Wordpress design

6 essential WordPress tips and tricks

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world as it is so easy to load and to use. If you are new to WordPress however, it can all look a little bit daunting. So here are 10 essential tips that will make writing, editing and posting your content easy and problem free.

  1. Clean up your permalinks: This is best done before you start adding content to your site, otherwise you will create a lot of 404 errors. These can be easily fixed with a redirect however and it is worth it, so that your URLs are crispy clean and user-friendly.

So go into settings – permalinks and change the common settings to ‘Post name’. That’s all you need to do. At the top of the editing page in WordPress there is also a handy little section where you can change the permalinks for each page or post, but if you have already changed it in settings, then you are good to go.

  1. Schedule posts: To make your life easier and so you don’t forget to publish your posts, you can schedule them in WordPress. Just where you click on Publish in the top right hand corner, you will see an edit button. Click on this and schedule the correct date. It is that easy.
  2. Add categories to your menu bar: Did you know that you can add your categories to your navigation menu? Just go to Appearance – Menus, then click on Categories on the lower left hand side, click the category you want to include in the menu bar and then click Add to Menu. Move the category to where you want it to show in the listing and now you have a category of your posts in the menu bar.
  3. Optimise images: To make your website load faster, resize your images before uploading to WordPress or add a free plugin that optimises your images after you upload them. Check out WP Smush.it which will reduce your image files and improve your site’s performance.
  4. Install a cache plugin: Make your site load faster with a cache plugin such as W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache or Quick Cache. The reason these type of plugins increase your loading times is as follows: every time someone clicks on a link to one of your pages, that page doesn’t actually exist. The different elements of the page have to be requested from the database and the page is built on the fly – every single time this happens.

A cache plugin on the other hand, keeps a copy of your web page for a few hours, so that subsequent visitors see the ‘cached page’, which cuts down the constant database requests. This speeds up the loading of your site, in many cases quite dramatically. You can check your loading times at GTMetrix.com (it’s free to use).

  1. Unnecessary plugins: The more plugins you have the easier it is for someone to hack into your website and the more likely it is that you will have clashes between some of the plugins. There are so many useful plugins available that it seems a shame not to use as many as you can. The easy way around this is to have your developer hard code in these functions for you, so that you don’t need a plugin. Also, be sure to remove any unused plugins and always keep your plugins updated.

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