Save Time Editing Your Nonprofit’s Website With These 5 WordPress Tips!

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.

The Quick Edit settings allow editing the title, slug, date, password, categories, tag, comments, pings, and status of single post.

“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”.

The Bulk Edit option for 3 checked posts shows how to update Categories, Tags, Author, Comments, Status, Format, Pings, and Sticky.

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.

Duplicate Posts' additional options shown on the All Posts page include Clone, New Draft, and Rewrite & Republish

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?

"Upload a New File" button is highlighted in the Media Library Attachment Details screen

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.

Details from the Better Search Replace page showing "Search for" and "Replace with" fields

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!

WordPress 5.0 and How Nonprofit WP will Help You Through the Biggest WordPress Update in Years

Until a quiet announcement last week, WordPress 5.0 was scheduled for release today. If you haven’t heard of WordPress 5.0, though, now is the time to pay attention.

The New “Block Editor” in WordPress 5.0

WordPress 5.0 isn’t a normal new version of WordPress. Instead it includes a brand new way of editing your Posts and Pages.

This new editor—code-named “Gutenberg” during its development—is best referred to as a “block editor”. Instead of writing all your content in one big chunk of text and media, each paragraph, image, and everything else is a separate little “block” with its own powerful formatting and functionality options.

It’s easier to show rather than tell, so take a moment to play with a public demo of the WordPress 5.0 editor or watch this brief video introduction:

Note: This video shows an older version of the editor. The final version will differ in a number of small ways.

Upcoming WordPress 5.0 information on Nonprofit WP

Luckily, most of the information on this site remains as true as ever. The structure of WordPress isn’t changing, nor are the principles for finding a plugin, choosing a theme, hiring a consultant, or publishing a vibrant blog! If you’ve followed best practices, your site is less likely to break and you’ll have options to take advantage of the new tools.

But that doesn’t mean this update won’t have a huge impact on how you use WordPress. Content editing is probably what you spend most of your time doing in WordPress, and that’s what this update impacts. To that end, you can expect a few new articles and pages on this site in the next month or two.

Specifically, you can expect critical information about:

  • Testing your site with the new editor before updating.
  • Best practices for getting started with the new block editor.

Don’t miss out these important articles! Sign up to follow Nonprofit WP via email:

Things to Do Right Now

Even before testing your site with the new editor, here are a few actions to take and key pieces of information to know.

Install the Classic Editor plugin now to keep the old editor

For at least the next 3 years, you will be able to use the old WordPress editor you’re used to it. To defensively prepare for WordPress 5.0 and defer use of the new editor, install the Classic Editor plugin immediately.

Don’t plan to rely on the old editor forever, but it’s probably a good idea to wait at least a few months after WordPress 5.0’s launch before using the new editor.

If You Use WooCommerce…

For those of you using WooCommerce to power an online store, you’ll need to be extra careful. Your site must have WooCommerce v3.5.1 installed before upgrading to WordPress 5.0.

Review Your Plugins & Theme

This is a great moment to review your plugins and theme. Head back to where you downloaded them and see what you can learn about support for “WordPress 5.0” or “Gutenberg.” Don’t hesitate to contact the authors directly so they know people care about compatibility with this version!

Thanks for Trusting Nonprofit WP

Nonprofits do amazing work to make the world a better place. Helping you get the most from your website is the small contribution Nonprofit WP can make to help you be more efficient and effective. Thanks for reading Nonprofit WP!