Wednesday, April 24, 2024

    8 Handy WordPress Hacks Every Developer Should Know

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    Do you want to up your WordPress developer skills and stand out from the rest?

    When it comes to WordPress development, there is serious competition out there.

    Everyone from Boston to Bangkok is on Upwork and Fiverr offering their services after watching a couple of HTML-CSS and WordPress tutorials on YouTube.

    It’s tough to hire a WordPress developer who really knows his stuff. But if you are that person, then projects never stop flowing.

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    After all, WordPress has cornered 43% of the top 10 million sites because it is sturdy and dependable. That popularity is not going to disappear anytime soon.

    In the next 10 minutes, you’ll understand some WordPress tips that will never go stale in a developer’s kitty. Also know why they’re important.

    1. Compress images to make your pages load faster
    2. Choose a theme carefully because switching later is a pain
    3. Limit your plugins so they won’t slow the website down
    4. Protect the frontend to prevent hacks
    5. Protect admin directory to avoid accidental site crashes
    6. And more

    Let’s delve deeper then, and know 8 WordPress hacks that every developer must know.

    8 WordPress tips and tricks every developer must know

    Compress images to make your pages load faster

    Website visitors are an impatient lot. Make them wait and they vanish.

    While many factors affect page load speeds, one of the most important is images, or rather their size. A big problem if the client is using WordPress for e-commerce since these sites are image dependent.

    Few too many JPEGs on the home page and the site would take forever to display. What can be done to alleviate this downside?

    Make the images smaller file size. Lossy compression is not desirable but there is no other way to reduce file size.

    You could use an online service or a simple image editor, such as IrfanView. Otherwise, you could add plugins such as EWWW Image Optimizer or Short Pixel Image Optimizer.

    There is another way that is being increasingly adopted. Use WebP instead of JPEGs. Instead of a fixed loss ratio, WebP uses both lossy and lossless format dynamically. The result? An average of 30% less size than comparable JPEGS.

    Choose a theme carefully because switching later is a pain

    No doubt that one of the biggest appeals of WordPress is the wide-ranging choice when it comes to themes.

    WordPress themes such as Elementor and Divi are truly classy. Most of all, they carry a website editor that makes creating pages a cinch.

    However, don’t let the client get too excited by the aesthetics. Advice the client to choose themes that load fast and do not have too many plugins. Elementor is stunning but also has redundant markups. If these WordPress themes are not used carefully, the site would take forever to load.

    Ensure that the site is responsive by choosing lightweight design. Google does not like sites that take a minute to load. Keep in mind that if the SEO process drags on, the client would blame you for faulty design.

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    Limit your plugins so they won’t slow the website down

    What is worse than an incompetent WordPress developer? A plugin happy WordPress developer.

    It sounds sarcastic but is true. Often one comes across WordPress sites that are beautifully put together but have plugins coming out of every nook, cranny, and seam.

    Of course, no one denies the usefulness of plugins. It is the huge number of additional code on-demand widgets that make WordPress so desirable. Maybe use one for SEO, one for image management, another for mail administration.

    But refrain from using plugins that duplicate tasks such as Yoast SEO together with Smash Balloon. The former can be used for social media management without adding the latter to the mix.

    It’s not a matter of loading speed alone but plugins continue to work in the background and use up server resources greedily. Many of them boost the number of database queries that eat up bandwidth.

    Moreover, every plugin brings the responsibility to upgrade it to a newer release, which is a hassle.

    Protect the frontend to prevent hacks

    The default login page is or /wp-admin/

    It is also the source of most brute force attacks.

    Change it to something like

    It can be anything as long as it is not generic and easy to guess.

    Although it is quite easy to implement this change through FTP, there is the problem that each new update would reset the default login page. It’s better to use a plugin such as WPS Hide Login.

    In addition, use a top-of-the-line security plugin such as Sucuri or Jetpack. Though every hosting service claims to have the most invincible security systems in place, it does not hurt to be cautious.

    Teach the client to use strong passwords and create a dual-layer of users—webmaster with admin privileges (the right to change configuration files) and contributor level (with the right to publish and edit blog posts). Restrict the former to as few as possible.

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    Protect admin directory to avoid accidental site crashes

    Open the C drive of your laptop (assuming it is running Windows). Navigate to Sys32. Delete or rename a few. Reboot your laptop. It’s dead!

    It is really easy to tamper with computing systems.

    The same is true for WordPress except that the folder is known as admin. All the CSS, images, and JS files are located here.

    Tamper with it and the site is dead.

    To avoid a fiasco login to the cPanel, navigate to Files > Directory Privacy, and set up a username and password on behalf of the client.

    Use permalinks that support SEO

    A permalink is short for a permanent link.

    Every page of the site has a URL such as This is what allows the browser to fetch the page.

    By default, WordPress uses a query string such as

    This is not pretty, not easy to remember, and does not help SEO at all.

    Go to Settings > Permalink and set it to domain/post-name format. The H1 of your post would by default become the URL.

    Use comment pagination settings to control page scroll lengths

    Some of the posts on the WordPress blog section would attract lots of comments. That is good since it shows the blog is well read and browsers thoroughly scrutinize the content.

    But too many comments and the page would keep getting longer and longer. To prevent this from happening, WordPress has a subtle workaround.

    Go to Settings > Discussion and scroll to Other Comment Settings. Now tick Break Comments Into Pages.

    You can, of course, choose how many comments each page would show. Anything more than 20 is probably too many.

    Add custom fonts to make your website’s typography unique

    Calibri and Arial can get so boring after a while. As a developer, you want the site to be as attractive as possible and improving the typography is the first step.

    WordPress makes adding fonts quite easy. You can find new fonts and Google and Font Squirrel. Also, check out Adobe Fonts if you want to pay for premium stuff.

    Download the zip file containing the font. You need to first unpack it (use 7-Zip). Open the wp-content folder, open the themes sub-folder, and copy-paste the font folder.

    Now go to Appearance > Theme Editor and update the CSS file with the font family name, URL, and weight.


    WordPress allows so much customization that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Also, we chose hacks that are easy to use and widely applicable.

    If you are a developer, it is not only your duty to set up the site, but also to explain a few of the common tips and tricks to the owner.

    Most site owners do not have the means to hire a webmaster and if a few shortcuts help them, it is for the better.

    The more the customer gets from you, the greater the chance that you would be recommended for a new project.

    In this guide, you learned:

    • Why it matters for WP developers to know some timeless tips and tricks
    • What are these hacks?
    • Why are they important?
    • How to execute them safely?
    • Which ones matter more than the others?

    Hope you learned something new.


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    Geekers Magazine
    GEEKERS Magazine is dedicated to Geeks who want to write and share great articles about the latest technology products, software and services or anything that they are passionate about.

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