You are one of those website owners that uses WordPress for its originally intended purpose: blogging. What you might not know is that there are built-in tools designed specifically for you. If you know how to use them, you’ll find the writing experience more pleasant, more productive, and more effective in reaching your audience.
In this post, we will look at three tools in particular:
- Post revisions
- Custom excerpts
- Distraction-free writing mode.
1. Post Revisions
Whenever you make and save edits to an existing post, you are creating a new revision. You may think that the previous copy of your post is forever lost as soon as you hit the ‘Save‘ button, but that is not the case. WordPress saves revisions as backup copies. You can go back and look at previous versions simply by clicking the ‘Browse‘ link next to the ‘Revisions‘ heading in the ‘Publish‘ sidebar that appears in the upper right corner of the page whenever you are editing a post.
Why is the revision tool helpful to bloggers? Because it allows them to see past iterations of the same post should they decide that later revisions need to be corrected or eliminated. Older versions can be used to replace newer versions without having to rewrite the exact same content.
2. Custom Excerpts
When you choose to have your main blog page show excerpts rather than the entire post themselves, WordPress uses the first 55 words as the excerpt. That’s all well and good, except when those 55 words don’t do justice in summarizing what your post is about. But no worries. You can create custom excerpts.
As long as your theme supports excerpts and you have the excerpt function activated in the Screen Options, you should see an excerpt meta box underneath the post editor. Just enter your customized excerpt and save your post. Now WordPress will use your new text instead of the first 55 words of your post.
3. Distraction-Free Writing Mode
There are some bloggers who find themselves easily distracted by everything else on the computer screen. For them, WordPress has included a tool that offers distraction-free writing. It is essentially a full-screen command built-in to the post editor.
When writing a new page or post, look for the icon that looks like four arrows emanating from a small rectangle. It is on the right side of the editor just underneath the ‘Text‘ tab. Click it to make the editor full-screen. When you’re done, simply hit the ‘ESC‘ key to return to a normal screen.
WordPress has a lot of excellent features built-in to it for making blogging more efficient. And why not? WordPress was originally developed as a blogging platform. Maybe that’s why you use it. At any rate, learning how to use post revisions, custom excerpts, and the distraction-free writing mode can help make you a better blogger. And when you produce better posts, you will get a better response from your audience. What’s not to love about that?