11 Top WordPress Tips From The WPMU DEV Team

11 Top WordPress Tips From The WPMU DEV Team

At WPMU DEV we are all unashamed WordPress geeks. It comes with the territory. And as such, we know handy little tips and tricks that can save you time, boost your WordPress efficiency and increase your blog’s potential for success.

I have been harassing my WPMU colleagues for the past few days and have come up with a list of 11 WordPress tips for your benefit. I threw in a few of my own for good measure.

I offered no restrictions on the types of tips that were to be offered, and I received a wide variety that share just one common factor – they are all extremely handy for any WordPress user! Consider it a pick’n’mix of handy tips (that almost rhymes rather delightfully).

The Tips

1. Educate Yourself

WordPress Codex

Read the Codex! It’s amazing how much you can teach yourself. Every time I hit a snag with WordPress I turn to the community-run documentation. It’s super helpful, and the coolest thing is that it’s mostly written by volunteers. (Tim)

2. Go Incognito

Whenever you view your WordPress blog, you are probably logged in. Use the Incognito feature in Google Chrome to view your blog as a first time visitor would, without having to actually log out. (Ronnie)

3. Housekeeping

Keep your plugins directory clean. If you’re not using a plugin, make sure to see if it offers a full uninstall. Delete any plugins you’re not using. This will help you when troubleshooting conflicts on your site. You’ll have fewer factors to test when trying to track down the cause of a problem. (Sarah)

4. Frustrate Hackers

Always delete unused themes. Compromised code inside of inactive themes can leave your website open to attack. (Tom)

5. Embrace Captions

Case in point: you are reading this.

Put captions in your images – people always read captions! (James)

6. Access Your Image Gallery In Double-Quick Time

If you are uploading a bunch of images, once they are all done, click ‘Save All Changes’ to have the gallery tab appear! (James)

7. Go Tag-Crazy

Prevent duplicate content and boost your onsite SEO by using loads of tags and selecting them to be indexed (and conversely, your categories not to be indexed). (Tom)

8. Avoid The Visual Editor’s Wrath

Never copy and paste from Google Docs straight into the classic Visual Editor. This creates formatting issues, like adding extra line breaks and HTML tags, plus your images won’t carry over.

If you do a lot of importing content from Google Docs into WordPress, consider instead switching over to the Block Editor or using a plugin like Wordable.  (Siobhan)

9. Always Preview Posts

Always Preview posts before you hit Publish, as you’ll always see mistakes in a ‘fake live’ version that you’d miss in the editor. (James)

10. Put A Stop To Messy Permalinks

Always check a post’s permalink before you publish it. Apostrophes and other such symbols can make a mess of your URL without you knowing it. (Tom)

11. Don’t Neglect Your Design

Design and presentation matter, so unless you’re a talented designer, don’t be afraid to spend a few bucks on good theme and customizations. Design isn’t a substitute for good content, but it can be a helpful compliment, and studies have shown that first impressions (i.e. how visitors take to your overall design) matter a lot. (Joe)

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for accuracy and relevancy. [Originally Published: November 2011 / Revised: February 2022]