Editing your website isn’t always sunshine and unicorns. There’s no shame in admitting that! A “simple” task can feel like it takes forever. When do I get to stop clicking?
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to tedious website tasks, but there are lots of tips and tricks that can help you work smarter and faster. Whenever you can, find tools that do the hard work for you to increase your efficiency.
Here are five WordPress tips to save you time. The first two are built into WordPress while the last three use helpful time-saving plugins!
1. Quick Edit & Bulk Edit
Out of the box, WordPress provides two ways to speed up making quick changes to Posts and Pages.
“Quick Edit” appears next to the “Edit” link on the All Pages screen, and lets you quickly add tags or categories, change the author, publish or unpublish a post, and more.
“Bulk Edit” allows editing almost all the same post settings but for multiple posts at once. Need to add a new Category or unpublish a bunch of posts at the same time? Pick the posts you want to edit, select “Edit” from the Bulk Actions dropdown, and then click “Apply”.
Quick Edit and Bulk Edit are super helpful! There are other new features in the Block Editor waiting to save you time as well!
2. Reusable Blocks
If you’re using the block editor, then there’s a hidden time-saver just waiting to be discovered: Reusable Blocks.
Once you have made a block (or multiple blocks inside a Group block), you can turn them into a Reusable Block using the three dot “kebab” menu at the end of the block toolbar.
Give the block a name and save it. Now that block can be placed on any other page of your site! Better yet, if you ever need to edit the block, edit it once, and it will update on every page it appears on!
Reusable blocks are perfect for anything you might want to appear on multiple pages such as:
- An event accessibility statement
- An advertisement for an upcoming event on every news posts (and then you delete the reusable block when it’s over)
- A list of quick links you want to show on multiple pages
- Contact information for a specific program or event
Reusable blocks are easy to miss until someone tells you about then. But now you know!
Bonus Tip: If you’re looking to make it easier to make consistent complex page layouts with the block editor, check out the Block Pattern Builder plugin, that helps you make reusable “patterns” of blocks for use on any page. An example of a block pattern is three columns with a heading, image, and button in each. Instead of creating 10+ blocks, you can insert a single block pattern to get you started.
For tips 3–5, we’ll be leaving default WordPress and installing plugins to find even more powerful and time-saving features.
3. Duplicate Post
The Yoast Duplicate Post plugin does just what it’s name implies!
If your site has lots of pages with similar layouts or details that need to be shown on every new post, Duplicate Post can save you lots of time.
Once installed, “Clone” or make a “New Draft” of any Page or Post and then use the copy as your starting point. This can save tons of time, even if you only use it occasionally.
If you frequently create a few types of new pages, consider making a template for each page type and then copy one of the template pages to jump start each new page.
But wait! There’s more…
Duplicate Post also enables you to draft changes to a published page on your site, a long-requested feature for many WordPress users.
Using the Rewrite & Republish option allows you to clone an existing page, save changes to it, and then replace the old version of the page with the new one once you’re ready. This is great for carefully planning revisions to and getting approval for key pages on your site.
4. Enable Media Replace
Enable Media Replace is a powerful tool for a single task: replacing an old file with a new one.
Found a typo in a document and need to fix it? Upload a replacement file.
Updating eligibility information in a printable application form? Upload a replacement file.
Need to add a new sponsor’s logo to an event image banner? Upload a replacement file?
Without this plugin, you’d have to spend time deleting the old file, uploading the new one, and then relinking the new file. This saves you all that time!
Note: Not every file should be replaced. I recommend against using this plugin for uploading a new issue of a newsletter (which should go on your blog!) or an annual report. In those cases, the old and new files are both worth having on your website.
5. Find & Replace
If your organization changes email addresses, the name of a program, or anything else, being able to quickly update every instance of a word or phrase in your database can be a huge time saver. Finding and Replacing is a task that should be done carefully, but it’s an important tool when a situation calls for it.
There are lots of plugins that do this, but I recommend Better Search Replace. Better Search Replace helps you target your searches and do a “dry run” before actually making any changes.
How To Know When You Could Be Working Faster and Smarter
Here’s a rule of thumb to keep in mind as you learn to use WordPress: If you keep doing the same few tasks for every page, chances are there’s a better and faster way to do that. Looking back over this post, think about all the copy-pasting and clicking these tips can save you!
So watch out for repeatedly and repetitively redoing actions over and over repetitiously time and again. When you catch that happening, you’ll know that last sentence could be shorter and you could save yourself some time.
Which of these plugins you’re running off to install immediately? Share your own favorite time-saving tip or plugin too!