These WordPress Hacks Will Seriously Improve Your Productivity
October 17, 2016
Even the most diligent worker can fall victim to delays.
Whether it’s self-inflicted procrastination or setbacks caused by any variety of issue, lost minutes can add up over time and ultimately hurt your business.
This is especially true if your business relies on the speed of your website. Making changes, updates or simple maintenance can often cost valuable time for anyone working on the site.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best WordPress tips for helping your site run smoothly while keeping setbacks to a minimum.
From organizing your dashboard to quickly creating content, these hacks will help you grow faster.
Your dashboard is the hub for all of your activity but it is also the first place distraction can happen. That’s why you want to make sure to minimize anything that doesn’t belong there and help direct anyone using it to the right places quickly.
Remove Dashboard Menus
If you aren’t the only one with access to your website’s dashboard – maybe you’re building one for a client who needs admin access – it’s a good idea to remove certain features that might confuse others or cause things to be accidentally deleted.
Clay Lua at Hungred Dot Com has instructions for adding code to the functions.php file in your theme directory, which will minimize any elements that are important but don’t need to be changed.
The folks over at Cats Who Code also have other useful hacks like adding dashboard widgets, removing widgets, changing your dashboard colors and more.
Show an Urgent Message
Sometimes you need to be reminded of important issues, or you need to alert other admins to change (or not change) elements of the site. It’s fairly easy to create an alert on your dashboard that will help you communicate and minimize any problems.
Instashift has instructions for adding a string of code to your functions.php file.
Reorder Dashboard Widgets By Role
There are probably certain widgets you will use more often than others. Why not arrange them at the top for easiest use? This code found over at SpeckyBoy will get rid of the ‘Incoming Links’ for certain widgets so you can add, change or reorder them as needed.
Blog and Post Hacks
If your site contains any type of content, getting things reviewed and published can be difficult if there are any slowdowns at any point in the process. That’s why you want to avoid clutter and use shortcuts to get things done faster.
Avoid Clutter in Zen Mode
Zen mode – also called distraction-free mode – creates a minimalist workspace with only the essentials. To enter this mode, click on the Toggle Full Screen icon in your posts toolbar.
Reuse Old Posts
Starting a new draft every time you need to post can waste time if you have similar styles or formats for your content. The good news is that you can copy old posts with the Duplicate Post plugin and delete only the content you need to change.
Switch Heading Styles Quickly
This hack allows you to change the heading style of a line of text with the tap of a key.
For instance, if you want to change a regular paragraph into a header, place your cursor on the line, and press the following keys:
- CTRL+ [heading number] for Windows/Linux users
- CMD + [heading number] for for Mac users
If you wanted to change a paragraph into H2, you could hit CTRL 2. It works for anything up to H6. You can also use these commands to change an unwanted header back into a paragraph style in no time flat.
Easily Insert an Em Dash
Adding and changing special characters in a post can be a hassle if you’re in the habit of copying from a Microsoft Word or Google doc and things don’t copy properly. This is especially true of the em dash, which doesn’t always look right in WordPress.
But if you type three dashes in a row (- – – without spaces), WordPress will automatically convert it into an em dash when the post is published (it will still look like three dashes in your editor).
Find Stock Photos from Your Editor
Finding the right stock photos for your site can take hours, but thankfully there’s a plugin that can help minimize that time significantly. WP Inject automatically searches millions of Flickr photos (with specific usage licenses) and inserts the ones you like directly to the post editor with all attribute data included.
Upload and Edit Multiple Images
If you need to add multiple images from your computer into your gallery en masse while still being able to edit the alternative text, titles and captions on each image, don’t panic. Mass edit your images with the Faster Image Insert plugin.
Write Down Post Ideas Without Interruption
Hit with a great idea in the middle of another project? Using the Ideas plugin, quickly add a short summary of your post idea (you can add links to webpages, too) by going to WP Admin > Ideas > Add Idea.
Other Productivity Hacks
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to be productive while you work, and they’re not limited to your dashboard or your post editor, either.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts
In terms of sheer speed, knowing shortcuts can help. Here is a list of keyboard shortcuts in WordPress.
Log Your Distractions
Pocket any interesting articles to save them for later.
Remembered tasks by adding them to your Todoist list.
Use Evernote to document and record something you want to remember.
Received a file you need for later? Dropbox can help.
When you write down or log the distraction, you can minimize further distractions and get back to more essential tasks.
Focus on a Single Task
While not WordPress specific, it’s also important to try to focus on a single task at a time. Psychologists and scientists have found that around 40-50 minutes of focus on a single task or activity is optimal to minimize interruptions and maximize productivity.
Whether you’re writing a blog post or updating widgets, having a good workflow with minimal distractions is important to productivity.
Thankfully, there are things you can do both within WordPress and outside of it to help keep things running smoothly.
Remove any distractions from your dashboard as soon as possible, reorder any widgets, go full-screen for writing posts, use plugins to help find images and edit them quickly and use keyboard shortcuts to improve speed.
Also, make sure to focus on only the essential things to keep your mind from wandering off when you’re trying to get things done.