Awesome things you can do with WordPress

Awesome things you can do with WordPress

I wanted to take a moment for those of you who have heard about WordPress and are curious about the tips and tools that make this platform powerfully effective. For those of you unfamiliar, WordPress is a powerful online platform created to build websites and blogs. Many websites both big and small are developed using WordPress; BBC America, TechCrunch, MTV News, are just a few of the more famous sites that utilize this platform that is written in PHP.   

Over the years I’ve covered WordPress extensively on my blog discussing how I take new users through sign-up, introduce them to the best simple but effective website templates around and powerful SEO best practices, but there are always more tips and tricks to learn.

Patrick Hathaway, an SEO consultant at Hit Reach and he had these tips to offer on how you can make the most out of the WordPress platform.

Many tasks can be made easier on WordPress using various automation tools. Sound too technical? Really it’s not because these tools have been created for websites just like yours.

Meet IFTTT and Zapier for example.

IFTTT (pronounced ‘ift’ as in ‘gift’ by the way) stands for ‘IF This Then That’. It basically allows WordPress users the ability to connect together various online applications. If an event happens (This) in one application, (THEN) this will trigger an action (That) in another application. Zapier is another powerful automation application that performs the same functions, but is more robust connecting more applications simultaneously and offers both a free and paid tier of use.

For instance, if someone comments on your post you can thank them automatically with an email. In another example IF you create or share a post on Instagram THEN the same post will be automatically uploaded to your blog or website on WordPress. This powerful function can be applied with any social channel.

While there is an endless array of automations to make your WordPress site more efficient and functional, the ability to automatically share posts on social media is really helpful in increasing brand awareness and building community if managed effectively.

Streamlined workflows
If ‘version control’ is an issue, where multiple authors or content contributors are logging in to WordPress to edit the same post making it difficult to track accountability and update, WordPress offers a useful remedy to this common problem. By linking content creation systems edits and content additions are imported from a single source.

In one example, a US news publication offering print editions and a WordPress site was experiencing this problem.

However after joining Google Drive with WordPress and InDesign, changes in content became a single source document, which provided a single source feed and streamlined the workflow and publication process.

Google Drive was used so reporters could take advantage of its collaboration features. Articles were then integrated via the Drive API so they would appear as drafts in WordPress. Then the subeditor would log into WordPress and publish the stories.

Once this was done they pulled the story directly into InDesign via a plugin to make the story ready for the print edition. Both the web and the print editions of the paper were powered by the original entry on Google Drive and none of the writers had to log in to WordPress.


Interactive Quizzes

You’re looking at your social media feed and scroll past a question that looks like it’s meant for you. You’ve probably seen them, quizzes are trend that is difficult to ignore. That’s the whole idea, right?

While easily shareable quizzes may not fit your brand or publishing style, this trend in online engagement has certainly worked for many enterprises both large and small. From social topics to politics to consumer preferences, there this engagement strategy may deserve consideration. Companies large and small employ this tactic not because it’s popular, but because it attracts attention, the most valuable commodity possible when marketing online.

Take the Trinity Mirror group’s example. The company’s digital channel, Us Vs Th3m (live link???) has seen incredible growth in the last 12 months thanks to its trendy eyebrow raising interactive content.

There’s a free tool in WordPress called Slick Quiz that allows you to make your own quizzes or polls, with unlimited questions, the ability to save user scores and of course share results via social media.

Is there anything you would love to know about the demographic you’re trying to reach? When created effectively, those questions have the potential result in valuable insight that will help you better understand your audience. If nothing else, browsers would appreciate the entertainment value. This engagement strategy has the potential to strengthen your brand. In addition quizzes can generate leads, increase page hits, and provide more space for affiliate marketing.

Parallax Themes
In recent years the trend towards scrolling websites that tell a story is everywhere. The Parallax theme was created by developers who understand the importance of storytelling. At it’s best, sites using this theme will have rich background imagery that scrolls slower than the foreground content users focus on, compelling writing that drives the user to scroll down until they read the very last line, as the site delivers depth and immersion in the user experience. At its worst, a poorly designed site using this theme will feel like an endless scroll full of useless content with a stark white background. Perhaps you’ve seen those sites that make you scroll 3 miles down until you see the price! Don’t do that!

If you have a story to tell and you think that story will make a difference and add value, this might be the ideal theme for you. Creating this type of site has become a lot easier thanks to HTML5, CSS3 and JQuery, and is achievable on WordPress.


There are hundreds of themes available on WordPress, many of them are free and many are completely responsive.

Advanced Custom Fields
One of the most powerful plugins that unleashes the platform’s potential to host additional content modules, whistles, and bells to any WordPress site is the Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) option. While this may sound complicated to the average person, an experienced WordPress developer will be adept in utilizing this powerful plugin to increase functionality, tailor your site to your business needs, and most importantly impact your bottom line.

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