12 WordPress Hacks to Power Content and Save Time

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12 WordPress Hacks to Save Time and Power Content | SEJ

More than 24 percent of websites worldwide are hosted by WordPress, and nearly 20,000 WordPress posts are published each day. These posts are not just from basement bloggers. In fact, business sites are five times as likely to use WordPress than news sites, and the top 48 percent of Technorati’s former top-100 blog list use WordPress.

In fact, SAP, The New York Times, CNN, Mashable, eBay, and Search Engine Journal are powered by WordPress.

The sheer numbers indicate that it’s a popular platform, but do the 75 million people who use it actually know how to harness its power? Unlikely. From time management plugins to advanced mobile hacks, here are some tips to better leverage this awesome content management system:

Time Management

1. Zero-Distraction Writing

You’ve got a blank page and you’re on deadline to write a blog post. Where does your attention go? The icons, add-ons, and plugins? Or the blank space? When there are two concurrent goals, the brain divides in half, says INSERM neuroscientist Etienne Koechlin. While the right and left sides of the prefrontal cortex work together when focused on a single task — like writing the blog post — both sides work independently when people attempt to perform two tasks at once, such as writing a blog post and figuring out the WordPress system. Hence, brain confusion.

Ergo, zero-distraction writing on WordPress. This nifty tool works as a light box to shade out all areas besides the text window so your brain does not divide attention and you are focused on one task at a time.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 2.28.45 PM

2. Screen Options

In a similar vein to zero-distraction writing “Screen Options”, found in the upper-right corner of the WordPress dashboard, allows you to show or hide any plugin or extension.

3. Let WordPress Find the Links

Linking to the correct sources can take time, especially on a thousand-plus-word post. Little do most know, WordPress can do the dirty work. Simply click “CTRL + K” and the “Insert/Edit Link” window appears. Under the “URL” and “Title” boxes look for “Or link to existing content”. Click on this and a dialogue box appears with posts and pages in your domain where you can search for keywords that lead to in-site linking opportunities. Click the post you want included and WordPress copies the post into the corresponding fields.

4. Em Dash

Any grammar guru shares the love of the em dash, or ” —“. But, often people spend time copying and pasting it from Microsoft Word. Did you know that WordPress automatically creates an em dash within its system? Simply type three dashes in a row. (The dash does not appear in your editor, but does appear on the front end.)

Content Creation

5. Custom Post Types

Useful for any post you repeat, WordPress’s custom post feature allows you to define a new post type by its labels, supported features, availability, and other specifics. Event, product, review, long-form articles, and more can all is defined and templated to save you time down the road.

This hack allows you to predefine content types, format, and systemize the process so you are not reinventing the wheel when you create a new post.

6. Editorial Calendar Plugins

Whether you are a business or a news website, editorial calendars are a must-have. They maintain organization and help produce a steady stream of seasonally inspired and time-sensitive content. Thankfully, WordPress hosts a ton of editorial calendar options. Take a look here at some of your options.

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7. Photo Plugins

Life is always easier when you work within one dashboard. It is the best use of your time to work under one hood in WordPress. Instead of going offsite to search for stock photos, download photo-plugins like the Flickr GalleryFooBox, or MyStockPhoto.com so you can stay within WordPress.

8. Drag and Drop

If image attribution is not a concern of yours, WordPress’ recent update now permits users to “drag and drop” images straight into the text window. With this tool you can find an image on the Internet and drag it straight into the text editor. (But, make sure to include proper attribution.)

9. Auto-Embeds

With auto-embeds, paste a URL from a supported site into your post editor on its own line and the video, image, or article will appear in rich media. Here are the sites that auto-embed, according to Boost Blog Traffic:

  • Animoto
  • Blip
  • CollegeHumor
  • DailyMotion
  • EmbedArticles
  • Flickr
  • FunnyOrDie.com
  • Hulu
  • Imgur
  • Instagram
  • iShare
  • Meetup.com
  • Mixcloud
  • Photobucket
  • PollDaddy
  • Rdio
  • Revision3
  • Scribd
  • SlideShare
  • SmugMug
  • Soundcloud
  • Spotify
  • TED
  • Twitter
  • Vimeo
  • WordPress.tv
  • YouTube

Advanced SEO and Mobile Hacks

10. All in One SEO Pack

Most content creators are not SEO experts; they have learned this complimentary practice along the way. The All-in-One SEO plugin for WordPress allows users to add the headlines, keywords, tags and other components to help Google read the content, thus boosting your site’s ranking — all without not really having to have advanced knowledge of HTML or SEO.

Yoast also offers an excellent SEO Pack as well, shown here.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 2.33.35 PM

11. Comment Plugins

Due to the nature of comment spam and the way it can debilitate a page’s value when left alone, comment plugins are essential. Yoast is one great example. It has the ability to set a desired comment length, which is likely to ensure a higher caliber comment than ‘great post’. It also allows site owners to redirect first-time commenters to a thank you landing page to show additional content they may like.

12. Mobile Friendliness

With mobile traffic accounting for 60 percent of traffic, and Google’s recent “Mobilegeddon” update, it’s basically a necessity to make your content accessible on mobile devices. WP Touch, an awesome plugin will help will your blog look and feel better for mobile viewing. Whatever plugin you choose, make sure it offers help with mobile navigation, pagination, design, and content.

Final Thoughts

Though WordPress has the lions’ share in the web content management world, there are other viable website builder options. Do your research and understand CMS options to know what website builder is right for you.

However, if you are fanatical over WordPress — like most content creators are — put these tips to practice today and save time, create more efficient, sharable, and SEO-friendly content!

Have I missed any plugins or WordPress tips? Share them in the comment box below!


Image Credits

Featured Image: 360b/Shutterstock
All screenshots via Allie Freeland. Taken July 2015.

Allie Freeland

Allie Freeland

Marketing Communications Consultant at Self-Employed
Allie Gray Freeland is a freelance marketing consultant who specializes in strategy, public relations, and writing. She graduated in 2007 from the University of Minnesota - School of Journalism and has worked in communications for the city of Minneapolis, Rasmussen College, and iAcquire, among others.
Allie Freeland
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  • http://listthemout.com/flipkart-cashback-offers-july-2015-hdfc-sbi-citibank.html Himanshu

    i personally love the drag and drop and auto embed features. awesome tips 🙂

  • TechBloke

    Great post Allie! I love the distraction free writing! Use it all the time..

    • https://www.linkedin.com/in/alliegray Allie Freeland

      Thank you! Me too! I think everyone could use a little less distraction in their lives.

  • Cynthia V. Anderson

    Question. Will a plugin from WordPress.org work in the free name.wordpress.com account? Thank you in advance for your response

    • Annie

      From my understanding wordpress.com does not support any plugins.

  • http://www.ichnolite.com/ Suresh Kumar

    I found the the third point (Let WordPress Find the Links) interesting. I haven’t heard of it and finally I did. Thanks to you. I have a question: Is it a good practice to use an Auto Posting WordPress plugin in my website? It concerns me a lot. I need a suggestion. Thank You.

  • http://thhm-beyonce-songs.blogspot.com/2015/05/drake-what-his-music-means-from-heart.html Adam Safar

    I am currently using Blogger but I should switch to WordPress. It seems to have what Google wants. I just thought that Blogger was great too because it is owned by Google. I would think that they would be able to see the SEO just fine here. WordPress is much more popular from what I am reading in many articles. I wont hesitate to check that out just to see if I can get use to it better.

  • http://tossprice.com Amit

    WP’s drag & drop and auto embed make life easy and productive for non-technical bloggers. Thanks for the very useful tips. I haven’t used editorial calendar plugin as I was using Google Docs. Today I am going to install it.

    • https://www.linkedin.com/in/alliegray Allie Freeland

      Glad I could be of inspiration!

  • http://www.aress.com Jenesa Clinton

    Awesome share, can you recommend me some plugins?
    I’m starting a new blog 😀

  • Olivia Rousseff

    WordPress is the best site which is used for web hosting as well as blog posting . This site is very simple to use and also user friendly. Last time I was unaware these features of that site.
    Thanks to share with us, more about WordPress feature.

  • Sam

    I liked the first point “Zero-Distraction Writing”. I have a health blog WordPress which is powered by WordPress. I will use this feature definitely. I would like to suggest one plugin “Google XML Sitemaps” which create auto-generated sitemap of the website which makes search engine to better index the website.

  • Chris Needham

    Great post! Especially the stuff about the drag and drop and editorial calendar. Thanks Allie.

  • Rama

    Nearly 20%??? Please check your facts, the more accurate number is 49%

    • http://www.moxiedot.com Kelsey Jones

      We fixed this to an updated source, thanks!

  • http://wmtechie.com Vishwajeet Kumar

    Hey Allie, Great insight. Its very informative. Actually I am using most of the above practices in my blog and its really working for me and help me to keep my blog more effective to the audience who are looking for quality information about my niche. Again thanks for this article.

  • http://halcyonwebdesign.com.ph/ John

    I’m a heavy user of Drupal as CMS and I find WordPress hard to use. The reason why I read the article is to be able to help myself be more acquainted to the CMS. I’ll surely try the hacks mentioned here to really discover the power of WP and understand why it’s trusted by businesses more than they trust Drupal. Or maybe, it really depends on the website’s functionality and design requirement.

    • http://frank-design.co/ Jon Schear

      Haha, ironically I’m a WordPress user who has issues with Drupal, but that’s more on the side of Drupal’s complexity than anything.

  • http://mizmizi.com/seopressor-review-increase-higher-ranking-in-google/ Yasin Rishad

    Hello Allie,

    Nice to see your post on wordpress platform from where easy to publish content and save huge time. Now people love to use wordpress as it has CMS(content managment systetm).

    Now no need to know coding to make changes of your blog. WordPress makes it ease. To make site faster we can use wp super cache. There also image size reducer plugin called wp smush.

    So wordpress has as much facilities we may not think. It makes blogger life beautiful. Many thanks for your awesome content on importance of wordpress platform.

    Kind Regards
    Yasin Rishad

  • http://www.cygnet-infotech.com/ Hemang Rindani

    WordPress is rightly one of the best enterprise web content management systems that is far easier and powerful than other options available in the market. Its rich set of modules, theme builders and plugins provides tremendous power to design any complex website effortlessly. It is important to understand the right set of tools for your website that fits the business strategy. Monstroid and Divi builder are the theme building frameworks that comes with various templates and supports number of plugins and widgets to design a responsive web design. I personally prefer Divi builder which comes with drag and
    drop functionalities to create a website theme using sections, rows and blocks.
    The dashboard provides settings to format theme background and include images
    or videos easily. Theme can cater to business websites and can be used in
    contention with WordPress E-commerce plugins as well. Apart from this, make sure to add efficient safety tools to ensure website security.