Summary of This “Tips & Tricks” Webpage
These WordPress.com tips and tricks will be most useful to someone totally new to WordPress, or someone who created a WordPress.com hosted website but never changed any of the default settings. The WP info below comes from changes I’ve made (or am working on) for the “Events Wrangling” blog’s website and from techniques I’ve used for the content in the posts I’ve written.
Click on the link in the List of Tips & Tricks to go to an explanation of how to do each one. If some tips and tricks are incomplete or have blank lines, it’s because I haven’t figured that one out yet or haven’t finished writing up my description of how to do it…
List of Tips & Tricks
- Replace the default header image in a WordPress.com free theme with your own image.
- Add a Page to your WordPress.com website.
- Display more post titles in the “Recent Posts” right column than the default setting of five titles.
- Links to jump to a different part of the page, also known as Page Jumps. I want to put links for each item in this List of Tips & Tricks so that when you click on the link for the #4 item on the List, it takes you to the #4 item Explanation.
If you want to make changes to your WordPress.com website that aren’t listed on this page or use the content on the website in a certain way, Google for the change or appearance you want. First look at the “official” WordPress support webpage for that topic, which will start with https://en.support.wordpress.com/. If that doesn’t help you, read through the other hits from your Google search. One of the hits should answer your question, because most things you want to do will have already been done and written about online. If what you want can’t be done, you’ll probably also find a page explaining that it can’t be done!
If you want to learn advanced WordPress.com skills, or just want to see what is possible, do a Google search for tips tricks wordpress.com — that search showed 5.18 million results on April 28, 2016. You can also try Googling tips tricks wordpress, which gave 28.9 million results on April 28, 2016. Some results from the second search may apply to the self-hosted WordPress sites but not to Automattic-hosted WordPress.com sites. Reading through four or five tips and tricks articles will likely give you a couple good ideas to try out on your website!
Explanation of Each Tip or Tick
- Replace default header image
- Log in to WordPress.com and go to the site you want to work on. (Click on “My Sites” in the upper left hand corner. If you have more than one website, select the one you want to make changes to.
- In the left column, it should show the site you’re working on and have a menu of different commands and options for working with your site. Near the top you should see the Personalize section, with Themes and Menus listed under Personalize.
- Click on Customize to the right of Themes. A menu of commands should appear in the left column. Click on the Header Image command. Click on the Add New Image button, then select the image you want to use in place of the default image. You can add information to the image and crop it if you want, then select it to replace the default image.
- WP.com support page for custom backgrounds on themes: https://en.support.wordpress.com/themes/custom-backgrounds/
- Add a Page to your WordPress.com website. The default WordPress.com free themes come with the Home and About pages. You can add more pages and the titles of those pages will appear next to Home and About in the navigation bar near the header graphic. I’ve added pages for Events and for Tips & Tricks.
- Log in to WordPress.com and go to the site you want to work on.
- In the left column, it should show the site you’re working on and have a menu of different commands and options for working with your site. Near the top you should see the Publish section, with Blog Posts and Pages listed under Publish.
- Click on the Add button to the right of Pages. That will add a new page to your site. Now you can type in the title of the page and add whatever content you want.
- To change the content on a page later, log in to your site and click on Pages in the Publish section. That will bring up a list of the pages you have on your site. You can just click on the title of the page you want to edit. Or you can click on the three horizontal dots to the right of the page title, and that will give you a menu showing View Page, Edit, or Trash.
- WP.com support page for Pages: https://en.support.wordpress.com/pages/
- Display more post titles
- The default number of post titles displayed in the right column of my blog was 5. I wanted to have a month’s worth displayed, so I changed the number of post titles to display from 5 to 31.
- Log in to your account at WordPress.com and go to the blog you want to make the change on.
- In the left-hand column, about halfway down in the Personalize section, you should see Themes with a Customize button. Click on Customize to go to the Customizer.
- After the Customizer loads, you’ll see a menu list in the left column, and near the bottom is Widgets. Click on Widgets, and you’ll see Sidebar, Footer 1, Footer 2, and Footer 3. To put the Recent Posts widget in the Sidebar, click on Sidebar.
- A list of widgets on your site will appear. If Recent Posts is not one of the widgets shown in the left column, go down to the bottom of the column and click on the + Add a Widget button. A list of available widgets will pop up. Scroll down the list to find Recent Posts, then click on Recent Posts. That widget will be added to your site.
- Click on the Recent Posts widget in the left column — it should drop down a dialogue box with several customizations you can make to the Recent Posts widget. One of the customizations is Number of posts to show. Select the number of posts that is currently showing and type in how many you want it to show (or use the little up and down triangles to increase or decrease the number of posts to show). Click on Close in the Recent Posts dialogue box.
- Click on the Save & Publish button at the top of the left column. Yay! Your blog will now display the new number of post titles you customized the widget to show.
- WP.com support page for Recent Posts widget: https://en.support.wordpress.com/widgets/recent-posts-widget/
- Page Jumps
- So, I sort of figured this one out by looking at the source code of the support page for Page Jumps (right click, then select Inspect) and with trial and error. Haven’t figured out a clear way to explain it, but I’ll give it a try. You should also look at the WP.com support page for Page Jumps.
- First, log in to your WP account, then go to the blog you want to work on and go to edit mode on the Page or post you want to make changes on.
- Next, switch from the Visual Editor to the HTML editor. Those two tabs are in the upper right top corner.
- Choose a unique target text, or anchor text. The target text will be enclosed in double quotes and can’t have spaces. Check out the <a> HTML anchor tag reference page to learn more about it. For this page I used the format of number-1-tip for my target text (for the number 1 tip).
- In HTML editor mode, add the target text right before the page content where you want the page jump to go to. The format is <a id=”number-1-tip”>. After the page content, end the target text by adding </a>. Below is an example for this page:
- Before I added the Page Jump, the HTML for number 1 tip Explanation was: <li><strong>Replace default header image</strong>
- After I added the Page Jump, the HTML for number 1 tip Explanation was: <li><a id=”number-1-tip”><strong>Replace default header image</strong></a>
- Now add a link by using the <a> HTML anchor tag with href and the hashtag or pound sign to point to the target text. So, for this page, I added the links in the List of Tips & Tricks. Below is an example for Tip 1:
- Before I added the Page Jump, the HTML for number 1 tip in the List was: <li><strong>Replace the default header image</strong> in a WordPress.com free theme with your own image.</li>
- After I added the Page Jump, the HTML for number 1 tip in the List was: <li><a href=”#number-1-tip”><strong>Replace the default header image</strong></a> in a WordPress.com free theme with your own image.</li>
- WP.com support page for Page Jumps: https://en.support.wordpress.com/splitting-content/page-jumps/
- The “Links” support page also relates to Page Jumps: https://en.support.wordpress.com/links/#creating-links