Powered by legions of fans and armies of developers, WordPress has evolved from a humble blogging platform to a flexible, robust and ubiquitous CMS.
WordPress now powers one out of every six sites on the web, and half of all sites built on a content management system (CMS)—more than 60 million websites, including 45 of the Technorati Top 100 sites. (See below for sources.)
Nevertheless, it’s not perfect. So if WordPress is your platform of choice, how can you overcome or work around its shortcomings and quirks? Optimize the speed of your site? Extend it, socialize it, keep it secure, back it up, SEO it, and measure your results?
Find the answers to those questions and more here in 15 expert guides to WordPress tips, tricks and plugins.
WordPress Tips, Tactics and Facts
The Top 10 Most Infuriating Things about WordPress and How to Fix Them by jeffbullas.com
***** 5 STARS
A guest author on Jeff’s blog, the enigmatic “Jamil,” provides a remarkably helpful and even entertaining look at 10 top shortcomings of WordPress and how to avoid, overcome, or work around them. Even if some of the “fixes” aren’t particularly helpful (the recommended solution to plugin incompatibility is prayer, and the answer to the notoriously unhelpful default WordPress search functionality is “Get literally any other search bar”), you’ll lean a few new things here and enjoy doing it.
WordPress is the Emerging Monopoly in CMS #infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO
Just how popular is WordPress? According to Berrie Pelser, “Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power (their websites)…By March 2012, with about 72.4 million users for the content management system, the WordPress grew as the largest of its type on the planet. It provided hosting to more than 50% of the CMS users and more than 45% of the top 100 sites as rated by Technorati.” You’ll find those and many more such stats in this fascinating infographic.
Rachael Butts supplies a tutorial on how to use the Display Widgets plugin to “display different widgets on different pages, thus allowing you to have custom sidebars on your WordPress site.” She also offers tips for using the plugin, such as to customize the sidebar menu based on the page your visitor is viewing.
Custom Post Types – WordPress Evolves Closer to a Content Management System by Masterful Marketing
The engaging Debra Murphy explains what WordPress custom post types are and writes that “Theme developers can now use custom post types to create an array of content that can be edited through the visual editor and used anywhere on the site,” such as image galleries or product catalogs.
My Favorite Things to use with WordPress by SteamFeed
Rachael Butts (again) reviews eight of her favorite “things” to enhance WordPress, including the Woo Themes framework, Simpicity theme, Gravity Forms plugin for creating and managing forms, and MailChimp for email marketing.
How to Speed Up a WordPress Site
5 ways to speed up WordPress by Rainbow Fire
A handful of excellent tips for reducing your blog’s load time (and related user frustration), among them installing a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache (“using a caching plugin can prove a vital way to speed up WordPress by ensuring that only the first visitor to your page needs to go through the entire process. The plugin will save the data from this first visitor, and serve it directly to any subsequent visitors thus reducing the strain on your database and the user’s browser”).
4 Things to Speed Up Your WordPress Site by SteamFeed
Rachael Butts (once more) offers four quick tips for increasing WordPress speed, such as using a content delivery network (“CDN’s load your website from a local server, say one in England, so your website for this user would be very fast because it is not pulling from a server in the States”). If your visit volume justifies this, starter plans are surprisingly affordable.
Top WordPress Plugins and Reviews
7 Must Have Plugins For Starting A Blog by Geekless Tech
Garen Arnold recommends plugins to cover basic functions from commenting and social sharing to SEO and, for security, Backup Buddy: “Backup Buddy is a fantastic plugin which will allow you to backup your mSQL databases automatically…There are a lot of similar plugins that do the same; this one is paid but well worth the money.”
37 Top WordPress Security and SEO Social Media Plug-ins 2013 by WordPress Hosting SEO
Berrie Pelser (again) lists more than three dozen top security and SEO plugins for WordPress along with brief descriptions of each, including Digg Digg (“Add a floating bar with share buttons to your blog. Just like Mashable!”) and Simple Login Lockdown (“A simple way to prevent brute force login attemps on your WordPress installation”).
10 Time Saving WordPress Plugins by Brad S. Knutson
Brad Knutson serves up thoughtful reviews of “WordPress plugins that webmasters, developers and bloggers use to save time every day,” from the comment spam-squashing Akismet to Social by MailChimp, which very helpfully publishes “comments, retweets and replies as WordPress comments. When you share your post across multiple social media platforms, the conversation is often carried on in many different places. This plugin aggregates your conversations and keeps them in one place.”
30 Most Popular WordPress Plugins – infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO
Berrie Pelser (yet again) highlights a list of popular WordPress plugins, this time in infographic form. Among the recommendations here are the self-explanatory WP-DB-Backup and WP-Polls, as well as WPTouch, which “automatically transforms your WordPress website for mobile devices, complete with ajax loading articles and smooth effects.”
Mushfiqur Rahman reviews his top 10 must-have plugins for a new blog. Beyond a few obvious choices (Akismnet, SEO Yoast, Google SML Sitemaps), he also includes Broken Link Checker for automatically finding broken links, WP Mobile Detector for automatically detecing device type and serving up the proper display of your blog, and Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin.
The 17 Best WordPress Plugins for Social Media, SEO, and Better Visitor Engagement in 2013 by Maximize Social Business
Noting that “WordPress powers one of every 6 websites on the Internet, nearly 60 million in all, with 100,000 more popping up each day,” Neal Schaffer explains the importance of minimizing page load time and some tactics for increasing your site’s speed, then reviews his favorite social media and SEO plugins including JetPack Publicize, Scribe SEO and Social Author Bio, which provides “fully integrated Google Plus Authorship.”
15 Social Media WordPress Plugins for 2012 by iMediaConnection
Noemi Madrid reviews more than a dozen plugins for integrating your content with and sharing it on social platforms, including plugins specifically developed for interaction with Facebook, Google+, Flickr, Pinterest, Storify, YouTube, and even MySpace.
The Complete Set of Social Media Plugins for WordPress by Web Teacher
While this isn’t a “complete set,” guest author Tom Chu does serve up helpful reviews of half a dozen social media plugins ranging from Sociable and ShareThis for general social sharing to “deep integration” plugins like Social Metrics, which “displays your site’s social media performance statistics and gives them back to you in an intuitive way to help you to understand what you’re doing right and where you can improve.”