Enhance Your WordPress Experience

So you just recently put up a WordPress website and love every single thing about it. Your SEO ranking is higher than you imagined, you are now expanding your network through other bloggers, and the ease of access in updating your site is just wonderful. But then the time comes when your honeymoon period with the site is over and you realize – perhaps there is something more that I could do here. WebNet Hosting has come up with some tips and tricks for you to get the most out of your WordPress experience.

Speed up your website.

Since updating your site has been a breeze, all the content you want to publish are now slowing down your site’s loading speed. Fret not, for there is a plugin that could give your site speed a much needed boost. This is the W3 Total Cache. It not only improves the performance of your server, it also caches the different aspects of your website and provides transparent CDN or content delivery network.

Customize your Favicon.

Putting up your own favicon adds to the professional look and feel of your website. This is the icon that shows up on your browser’s tab and web address bar. Below is a code you can copy and paste into header.php which you can find in your theme directory:

<link rel=”icon” href=”favicon.ico” type=”image/x-icon” />

Just change “favicon.ico” into the location of your uploaded favicon file and voila! Your very own favicon will show up on your site.

Give your Google ranking a boost by changing your Search Feature.

Switching your default search function to Google Custom Search could do wonders in boosting your Google SEO ranking. This gives your website an instant advantage from Google and it also helps reduce search server loads. You can get the Google Custom Search Plugin or try the Integrate Google Search tutorial on your website.

Customize your header and sidebar according to your categories.

If you are wondering how other WordPress websites have their own customized headers and sidebars, below are the codes you can use to customize your own. For this example, we will make it consistent with the “blogging” category. You can replace “blogging” with the category you want for your header file.

For your header, open index.php and replace the existing code with this:

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<?php if (is_category(‘Blogging’)) {

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get_header(‘blogging’);

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} else {

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get_header();

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} ?>

Below is the code for a separate sidebar unique to your “blogging” category.

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<?php if (is_category(‘Blogging’)) {

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get_sidebar(‘blogging’);

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} else {

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get_sidebar();

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} ?>

This code can be used for your footer:

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<?php if (is_category(‘Blogging’)) {

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get_footer(‘blogging’);

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} else {

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get_footer();

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} ?>

Fix your Comments section.

While comments are of course always welcome on your website, there are some comments that are just plain spam. These usually include HTML codes that leave links on your comments section. Use the code below to disallow HTML codes on your comments section.

Open functions.php and put the code below:

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// This will occur when the comment is posted

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function plc_comment_post( $incoming_comment ) {

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// convert everything in a comment to display literally

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$incoming_comment[‘comment_content’] = htmlspecialchars($incoming_comment[‘comment_content’]);

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// the one exception is single quotes, which cannot be #039; because WordPress marks it as spam

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$incoming_comment[‘comment_content’] = str_replace( “‘”, ‘&apos;’, $incoming_comment[‘comment_content’] );

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return( $incoming_comment );

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}

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// This will occur before a comment is displayed

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function plc_comment_display( $comment_to_display ) {

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// Put the single quotes back in

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$comment_to_display = str_replace( ‘&apos;’, “‘”, $comment_to_display );

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return $comment_to_display;

Source – The original author also offers a plugin that you can download from his site.

These are just five tips from the hundreds more you can do for your website. Customize your WordPress according to how it will best work for you – there is a whole virtual world of possibility you can explore. Happy blogging!

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