19 Must-know WordPress Tips and Tricks for 2020

Do you want to make the most of your site and stand out from the crowd? Learn more to learn the best WordPress tips and tricks for 2020.

Introduction

WordPress is the most popular CMS platform in the world. It powered 31% of the Internet sites in 2018, 33% in early 2019, and 35% at the start of 2020. WordPress attracts more and more new users at an amazing pace and that means more competition. So if you want to grow your business, you should optimize your site and make the most of it.

But how can you do that when there’s so much competition? It’s not easy but it’s possible. If you apply some smart and innovative practices, you can improve your site’s performance and take it to the next level.

In this article, we’ll have a look at some hacks that experts use. The best part is that these WordPress tips and tricks are very easy to apply and they involve either using the available features of the platform or adding changes to the template files. So before you start making any changes, make sure you have all the files backed up. Better be safe than sorry!

Best WordPress Tips and Tricks

To help you scan the post, we’ve categorized these tips and tricks into different sections:

  • Optimization
  • Customization
  • Security
  • Administration

Optimization WordPress Hacks

1. Reduce Image Size To Speed Up Your Site

Image size is one of the most important WordPress tips and tricks. Making your pictures smaller by compressing them produces several benefits to your website that you wouldn’t have expected. It will make your site load faster and it’ll help you save storage space.

You can compress images manually by reducing the size or quality but several online tools will do the job for you. Some of the best ones, which are also free, are Kraken.io, ImageResize, and Optimizilla.

Another excellent option to speed up your site is to use caching plugins. We recommend you check out this post to have a look at the best WordPress caching add-ons for your site.

2. Use an SEO Plugin

Having a website that’s optimized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is critical for any business. That’s why apart from having a theme that’s SEO friendly, we also recommend you use a specific plugin for SEO.

Even though you don’t need an add-on to improve your SEO, considering the great options available out there, installing a plugin is your best choice.

There are many options out there. We recommend Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, or The SEO Framework. These tools analyze your content and suggest improvements, and also help you with more technical things. This way, you’ll make your life easier and your site will rank better.

3. Hide Ads for Certain Posts

Most sites need ads to make money. However, there may be some posts that you don’t want advertisements to appear on. For instance, the new review from a customer or an article you want your visitors to focus on. So, if you have set your site to display ads on all posts and you want to hide them on specific posts, there’s a little hack you should know.

All you need to do is insert the following code snippet to the single.php file, with xx being the post id. Don’t forget to replace Your ad code here with the real code too.

if(get_the_ID() != xx) {

Your ad code here

}

4. Insert Title Tags and Alt Text

We think we know how helpful images are, don’t we? Pictures make your posts look good and make your site look professional. But that’s not all. Images can also help behind the curtains. To be more precise, it’s the title tags and the alt texts that help. Alt-text is what your readers are going to see to know what the image is about – in case it’s not showing or your site has trouble loading images. Meanwhile, title tags aren’t displayed but they help your SEO.

So, remember to add a title tag and alt text to your images before posting. Moreover, both should be short and offer just enough information about the pictures.

5. Improve Your Site’s Navigation

Have you ever arrived on a website looking for some information but left a few later seconds because you couldn’t find what you were looking for? Navigation is another obvious aspect that’s usually overlooked. Difficult site navigation provides bad customer experience and affects key metrics such as bounce rate, time on site, as well as SEO.

Improving navigation will enhance your site’s overall performance. Your visitors will find what they need so you’ll make them happier and they’ll move through the sales funnel. Additionally, it’ll help search engines index your site more efficiently.

So how can you improve your site’s navigation? This depends on your site but as a general rule you can:

  • Use straightforward titles
  • Create clear categories and sub-categories
  • Use a brand plugin to organize your products based on their brand. WooCommerce Perfect Brand is the best one out there and it’s free.
  • Make all the elements clickable
  • Make it easy to go from one section of the site to another
  • Use Mega Menus, especially for eCommerce or websites with many options/content

6. Limit the Length of Excerpts

Normally, WordPress allows 55 words for an excerpt. But it might prove too long for an average layout. There’s a trick you can apply to limit the excerpt to the number of words you want. For example, if you want to set a limit of 30 words, you have to add the following code to your functions.php file:

function custom_excerpt_length( $length ) {

return 30;

}

add_filter( 'excerpt_length', 'custom_excerpt_length', 999 );

Customization Tips and Tricks for WordPress

7. Choose the Right Theme

This may seem obvious but it’s sometimes overlooked. Instead of choosing a theme just because it’s popular or because you’ve heard of it, you should use the right theme for your site. Every business has different needs: an eCommerce site needs a certain type of theme of specific features, a dating website will want other things, and so on. So don’t rush and choose a theme that not only looks good but also has features that you want and it’s compatible with other tools you want to use.

WordPress offers a wide range of both free and paid themes. With so many options, it can be hard to choose the right for you so when before deciding you should keep in mind some things:

  • Make sure that the theme is SEO-friendly
  • Responsive Design
  • Lightweight and fast
  • Professional-looking
  • Compatibility with browsers, plugins, and extensions
  • Price

You can check out our reviews about Divi and Astra, two of the best WordPress plugins out there. Additionally, if you have an eCommerce site and you’re looking for a free theme for your store, you can check out our list of Best WooCommerce Free Themes for 2020.

8. Edit Permalinks

As their name suggests, permalinks are permanent links that are automatically generated when you publish a new post. The address of your site, your posts – these are permalinks. Sometimes permalinks are just a chunk of meaningless and messy letters clustered together. As a result, they are not SEO-friendly at all so your job is to change them. For example, instead of having something like:

https://www.yoursite.com/the-complete-guide-the-10-best-wordpress-tips-and-tricks-you-should-use/

You can change it to:

https://www.yoursite.com/best-wordpress-tips-and-tricks/

The best part is that changing a permalink won’t take you more than seconds, but it will do a lot of good to your site. To do it, go to your Dashboard, Settings, and then Permalinks. There, select a new structure for your future URLs. The most recommended one is using your URL/Post-Name.

9. Add Footer Widgets

The footer area is usually overlooked by site owners but it can be an ideal place to display important pieces of information to attract visitors so, use it wisely. For example, you can diversify its function by inserting widgets. The problem is that not every website allows footer widgets. If that’s your case, we have a solution for you. With this tweak, you can insert one or more footer widgets into your theme.

If you want to know more about how to add widgets and edit your footer, you can check out this guide.

10. Add Facebook Comments

With more than 2.5 billion users, Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms. That’s why integrating comments about your post to your site could be a wise thing to do. This way, visitors will be able to comment on your blogs in an easy way, not to mention they will be more likely to share it on Facebook later.

To add Facebook comments to your website, you can check out this guide.

11. Share your posts on WhatsApp

With 1.6 billion active users, WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world. Nowadays, it’s more and more common that users share content such as news, articles, images, and videos with their contacts on WhatsApp. So why not let your customers share your content on WhatsApp?

Having a WhatsApp share button on your posts will help you reach a wider audience and increase your traffic organically.

We recommend you check out our post on the best plugins to share posts on WhatsApp. If you’re looking for other tools to make the most of WhatsApp on your site, you can have a look at some excellent WhatsApp plugins for WordPress.

Security Tips and Tricks for WordPress

12. Back up your Database

Backing up your database regularly will keep it safe from most risks, including system crashes and website hacks. With the backups, you can keep your website safe, easily restore your database, and avoid headaches in case something goes wrong. That’s why it’s important you backup your data regularly (at least once a week). You can do that manually via the cPanel or using plugins.

The process is very simple and allows you to export, download, and store your files. So then if you have a problem with your site, you can easily import that backup.

If you want to know more about how to backup your WordPress site, check out this step-by-step guide.

13. Install a Child Theme

To have a child theme is to add another layer of security to your WordPress website. Besides, it makes it easier to customize your theme. Why? Because if you make changes to the theme’s files directly instead of modifying the child theme’s files, every time you update your theme, those customizations will be overridden.

So after installing the child theme, add this code below:

/*

Theme Name: Child Theme Name

Template: parenttheme

*/

@import url("../parenttheme/style.css");

Don’t forget to change [parenttheme] to the exact name of your parent theme as well as calling the parent theme’s CSS file within your child theme’s CSS file.

14. Manage Comments and Avoid Spam

Allowing users to comment on your posts is an excellent way to interact with them and create a community. However, some people use comments for spamming. Google not only crawls your content but also your comments. Having spammy comments and links can affect your domain authority so it’s better to avoid them.

Even though you can manage your comments from the WordPress dashboard, we recommend you use a plugin like Akismet to filter and have more control over the comments.

Additionally, you might want to directly disable comments site-wide or on some pages/posts. To do that, you can check out our step-by-step guide to disable comments in WordPress.

15. Limit Login Attempts on Your Site

WordPress currently powers 35% of all the websites on the internet. This popularity attracts users and hackers alike so it’s a good idea to add safeguard your site by adding another layer of security.

By default, WordPress allows you to try unlimited attempts to log in to your site. So to protect your website from brute force attacks, you should limit the login attempts to your site. You can easily do this with plugins such as Limit Login Attempts Reloaded, WP Limit Login Attempts, or Login LockDown.

Administration Hacks for WordPress

16. Decide on Your Tool Kit

This is one of the WordPress tips and tricks that’s especially important for site builders and designers. Having the right set of tools is extremely important if you want to grow your business. By possessing a professional tool kit, you can save a lot of time from weighing up options. So, to have a smoother workflow, quickly design your tool kit and decide on elements such as plugins, applications, extensions, and add-ons that you frequently use.

Keep in mind that you can always make changes later to the kit if new requirements or challenges evolve. However, be sure to have a trustworthy list of necessary items you can always go to.

Make sure you check out Google Site Kit. It comes with very powerful tools and it’s free.

17. Deactivate all plugins

If you have a WordPress site, you probably use several plugins. However, if you’re troubleshooting, for example, you may want to deactivate all of them. There are different methods to do this depending on whether you can access the admin dashboard or not:

  • If you have access to your WordPress dashboard: If you can access your dashboard, go to the Plugins section. You’ll see the list of all the plugins you have installed. Simply select the ones you want to deactivate and select Deactivate in the Bulk Actions drop-down. Then click Apply. That’s it. All the plugins you’ve selected will be disabled.
  • If you don’t have access to your WordPress dashboard: If you can’t access your admin dashboard, the easiest way to deactivate all the plugins is via an FTP client. You can use FileZilla, Win SCP, Cyberduck, or any other client that you like. The first step is to connect your site to the FTP client. Then, go to the wp-content folder and look for the plugins folder. There, simply right-click on it and rename it to plugins_old. That’s it! You’ve just deactivated all the plugins.

18. Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is one of those tools that you must have on your site. Apart from being 100% free, Google Analytics provides in-depth insights about your visitors and how they interact with your site. If you better understand where your traffic comes from and users’ behavior, you can make data-driven decisions to improve your website.

There are three ways to connect Google Analytics with WordPress:

  1. Modifying the header.php file
  2. Modifying the functions.php file
  3. Using plugins

For a detailed explanation of each method, check out our step-by-step guide on how to add Google Analytics to WordPress.

19. Add Facebook Pixel to your site

This is a must-have for businesses that use Facebook Ads. Facebook Pixel is a powerful analytics tool that helps you get insights about your traffic as well as measuring and improving conversions from Facebook Ads. On top of that, it lets you create custom audiences that you can target based on their age, interests, and location, and retarget users who visited your site.

There are two methods to add Facebook Pixel to your site:

  1. Manually
  2. With a plugin

If you want to optimize your campaigns and unleash the full potential of Facebook Ads, check out our step-by-step guide on how to add Facebook Pixel to WordPress.

WordPress Tips and Tricks – Conclusion

All in all, these WordPress tips and tricks will help you take your website to the next level in 2020. Even if you’re a beginner and don’t have coding skills, you can apply most of them in no time. Try them out and let us know if they’re helpful.

Do you know any other hacks? Leave us a comment below and tell us what other tricks for WordPress you know!