The WordPress dashboard and other Admin Screens come with many built-in features, not all of them immediately obvious to a beginner. WordPress makes it so easy to start a blog or website quickly, that beginners overlook many useful features in the rush to create and publish content. In this post, let’s dig around a bit and become familiar with the not-so-obvious WordPress features that make content creation easier.
WordPress features to help you work better
1. Control your dashboard with Screen Options
Let’s start with Screen Options, an option that’s present at the top right corner of every WordPress dashboard area. Clicking on this tab opens a menu where you can choose exactly which items display in each area of the dashboard.
For example, here are the options available in the WordPress editor area:
Hidden under this tab, you’ll find options to create excerpts, change the post author, and more.
If you’ve installed plugins like WooCommerce or Yoast SEO, they can also show up in the Screen Options. Moreover, some settings such as distraction free writing only work when enabled in Screen Options.
Because it applies to every WordPress dashboard screen, this is one of the most helpful WordPress features you’ll find.
2. Markdown and keyboard shortcuts for quick formatting
If you write often, you’ll know that paying attention to formatting while writing posts can be a real pain. That’s where keyboard shortcuts can help.
Clicking on the Question Mark symbol displays a set of available shortcuts. Simply type the shortcuts in the visual editor to turn them into formatting, without having to switch to the text editor.
For example, to start a bulleted list, you just begin a line with “* “:
3. Visual editor options
The post editor toolbar also includes many other helpful options. For more information on what each button does, just hover over the symbol:
There are options to Insert a Read More tag, Clear formatting and more.
4. Breaking a post into multiple pages
You can break up a long post into multiple pages by adding this small piece of code to the Text tab of the WordPress editor (it won’t work if you paste it in the Visual tab)
Add it at the exact point where you want to split the post. Besides breaking a post into smaller, more easily digestible content, it also helps to display more ads.
5. Revert to any earlier version of your post
For many authors, the article really begins to take shape only when the editing starts, and sometimes a previous version may be preferred. Thankfully, WordPress creates a revised version every time you save a post, which means you can always go back in time.
The Revisions option in the post editor enables you to browse the entire revision history and revert to the one you want. This is especially useful when multiple authors work on the same post.
6. Quickly edit post title, categories, and tags
There’s a way to make quick edits to a post without actually opening it. While it does not allow you to edit the actual content within the post, you can change many other things.
You’ll see the Quick Edit option on the All Posts screen when you hover over an individual post.
Clicking on the option allows you to change the category, title, date, comments status, and more.
7. Edit images, change default image size, set Featured Image
Edit Images: Do you know that WordPress can handle some basic image editing as well? You can scale, crop, rotate or flip images while inserting them into a post. To do it, just click Edit Image under the ATTACHMENT DETAILS section:
You can also edit images inline by calling up the mini toolbar in the visual editor.
Default Image Sizes: By default, WordPress creates four different sizes when you upload an image – thumbnail, medium, large, or full size. You can change this functions by visiting Settings > Media and configuring the maximum dimensions for each size option.
Set Featured Image: To add a featured image to your post, click Set featured image in the Post Editor and select an image from the Media Library. Next, click the blue button to Set featured image and save your post.
8. Embed videos, tweets and more
It’s really easy to embed multimedia content from different sources in WordPress. All you’ve got to do is find the content that you want to embed, copy the link, and paste it into your post. WordPress will then automatically embed the content for you:
WordPress supports a number of online resources from where you can source content such as YouTube and Twitter. And if you need more functionality, there are other ways to integrate your site with Twitter and Facebook.
9. Easily create links in editor
WordPress makes it easy to create links to any internal or external page. All you need to do is select the text you want to link and click the Insert/edit link button in the toolbar:
10. Create media playlist
While we’ve previously discussed how to create a gallery using images in your Media Library, WordPress makes it just as easy to create audio/video playlists using media files. These playlists can then be embedded in your posts.
- First, upload your media files to the Media Library.
- Next, open a new post and click Add Media.
- Select the audio files from the Media Library and click Create a new playlist.
You can also edit the playlist settings to show artist name, images, and the tracklist.
Finally, click on Insert audio playlist and you’ll see the audio playlist in your post.
In the same manner, you can create video playlists as well.
WordPress is packed with helpful functionality, but sometimes it’s not readily apparent. Hopefully, after reading this post, as well as our other posts on helpful core features of WordPress, you’ll be able to work more efficiently on your WordPress site!
Are there any other WordPress features that you’d like us to explain? Submit your question in the comments below.