Quick Fixes to Common WordPress Problems: Part 2
In Part I of “Quick Fixes to Common WordPress Problems” we looked into five of the most frequently encountered hiccups that occur for both beginning users and well-versed pros. But when it comes to “common” and “problems” in regards to the WordPress platform, there are unfortunately a great deal more than just five.
As with the previous fixes described, it’s once again important to stress that if at any time an admin or site owner is nervous or uncomfortable with correcting a problem or delving into a solution via the forum board, they should never be ashamed to ask for help from the experts. Indeed, what way seem like a time-consuming repair to the novice or intermediate user is often a veritable snap for seasoned gurus of all things WordPress.
That said, here are another five problems and solutions (four of which call for help from an awesome plugin) for the most frequent annoyances as reported by WordPress users the world over.
- The mantra can’t be repeated enough: back up, back up, back up. However, as is the bane of many users, WordPress doesn’t come equipped with a built-in back up program. And far too many users either aren’t aware of this or trust that their hosting company is taking care of regular archiving. But then something catastrophic happens and all their data and information is gone forever. So before you write another post or post another pic, grab an automatic backup plugin such as BackupBuddy (the most popular premium choice), UpdraftPlus (a good solid free choice) or VaultPress (which was built by one of the creators of the WordPress content management system).
- Prolific bloggers and those who post lots of articles and prose are often frustrated that the text and visual editors that come standard with WordPress don’t allow for very many formatting options in the writing area. Indeed, those trying to customize their posts have to switch back and forth between the visual editor and text editor if they want to add custom HTML formatting. Of course you can learn some basic HTML and use only the text editor, but for those who don’t have that kind of time the solution is to install the TinyMCE advanced plugin, which gives many more formatting options via the visual editor such as bold, italic and underline as well as ordered lists, placement of images etc.
- Previous posts here have lamented over the fact that the default WordPress image gallery manager is, while adequate, pretty boring and not very comprehensive. And many users find themselves grappling with image problems that the program just can’t fix such as creating tags and lightboxes, dealing with thumbnail issues and more. So if you’re having problems with getting your photos and other imagery to appear the way you want ditch your frustration and grab the Envira Gallery plugin that contains everything you need to build a beautiful gallery. With drag-and-drop functionality and the ability to create templates, integrate with social media and design a mobile-friendly website, it’s just not worth the aggravation to stick with the WordPress default manager with all its quirks and limitations.
- Speaking of WordPress out-of-the-box built-ins, the CMS also comes with a search feature that many users find isn’t very good. And as your site becomes more and more comprehensive you’ll probably find that having a decent search feature is important. So replace the built-in with something better such as SearchWP, which allows users to look for keywords in posts and titles as well as in tags, excerpts and even comments. When you install and activate the plugin it instantly indexes all your content and overrides the default search feature, so it’s truly one-click enabled.
• Lastly, another annoyance reported by WordPress users is that the platform, by default, displays the entirety of posts on the homepage and within the archives. Doing this duplicates all the content on your site and, as has been discovered, keeps visitors from viewing the full post and even leaving comments because it slows down the overall speed of your site. Therefore if you plan on being a prolific poster consider creating excerpts of your articles rather than the whole thing (you can do it without any coding knowledge). On the post edit screen go to the options tab at the top right and select “excerpt.” This will bring up a box into which you can add the text you want to be displayed. You can also download the Advanced Excerpt plugin, go to “Settings, Excerpt” and configure the settings to define what you want the excerpt to be and how you want it to display—and it all happens automatically, a good thing for busy posters and bloggers.