1. Easy HTML & the Text Widget
The text widget is pretty handy that comes with WordPress. You can easily create a widget of text in a sidebar or footer area. And if you tick that box, it will break the paragraphs for you.
But what if you want to do something a little fancier? Maybe a simple link to purchase your eBook. The good news is that the text widget works with HTML. The bad news, not all of us know HTML. So here’s a workaround.
Open a new post or page. Don’t worry, you won’t be publishing it or saving it. Now go in and format the text, add an image, add links, all that good stuff. Remember, as you are doing this, it’s going to fit in a widget area, for instance, a sidebar, and will only be so wide. If you are adding images, keep that in mind. What you end up with might be something like this.
Now that you have formatted it, simply click on the text tab and copy the HTML or what I call the blob of code.
Now we head back to your widgets. Place the text widget where you want it. In this example, I am using the primary sidebar.
Now if we go and look at our site, we will find a nice little formatted widget, ready to go!
Here’s an extra tip. If you have a lot of images you need to put in various sidebars or widget areas, and don’t want to go through this each time, I highly recommend the Image Widget. Here is a post on that.
2. What Homepage?
When you install your theme, you often get a homepage by default. And depending on your theme, it will decide what that page looks like. In a lot of themes, it just defaults to the list of your blog posts, like this homepage:
Or maybe it looks like this.
But what if you have decided you just want a simple homepage. Maybe something like one of your inside pages. You looked at the demo and thought something similar to the content with the sidebar on the right would work. But how the heck do you do that? And what about your blog? You want that to go inside somewhere.
First, you will create your page. For the sake of ease, I am naming it homepage.
I save that and of course could have added any images or video as well. Now I go in and create my blog page. Name it, choose blog over on the right hand side under Template, and save. No content needed. This will automatically make it your blog index page.
Now you are going to do your magic. Choose Reading under Settings and you will get this page.
Now you are going to do three things:
- Tick A static page
- Choose Homepage or whatever you titled your homepage from the Front page drop-down menu.
- Choose Blog or whatever you titled your blog from the Post page drop-down menu.
Save, and go check out your brand, spanking new homepage.
3. Underscores vs. Underlines
When you are naming files, some people tend to use underscores instead of dashes. Something like this:
Your media files would be an example of this as well. In any case, it’s best to keep it to dashes. Why? Because Google looks at underscores as joiners. That means it looks at it as one word. And that sucks for the Google search engines.
4. !#%!# Doublespace
You are typing along in your editor in WordPress, and you do a return. Damn, just this one time you want no space between the lines.
There are two simple solutions.
- Click on your text tab, now delete the space.
Or use the old standard key combination of:
shift > return
5. Bad “Admin,” Bad
Are you still using Admin for your username? Or maybe someone else on your site is? In any case, time to get rid of that bugger. You see, anyone can easily find out your username if they know how. But those bots that roam in packs on the internet looking to break into WordPress sites, they are set to try Admin first. So in reality, you are giving them half of your login by using it.
There are a few steps to doing this, as you cannot change a user admin.
Create a new user name
While you are logged in, add a new username. Make sure that you give it an Administrator Role. Also you will need to use a different email, because two users cannot have the same email. You can always change that later on.
Log Out and Log In
Now log out and log in with your new user name. Once you are back in, go into your User list and find that old Admin user.
Time to get rid of it. But there is one very important step here. When you click on the delete, this screen will show up. Now since you may have already created various posts and pages while using that Admin user name, you don’t want them to go away. So make sure to tick the box “Attribute all posts and links to ” and this will be your new user name and the one you are logged into now.
That will do it.
6. Who Gives a Damn About You?
This isn’t so much a functionality of WordPress, but an important tip. I have had people who either choose not to create an about page or if they do, decide to hide it in the navigation. Make sure it’s prominent! These days visitors to your site want to know who is behind the blog or business. In fact, I know many sites where the About page is the second most frequently visited page.
7. You Said It’s Where?
Here is a story for you. Someone is using WordPress. They have comments open on all the posts. But they are creating one post where they want the comments closed. When they Google it, they find all they need to do is untick the box on the post editor page, under Discussion, where it says Allow Comments. Well, they don’t see that. They look and they look and they look. Google it more, same answer. It’s driving them nuts. Maybe a stiff drink will help.
Whatever the end results are, they typically find that somehow it got unticked in the Screen Options at the top of the page.
A lot of pages in WordPress have Screen Options. This allows you to declutter what shows on that screen. You can hide the stuff you don’t care about or need to see.
For example, on the page when you open the dashboard. Don’t care about WordPress news? Or maybe something else there that just clutters the page for you? You can do the same thing.
Or on your Post page. As you add plugins, more stuff shows up in each row. Maybe it’s time for some cleanup there as well.
Just remember, if you can’t find it, before you grab that nearest bottle of booze in frustration, check out your Screen Options.
8. Where The Heck Are They All Coming From?
Are you finding a lot of new users showing up in your user page? People who are subscribing to your blog through your RSS? Well, unless you have a plugin that requires this box to be checked, make sure it’s not.
9. Full Posts Are Not Meant For Your Blog Page
Have you ever landed on a blog index page, or blog page that has the full posts listed and the page goes on and on? For example, look at this theme demo.
To make your blog page more user-friendly, try placing excerpts or the first several words of the post instead, so people have to click through.
Let’s look at this single post that is pulled out from that first screenshot.
Do you notice something missing? First off, there are not share buttons if you are using them. Likely you don’t have them on your blog page, just on single posts. And where are the comments? What if I want to leave one? As you can see on this screenshot, both are there, resting at home nicely on the single post page.
You want people to click through from the blog page to the single post page for this very reason.
10. Don’t Have Share Buttons or Open Comments on Pages
I see this all the time: people putting share buttons on the service pages or about page. Or even worse, comments. Those two tools are primarily meant for blog posts. You don’t need them there. Likely no one wants to comment on a static service page. And I doubt very many people will choose to share your about page. In fact, they are just additional distractions and will tend to lead people away from your important content.
Worse case scenarioL The Contact page.
Can you imagine someone sharing your contact page on Twitter?
“Hey folks, go and look at Bob’s contact page. I think you should contact him.”
Or leave a comment
“Cool contact page you have here. I think I’m going to use it to ask you something. Oh, and by the way, what contact plugin do you use?”