.

To find it, in the left-hand WordPress menu, go to Appearance > Editor.

Click on the “Theme Functions” file on the right.

This next part is super important.

While you’re here, copy all the code that appears in the code editor, and save it in a plain-text file on your computer. I like to open Notepad or Textpad and paste the code there.

This gives you a backup of the current – working – code, just in case something goes wrong.

Backup made, you can now begin adding code to the functions.php file – it’s as simple as copying and pasting.

Note that the functions.php file always starts with “<?php”, so don’t paste any code before this. I prefer to paste anything new at the very end of the file so I can keep track of what I’ve added and to avoid any mistakes.

There’s a really neat list from WP Beginner of 25 useful code snippets for functions.php, but here are some of my favorites.

24. Put a smile on your face every time you log in

If you spend a lot of time in WordPress, you’ll be pretty familiar with the standard login screen.

Somewhat boring, isn’t it?

And if you’re maintaining more than one blog at a time, it’s easy to get confused between them and wonder why your login credentials don’t work any longer.

That’s why it can be fun (and useful!) to hack the login screen to show a custom image.

Truthfully, the easiest way to achieve this is by using a plugin such as Custom Login, but to remain plugin-free – and earn some serious “props” as a WordPress maestro – you can add a bit of code to your theme to control the look of the login form – everything from logo, to colors, to background images.

Paste this code into the functions.php file for your theme:

function my_login_logo() { ?>
<style type="text/css">
body.login div#login h1 a {
background-image: url(<?php echo get_stylesheet_directory_uri(); ?>/images/site-login-logo.png);
padding-bottom: 30px;
}
</style>
<?php }
add_action( 'login_enqueue_scripts', 'my_login_logo' );

Notice the “background-image: url” bit in the middle of this code? That’s where you’ll enter the image url for your background image.

And if you want to change any other design element of the login page, you can add CSS code between the curly brackets above. WordPress has a complete list of all the different CSS selectors on the login page.

In my case, the end result looks like this:

custom-login-screen

25. Change the excerpt length of your posts

A post excerpt can appear in your RSS feed and in various other places around your blog, such as search results and archives.

By default, the excerpt length is set to 55 words. But if you want to make this shorter or longer, add the following code to functions.php and change the number “55” to your desired word count.

function custom_excerpt_length( $length ) {
return 55;
}
add_filter( 'excerpt_length', 'custom_excerpt_length', 999 );

26. Change the default avatar in your comments

If you’re using WordPress comments on your posts (rather than a system like Disqus), anonymous users get assigned a generic silhouette image. If you want to change this up to extend your branding, you can update this default avatar with the following functions.php code:

add_filter( 'avatar_defaults', 'newgravatar' );

function newgravatar ($avatar_defaults) {
$myavatar = get_bloginfo('template_directory') . '/images/gravatar.gif';
$avatar_defaults[$myavatar] = "WPBeginner";
return $avatar_defaults;
}

27. Add a custom call-to-action to all posts in your RSS feed

This one’s a great hack for getting maximum value out of your RSS feed. Add the following code to your functions.php file, and you can control the content that appears in the footer of every post that shows in your RSS feed.

function wpbeginner_postrss($content) {
if(is_feed()){
$content = 'This post was written by Syed Balkhi '.$content.'Check out WPBeginner';
}
return $content;
}
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'wpbeginner_postrss');
add_filter('the_content', 'wpbeginner_postrss');

Power Up Your Productivity with These Peerless WordPress Hacks

You’re now equipped with an entire toolbox of time-saving WordPress hacks that few bloggers know.

So take them for a spin. Commit them to memory. Make them your own.

You’ll soon find you have more time to work on the blogging tasks that really count.

And if a shortcut or new workflow feels strange at first, don’t worry. Nobody becomes a true WordPress master overnight.

But time spent learning these tricks could pay back ten times over.

And with each new skill, you’ll wonder how you ever did it any other way.

About the Author: Kevan Lee creates content for Buffer, an incredibly easy-to-use social media scheduler. You can catch up with his posts about social media marketing and web writing, each one lovingly composed with WordPress.

99 Comments

  1. Bastiaan
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 08:33:50

    Hello Kevan,

    Thanks for the tips! There are definitely a few great tips in your article. I really like number 23 about the perfect image size. Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,

    Bastiaan

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 08:38:53

      Hi there Bastiaan! Thanks so much for the comment! Hope you get along well with #23. Super great one to use!

  2. Daryl
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 08:37:51

    I absolutely LOVE these wordpress hacks – and for someone like me (who’s neither a beginner or advanced) the intermediate tips are just perfect. ESPECIALLY skipping the media library, which can be a time consuming pain in the rear if you have to upload multiple images!

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 08:39:45

      Hi Daryl! That’s a great one! Yes, drag-and-drop uploading has saved me tons of time. Glad to hear it might work for you, too! Cheers!

  3. Conrad O'Connell
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 09:19:37

    Hey Kevan,

    I learned some things here – and I am a pretty experienced WordPress user – thanks!

    But was a little mislead by the title – I thought it was on WordPress hacks as in security breaches :P.

    Good tips though!

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:15:21

      Hi there Conrad! Really great to hear there were a couple tips that were helpful! And sorry for the misdirection with the title! Haha, can definitely see how it might sound security-related. 🙂

  4. Kevin Duncan
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 09:23:40

    Hey Kevan,

    Great tips. How did you know my days aren’t overflowing with free time?! Haha. (That describes my days to a tee.)

    These are some handy tips! I’ve been using WordPress for, gosh…eight years, so much of these I learned simply through trial and error (lots of error). Others I discovered through research somewhere down the line. Your “em dash” hack is a new one, though! Clever. 🙂

    I’ll be Tweeting this shortly. Great work, Kevan.

    – Kevin

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:16:43

      Thanks so much, Kevin! That’s amazing to hear that many of these have been in your workflow already. Were there any that I didn’t mention that you’ve found good use for?

      Ha, I can’t really remember where I came across the “em dash” hack. Could have very well been plain old luck!

  5. Peggy
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:26:54

    Oh my gosh! This is jam packed with juicy hacks! Some of them I do already but I’m definitely saving this for reference. Especially going to start using the full screen and shutting off all the distractions with the editor. Thanks for this!

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:16:16

      Thanks, Peggy! So happy to hear there were some good tips in this one. 🙂 Hope your productivity goes to the moon with the distraction-free editor!

      • Peggy
        Oct 23, 2014 @ 21:26:46

        I also love #13 – I just did that to one of my most popular posts! Is this a new function in the most recent update to WordPress or has it been around and I’ve just be oblivious? I love the sticky post!

  6. Krithika Rangarajan
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:26:58

    Hey Kevan

    Honestly, I have not read the whole article because I am on a deadline, but the first few hacks are enough to give you a glowing review! WOWZA

    BOOKMARKED and SHARED!

    Thank you
    Kitto

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:17:12

      Hi Kitto! Thanks so much for bookmarking and sharing! I’m really happy to hear there were some good tips so far, and I’m hopeful you’ll find even more when the time comes! I’d love to hear your favorites!

      • Krithika Rangarajan
        Oct 23, 2014 @ 12:08:39

        You bet, Kevan! I am in the process of launching a new WP website – do you have hacks for choosing a hosting solution? 😛 – and these tips will prove immensely handy!! WOOHOOO

        So excited for myself 😛 hehe

        Thanks again #HUGS

        Kitto

  7. Sasha-Shae
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:34:18

    Kevan!! Thank you, I knew a lot of these tips but some on here are just like YES EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED! lol. Awesome, here’s to us all kicking butt while blogging effortlessly now 🙂

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:17:52

      Hi Sasha-Shae! Yay! Very glad these tips were up your alley. Onward and upward!

  8. Mandy
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:37:00

    I started blogging 10 months ago and I didn’t know most of this. I’m more than excited to try these brilliant tips, so thank you!!

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:18:19

      I’m so excited for you, Mandy! I’m hopeful these tips will get you ahead of the game from the start. Best of luck!

  9. Mary Kathryn Johnson
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:44:04

    Brilliance, Beyond Brilliance!

    Thank You! *sigh of relief*

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:18:41

      Thanks, Mary! Really awesome to hear this!

  10. Giuseppe Fratoni
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:44:28

    Great post Kevan, thanks!
    #27 is a real gem 🙂
    Any idea as to how to change the font and the font size in the visual editor?
    That’s probably the thing that I hate the most about WordPress 🙁

  11. Kathryn Goldman
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:50:06

    This is an ALL TIME great list of tips, tricks and keyboard shortcuts. I started back in the mouseless days of the c-prompt, so keyboard shortcuts are my favorite.

    Thank you!

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:25:08

      +1 for keyboard shortcuts!

      Thanks, Kathryn!

  12. Rocky
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:50:17

    Holy moley this was awesome! I was only familiar with 2 of these tips!

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:27:40

      Oh, excellent! Awesome to hear this, Rocky!

  13. Mandie Sanders
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:50:53

    Hey Kevan,

    Great tips, especially for people who haven’t done a lot of WordPress trial & error. I was familiar with quite a few of them, but some of the keyboard shortcuts will definitely come in handy!

    Oh, and #27? Gold! I’ve experimented with a few different RSS plugins but I prefer to keep my plugin bulk to a minimum. Any time I can add a quick little hack like this, I’m thrilled! 🙂

    Thanks, and have a fabulous rest of the week!

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:56:31

      Hi Mandie! Thanks for the comment! Really glad you found a gem in the list. Hope it works great for you!

  14. Michael Chibuzor
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 12:41:16

    Wow, going full screen to avoid distraction is what I’m taking home from this piece. Thank you so much Lee for making the post worthwhile.

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 15:23:01

      Thanks, Michael! You’ve hit the nail on the head. 🙂 That’s definitely been the #1 tip for me!

  15. Vernon Chan
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 12:49:31

    Thanks for this post. Super helpful! Top stuff.

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 15:23:18

      Thanks, Vernon!

  16. Tom
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 13:19:25

    RickRolled? Just be thankful you overdelivered in this post! 😉

    Thanks,
    Tom

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 15:23:35

      Phew! Glad to hear it, Tom!

  17. Rob Newman
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 13:34:15

    Tip #24 is my favorite! I wish more membership sites knew about it. So many sites take you out of their website (it seems) and present the standard WordPress login page.

    Cheers!
    Rob

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 15:24:16

      Hi Rob! Thanks for the comment! You’re exactly right – this would be an amazing place for a little branding. The login screen gets seen so often!

      • Dan Coggins
        Oct 23, 2014 @ 19:00:00

        This is a great idea for the clients I develop WP sites for! I’m glad I read this far down. Thanks for the post, Kevan.

  18. I. C. Daniel
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 13:34:18

    I agree that going full screen is the very best thing you can do to increase productivity and avoid distraction.

    A lot of new tips, thanks for sharing them Kevan. See you on your upcoming posts.

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 15:25:14

      Thanks, I.C.! Really glad to hear the distraction-free tip is a helpful one for you, too!

  19. Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest)
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 14:13:11

    OMG, you have made my day! I tried and tried to figure out a keyboard shortcut for headings and — since I use Firefox — I always just ended up changing tabs; I think because I was using cmd-option-# instead of just cmd-#. This is going to change my life in such a good way.

    Thank you so much!

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 15:41:19

      Awesome to hear this, Sue! This was a huge a-ha moment for me as well!

  20. Amanda Rush
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 14:17:34

    I’ll read through the rest of the comments in a minute, but I want to point out something about the hacks above that involve editing code. With the exception of maybe the excerpt hack, al of these should be added to a custom plugin, not your theme’s functions.php. That file is for theme specific code, and any of these bits you add to that file will go away when you switch themes. It’s also not a good idea to edit using the built-in editors. Ideally, these should be turned off because they present a security risk. They’re fine if you’re making a small change, or if you whitelist who has access to your site via iP, but getting used to editing this way will cause more problems in the long run. One more thing. It’s not that the above functions hacks won’t work. They will. But as soon as you change your theme, to make them work again, you’ll have to re-add that code to the new theme’s functions file, and depending on the theme you’re using, this may not be so straightforward.

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 15:43:30

      Hi Amanda! Wow, I’m super grateful for the additional detail here. What a very helpful comment! Sounds like great food for thought for anyone considering making these changes. Thanks!

  21. jilliann
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 14:21:15

    Hi Kevan
    I am a newbie to WP and am printing this post as a reference guide! Thanks for making it easy to understand – I am grateful 🙂
    Jilliann

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 15:43:58

      Thanks, Jilliann!

  22. oloyede jamiu
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 14:37:38

    Hey Kevan and John,

    Great wordpress hacks over here.

    Am using some of these already!

    Thanks and have a nice day.

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 21:55:57

      Great to hear it, Oloyede!

  23. Tom Southern
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 14:41:49

    Banishing Uncategorised posts forever – I’ve been after that tip for awhile. Cheers!

    Can we put clickable links into the customised login screen? For example, link to a landing page?

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 21:57:34

      Hi Tom! Yes, hope you enjoy the “uncategorized” hack. 🙂

      Hmm, I’m not quite sure you could add a link to the login without maybe including a plugin. I believe the hacks I know only deal with CSS. Sorry I don’t have a better answer there!

  24. Margaret Adams
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 14:42:39

    This is just so useful. I have four websites and they all use WordPress. I can improve my efficiency tremendously by acting on just a few of the tips you have set out above.

    Thank you.

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 21:57:55

      Amazing to hear, Margaret! Very happy to have helped out a little. 🙂

  25. Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest)
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 15:37:35

    Oh, and grrr! I’m getting a 404 error when I click on the ? button (I use WP Edit Pro). Any thoughts on how I can fix this? I want want want that list live, not an image of it.

    Thanks.

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 21:59:04

      Really sorry to hear this, Sue! I can imagine this would be quite frustrating. Is WP Edit Pro a plugin? I’m wondering if there’s something funky going on there. I know how useful it is to have that list on hand and live.

  26. Leanne Regalla
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 15:59:45

    Thanks so much for this excellent post, Kevan! I knew about a few of these, but most of the intermediate/advanced ones I didn’t, and being able to drag images into posts will be a huge time and aggravation saver! And I desperately need all my images to be sized correctly. 😉

    • Leanne Regalla
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 16:01:14

      PS – I’ve been following you guys at Buffer – great stuff!

      • Kevan
        Oct 23, 2014 @ 21:59:38

        Hi Leanne! So great to hear from you! And thanks for following on the Buffer blog. 🙂 Really happy that there are a couple hacks here that might help out!

  27. Steve Ram
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 17:27:03

    Hey thank you Kevan, very useful post indeed. I’m going to make coffee, listen to some crisp tracks ‘n’ hak mu press till the cows come home.

    Cheers!

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 22:00:05

      Crisp tracks? Ooh, do share! 🙂

  28. Gail
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 17:39:48

    Thank you, Kevan! Especially enjoyed learning about the new image bypass and editing/multiple access tips. Printing this post for easy reference.

    • Kevan
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 22:01:47

      Thanks, Gail!

  29. Vanessa
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 18:32:41

    Thank you for these tips! The first few were especially helpful for me..

    More great stuff!

  30. venkatesh khajjidoni
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 23:42:50

    Best post on WordPress. I am wasting lot of time when working on WordPress. This post will greatly help me to save my precious time.Kevan

    • Kevan
      Oct 24, 2014 @ 08:34:57

      Awesome to hear, Venkatesh!

  31. Arbaz Khan
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 05:57:30

    Oh man! That was one amazing post.
    I am using WordPress since 2 years and I didn’t know anything about it. From the first point about resizing the editor to the last point, everything was new for me. These WordPress hacks are going to help me a lot.
    Just completed a post within 20 minutes by using some of these hacks for formatting and saved 10 minutes.
    Great post man. I am going to use this post again and again!

    • Kevan
      Oct 24, 2014 @ 08:35:38

      Wow! So awesome to hear that you’ve been able to save time already! You’re a pro-in-the-making, Arbaz! Cheers!

  32. Bryan Collins
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 06:19:21

    Brilliant post Kevan. The image trick is excellent.

    Can you tell me if you write earlier drafts of your posts directly in WordPress or somewhere else?

    I use Buffer all the time by the way.

    • Kevan
      Oct 24, 2014 @ 08:37:09

      Hi Bryan! Amazing to hear you’re a Buffer user! Thanks so much! Yes, I write all my drafts in WordPress (for this guest post I used Google Docs since it’s a bit easier to collaborate with). I’ll typically dump all my research into the WordPress draft, then outline the article, then pull research into the outline, then write! Phew! Lots of steps. 🙂

  33. Nick Baker
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 09:53:11

    This is great, thanks Kevan. I wasn’t aware of the sticky post option, just deployed on my site and happy with the results. Big love!

    • Kevan
      Oct 24, 2014 @ 09:56:27

      Great stuff, Nick! Wow, that was fast! Glad you got use out of this so quickly. 🙂

  34. Quinn Eurich
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 11:14:48

    Thanks for the post Kevan! You’ve managed to clear up a lot of my confusion about a number of things in WordPress!

  35. Pat
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 12:32:28

    Wow! What can I say! Never knew there was so much I could do to make the WP experience more efficient. I’m going to use/apply/implement each one of these, starting with #1. Thank you, Kevan, for such great post!

    • Kevan
      Oct 24, 2014 @ 14:45:28

      Really great to hear, Pat! I think you’ll love using some of these! (#1 especially) 🙂

  36. Kostas Chiotis
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 12:54:11

    Great hacks Kevan. Some I was already aware of but others are new to me. I actually did not know that WordPress supported so many sites. I’ll also be using that tip about the read more button so thanks for that!

    • Kevan
      Oct 24, 2014 @ 14:46:09

      Hi Kostas! You know, I hadn’t realized their auto-embed list was so huge either! It’s a super resource for sure.

  37. Chad Butler
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 12:59:43

    Great tips for becoming a WordPress Power User! I’ve been using and developing for WP for 10 years (sign me up to get fitted for a walker), and there were some tips in this list that I didn’t know about. I think #5 is going to be my biggest time saver (and that was a new one for me). Thanks for this list!

    • Kevan
      Oct 24, 2014 @ 14:47:24

      Ah, great one Chad! #5 (inserting links) has saved me a ton of time. I’ve found that CMD+k works in so many more places, too. Really super.

  38. Ali
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 14:38:27

    Thanks Kevan, You helped me start off with an advantage here. Its so important to develop some good habits while you are starting to learn a thing as they lay a better foundation saving you so much time and effort down the lane to Un-learn inefficient practices. These hacks will greatly add to the productivity of WordPress users at every level. Time to expand and test new waters. Grateful

    • Kevan
      Oct 24, 2014 @ 14:47:44

      Thanks, Ali! Very happy to hear these hacks helped!

  39. Lorraine Reguly
    Oct 25, 2014 @ 18:49:06

    I particularly like hacks #22 and #23. I didn’t realize I could add tags to posts in bulk! I also changed the default image sizes for my blog. Thanks so much for these two tips!

    • Kevan
      Oct 27, 2014 @ 11:53:21

      Great stuff, Lorraine! Really happy you found a couple actionable ones already!

  40. Soren
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 15:10:19

    Hi Kevan,

    Thanks a lot for the many useful tips.

    Tip 12 about dragging pictures directly into WordPress is easily going to justify the time I spent on this post many times over. I have wasted hours of my life in the Media Library 🙂

    All the best,
    Soren

    • Kevan
      Oct 27, 2014 @ 11:53:49

      Ha, same here Soren! Drag-and-drop images has been huge for me!

  41. Bill
    Oct 27, 2014 @ 00:56:37

    I just started using WordPress in posting some stuff I’m passionate about. Thanks for your great tips, I won’t have to search anywhere else to help me make the best out of it. I just knew you can make it personalized through #24. I’m surprised and can’t wait to apply it now. Thank you!

    • Kevan
      Oct 27, 2014 @ 11:54:05

      Enjoy, Bill!

  42. azlanvai
    Oct 27, 2014 @ 22:45:44

    Yeah.. those tricks made easier for my to prepare my article.. TQVM Kevan

  43. jessika
    Oct 29, 2014 @ 08:44:03

    wow, never knew about so many features of wordpress. I have been using wordpress from last 2 years still didn’t knew so many things, thanks Kevan for sharing these hacks/tricks, great work !!

    • Kevan
      Oct 29, 2014 @ 08:49:17

      Hi Jessika! Thanks for the comment! Very happy to hear you found some new ones on this list! 🙂

  44. Brandon Patros
    Nov 04, 2014 @ 07:30:57

    Read this again just now and picked up some new stuff – time to go put it into action!!

  45. Jake Cain
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 13:52:22

    Kevan,

    I’d like to extend my hand for a virtual hand shake for tip #3 on adjusting header sizes. I get so tired of scrolling back up and using the dropdown on my really long posts!

    Great list!

  46. Heather Durling
    Nov 07, 2014 @ 10:07:52

    Two words = Thank You. I wish I had stumbled on this when I first started using wordpress. This would have saved me from multiple headaches, eyes crossing from verbose forums, and the general frustration of being a novice. I have not only bookmarked this, I will also be sharing this with my fellow wordpress users.
    Very valuable!

  47. ling | business-soulwork.com
    Nov 07, 2014 @ 23:16:47

    Thank you Kevan for this absolutely AAAmazing list! My jaws dropped further and further down as I read through the hacks! They are going to make my life a lot easier (will try the function.php ones when I muster up enough guts…)

  48. polina preet
    Nov 09, 2014 @ 16:41:02

    These are great tips! How important do you think blogs are for a start up company and how many times should you post them a day?

  49. David
    Nov 14, 2014 @ 08:18:36

    Great hacks.
    I will try to use as much as I can.

  50. Sandi
    Nov 24, 2014 @ 05:22:28

    I’m clearly late to this post, but blown away by the quality and value you’ve given in this post (and others I’ve looked at tonight). How did I not know about your site till now? I particularly appreciated “removing uncategorized” and “adding categories/tags in bulk”. Such simple tasks that are so time consuming when done post-by-post. I’m so thrilled I’ve come across your site – props to you – awesome job.

  51. Erick Stevi
    Nov 26, 2014 @ 13:31:55

    thankful to you to share this awesome tricks… Bookmark this 🙂

  52. rufat
    Nov 26, 2014 @ 19:26:09

    Never known about those great tips. Will help. Thank you very much.

  53. Ken
    Dec 29, 2014 @ 04:09:46

    Great hacks! Bookmarked

  54. Neil
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 05:30:30

    Hi Kevan
    The advanced hacks and the Ninja ones were pretty useful. For New bloggers, the starting ones will be useful too. Good resource. Thanks.

    Regards
    Neil