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The Devil Is in the Details: A Blogger’s Guide to Best-Kept WordPress Secrets

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Last week, at BlogWorld in NYC, I found myself thinking about the conference in a different way. I had recently organized WordCamp Seattle for the first time. And as I watched BlogWorld unfold, I could relate to all the energy the organizers had expended up to then, and what they would be experiencing over the next three days—although BWE was easily 10 times bigger than my event. The key to a successful conference is attention to the details. because it’s the small things that can make a big difference in an attendee’s experience.

And as I finished presenting my session at BlogWorld, I thought about how the experience of WordPress users can also be affected by the small details. WordPress is notorious for hiding small, simple solutions. Some of the brightest people I know have struggled for hours with something that should just have taken them mere minutes.

When I share these small details at workshops, I always find at least one person who has been using WordPress for months, only to finally have their ‘a-ha moment.’ More often than not I will hear a gasp coming from a chair somewhere in the back row.

It was no different at my session at BlogWorld.

Those freaking’ WordPress details that can drive a blogger mad

The Kitchen Sink

If you have been working with one row of buttons in your editor window, live dangerously and click on that last button. Now you suddenly have a whole new row of options.

Editor Window Size

By default, the editor window isn’t very big, which makes it hard to see much of the post or page you are working on. Here are two solutions: 1) grab that ridged corner in the bottom right and drag, or 2) go to settings > writing and increase the number of lines in the size of post box.

Privacy Setting

Are you not showing up in Google? Sometimes by default, or perhaps when the person was setting up your site, they may have blocked your site to keep the search engines from indexing your page before your site was finished. Make sure you check out your privacy settings under settings > privacy.

Changing Your Homepage from a Blog to a Static Homepage

This is a biggie. So many times bloggers find a simple theme, but down the road decide they would rather have the homepage, or landing page, a static intro instead of a lists of posts. They would rather see the blog as an inside page. It’s pretty simple. Create a page, call it homepage, and add your content. Then create a page and call it ‘Blog,’ but don’t add any content to it. Now go into your settings > reading and change “Front page displays” to “Static Page.”

Your Publicly Seen User Name

Typically, when you create a username to sign in to your WordPress dashboard, it isn’t your actual name (for security reasons, of course). Your user name might be something like: bobX45Ng88. But when you do a post, you don’t want it to say “Posted by bobX45Ng88”. So go into your profile, fill in your first and last name, and then, from the drop down menu by “Display name publicly as,” choose your first, last, or both names for your posts. Or you can create a nickname and use that instead.

Hide Comment Box on Pages

This is a common mistake. There is nothing more strange looking than to find a comment box on a page of a site. For example, if I see a comment box on your contact page, I think, what the heck? Am I supposed to say something like “Wow, great contact page. I never thought of doing one like this. I really like how you created this form.” Your theme may allow you to turn off comments on all pages globally, but if not, when creating a page, scroll down to your Discussion options and uncheck the “Allow Comment” box. It will make your readers and your blog much happier.

So, there you have it, just some of the small details in WordPress that can drive a blogger crazy.

What other things have taken you over the edge of sanity?


Feedback

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  • WordsDoneWrite

    Thanks for the great tips, Bob. I’ve never known what that Kitchen Sink thing was all about. I’m going to check it out right now!

    • bobWP

       @WordsDoneWrite You are very welcome!
       
      Yeah, one of those feature names that really doesn’t make a lot of sense. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they were scared to push it : )

  • Julia19

    There is nothing more strange looking than to find a comment box on a page of a site. Thanks for sharing.

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