WordPress dashboard.

Most Wanted WordPress tips and tricks

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems on the internet today, powering roughly 40% of all currently running websites. Among the main reasons for this are the flexibility and customizability of the platform as well as its user-friendly, intuitive interface.  But for all that, WordPress seems pretty easy to use at first glance; becoming proficient takes a bit of time. But these WordPress tips and tricks will help you get there faster and easier. Let’s take a look at some of the most wanted hacks that big WP websites are using to improve performance.

WordPress tips and tricks for web design

If you are new to web design, good news – WordPress allows you to design almost any kind of website quickly and easily.  Relying on plugins and pre-made themes, you can make a stunning website with no previous knowledge of web design. But if you want to take your design to the next level, you can:

Use a custom homepage

By default, WordPress shows a list of your most recent posts as your homepage. But that doesn’t make for the most creative WP website design, so what you’ll want to do instead is create a custom homepage for your website.  First, you’ll need at least two pages on your website – the one serving as your homepage and one more.  Then, as admin, go to Settings>Reading. Under “Front page displays”, switch to “A static page” and choose your home page as the front page. Now, all that’s left is to design your homepage using a template or a page builder.

A homepage of a website open on a laptop.

Create a unique homepage so that your website stands out from the crowd.

Add custom CSS to a theme

As you learn more about web design, you may decide to make some adjustments to your current theme. You can do this with a few lines of custom CSS, which is very easy to add in WordPress. Just go to Appearance>Customize and open the “Additional CSS” tab. Add your custom CSS to the text box that appears, and you’ll see the changes immediately in the website preview on the right.

WordPress tips and tricks for functionality

It’s important that your WP website serves you well. For this, you may need to tweak a few settings and adjust the platform to your needs.

Install Google Analytics in WordPress

Google Analytics is a must-have tool for all web administrators. Its insights are invaluable for marketing and further developing any website. So it’s handy to have it in WordPress. An easy way to incorporate Google Analytics is with the use of a plugin (MonsterInsights is the most commonly used one though there are others). The other option is to obtain the Google Analytics code and insert it into your theme files. However, if you opt for this, remember that you’ll need to repeat the process every time you update or switch themes.

Rearrange the post edit screen

This is a pretty simple yet essential tip: you can easily change up the post edit screen to suit you better. The boxes for categories, tags, publishing options, images, and more are both collapsible and mobile-friendly. Simply drag them around until they’re arranged the way you like it.

WordPress tips and tricks to improve user experience

If you’re looking to monetize your WordPress website, either by turning it into a web store or by selling your content, you’ll need to work on improving user experience. The only way to increase revenue with ease is by ensuring that your users are so happy with what you’re offering, they’re willing to pay for it. Luckily, there are many things you can do in WP to make your website more user-friendly.

Smiling woman working on a laptop.

Make a website that your users will enjoy.

Add a sticky floating navigation menu

Your users are more likely to view multiple pages if they can easily find the ones that interest them. This requires improving the navigation on your website. An easy way to do this is by making a navigation menu that stays on top of the screen even as the user scrolls down. All you need is the Sticky Menu (or Anything!) on Scroll plugin – install and activate it, then navigate to Settings>Sticky Menu (or Anything!). There, you can add the CSS class of your navigation menu and save the changes.

Allow user registration

If you want a loyal userbase, letting your users register their own profiles on your website is an excellent first step. This will allow them to personalize their experiences and feel like a part of an exclusive community surrounding your brand. Luckily, user registration is very easy to enable in WordPress. Go to Settings>General, check the box next to “Membership”, and choose the default role for new users.

WordPress tips and tricks for security

Given WP’s market share, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that WordPress websites are often the target of attacks. This is why WP maintenance and security are so important – you need to protect yourself from security breaches.

Three padlocks of different sizes, two unlocked and one still closed.

Make a website that your users will enjoy.

Password protect your admin directory

Although WordPress already requires a login, an extra layer of protection is never a bad idea. So, in addition to password protecting your website, you should protect your admin directory separately as well. Log in to the cPanel dashboard of your WP hosting and navigate to the security section. Under “Password protect directories”, select the wp-admin folder and create a login for it.

Deactivate all plugins when you can’t access WP-admin

While WP plugins are very useful, they can sometimes cause issues. So when you’re troubleshooting problems with WordPress, the first step is typically to deactivate all plugins. However, that isn’t easy if you can’t even access your admin dashboard. When that happens, you can connect to your WP site using an FTP client. Go to the wp-content folder, where you will find the plugins sub-folder. Rename the folder to plugins.old, and WP will deactivate all plugins automatically.

Create a website backup so you can safely test out different WordPress tips and tricks

Here’s one of the most important WordPress tips and tricks you will ever get: always have a test website where you can try out different things. If you don’t have a test website, at the very least back up the current version of your website before making any changes to it. That way, you can test out all the other hacks, and if they don’t work for you, you can go back to how your website was before them.