9 Awesome and Obscure WordPress Features You Didn’t Know Existed

At the rate WordPress is growing, it’s impossible to promote all of the awesome little bits and pieces it contains, which means that some features get overlooked.

In this post, I hope to show you at least a few things you don’t know about everyone’s favorite CMS. Get ready for awesome!

1. Paste to Make a Link

This one blows everyone away because so few people seem to know about it. When in visual mode in the post editor, you can select some text and paste to make the selected text a link. Usually, you would expect the selected text to be replaced with a link but not so in WordPress.

Time savings ahead!

Copy and paste to make a link
Copy and paste to make a link

2. Delete the Post Name to Regenerate It

If you rename a post before it is published, you’ll generally want to edit the link to make sure the post name follows the post title. If you click edit and just delete the whole thing the post name will be regenerated based on the current title.

Stare in awe at the power of WordPress.

Changing the Post Name
Changing the post name

3. Screen Options Are per User

Screen options may be something you already know about, but probably don’t take advantage of. They are not only saved in cookies and in the database but are stored per user, which means that you can set up a completely different layout for yourself than others would see.

The cookie-database saving means that you can set up a specific layout on one computer and then log in from a different device and still see your own layout. This isn’t very well-communicated in the admin, which is why users seem to be afraid to use it.

WordPress Screen Options
WordPress Screen Options

4. Markdown-Style Shortcuts

Since WordPress 4.3, you can use markdown-like syntax to make your writing a lot faster. Stars and dashes make lists, hashes make titles and so on.

Take a look at the announcement for more details on how to use this feature.

Editing Shortcuts
Editing Shortcuts

5. Multi-Page Posts

You can use the <!–nextpage–> tag to split content into multiple pages. WordPress will take all of your tags and generate the pagination based on them.

That said, I personally really,really dislike multi-page posts. The option is there if you want to use it, nonetheless.

6. WordPress Has Image Editing Power

Just like magic, WordPress can perform basic image editing tasks like rotating, cropping and resizing. No filters just yet, but this feature is pretty useful if you need to rotate an image the right way up quickly.

Select an image and click on the edit image link near the image thumbnail in the details section and off you go.

Image Editing In WordPress
Image Editing In WordPress

7. WordPress Has a Filesystem API

Here’s one for the developers out there. The Filesystem API was created back in WordPress 2.6 to handle the auto-update features.

This is not one of those systems you’ll use every day, but when you need it, it’s nice to know there’s something in WordPress core to help you out.

8. Terms Now Have Metadata

As of the latest 4.4 release of WordPress, taxonomies now have metadata. Awesome!

This includes a new wp_termmeta table complete with get_term_meta(), update_term_meta() and all the other usual suspects.

You can read all about it in the core developer teams 4.4 Taxonomy Roundup post.

9. Embed Third Party Content by Pasting a Link

WordPress uses oEmbed to allow you to embed Tweets, Vimeo and Youtube videos, Soundcloud and all sorts of other fun things in your content. In fact, you can just paste a link to the resource in question and it will be converted to an embed for you.

When version 4.4 is released, WordPress will become an oEmbed provider, so as long as you are running 4.4 and so is the blog you want ot target, you can even link to other WordPress sites’ content in this way.

Embedding Content With oEmbed
Embedding Content With oEmbed

Do you know any cool hacks or obscure features in WordPress? Share your tips in the comments below.