151 WordPress Hacks: Learn WordPress from Scratch
February 3rd, 2019 | by Ravi Chahar || 12 Comments |
I remember when I started learning WordPress many years ago. I didn’t know any WordPress hacks to start a brand new website.
Whether you have just started or practiced for a while, you always need to learn more and more.
WordPress is an interesting CMS, but most of the people fret about it.
You may be wondering as if you need coding skills to start a WordPress blog. Well, this platform was begun for bloggers.
It means you can do everything without any technical skills.
Are you still confused? This is the article for you to provide you with WordPress hacks, tips, and tricks. I am going to point out every possible thing you should know about WordPress.
Basics You Should Know Before Using It
#1. WordPress.com and WordPress.org
More than 70% people are confused whether they use WordPress.com or WordPress.org. Before even doing anything, you should know the difference between these two platforms.
WordPress.com is free, and a fully-hosted version whereas WordPress.org is the self-hosted version.
#2. Which One Should I Choose
If you don’t want to spend any money, you can start with WordPress.com for free with some limitations.
But if you want a professional website, you should definitely start using WordPress.org.
#3. What Do I Need to Start a WordPress Blog
After your final decision about choosing WordPress.org, you may think about the easiest way to start a WordPress blog on your own.
You need a few things.
- Domain Name
- Web Hosting
- WordPress Theme
- WordPress Plugins
#4. What is a Domain Name
A Domain Name is the address of your website. It’s the URL you type to visit a website. Google.com, Facebook.com, these are the domain names.
It costs only around $10 per years.
#5. A Web Hosting
It’s the space you need to place your website on the web. Most of the web hosting companies provide one free domain name. I recommend the following companies.
#6. What is a WordPress Theme
The design of your website is controlled by a WordPress theme. For a beautiful design, you can either use any free theme or buy any premium theme.
You can also hire a web designer for the design of your own choice.
#7. WordPress Plugins
These are the add-ons to your website. These are the magical assets using which, you can create a site without coding skills.
You can do almost everything using plugins. Whether it’s about adding a new box or something technical related to SEO.
#8. How to Install WordPress
You can install WordPress using the one-click installation process every web hosting provides. You just need to fill your details.
#9. Different Ways to install WordPress
If you’re a techie person, you can install WordPress using cPanel. Download and upload the WordPress ZIP file to the server.
#10. Installing WordPress WordPress Theme
After installing WordPress, you have to search for a better-looking theme. By default, you will have the Twenty series theme.
Just go to Appearance>>Themes, and you can see it and search for more.
#11. Installing WordPress Plugins
Go to Plugins>>Add New, and you can search for the necessary plugins. There are different ways to install WordPress plugins.
#12. What’re the Necessary Plugins
By default, you will have the “Hello Dolly” and “Akismet” plugins. There are many other plugins you would require to build a better website.
- A caching plugin
- A Security plugin
- Social Sharing Button Plugin
This is one of the most crucial WordPress hacks you would require through your blogging journey.
#13. Creating a Static Home Page
This is the first thing you may have in your mind after seeing the beautiful designs of other websites.
Just create a new page by navigating to pages>>add new. After that, go to Settings>>Reading and choose to use the static page as your front page.
You can select the page from the drop-down menu.
#14. How to Have the Beautiful Home Page
As talked earlier, your WordPress theme is the design of your website. If you want something different, you have to hire someone.
#15. WordPress Settings
Just after installing WordPress, you should fill all the details about you and your website. Play with the admin area a little bit.
Don’t worry, you’re not going to break anything.
#16. Which is the Best SEO Plugin
Here is the step by step guide to install and set up Yoast SEO.
#17. Submitting the Website to Google
To make Google know about your new website, you have to add it to Google Search Console.
#18. Creating and Submitting the Sitemap
To tell Google bots about all the posts and pages you’re going to create, you have to create a sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console.
If you use Yoast, no need to use any extra plugin for generating a sitemap. This is one of the essential WordPress hacks.
#19. What is the Robots.txt File
Most of the people ignore this file. This is a simple text file which tells the Google bots to crawl your website. You can do a lot of creative things using this file.
WordPress Hacks to Maintain the Website Performance
According to Google, the page loading time should be less than 3 seconds. There are some WordPress hacks you use to boost your WordPress website performance.
#20. Use a Caching Plugin
#21. Image Optimization
#22. Database Optimization
You should also clean up your WordPress website database using a database optimization plugin. WordPress stores the data even for your post update.
Remove the extra database tables.
#23. A Better Web Hosting
Having a bad web hosting can drag you down. That’s why you should buy a reliable company. Please don’t expect the cheaper plan to maintain a better website speed.
#24. Your WordPress Theme
For a newbie, it can be challenging to select a proper WordPress theme. Free themes may not load as fast as the premium theme does.
#25. WordPress Updates
It’s always recommended to keep everything updated. An older version of your plugin or the theme can slow down your website due to its incompatibility with the latest WordPress version.
#26. Choose your Plugins Carefully
A poorly-coded plugin can cause the trouble. You should choose a plugin which can satisfy you with its features and lightweight. All WordPress hacks are useless if your plugins are not useful.
#27. Use a CDN
It helps you load the website faster by storing the static files. It also acts as a security layer. You can use free CloudFlare CDN.
#28. Post Summary VS Full Post
Imagine you visit a website, and there is no read more button, the first post is too long, and you have to keep scrolling to check what’s new.
I am sure, you would leave that website within a few seconds. So also use an excerpt.
#29. Paginate the Comments
If you get hundreds of comments, you can paginate the comments on the different pages.
#30. Multiple Pages Post
Just like Forbes, you can also separate your website to the various pages. It will also help to maintain user engagement.
#31. Avoid Sliders
I know sliders look cool, but a slider plugin can impact the page loading time. Choose it carefully.
#32. Adding a Cron Job
WordPress has a default file which is being called every time someone visits your website to check any scheduled task.
You should add a Cron job manually.
#33. Disable the Heartbeat API
If you are the only one handling your website, you can also disable the heartbeat API.
#34. Reduce HTTP Requests
More HTTP requests mean the browser will take more take loading the website. You should reduce HTTP requests by minifying the code and reducing the number of plugins.
#35. Code Minifying
#36. How many Plugins
There is a misconception that having too many plugins is equal to a poor website. The truth is if you have well-coded plugins, you can use as many as you want.
WordPress Hacks, Tips, and Tricks You Should Learn
#37. Installing Google Analytics
Monitoring your website is vital for which, you can install Google Analytics. Just go to the official website and create your account.
Generate the code, copy and paste it into your website.
#38. Adding Custom Code
It may seem technical stuff when you are asked to add <meta> tag or any kind of script in the <head> of your website.
Just use “Insert Headers and Footers” plugin.
#39. Allow Users to Subscribe to Your Comments
You can use the Jetpack plugin to add a checkbox to subscribe people to the comments of your blog post.
#40. Showing Excerpt in RSS
Just like you do for your blog page, you should show the summary instead of the full posts. Go to Settings>>Readings, and you can see an option.
#41. Adding Custom CSS
There are different ways to add custom CSS to your WordPress website. Your WordPress theme may have an option, or you can use a plugin.
#42. Facebook Thumbnail Problem
People claim that Facebook doesn’t show the thumbnail of their article. Just open that post and add it using the Yoast social section.
#43. Add an Image to the Sidebar
You may be thinking about using the HTML, that’s a perfect way. But if you’re a nontechie person, you may require a plugin.
#44. Adding a YouTube Video to Sidebar
Many website owners add YouTube videos to WordPress sidebar as the introduction of their website.
#45. Display Random Header
You would be happy that you can add multiple header images. Just go to Appearance>>Header and randomize the headers.
#46. Add Icons to Navigation Menu
If you’re a coder, you can do that using the CSS pseudo-classes, but for a non-coder, a simple WordPress plugin will do the work.
#47. Multiple Authors Website
Yes, it’s possible to add many authors based on their privileges. You can use the plugins like the Co-Authors Plus plugin to manage them.
#48. Creating a Local WordPress Website
You can install WordPress in XAMPP and create an offline website to test the plugins and theme before using on your live server.
#49. Change Post’s Author
After allowing a guest author, you may realize that it was a mistake. You can easily change the author name by configuring a few WordPress settings.
#50. Merge Categories and Tags
WordPress hacks: Merging multiple categories or tags are rarely known by the WordPress users. But it can be done within a few minutes.
#51. Show Last Updated Date
This is an important aspect to understand. Google prefers to display the latest updated articles. You can add last updated date to your WordPress posts.
#52. Display Relative dates
You may have seen on many websites showing the time “8 hours ago” and similar.
#53. Remove Jetpack Smiley
When you install the Jetpack plugin, you see a smiley icon in the footer of your website. It can disrupt the design.
To fix this, you should know the correct way to remove WordPress smiley face.
#54. Remove WordPress Version
For the security purpose, you should never show which WordPress version you use. You can remove it using a few lines of the code.
#55. Deactivating All Plugins
To find the culprit, you are always recommended to disable all the plugins. But the problem occurs when you’re not able to login to your admin panel.
In such a situation, you should deactivate plugins using the cPanel.
#56. Adding Category in the Permalink
Just go to Settings>>Permalinks and set the custom permalink structure.
#57. Showing Random Posts
Many people prefer to display random posts to leverage the old content. Either you use a plugin or do it manually using the code.
#58. Set Excerpt Length
The excerpt is shown by how the theme has been developed. You can change that by adding a code snippet in the functions.php file.
#59. Allow User Registration
You can allow others to register on your WordPress website. Just go to Settings>>General and check the checkbox shown in front of the membership option.
#60. Install WordPress on a USB
Just like you create a local website using XAMPP, you can also use a USB drive. This is one of the WordPress hacks only a few people know.
#61. Add Dynamic Year
It’s not possible to update the copyright year manually. For a non-techie person, it’s so hard. That’s why it’s better to ask your developer to add a dynamic copyright year.
#62. Get or Turnoff Comments Notifications
Just go to Settings>>Discussion and you can do the proper settings.
#63. Change the Number of Blog Posts
On the blog page, by default, you will see 10 blog posts. You can change that by navigating to Settings>>Reading and change the number.
#64. Stop Comments on Old Posts
Just go to Settings>>Discussion and you can set the number after which no one will be able to submit a comment.
#65. Split Posts into Pages
This is a great idea. If you have more prominent posts, you can add the <nextpage> option to maintain the speed and the engagement.
#66. Display Related Posts
Either you use a plugin or you can do it manually by adding a code snippet to your single.php file. The file may vary based on the theme you use.
#67. Change XAMPP Password
After creating a local website, you may fret after forgetting the password. You can quickly change the XAMPP password.
WordPress Tips and Trick to Secure Your Website
#68. Install a Security Plugin
The first step is to install a security plugin like All In One Security, Sucuri, Wordfence, BulletProof Security, etc.
#69. Change the Default Username
When you install WordPress, by default, the username is “admin,” and everyone knows it. It’s necessary to change the default username so that only can log in.
#70. Change the Password
It’s always recommended to keep changing the admin password. You can do it either using the security plugin or manually use the cPanel.
#71. Update Everything
Using the older plugins can invite the hackers to inject the malicious code into your website. It’s better to keep everything updated.
#72. Keep the Backup
To be safe, it’s necessary to keep the backup. You can backup and restore your website using DraftPlus with a few minutes.
If you’re familiar with the cPanel, you can also backup your WordPress website manually.
#73. Disable PHP Execution
WordPress core, plugins, and themes consist the PHP codes. It would be better if you disable PHP execution so that no one can inject any type of PHP code.
#74. Password Protect the wp-admin Directory
To make your admin login panel secure, you can password protect the wp-admin directory so that if someone opens the login page, he/she requires the login ID and password to access that page.
Such type of WordPress hacks should be used only after the complete research.
#75. Disable Directory Browsing
Anyone can browse your website directory if you don’t disable it. For example, look for “www.yoursite.com/wp-includes” and if you see the data, it means your website is insecure.
#76. Change Database Table Prefix
By default, the database table prefix is “wp_”. Hackers can inject the code if you don’t change it just after installing WordPress.
Either you use a security plugin, or you can also change WordPress database table prefix manually.
#77. Remove Password Lost Link
You can see on your WordPress login page, there is a link to recover your password. You can remove it so that hackers can use it.
#78. Edit the Login Error Message
Once you put the wrong login credentials, an error message with the password lost link appears. You can edit the login error message and display anything you want.
#79. Disable Email Login
As you know, you can log in using the username as well as the email address. It would be better if you disable login with an email address.
#80. Automatically Logout
On the bank websites, you may have noticed that if you don’t open any new page for a while, your session gets expired.
You can add automatically log out the users in WordPress.
#81. Limit Login Attempts
Sometimes, the hackers use the try and hit method to guess your password. It’s better to limit login attempts. You can either use this feature from your security plugin or use a particular plugin just for this.
#82. Change Login URL
By default, the login page URL is “www.yoursite.com/wp-login.php.” Just add this extension and the login page will appear to you.
You can change WordPress login URL to make it something no one else can know.
#83. Protect the wp-includes Folder
You can use the .htaccess file to secure your wp-includes folder. Such WordPress hacks are required for the advanced level security.
#84. Secure the wp-content Folder
All the themes, plugins are stored in this folder. You should secure it using the .htaccess file.
#85. Secure the .htaccess File
This is one of the most crucial files, and you need to protect it.
#86. Blacklist the IPs
If you notice a user with some suspicious activities, you can blacklist this/her IP address.
#87. Whitelist only Your IP
If you work from just one IP address, it’s great if you protect the admin panel by whitelisting that IP. No one else will be able to access your login page.
#88. Adding a Security Question
A WordPress tip not everyone uses. Along with the login credentials, you can also add a security question on the WordPress login page.
#89. Block Bad Bots
Your security plugin continuously keeps monitoring your website and the users’ activity. You can block bad bots using their IP addresses.
#90. Prevent Image Hotlinking
Only a few people know about such WordPress hacks. The users can copy your image links along with the content.
It’s the image theft as well as of the server. You should prevent image hotlinking using the .htaccess file or an option from your cPanel if any.
#91. Save Content Theft
Many people complain how their content gets copied by someone else. You can do that by adding a DMCA badge on your website.
Some Advanced WordPress Hacks, Tips
#92. Adding Subcategory to Permalinks
Just like the post categories, you can also add subcategories to the permalinks.
#93. Moving Your Blog from Blogger to WordPress
Many people use the free Google platform. But once they realize that WordPress is required to scale, the migrate their blog from Blogger to WordPress.
It takes a few minutes to do this.
#94. WordPress.com to WordPress.org
You can also migrate from the fully-hosted version to the self-hosted version. Move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org for more freedom.
#95. Squarespace to WordPress
Squarespace is also a free blogging platform, and you can move your blog from Squarespace to WordPress.
#96. Weebly to WordPress Migration
Everyone wants to migrate their blog to the WordPress platform. If you’re using Weebly, you can move transfer your blog.
#97. LiveJournal to WordPress Migration
It’s another platform people use in Russia. You can move your blog from LiveJournal to WordPress within a few minutes.
#98. Medium to WordPress
Medium is a republishing platform, and it allows you to start your own blog for free. You can migrate all the posts from Medium to WordPress.
#99. Enabling Automatic Theme Updates
If you don’t have the time to maintain your website, you can enable automatic updates for your WordPress themes.
#100. Enabling Automatic Updates for Plugins
Just like the themes, you can also enable automatic updates for plugins.
#101. Enabling Automatic Update for WordPress Core
Though it’s not recommended to enable such updates still, you should have an idea about such WordPress hacks.
#102. Add Post Formats to WordPress Theme
If you’re into WordPress theme development, you can add many different post formats to your theme.
#103. Clearing cache of Your Website
The old cache can create some problem while testing something new. You should know the proper way to clear the cache of your WordPress website.
#104. Enabling Multisite Feature
Before you add a subdomain, you have to enable a multisite feature in WordPress core using the wp-config.php file.
#105. Installing WAMP Server
For the Mac users, creating a local environment to test the plugins and themes, it’s good to install WordPress on the WAMP server.
#106. Migrating the Site from WAMP to the Live Server
Many people create an offline website using WAMP. It’s easy to migrate that website from the WAMP server to a live server so that the whole world can read the content.
#107. Adding Google Translator
You can either use a plugin like WPML or add Google Translator in WordPress without any plugin.
#108. Removing Comments from WordPress
You can completely remove comments from your website. Either you disable the comments or remove the comment form from your theme.
#109. Adding Clickable Email Address
You can add a clickable email address to your WordPress posts and pages so that people can click and directly send you an email.
#110. Setting up Feedburner
To generate the RSS feed for your website, you can use this platform. Settings up Feedburner takes a few minutes.
#111. Adding NoFollow Link to Navigation Menu
Many website owners like to keep the menu items nofollow. You can easily add such nofollow links.
#112. Disabling WordPress Comments
As we talked before, you can either remove or completely remove the comment section. For a non-techie person, dealing with the theme codes is overwhelming.
It’s better to learn the different WordPress hacks to disable comments.
#113. Moving WordPress from One Folder to Another
When you run multiple websites, you may want to move WordPress from one folder to another.
#114. Image Protection
There are different ways to prevent image theft in WordPress. You can add the watermark, disable right-click, etc.
#115. Adding Copyright
Even if you don’t know how to code, you can easily add copyright in WordPress theme using the simple HTML.
#116. Backing up Your WordPress Theme
You should also see the WordPress hacks to backup your WordPress theme. You can have the full backup of your website.
Using the cPanel, you can make and download the ZIP file of your theme from the wp-content folder.
#117. Adding Customizer to WordPress Theme
For a user-friendly theme, it’s essential to add a customizer. Just the use of a few CSS classes and the functions.php file of your theme.
#118. Temporary Disabling the Website
You can temporarily disable your WordPress website without using any plugin.
#119. Adding Gallery Post Format
To give your theme users more options, you should add a gallery post format to your WordPress theme so that people can use only images to publish a post.
#120. Managing Automatic WordPress Updates
Using a single plugin, you can manage automatic WordPress updates. No coding skills required.
#121. Moving Your Site From Subfolder to the Root Directory
You have to copy and paste the whole data from the subfolder to the public_html folder and then change the site URL and the permalinks structure.
#122. Importing and Exporting WordPress Users
WordPress allows you to import all the users from one website and export them to another. Such WordPress hacks can help you from wasting your time while running multiple websites.
#123. Linking Logo to Homepage
Not every developer links the logo of your website to the homepage. You can easily do it using a simple permalink WordPress theme codex.
#124. Adding Facebook Reaction Buttons
If you’re also wondering to add the cool Facebook reaction buttons below your blog posts, it can be done.
#125. WordPress Theme Structure
Even for a non-techie person, it’s a plus point to understand the complete WordPress theme file structure.
WordPress Tips and Tricks to Solve WordPress Errors
#126. Always Check the Plugins, First
Not all the plugins are developed by the WordPress team. There are many third-party plugins available in the repository.
Deactivate all and start activating one by one to find the culprit.
#127. Use the Default WordPress Theme
Instead of your premium theme, you should shift to the default Twenty series theme to find the problem.
#128. Backup and Delete the .htaccess File
It’s possible that the.htaccess file is creating any problem. Back it up, delete and create it by updating the permalink structures.
#129. Check Web Hosting Bandwidth
It’s possible that your web hosting width is full and your website requires more space.
#130. Confirm the Search Engine Visibility Box is Unchecked
Many people complain that the website got de-indexed. It’s because the search engine indexing has been disabled.
#131. Check the Website URL
Go to Settings>>General and you will see two fields. Matching both the URLs is necessary.
#132. File Permissions
Many errors occur due to the wrong file permissions. Either you check it from your security plugin or go to the cPanel.
#133. Try Clearing the Cache
Sometimes, you don’t see the changes because of the cache. Clear it using your caching plugin and even of the browser.
Let me mention the Name of the Errors
There are many common WordPress errors which can freak you out. But every error has a solution. Those mentioned above are some troubleshooting WordPress hacks.
#134. 404 Error
One of the simplest errors you can find using the Google Search Console.
#135. 500 Internal Server
This error occurs either the site URLs are different, or the server doesn’t respond.
#136. 403 Forbidden Error
The best solution is to check the file and folder permissions.
#137. Memory Exhausted Error
You can increase the default WordPress memory, and this error will get solved.
#138. HTTP Error
Again, you have to check the file and folder permissions. This error is seen while uploading an image, a plugin or a theme.
#139. 503 Internal Server Error
It happens only because of the bad server or the wrong URL settings.
#140. Error Establishing a Database Connection
When you migrate your blog, you need to check the database credentials. Fix this error by editing the wp-config.php file.
#141. White Screen of Death
You see only a white screen while opening your website. There may be many reasons, but you can fix it.
- Here is the guide
#142. Syntax Error
This is more like a coding error. If you don’t touch any code, then it happens due to a plugin conflict.
#143. Login Page Refresh Error
Whenever you try to log in, the page gets refreshed again and again.
#144. You’re Locked Away from the Login Panel
You’re not even able to open the login page.
- Here is the guide
#145. The site Contains the Harmful Program
You may have seen many websites with a warning that the website is harmful. It can be solved.
Other WordPress Hacks for Better Knowledge
#146. Annoying Things about WordPress
If you’re a newbie, you may face some problems which can annoy you. Stick to it, explore the CMS and you will love it.
#147. Renaming the Uncategorized Category
By default, WordPress adds every post in the Uncategorized category. You should set one common category so that if you forget, it gets published into that category.
#148. Adding a Twitter Follow Button
To get more followers, you can add Twitter follow button to WordPress posts or pages.
#149. Maintenance Page
You would be happy to know that you can create a maintenance page using the .htaccess file.
#150. Is WordPress Easy
This is the first question people ask when I publish any WordPress related article on any social media platform.
If you practice, WordPress will be your friend.
#151. Can I Become a WordPress Pro
When I started learning WordPress, I had no idea about plugins, themes, content optimization, etc. Now, I am pretty good with it and can develop the WordPress themes from scratch.
There are many WordPress tips and tricks available on the internet but sometimes, you need to learn yourself. trying something new is always fun.
WordPress is an easy platform.
I love how it works and guiding others makes me happy.
Do you have any WordPress hacks? Share with everyone.