15 Lesser Known WordPress Features You Would Love to Use

Useful WordPress Features or Options

WordPress, powering over 24% of the entire web, is definitely the world’s easy-to-use CMS. With plenty of functions and features added to every new version, it’s getting even much easier, better, and more powerful with time.

From blogging to eCommerce, WordPress has undoubtedly made everything a breeze. When it comes to getting familiar with newly added features and functionalities, almost every one of us avoids reading all those boring release notes.

Consequently, we could not use WordPress to its full potential. In this blog post, I’ve put together 15 such handy WordPress, features that you either often forget to use or don’t know to exist. Let’s go through them one by one!

Distraction-Free Writing Mode:

To produce stellar content, sometimes you need to focus solely on writing. That’s the reason WordPress offers a “distraction-free writing mode,” which helps you get rid of all kinds of distractions while writing. To get into the distraction-free writing environment, start typing or click on the “full-screen icon” appearing in the Editor’s top-right corner. The next moment, you’ll find yourself with zero distractions.

Distraction Free Writing Mode - WordPress
Distraction-Free Writing Mode in WordPress

Screen Options:

Almost all WordPress users know how to change the look and feel of a website, but most of them have no idea how to customize the Dashboard to suit their individual working styles. That’s the purpose for why Screen Options exist.

This great WordPress, feature gives you the power to control what should and shouldn’t appear on a particular page in your WordPress dashboard. You can easily access Screen Options in the top-right corner of your WordPress dashboard.

Screen Options - WordPress
Screen Options feature in WordPress

Log Out Everywhere:

It’s quite common for a regular WordPress user to access Dashboard from multiple devices and browsers, but what if he ever forgets to log out of an active session? In that case, WordPress allows users to remotely log out everywhere, except their current browser, with a single click of the mouse. To access this feature, navigate to Users  Your Profile on your Dashboard and scroll down to the “About Yourself” section.

Log Out Everywhere - WordPress
Log Out Everywhere feature in WordPress

Embedding Content with Just A URL:

Traditionally, if you want to insert any media from an external source into your page or post content, then you need to generate an “embed code” for that media, which can be a real hassle.

Luckily, there is another much easier way to do that. Copy the media URL and paste it into the visual editor without making it clickable. In other words, the media URL must not be hyperlinked.

Embedding Content with Just A URL - WordPress
Embedding Content with Just A URL featured in WordPress

Creating Audio/Video Playlists:

Undoubtedly, you would be familiar with making image galleries in WordPress but do you know you can also create playlists with media clips? Since version 3.9, WordPress allows users to create audio/video playlists and insert them into a post or page.

Creating a media playlist in WordPress is quite similar to how you create an image gallery. The only difference is that the option to create an audio/video playlist appears only if you have audio/video files available in your Media Library.

Creating Audio/Video Playlists - WordPress
Creating Audio/Video Playlists option in WordPress

Marking Content for Review:

When you create a new post in WordPress, it, by default, gets saved as a Draft. Once you hit the Publish button, the post status is changed to Published from Draft. But if you’re running a multi-author blog, how would you differentiate an “in-progress” draft post from a “ready for review” one? Thanks to the “Pending Review” feature available in the “Publish” module of the post editor, you can easily create a professional editorial workflow.

Marking Content for Review - WordPress
Marking Content for Review Option In WordPress

Deleting Default Category:

With every fresh WordPress install, you’re gifted with a default post category “Uncategorized.” Unlike other categories, it’s not so easy to delete this default category. Removing the Uncategorized category is only possible if you have already created another category. All you need to do first is set another category as default under “Settings Writing,” as shown below in the screenshot:

Deleting Default Category - WordPress
Deleting the Default Category option in WordPress

Then, delete the “Uncategorized” category from the “Posts Categories” page in your Dashboard.

Delete the Uncategorized category - WordPress
Delete the Uncategorized category in your WordPress blog

Drag and Drop Files to Upload:

Uploading media files to the Post Editor is something that you do very often. Isn’t it? The most common way to upload a WordPress file is by clicking the “Add Media” button, which can easily be bypassed. Since version 3.3, WordPress allows you to drag and drop files onto a post or page, a huge time saver feature.

Drag and Drop Files to Upload - WordPress
Drag and Drop Files to Upload feature in WordPress

Press This Feature:

Press This bookmarklet is probably one of the least-known features of WordPress. It provides you with a lightning-fast way to grab content that you find interesting from an external web page and then share it on your own blog.

To use this amazing feature, you’re required to drag and drop Press This bookmarklet onto your browser’s bookmark bar. You can easily find Press This bookmarklet under the Tools Available Tools in your Dashboard.

Press This Feature - WordPress
Press This Feature in WordPress

Linking to Existing Content:

Building internal links play a vital role in engaging readers on your blog or website, reducing the website’s bounce rate. So how do you create internal links on your site manually? Well, a far better way, “Or link to existing content”, exists right inside the pop-up window that opens up as you click the Insert/edit link button in your post editor.

Linking to Existing Content - WordPress
Linking to Existing Content in WordPress

Even, a Search Box is also available to help you easily find the exact page that you want a link to.

Allow/Disallow Comments:

When you create a new WordPress post or page, comments are enabled by default. It sometimes proves to be quite annoying, especially when your site has many pages and posts, and you want to disable comments on certain pages/posts.

In that case, the quickest way to enable/disable comments is by using the “Allow Comments” option that you can find under Posts All Posts. Keep in mind; the same thing applies to allowing/disallowing comments for Pages.

Allow or Disallow Comments WordPress
Allow or Disallow Comments In WordPress

Uploading Images at Perfect Size:

After you upload an image file to your site, WordPress automatically creates 3 different versions, thumbnail, medium, and large, of that file according to your blog settings. In case these default media sizes don’t match your blog’s requirements, go to Settings Media and feel free to adjust them.

Uploading Images at Perfect Size - WordPress
Uploading Images at Perfect Size option in WordPress

Post Scheduling:

Despite being quite useful, Post Scheduling is one of the most ignored WordPress features. It allows you to schedule your posts or pages for publishing in the future. Even, you can backdate your content to keep everything in the right order. To use this great feature, click on the “Edit” link that appears next to the “Publish immediately” option in the Publish module.

Post Scheduling - WordPress
Post Scheduling option in WordPress

Adjust the variables and hit OK. Now, you’ll see the schedule button in place of publishing. Click it and you’re good to go.

Sticky Posts:

The sticky Posts feature, which is available in WordPress since version 2.7, lets you place a standard post at the top of your blog’s front page. This proves extremely useful when you want to announce something or have an awesome post that you’d like to promote. To make a post sticky, go to the Publish module and click the “Edit” link appearing next to the “Visibility: Public” option.

Sticky Posts feature in WordPress
Use the Sticky Posts feature in WordPress

You’ll see a checkbox “Stick this post to the front page” under the “Public” radio button. Check it, click the “OK” button, and update or publish the post.

Controlling the Trash:

When you delete an item (a post, page, or comment) in WordPress, it remains in the trash folder for 30 days. After 30 days, the item gets deleted permanently. But do you actually know, WordPress allows you to change the number of days after which you want an item to be permanently deleted? Yes, you can easily do that by setting EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS constant to as many days as you want. For example:

define(‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 7);

If you add the above line of code to the wp-config.php file, trash will automatically get cleared every 7 days.

So fellow WordPress developers or bloggers, which feature/option do you use most, and if you have any other features you find useful & want to highlight? Then feel free to list them in the comments.

Guest author: Ajeet Yadav is a senior web developer at WordPressIntegration – US Based PSD to WordPress Company, where he is responsible for writing custom JavaScript code during the conversion process. In his spare time, he writes on different topics related to JavaScript, WordPress, and HTML5 to share his work experience with others.

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