Here are what the power WordPress users know that you need to know.
A WordPress plugin is not a widget, a widget is not a plugin
This is a concept that a lot of WordPress users misunderstand. I’ve even seen this with seasoned users that have used WordPress for several years.
A WordPress plugin is a small add-on program to WordPress than can dramatically enhance the functionality of WordPress. There are plugins for picture galleries, SEO, grammar checking, calendar management, etc. The list is quite long. Some of those plugins (not NOT all of them) generate output that is visible and useful to your end users. When this is the case you will see extra widgets in the Appearance -> Widget section of WordPress. But you will not always see it.
Plugins give the extra functionality. A widget is the visual display of that functionality. They are not synonymous.
Every WordPress page does not have to have the same layout
You can discover amazing functionality by just stopping and looking around. If you’d look on the right side of your pages during the edit process you would see a box that allows you to change the page template. You can use this to completely alter the look and feel of certain pages on your site.
WordPress comes with three page templates out of the box, but most people use only one: page.php. You can easily copy that page template and alter it so you can have different layouts depending on how you want a page to look. Example: On some pages we don’t want the styled header in the H1 tags to display. So we copy the default page layout, alter it, and put it back in the same folder. That new layout then becomes available in the drop down during page creation.
More information on page templates can be found at the WordPress Codex.
WordPress can automatically do work for you
WordPress has a built-in feature call “WP cron” which plugins use to force WordPress to run regularly scheduled tasks (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly) on your behalf. One of the best uses of this is to run daily backups of your site have them emailed to you (Gmail accounts are great for this. There is free storage just waiting for you). Another great use I have seen it used for is to schedule updates to your social media networks – specifically republishing old content to get extra exposure.
An excellent example of WordPress automatically doing work for you is the Tweet Old Post plugin.
You can hide WordPress pages from your readers
When composing a new page or post there is a magic widget in the upper, right hand corner called the Publishing widget. This widget has two purposes: It allows you to protect your content, and to schedule your content to be released on a specific date and time.
Take a look at the Visibility section of this widget. You are given three options:
- Public – Everybody can read this content unrestricted
- Private – Only you and other administrators can read this content
- Password protected – In my opinion this is the best of the three because it combines features of the first two. You can use this to publish a page to be viewed by non-administrators, but the user has to have the password to view the content. This is a great option to use if you want to pass a blog post or new page by a trusted colleague for review before releasing it to the public to read. This is also a useful option if you want to create a specific page for each client to share links or content with just that client. This could definitely come in handy for a coaching program where you had unique, proprietary work going on for each client.
WordPress can run multiple blogs & sites at once
Welcome to the world of WordPress Networks (formerly known as WordPress MU). This is perfect if you run a company or other large organization and you want to give users/areas access to their own sub-section of WordPress. Or if you run mommy blogger site and you want to give each mommy her own blogging area. This is typically done via subdomains i.e. patrick.allaboutfocustraining.com or accounting.allaboutfocustraining.com. In this situation each administrator can do whatever they want on their subsite without affecting the main site page or any of the other subsites. This includes switching the theme so it no longer matches the main site.
To learn more about WordPress networks and how to set up them up visit the WordPress Codex.
Please make sure you share this with as many of your WordPress friends as possible. If you have any other amazing things you’d like to share please put them in the comments below. If you’d like to get started with your own WordPress site today then use our special Hostgator link and ‘allaboutfocus‘ coupon to get dirt cheap hosting.
Bonus: Here is the WordPress Codex page on what all the fields mean when posting a new page or blog post.