WordPress Tips and Tricks

WordPress is one of the most popular website building platforms on the World Wide Web. When you build a website through Wealthy Affiliate it will be a WordPress site. WordPress is a bit like affiliate marketing itself: it is easy to learn the rudiments of the system but there are some tricks of the trade which will make you far more efficient, productive, and successful with the system.

Wealthy Affiliate teaches you what you need to know to use WordPress, so we don’t need to go through that here. But if you are new to WordPress there are some things about it that can be confusing. In this section I’d like to discuss a few of the things that I learned when I started using it. If you’re familiar with WordPress then these items will seem really simple, but if you are a total newbie you may benefit my experience.

This page is a somewhat detailed, so if you’re new don’t get overwhelmed! These items are meant to help, not discourage. Just learn things at your own pace, here a little, there a little.

Plug-ins are bits of software — the instructions that tell a computer what to do — that you can add to WordPress to make it do things it doesn’t do without the plug-in. They allow WordPress to be customized so it will do certain things you would like it to do. There are thousands of plug-ins that allow WordPress to do all sorts of things. They are listed under Plugins on the left side of your WordPress editing page.

Plug-ins can be so useful that in some cases you might wonder why WordPress didn’t include a particular plug-in function in the first place as standard equipment for your site. One good example of this involves the editing bar at the top of the editing page when you are writing a page. If you have ever used a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Publisher, you know the text editing bar allows you do things like make words bold or italic or change the color of the text.

When you start using WordPress, you will notice that the text editor is rather limiting. Yes, you can make words bold or italic or change the color of the text, but there’s a lot you can’t do, like change the font style or the size of the font. It can be a bit frustrating, because you can’t do all those things you can do with Word or Publisher.

Well, it turns out there is a plug-in to solve this problem. It’s called Ultimate TinyMCE. (That sounds to me like the name of a small professional wrestler, but as far as I know it is not.) With Ultimate TinyMCE you can not only make words bold and italic and change the color of the text but you can also change the font and change the font size and draw webdings — jigfr— and wingdings — dpw;3 — and do all sorts of other neat stuff. Ultimate TinyMCE makes using WordPress much more enjoyable, and it should be one of the first plug-ins you install in WordPress.

This is how you install Ultimate TinyMCE from your WordPress editing page:

1) Click on Plugins
2) Click on Add New
3) Type Ultimate TinyMCE in the Search box
4) Click on Search Plugins
5) Ultimate TinyMCE should be the first search result
6) Click Install Now
7) The system will ask if you are sure you want to install Ultimate TinyMCE
8) Click Okay

And you have Ultimate TinyMCE!

A word of caution: Don’t get carried away with plug-ins. You should just include those you need, and in the beginning you won’t need that many. Some of them can mess up your website, so if you are planning to install one it would be a good idea to check with someone in the Wealthy Affiliate community to make sure it’s safe. Being able to ask questions and get help from the community is one of the great things about Wealthy Affiliate.

You see that nice single-spaced list above showing how to install Ultimate TinyMCE? Single spacing in WordPress was a bit of a mystery to me at first, because every time you hit Enter on your keyboard WordPress wants to double-space between lines. But the answer is simple: just hold down Shift when you hit Enter. That results in a single space between lines.

When you are drafting a new page in WordPress, you probably don’t want anyone to see it until it is finished. There are a couple of ways to make sure it is not seen until it is ready for prime time.

One way is to save the page as a draft by clicking the Save Draft button. Then if you want to see what it will look like as a page you can do so by clicking the Preview Changes button. But Preview Changes can cause a problem because when you view the page there is a button called Edit Page above the page, and if you inadvertently click on Edit Page instead of closing the preview window then you will end up with two copies of the same page to edit, which can cause all sorts of confusion. On the other hand, if you click Publish, the page will be saved, but it will be out there for all the world to see.

There is a better way to make sure your page is not seen until you want it to be seen. At the bottom right-hand corner of your editing page there is a box called Exclude Pages, and in that box is a check-off box called Include this page in lists of pages. The check-off box is automatically checked when you create a new page, which means the page can be seen if you click Publish. But if you click the check-off box so there is no check mark in it the page cannot be seen publicly even when you hit Publish — which changes to Update after the first time you click it — and view the page.

The advantage of using Exclude Pages and Update instead of Save Draft and Preview Changes is that you can view the page privately and then click Edit Page to make changes and you never have to worry about have duplicate copies of the page. When you are ready to go public with the page simply put a check mark back in the Include this page in lists of pages box and it will show up on your website. Be sure to click Update after putting the check mark back in.

Exclude Pages and Update are not available when you create posts (see below for a discussion of pages and posts). You must save a post as a draft in order for it to be invisible until it is published.

To put WordPress pages in the order you wish, go to the Order box on the editing page, which is in the lower right-hand corner just above Exclude Pages. In the Order box you can place a number which tells WordPress where to place a particular page relative to the other pages. It’s a good idea to use a series of numbers such as 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 instead of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in case you want to place a page between two pages later. Be sure to click Update after putting a number in the Order box.

What, you may ask, is the difference between a page and a post in WordPress?

A page contains information that is static, which means it will not change very much over time. You may go back and make a few modifications to it now and then, but overall the information will remain pretty much the same.

A post contains the very latest information you add to your site. All of your posts are on one particular page, which is your posting page, and that page is usually called Latest Posts, Home, What’s New, or something to that effect. Posts are listed in reverse chronological order with the latest one at the top. They are identified by title and by date.

To put it simply, your website is made up entirely of pages. One of those pages is where your posts go.

You can learn all you need to know about creating a website at Wealthy Affiliate. Read about it here. Or click on the icon at the right to go straight to Wealthy Affiliate where you can join for free. And if you have any comments or questions please leave them below.

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