The Magnificent Seven: Great WordPress Features Worth Checking Out

WordPress is an incredibly rich and multi-layered content management system, one packed with options and features that help it clearly stand head and shoulders above other platforms. But with all that incredible and intuitive diversity, it’s no great surprise that many website owners and administrators aren’t using it to its full potential.

In truth, for the vast majority of users—bloggers, small e-commerce ventures and the like—just utilizing the most basic aspects of the program are more than enough to create the site they need and want. So the general feeling among these users is probably one of “if I don’t know about it, then I probably don’t need it anyway.” And yet, with just some cursory poking around through the myriad features there’s actually quite a lot that can help admins work faster, smarter and with a lot less headaches. From stress-relieving tools to incredibly handy shortcut keys to one-click function options, there’s so much to discover about WordPress for those able to invest even just a small bit of time.

That said, check out these seven helpful and easy-to-use features most WordPress users probably don’t even know exist.

Hide and Seek

If you’ve never investigated the “Screen Options” button located in the admin area, you may be unaware that contained in there is a great little tool that allows you to show and hide items on the screen currently being viewed. Make your life infinitely more simple by streamlining your most commonly used views such as the post edit screen.

Manipulate that Widget

When you login as an admin you most likely are instantly directed to the dashboard page. But you probably didn’t know that said page has a handful of shortcuts that take you immediately to different sections of your site. Divided into boxes known as “dashboard widgets,” by clicking on “Screen Options” you can show or hide them as well as drag and drop them into an arrangement of your choosing on the dashboard.

Sidebars Simplified

Speaking of widgets, even WordPress beginners are aware of how easy it is to drag and drop them into their sidebars. But it’s not always easy to do so with a standard mouse or laptop trackpad. Have no fear, as WordPress comes with “accessibility mode for widgets” which allows you to add them without the (sometimes) annoying drag-and-drop requirement.

Picture Perfect

One of the hallmarks of the WordPress platform is how easy it is to add images to any post or page. But far too many users aren’t aware that the CMS comes with a basic—but incredibly helpful—editing feature. Visit your Media Library and select an image, then click on the Edit Image button. Here you can crop, rotate, resize and flip a picture until it renders exactly how you want it to on your page.

Secret Options for Bloggers

How’s this for a surprise? WordPress comes with a master page that’s hidden, and it can really help bloggers streamline their workflow. Of course it’s hidden for a reason: make a mistake here and you can definitely create some major problems across your site. But if you’re curious go to http://[your domain]/wp-admin/options.php. Here you’ll discover options galore, but do a little research on the Beginners Guide for WordPress before you start messing around too much.

A Sneak Peek

Both newbie and seasoned WordPress users love taking the time to check out a new theme for their site. But often there’s a bit of underlying dread as they’re not sure what will happen when the new theme goes active. Will it completely distort their current pages? Don’t worry, because there’s a way to preview a new theme without making it go active across the site. To test a new theme you can install it and then navigate over to the “Appearance, Themes” page and scroll over the new theme’s thumbnail and click on the “Live Preview” button. Here you can make sure you like the choice you made with making it immediately viewable to your visitors.

Cut and Paste

It’s common knowledge that you can use a popup window to paste a link, but it’s really just as easy—maybe easier—to select the link text and hit the CTRL + V keys to paste the URL. The program’s visual editor automatically converts the text into a clickable link, and you saved yourself a little time and energy.

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