Article by Jerry Low
Geek dad, SEO data junkie, investor, and founder of Web Hosting Secret Revealed. Jerry has been building Internet assets and making money online since 2004. He loves mindless doodling and trying new food.
In this post, I’ll show you some of the best WordPress tricks I have learned along the way. These are very useful for beginners, but I find some seasoned bloggers saying some of them have been helpful to them as well.
1. Make a custom page as your home page. Copy the original page.php file or make a new file and add this code at the top: <?php /* Template Name: Template1 */ ?>. You can use your own template name then publish it. Now, go to Settings > Reading then select the new page as your home page.
2. Create dynamic sidebars. Make different sidebars for different pages. The home page uses the index.php file, a single page uses single.php, and several pages use page.php. To create a different side bar for the home page, simply create a new sidebar file and name it l_sidebar2.php.
3. Let your readers submit their own posts. Install the TDO Mini Forms plug-in to enable other users to write their own posts and submit it you. All user posts are placed in “draft” status so you can check them before being published.
4. Break down your comments into pages. Install Paginated Comments, a WordPress plug-in designed to optimize your blogs for the search engines. You can choose to break down pages according to comment size or number of comments.
5. Display captions for your blog’s images. Use the Image Caption plug-in to obtain the alt or extract attributes in images that have these attributes and place a caption right under the images.
6. Create a Random Page button. Random Redirect is a cool plug-in for this. You can create a link on your home page. When someone clicks on that link, they are redirected to a random page on your blog.
8. Display relative dates. Relative dates look like this: posted on November 2, 2010 (20 minutes ago). If you want to use this, install the WP-Relative Date plug-in and look for the code <?php the_date(); ?> and replace it with <? php relative_post_the_date(); ?>.
9. Show people your latest del.icio.us bookmarks. Upload the del.icio.us-for-wordpress folder into the /wp-contents/plugins directory and activate.
10. Separate content from certain categories. Install the Advanced Category Excluder plug-in into /wp-content/plugins/advanced-category-excluder/. This will enable you to hide certain categories from other parts of your blog.
11. Prevent duplicate posts. Add a posts_where tag then start the first loop. Next, add the posts_where filter using the posts_where tag you made for the first loop. Start the second loop then remove the filter.
12. Make a Redirect Page template. Upload the templates.redirect.php file to wp-content/themes/theme_name/ and go to your Page Content panel then enter the URL of the page you want to redirect to. Then choose Page Redirect on the dropdown menu.
13. Add a StumbleUpon badge to your blog so users can share it with everyone else. Go to www.stumbleupon.com/badges and copy the code displayed in the box on the page. Next, open your single.php file and look for the following code: <?php the_content (“<p class=serif>Read the rest of the entry</p>”); ?>. Immediately after this, paste the code you copied from the StumbleUpon website.
14. Inform your readers of blog updates via IM. Use the Notifixious plug-in to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory activate it through the Plugins menu. This allows you to tip off your readers of new posts via their chosen IM platform.
15. Filter spam comments out of your blog. Use Akismet, short for Automatic Kismet, which administers several tests on each new comment and decides whether it is in shape for publication or not. Simply upload the Akismet file into the Plugins directory and activate it using the Plugins menu.
16. Make your pages load faster by caching. Disable to PHP safe mode in your blog and install the Apache mod mime and mod rewrite modules. Next, enable WordPress Custom Permalinks then upload the wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/ folder into the directory. Activate this plug-in from the Menu. WP Super Cache works by creating static .html files from your heavier .php scripts. Your server will then respond to the .html files afterwards. More on optimizing WordPress site speeds.
17. Create page buttons. Throw out the Older Posts and Newer Posts button and install the PageNavi plugin automatically from your admin page.
18. Remove unnecessary words and enhance your blog’s SEO using slugs. Install the SEO Slugs plugin so you can automatically generate more optimized slugs for your headlines.
19. Link keywords to other related posts, pages, tags, and categories. Put the SEO Smart Links folder in your plug-in directory and activate it from the Plugins menu. This automatically links keywords to other parts of the blog.
20. Display list of related posts after each post. Install the WP Related Posts plug-in and place the following code in your templates: <?php wp_related_posts(); ?>. Then go to Manage > Option > WordPress Related Posts and choose your settings.
21. Allow your readers to subscribe to comments. Install the Subscribe to Comments plug-in. You can let your readers subscribe to the comments even if they have not yet posted a comment by placing the following: <?php show_subscription_checkbox(); ?> outside the comments form.
22. Copyright your posts. Install the Simple Feed Copyright plugin by uploading the folder into your plug-ins directory and activating it from the menu. This displays a copyright notice at the end of each post.
23. Style up your archives. Use the Snazzy Archives plug-in to provide a visual archives page to your blog. Upload the folder to your plug-ins directory and activate it from the Plugins menu.
24. Create a page where you can store all ideas for your subsequent posts. Use the Post Ideas plug-in for this. Upload only the postideas.php file into your plug-ins directory and install it. You can then write post ideas, sort them by name, date, or priority, research keywords, and edit or delete them.
25. Add Gravatars to your posts. Place the following code in the theme: <?php echo get_avatar( get_the_author_email(), ’80’. You can also add a get_the_author_email tag and customize the size of the Gravatar.