How to Display the Last Updated Date of Your Posts in WordPress

Do you want to display last updated date for your posts in WordPress? Some websites regularly update their posts and would like to show users when the article was last updated. In this article, we will show you how to easily display the last updated… Read More »

The post How to Display the Last Updated Date of Your Posts in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to display last updated date for your posts in WordPress? Some websites regularly update their posts and would like to show users when the article was last updated. In this article, we will show you how to easily display the last updated date of your posts in WordPress.

How to display last updated date of your posts in WordPress

When You Need Last Updated Date for Posts in WordPress?

Most WordPress themes usually show the date when a post was last published. This is fine for most blogs and static websites.

However, WordPress is also used by websites where old articles are regularly updated (like ours). This last updated date and time is important information for those publications.

The most common example is news websites. They often update old stories to show new developments, add corrections, or media files. If they only added the published date, then their users would miss those updates.

Many popular blogs and websites don’t show any date on their articles. This is a bad practice and you should never remove dates from your blog posts.

Having said that, let’s see how to easily display last updated date for your posts in WordPress.

Displaying Last Updated Date in WordPress

This tutorial requires you to add code to your WordPress files. If you haven’t done this before, then we recommend you to look at our guide on how to copy paste code in WordPress.

Method 1: Show Last Updated Date Before Post Content

You will need to add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.


function wpb_last_updated_date( $content ) {
$u_time = get_the_time('U'); 
$u_modified_time = get_the_modified_time('U'); 
if ($u_modified_time >= $u_time + 86400) { 
$updated_date = the_modified_time('F jS, Y');
$updated_time = the_modified_time(); 
$custom_content = '<p class="last-updated">Last updated on'. $updated_date . 'at'. $updated_time .'</p>';  
} 

    $custom_content .= $content;
    return $custom_content;
}
add_filter( 'the_content', 'wpb_last_updated_date' );

This code checks to see if a post’s published date and last modified dates are different. If they are, then it displays last modified date before the post content.

You can add custom CSS to style the appearance of the last updated date. Here is a little CSS that you can use as starting point:

.last-updated {
    font-size: small;
    text-transform: uppercase;
    background-color: #fffdd4;
} 

This is how it looked on our demo website.

Last updated date in post content

Method 2: Add Last Updated Date in Theme Templates

This method requires you to edit specific WordPress theme files. Many WordPress themes now use their own template tags which define how these themes show post meta data like date and time.

Some themes also use content templates or template parts to display posts.

Few simpler themes will use single.php, archive.php, and other template files to show content and meta information.

You will be looking for the code responsible for displaying the date and time. You can then either replace that code with the following code, or add it right after your theme’s date and time code.

$u_time = get_the_time('U'); 
$u_modified_time = get_the_modified_time('U'); 
if ($u_modified_time >= $u_time + 86400) { 
echo "<p>Last modified on "; 
the_modified_time('F jS, Y'); 
echo " at "; 
the_modified_time(); 
echo "</p> "; } 

This is how it looked on our demo site:

Last updated date in post meta

We hope this article helped you learn how to display last updated date of your posts in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of most useful time saving WordPress shortcuts.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Display the Last Updated Date of Your Posts in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Display the Last Updated Date of Your Posts in WordPress

Do you want to display last updated date for your posts in WordPress? Some websites regularly update their posts and would like to show users when the article was last updated. In this article, we will show you how to easily display the last updated… Read More »

The post How to Display the Last Updated Date of Your Posts in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to display last updated date for your posts in WordPress? Some websites regularly update their posts and would like to show users when the article was last updated. In this article, we will show you how to easily display the last updated date of your posts in WordPress.

How to display last updated date of your posts in WordPress

When You Need Last Updated Date for Posts in WordPress?

Most WordPress themes usually show the date when a post was last published. This is fine for most blogs and static websites.

However, WordPress is also used by websites where old articles are regularly updated (like ours). This last updated date and time is important information for those publications.

The most common example is news websites. They often update old stories to show new developments, add corrections, or media files. If they only added the published date, then their users would miss those updates.

Many popular blogs and websites don’t show any date on their articles. This is a bad practice and you should never remove dates from your blog posts.

Having said that, let’s see how to easily display last updated date for your posts in WordPress.

Displaying Last Updated Date in WordPress

This tutorial requires you to add code to your WordPress files. If you haven’t done this before, then we recommend you to look at our guide on how to copy paste code in WordPress.

Method 1: Show Last Updated Date Before Post Content

You will need to add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.


function wpb_last_updated_date( $content ) {
$u_time = get_the_time('U'); 
$u_modified_time = get_the_modified_time('U'); 
if ($u_modified_time >= $u_time + 86400) { 
$updated_date = the_modified_time('F jS, Y');
$updated_time = the_modified_time(); 
$custom_content = '<p class="last-updated">Last updated on'. $updated_date . 'at'. $updated_time .'</p>';  
} 

    $custom_content .= $content;
    return $custom_content;
}
add_filter( 'the_content', 'wpb_last_updated_date' );

This code checks to see if a post’s published date and last modified dates are different. If they are, then it displays last modified date before the post content.

You can add custom CSS to style the appearance of the last updated date. Here is a little CSS that you can use as starting point:

.last-updated {
    font-size: small;
    text-transform: uppercase;
    background-color: #fffdd4;
} 

This is how it looked on our demo website.

Last updated date in post content

Method 2: Add Last Updated Date in Theme Templates

This method requires you to edit specific WordPress theme files. Many WordPress themes now use their own template tags which define how these themes show post meta data like date and time.

Some themes also use content templates or template parts to display posts.

Few simpler themes will use single.php, archive.php, and other template files to show content and meta information.

You will be looking for the code responsible for displaying the date and time. You can then either replace that code with the following code, or add it right after your theme’s date and time code.

$u_time = get_the_time('U'); 
$u_modified_time = get_the_modified_time('U'); 
if ($u_modified_time >= $u_time + 86400) { 
echo "<p>Last modified on "; 
the_modified_time('F jS, Y'); 
echo " at "; 
the_modified_time(); 
echo "</p> "; } 

This is how it looked on our demo site:

Last updated date in post meta

We hope this article helped you learn how to display last updated date of your posts in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of most useful time saving WordPress shortcuts.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Display the Last Updated Date of Your Posts in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Add Random Header Images to Your WordPress Blog

Do you want to add random header images to your WordPress blog? Most WordPress themes come with built-in support to add header images. These images can completely change your site’s look and feel. In this article, we will show you to how to add random… Read More »

The post How to Add Random Header Images to Your WordPress Blog appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to add random header images to your WordPress blog? Most WordPress themes come with built-in support to add header images. These images can completely change your site’s look and feel. In this article, we will show you to how to add random header images to your WordPress blog without writing any code.

How to add random header images in WordPress

Most free and premium WordPress themes come with custom header support. Custom headers in WordPress are a theme feature which allows WordPress themes to designate a header area showing an image.

Header image in WordPress

Custom header is different than background image feature which allows you to set a cutom background image on your WordPress site.

Having said that let’s take a look at how to add random header images to your WordPress blog.

Method 1. Random Header Images Using WordPress Theme Customizer

This method is easier and is recommended for most WordPress users.

You need to head over to Appearance » Customize page to launch WordPress theme customizer.

Changing header image in WordPress

Next, you need to click on ‘Header’ tab to expand it. The header option can also be labeled as header image or header media in your theme.

You will see your site’s current header image, and any other header images available to use.

You need to click on the ‘Add image’ button to upload the images you want to use as header images.

Once you have uploaded a few images, they will appear under recently uploaded images.

Randomize header image

Now you need to click on ‘Randomize uploaded header’ button under recently uploaded images and then save your changes.

You can now visit your website and reload it to see header images change randomly.

Method 2. Add Custom Header Images on Select Pages Using Plugin

This method is more flexible and gives you more control on how to show different or random header images for WordPress posts, pages, category, or tag archives.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Display Header plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to edit a post or create a new one. You will notice a new meta box labeled ‘Header’ below the post editor.

Random header for single post and pages in WordPress

Here you can select a previously uploaded header image to your theme and use it as a header for this post. You can also check the ‘Random’ option to randomly display a background image from your uploaded header images.

If you want to add more header images, then head over to Appearance » Customize and click on the Header tab.

Add more header images

Next, you need to click on the ‘Add image’ button to upload more header images. You don’t need to change the header of your theme just upload the images and exit the customizer.

The plugin also allows you to change header image for your category and tag archive pages.

You will need to go to Posts » Categories page and then click on the Edit button below category you want to change.

Editing a category

On the category edit screen, you will notice the new header section where you can select a header image or show random header images.

Random or fixed header image for category archive page

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Update’ button to save your changes.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn how to easily add random header images to your WordPress blog. You may also want to see our guide on how to boost WordPress speed and performance.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Add Random Header Images to Your WordPress Blog appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Display Random Posts in WordPress

Do you want to display random posts in WordPress? Displaying random posts gives your users a chance to discover more of your content. In this article, we will show you how to easily display random posts in WordPress. Why and Where to Display Random Posts… Read More »

The post How to Display Random Posts in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to display random posts in WordPress? Displaying random posts gives your users a chance to discover more of your content. In this article, we will show you how to easily display random posts in WordPress.

How to display random posts in WordPress

Why and Where to Display Random Posts in WordPress

By default WordPress lists your blog posts in reverse chronological order (from newest to oldest). This allows users to see your latest posts first.

However, most users will not get to see your older articles. If you have been running your site for quite some time now, then your older articles will not be prominently displayed anywhere.

One way to overcome this is by making internal linking a habit. Linking to your older articles in new posts will help users discover them. It will also increase your pageviews and improve your SEO score.

Another way around that is by displaying random posts in your sidebar. This way your users will get to discover posts that they would not see otherwise.

Having said that, let’s see how you can easily display random posts in WordPress.

Method 1: Display Random Posts in WordPress with a Plugin

This method is easier and is recommended for most users.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Advanced Random Posts Widget plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Appearance » Widgets page. You will notice a new widget labeled ‘Random Posts’ under the list of available widget.

You need to add this widget to a sidebar. See our guide on how to add and use widgets in WordPress.

Now, you will be able to see the widget settings. The default options will work for most websites, you can just click on the save button.

Random posts widget settings

Advanced Random Posts Widget is a powerful plugin with tons of customization options. You can select different post types, show excerpt, show thumbnail, and skip posts you don’t want to show, or displays posts from specific categories or tags.

For more experienced users, the plugin also allows you to add custom before and after HTML, and your own custom CSS as well.

Don’t forget to click on the save button to store your widget settings. You can now visit your website to see random posts widget in action.

Random posts with thumbnail and excerpt

Method 2: Display Random Posts in WordPress Using Code

This method requires you to add code to your WordPress theme files. See our guide on how to copy paste code in WordPress.

First thing you need to do is add this code in your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpb_rand_posts() { 

$args = array(
	'post_type' => 'post',
	'orderby'	=> 'rand',
	'posts_per_page' => 5, 
	);

$the_query = new WP_Query( $args );

if ( $the_query->have_posts() ) {

$string .= '<ul>';
	while ( $the_query->have_posts() ) {
		$the_query->the_post();
		$string .= '<li><a href="'. get_permalink() .'">'. get_the_title() .'</a></li>';
	}
	$string .= '</ul>';
	/* Restore original Post Data */
	wp_reset_postdata();
} else {

$string .= 'no posts found';
}

return $string; 
} 

add_shortcode('wpb-random-posts','wpb_rand_posts');
add_filter('widget-text', 'do_shortcode'); 

This code simply creates a function that displays 5 random posts. It then creates a shortcode so that you can easily display random posts anywhere on your site. Lastly, it enables shortcodes to be executed inside WordPress widgets so that you can use shortcode inside a text widget.

Now you can display random posts inside a WordPress post, page, or text widget using the shortcode [wpb-random-posts].

Plain random posts list

That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn how to display random posts in WordPress. You may also want to see these 12 WordPress sidebar tricks to increase pageviews.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Display Random Posts in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Display Random Posts in WordPress

Do you want to display random posts in WordPress? Displaying random posts gives your users a chance to discover more of your content. In this article, we will show you how to easily display random posts in WordPress. Why and Where to Display Random Posts… Read More »

The post How to Display Random Posts in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to display random posts in WordPress? Displaying random posts gives your users a chance to discover more of your content. In this article, we will show you how to easily display random posts in WordPress.

How to display random posts in WordPress

Why and Where to Display Random Posts in WordPress

By default WordPress lists your blog posts in reverse chronological order (from newest to oldest). This allows users to see your latest posts first.

However, most users will not get to see your older articles. If you have been running your site for quite some time now, then your older articles will not be prominently displayed anywhere.

One way to overcome this is by making internal linking a habit. Linking to your older articles in new posts will help users discover them. It will also increase your pageviews and improve your SEO score.

Another way around that is by displaying random posts in your sidebar. This way your users will get to discover posts that they would not see otherwise.

Having said that, let’s see how you can easily display random posts in WordPress.

Method 1: Display Random Posts in WordPress with a Plugin

This method is easier and is recommended for most users.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Advanced Random Posts Widget plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Appearance » Widgets page. You will notice a new widget labeled ‘Random Posts’ under the list of available widget.

You need to add this widget to a sidebar. See our guide on how to add and use widgets in WordPress.

Now, you will be able to see the widget settings. The default options will work for most websites, you can just click on the save button.

Random posts widget settings

Advanced Random Posts Widget is a powerful plugin with tons of customization options. You can select different post types, show excerpt, show thumbnail, and skip posts you don’t want to show, or displays posts from specific categories or tags.

For more experienced users, the plugin also allows you to add custom before and after HTML, and your own custom CSS as well.

Don’t forget to click on the save button to store your widget settings. You can now visit your website to see random posts widget in action.

Random posts with thumbnail and excerpt

Method 2: Display Random Posts in WordPress Using Code

This method requires you to add code to your WordPress theme files. See our guide on how to copy paste code in WordPress.

First thing you need to do is add this code in your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpb_rand_posts() { 

$args = array(
	'post_type' => 'post',
	'orderby'	=> 'rand',
	'posts_per_page' => 5, 
	);

$the_query = new WP_Query( $args );

if ( $the_query->have_posts() ) {

$string .= '<ul>';
	while ( $the_query->have_posts() ) {
		$the_query->the_post();
		$string .= '<li><a href="'. get_permalink() .'">'. get_the_title() .'</a></li>';
	}
	$string .= '</ul>';
	/* Restore original Post Data */
	wp_reset_postdata();
} else {

$string .= 'no posts found';
}

return $string; 
} 

add_shortcode('wpb-random-posts','wpb_rand_posts');
add_filter('widget-text', 'do_shortcode'); 

This code simply creates a function that displays 5 random posts. It then creates a shortcode so that you can easily display random posts anywhere on your site. Lastly, it enables shortcodes to be executed inside WordPress widgets so that you can use shortcode inside a text widget.

Now you can display random posts inside a WordPress post, page, or text widget using the shortcode [wpb-random-posts].

Plain random posts list

That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn how to display random posts in WordPress. You may also want to see these 12 WordPress sidebar tricks to increase pageviews.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Display Random Posts in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

18 Useful Tricks To Speed Up WordPress & Boost Performance

Do you want to speed up your WordPress site? Fast loading pages improve user experience, increase your pageviews, and help with your WordPress SEO. In this article, we will share the most useful WordPress speed optimization tips to boost WordPress performance and speed up your… Read More »

The post 18 Useful Tricks To Speed Up WordPress & Boost Performance appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to speed up your WordPress site? Fast loading pages improve user experience, increase your pageviews, and help with your WordPress SEO. In this article, we will share the most useful WordPress speed optimization tips to boost WordPress performance and speed up your website.

Speed up WordPress - Ultimate Guide

Unlike other “X best WordPress caching plugin” lists or generic “X tips to speeding up WordPress” tutorials, this article is a comprehensive guide to WordPress performance optimization.

We include everything from why speed is important, what slows down your WordPress site to actionable steps that you can take to improve your WordPress speed immediately.

To make it easy, we have created a table of contents to help you navigate through our ultimate guide to speeding up your WordPress site.

Table of Contents

Basics of WordPress Performance

Speeding Up WordPress in Easy Steps (No Coding)

WordPress Performance Optimization Best Practices

Fine-Tuning WordPress for Speed (Advanced)

Why Speed is Important for Your WordPress Site?

Studies show that from 2000 to 2016, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 7 seconds.

What does this mean for you as a website owner?

You have very little time to show users your content and convince them to stay on your website.

A slow website means users will potentially leave your website before it even loads.

According to a StrangeLoop case study that involved Amazon, Google, and other larger sites, a 1 second delay in page load time can lead to 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

How slow websites cost you money

On top of that, Google and other search engines have already started penalizing slower websites by pushing them down in the search results which means lower traffic for slow websites.

To sum it all up, if you want more traffic, subscribers, and revenue from your website, then you must make your WordPress website FAST!

How to Check Your WordPress Website Speed?

Often beginners think that their website is OK just because it doesn’t feel slow on their computer. That’s a HUGE mistake.

Since you frequently visit your own website, modern browsers like Chrome store your website in cache and automatically prefetch it as soon as you start typing an address. This makes your website load almost instantly.

However, a normal user who is visiting your website for the first time may not have the same experience.

In fact, users in different geographical locations will have a completely different experience.

This is why we recommend that you test your website speed using a tool like Pingdom.

It is a free online tool that allows you to test your website’s speed from different locations.

Pingdom site speed tool

After you run your website speed test, you might be wondering what’s a good website speed that I should aim for?

A good page load time is under 2 seconds.

However, the faster you can make it, the better it is. A few milliseconds of improvements here and there can add up to shaving off half or even a full second from your load time.

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What Slows Down Your WordPress Website?

Your speed test report will likely have multiple recommendations for improvement. However most of that is technical jargon which is hard for beginners to understand.

However understanding what slows down your website is key to improving performance and making smarter long-term decisions.

The primary causes for a slow WordPress website are:

  • Web Hosting – When your web hosting server is not properly configured it can hurt your website speed.
  • WordPress Configuration – If your WordPress site is not serving cached pages, then it will overload your server thus causing your website to be slow or crash entirely.
  • Page Size – Mainly images that aren’t optimized for web.
  • Bad Plugins – If you’re using a poorly coded plugin, then it can significantly slow down your website.
  • External scripts – External scripts such as ads, font loaders, etc can also have a huge impact on your website performance.

Now that you know what slows down your WordPress website, let’s take a look at how to speed up your WordPress website.

Importance of Good WordPress Hosting

Your WordPress hosting service plays an important role in website performance. A good shared hosting provider like BlueHost or Siteground take the extra measures to optimize your website for performance.

However, on shared hosting you share the server resources with many other customers. This means that if your neighboring site gets a lot of traffic, then it can impact the entire server performance which in turn will slow down your website.

On the other hand, using a managed WordPress hosting service give you the most optimized server configurations to run WordPress. Managed WordPress hosting companies also offer automatic backups, automatic WordPress updates, and more advanced security configurations to protect your website.

We recommend WPEngine as our preferred managed WordPress hosting provider. They’re also the most popular one in the industry. (See our special WPEngine coupon).

For enterprise WordPress hosting, we recommend using Pagely because they’re the best in business.

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Speeding Up WordPress in Easy Steps (No Coding)

We know that making changes to your website configuration can be a terrifying thought for beginners, especially if you’re not a tech-geek.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone. We have helped thousands of WordPress users improve their WordPress performance.

We will show you how you can speed up your WordPress site with just a few clicks (no coding required).

If you can point-and-click, you can do this!

Install a WordPress Caching Plugin

WordPress pages are “dynamic.” This means they’re built on the fly every time someone visits a post or page on your website. To build your pages, WordPress has to run a process to find the required information, put it all together, and then display it to your user.

This process involves a lot of steps, and it can really slow down your website when you have multiple people visiting your site at once.

That’s why we recommend every WordPress site use a caching plugin. Caching can make your WordPress site anywhere from 2x to 5x faster.

Here’s how it works: Instead of going through the whole page generation process every time, your caching plugin makes a copy of the page after the first load, and then serves that cached version to every subsequent user.

How caching works

As you can see in the graphics above, when a user visits your WordPress site, which is built using PHP, your server retrieves information from a MySQL database and your PHP files, and then it’s all put together into a HTML content which is served served to the user. It’s a long process, but you can skip a lot of it when you use caching instead.

There are a lot of caching plugins available for WordPress, but we recommend using the WP Super Cache plugin. Check out our step by step guide on how to install and setup WP Super Cache on your WordPress site. It’s not difficult to set up, and your visitors will notice the difference.

Note: If you’re using a managed WordPress hosting provider, then you don’t need a caching plugin because they take care of it for you.

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Optimize Images for Speed

Optimize images for the web

Images bring life to your content and help boost engagement. Researchers have found that using colored visuals makes people 80% more likely to read your content.

But if your images aren’t optimized, they could be hurting more than helping. In fact, non-optimized images are one of the most common speed issues we see on beginner websites.

Before you upload a photo directly from your phone or camera, we recommend that you use photo editing software to optimize your images for web.

In their original formats, these photos can have huge file sizes. But based on the image file format and the compression you choose in your editing software, you can decrease your image size by up to 5x.

At WPBeginner, we only use two image formats: JPEG and PNG.

Now you might be wondering: what’s the difference?

Well, PNG image format is uncompressed. When you compress an image it loses some information, so an uncompressed image will be higher quality with more detail. The downside is that it’s a larger file size, so it takes longer to load.

JPEG, on the other hand, is a compressed file format which slightly reduces image quality, but it’s significantly smaller in size.

So how do we decide which image format to choose?

  • If our photo or image has a lot of different colors, then we use JPEG.
  • If it’s a simpler image or we need a transparent image, then we use PNG.

The majority of our images are JPEGs.

Below is a comparison chart of the file sizes and different compression tool that we could have used for the StrangeLoop image used above.

Image Speed Chart

As you can see in the chart, the image format you use can make a HUGE difference on your website performance.

For details on exactly how to optimize your images using Photoshop and other popular editing tools, without sacrificing quality, see our step by step guide on how to save images optimized for web.

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WordPress Performance Optimization Best Practices

After installing a caching plugin and optimizing your images, you’ll notice your site will start loading a lot faster.

But if you really want to keep your website as fast as possible, you’ll need to use the best practices listed below.

These tips aren’t too technical, so you don’t need to know any code to implement them. But using them will prevent common problems that will slow down your website.

Keep Your WordPress Site Updated

Keep your WordPress site up to date

As a well maintained open source project, WordPress is updated frequently. Each update will not only offer new features, but also fix security issues and bugs. Your WordPress theme and plugins may have regular updates, too.

As a website owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your WordPress site, theme, and plugins updated to the latest versions. Not doing so may make your site slow and unreliable, and make you vulnerable to security threats.

For more details on the importance of updates, see our article on why you should always use the latest WordPress version.

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Use Excerpts on Homepage and Archives

Using excerpts

By default, WordPress displays the full content of each article on your homepage and archives. This means your homepage, categories, tags, and other archive pages will all load slower.

Another disadvantage of showing full articles on these pages is that users don’t feel the need to visit the actual article. This can reduces your pageviews, and the time your users spend on your site.

In order to speed up your loading times for archive pages, you can set your site to display excerpts instead of the full content.

You can navigate to Settings » Reading and select “For each article in a feed, show: Summary” instead of “Full Text.”

Display excerpts instead of full text to boost WordPress speed

For more details on the pros and cons of displaying summaries, see our article on full post vs summary (excerpt) in your WordPress archive pages.

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Split Comments into Pages

Paginated comments

Getting lots of comments on your blog posts? Congratulations! That’s a great indicator of an engaged audience.

But the downside is, loading all those comments can impact your site’s speed.

WordPress comes with a built-in solution for that. Simply go to Settings » Discussion and check the box next to the “Break comments into pages” option.

Break comments into pages in WordPress

For more detailed instructions, see our guide on how to paginate comments in WordPress.

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Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Remember how we mentioned above that users in different geographical locations may experience different loading times on your site?

That’s because the location of your web hosting servers can have an impact on your site speed. For example, let’s say your web hosting company has its servers in the United States. A visitor who’s also in the United States will generally see faster loading times than a visitor in India.

Using a CDN, or Content Delivery Network, can help to speed up loading times for all of your visitors.

A CDN is a network made up of servers all around the world. Each server will store “static” files used to make up your website. Static files are unchanging files such as images, CSS, and JavaScript, unlike your WordPress pages which are “dynamic” as explained above.

When you use a CDN, every time a user visits your website they are served those static files from whichever server is closest to them. Your own web hosting server will also be faster since the CDN is doing a lot of the work.

You can see how it works in this infographic.

What is a CDN

We use MaxCDN on all our projects, including here on WPBeginner. It works well with WordPress websites and complements your existing WordPress caching plugins for even faster loading times. See our guide on how to install and setup WordPress CDN solution MaxCDN to get started.

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Don’t Upload Videos Directly to WordPress

YouTube

You can directly upload videos to your WordPress site, and it will automatically display them in an HTML5 player…

But you should NEVER do that!

Hosting videos will cost you bandwidth. You could be charged overage fees by your web hosting company, or they may even shut down your site altogether, even if your plan includes “unlimited” bandwidth.

Hosting videos also increases your backup sizes tremendously, and makes it difficult for you to restore WordPress from backup.

Instead, you should use a video hosting service like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, etc., and let them take care of the hard work. They have the bandwidth for it!

WordPress has a built-in video embed feature, so you can copy and paste your video’s URL directly into your post and it will embed automatically.

Find out more details on how it works in our guide on embedding videos in WordPress.

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Use a Theme Optimized For Speed

Choosing a theme optimized for speed

When selecting a WordPress theme for your website, it’s important to pay special attention to speed optimization. Some beautiful and impressive-looking themes are actually poorly coded and can slow your site way down.

It’s usually better to go with a simpler theme and use quality plugins to get the features you need, than to choose a theme that’s bloated with complex layouts, flashy animations, and other unnecessary features.

Premium WordPress theme shops like StudioPress, Themify, and Array Themes offer themes that are well coded and optimized for speed. You can also check out our article on selecting the perfect WordPress theme for advice on what to look for.

Before you activate your new theme, see our guide on how to properly switch your WordPress theme for a smooth transition.

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Use a Faster Slider Plugin

Faster slider

Sliders are another common web design element that can make your website slow.

Even if your images are all optimized as described above, a poorly coded slider plugin will mean all your work is wasted.

We compared the best WordPress slider plugins for performance and features, and Soliloquy was the fastest by far.

Here’s how it compares to other popular slider plugins.

Slider Plugin Page Load time Requests Page size
Soliloquy 1.34 secs 26 945 KB
Nivo Slider 2.12 secs 29 1 MB
Meteor 2.32 secs 27 1.2 MB
Revolution Slider 2.25 secs 29 1 MB
LayerSlider 2.12 secs 30 975 KB

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Use a Faster Gallery Plugin

If you have a photography website or a portfolio, then you’ll probably want to use an image gallery plugin to display your photos.

It’s really important that you use a WordPress gallery plugin that is optimized for speed.

We recommend using Envira Gallery, which is the best WordPress gallery plugin in the market. It allows you to create beautiful image galleries that are lightning fast to load.

We tested its speed compared to a couple of other popular gallery plugins, and found that Envira Galley is almost twice as fast:

Gallery Plugin Page Load time Requests Page size
Envira Gallery 1.08 secs 24 1MB
Foo Gallery 1.89 secs 23 357.1KB
NextGEN 1.88 secs 33 518KB

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Fine-Tuning WordPress for Speed (Advanced)

By using the WordPress optimization best practices and basic speed tips listed above, you should see a big improvement in your site’s loading times.

But every fraction of a second counts. If you want to get the very fastest speed possible, you’ll need to make a few more changes.

The following tips are a little more technical, with some requiring you to modify your site files or have a basic understanding of PHP. You’ll want to make sure to backup your site first just in case.

Split Long Posts into Pages

Split long posts into pages

Readers tend to love blog posts that are longer and more in-depth. Longer posts even tend to rank higher in search engines.

But if you’re publishing long form articles with lots of images, it could be hurting your loading times.

Instead, consider splitting up your longer posts into multiple pages.

WordPress comes with built-in functionality to do that. Simply add the <!––nextpage––> tag in your article where you want to split it into next page. Do that again if you want to split the article on to the next page as well.

For more detailed instructions, see our tutorial on post pagination – how to split WordPress posts into multiple pages.

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Reduce External HTTP Requests

Cross domain http requests

Many WordPress plugins and themes load all kinds of files from other websites. These files can include scripts, stylesheets, and images from external resources like Google, Facebook, analytics services, and so on.

It’s ok to use a few of these. Many of these files are optimized to load as quickly as possible, so it’s faster than hosting them on your own website.

But if your plugins are making a lot of these requests, then it could slow down your website significantly.

You can reduce all these external HTTP requests by disabling scripts and styles or merging them into one file. Here’s a tutorial on how to disable your plugins’ CSS files and JavaScript.

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Reduce Database Calls

WordPress database calls

Note: This step is a little more technical and will require basic knowledge of PHP and WordPress template files.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of poorly coded WordPress themes out there. They ignore WordPress standard practices and end up making direct database calls, or too many unnecessary requests to the database. This can really slow down your server by giving it too much work to do.

Even well-coded themes can have code that makes database calls just to get your blog’s basic information.

In this example, every time you see <?php, that’s the start of a new database call:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" dir="<?php language_attributes(); ?>">
<head profile="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="<?php bloginfo('html_type'); ?> 
charset=<?php bloginfo('charset'); ?>" />

You can’t blame theme developers for that. They simply have no other way to find out what language your site is in.

But if you are customizing your site using a child theme, then you can replace these database calls with your specific information in order to reduce all those database calls.

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" dir="ltr">
<head profile="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />

Review your parent theme for instances like this that can be easily replaced with static information.

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Optimize WordPress Database

WordPress database optimization

After using WordPress for a while, your database will have lots of information that you probably don’t need any more. For improved performance, you can optimize your database to get rid of all that unnecessary information.

This can be easily managed with the WP-Sweep plugin. It allows you to clean your WordPress database by deleting things like trashed posts, revisions, unused tags, etc. It will also optimize your database’s structure with just a click.

See our guide on how to optimize and clean up your WordPress database for improved performance.

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Limit Post Revisions

Revisions in WordPress

Post revisions take up space in your WordPress database. Some users believe that revisions can also affect some database queries run by plugins. If the plugin doesn’t specifically exclude post revisions, it might slow down your site by searching through them unnecessarily.

You can easily limit the number of revisions WordPress keeps for each article. Simply add this line of code to your wp-config.php file.

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 4 );

This code will limit WordPress to only save your last 4 revisions of each post or page, and discard older revisions automatically.

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Disable Hotlinking and Leaching of Your Content

Prevent image theft in WordPress

If you’re creating quality content on your WordPress site, then the sad truth is that it’ll probably get stolen sooner or later.

One way this happens is when other websites serve your images directly from their URLs on your website, instead of uploading them to their own servers. In effect, they’re stealing your web hosting bandwidth, and you don’t get any traffic to show for it.

Simply add this code to your .htaccess file to block hotlinking of images from your WordPress site.

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?wpbeginner.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L] 

Note: Don’t forget to change wpbeginner.com with your own domain.

You may also want to check our article showing 4 ways to prevent image theft in WordPress.

Some content scraping websites automatically create posts by stealing your content from your RSS feed. You can check out our guide on preventing blog content scraping in WordPress for ways to deal with automated content theft.

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That’s it! We hope this article helped you learn some useful tricks to speed up WordPress and boost performance.

Go ahead and try out a couple of these techniques. Be sure to test your site’s speed before and after, and let us know your results in the comments.

You might also be interested in our case study of how we optimized List25 performance by 256%. It has a few more advanced optimization tips for you.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 18 Useful Tricks To Speed Up WordPress & Boost Performance appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Disable RSS Feeds in WordPress

Do you want to disable RSS feeds on your WordPress site? RSS feeds allow users to subscribe to your blog posts. However when building small static websites, you may want to turn off the RSS feeds. By default, there is no option to remove RSS… Read More »

The post How to Disable RSS Feeds in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to disable RSS feeds on your WordPress site? RSS feeds allow users to subscribe to your blog posts. However when building small static websites, you may want to turn off the RSS feeds. By default, there is no option to remove RSS feeds in WordPress. In this article, we will show you how to disable RSS feeds in WordPress.

Disable RSS Feeds in WordPress

Method 1: Disable RSS Feeds Using a Plugin

This method is easier and is recommended for beginners.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Disable Feeds plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

The plugin works out of the box and it will start redirecting users to your website when they request an RSS feed.

There are a few settings available for the plugin. You need to visit Settings » Reading page to configure them.

Disable Feeds plugin settings

By default, the plugin will try to redirect users to related content on your site when they request a feed. For example, users requesting a category feed will be redirected to category page. Users trying to access custom post type RSS feed will be redirected to the custom post type archive.

You can change this behavior and show users a 404 error page.

You can also select not to disable the global RSS feed and comments feed. This will allow users to still subscribe to your RSS feed, but there will be no individual category, author, or post comment feeds.

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Method 2: Manually Disable RSS Feeds in WordPress

This method requires you edit WordPress files. You can use this method if you are comfortable pasting snippets from web into WordPress.

Simply add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpb_disable_feed() {
wp_die( __('No feed available,please visit our <a href="'. get_bloginfo('url') .'">homepage</a>!') );
}

add_action('do_feed', 'wpb_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_rdf', 'wpb_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_rss', 'wpb_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_rss2', 'wpb_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_atom', 'wpb_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_rss2_comments', 'wpb_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_atom_comments', 'wpb_disable_feed', 1);

This code simply returns an error page when someone requests an RSS feed.

Feeds disabled error page in WordPress

We hope this article helped you learn how to disable RSS feeds in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of 15 most annoying things about WordPress and how to fix them.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Disable RSS Feeds in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Link to External Links from the Post Title in WordPress

Do you want to add an external link as post title in WordPress? Sometimes you may just want to share a link with your users. Instead of sending them to a post, you may want the post title to link to the other website. In… Read More »

The post How to Link to External Links from the Post Title in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to add an external link as post title in WordPress? Sometimes you may just want to share a link with your users. Instead of sending them to a post, you may want the post title to link to the other website. In this article, we will show you how to link to external links from the post title in WordPress.

Adding External Link to WordPress Post Title

Method 1: Linking Post Title to an External Link in WordPress using Plugin

This method is easier and is recommended for beginners.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Page Links To plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, simply create a new post or edit an existing one. You will notice the new ‘Page Links To’ meta box below the post editor.

Adding a custom URL in page links to

Click on ‘A custom URL’ to add the link you want to add to post title. Now you can save or publish your post.

That’s all. The post title will now link to the custom URL you provided.

It is not necessary to use it for external links only. You can also use it to send users to different posts and pages on your WordPress site.

Method 2: Add External Link to Post Title Using Code

This method requires you to add code to your WordPress site. You can use this method if you are comfortable with pasting snippets from web into WordPress.

Simply add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function print_post_title() {
global $post;
$thePostID = $post->ID;
$post_id = get_post($thePostID);
$title = $post_id->post_title;
$perm = get_permalink($post_id);
$post_keys = array(); $post_val = array();
$post_keys = get_post_custom_keys($thePostID);

if (!empty($post_keys)) {
foreach ($post_keys as $pkey) {
if ($pkey=='external_url') {
$post_val = get_post_custom_values($pkey);
}
}
if (empty($post_val)) {
$link = $perm;
} else {
$link = $post_val[0];
}
} else {
$link = $perm;
}
echo '<h2><a href="'.$link.'" rel="bookmark" title="'.$title.'">'.$title.'</a></h2>';
}

This code looks simply looks for a custom field containing your custom URL. If the post has the custom field, then it outputs the post title linked to your URL.

The next step is to replace your theme’s default display of post title with this function. You will find it in archives.php, content.php, category.php and other templates. It would look something like this:

<?php the_title( sprintf( '<h2 class="entry-title"><a href="%s" rel="bookmark">', esc_url( get_permalink() ) ), '</a></h2>' ); ?>

You need to replace it with this code:

<?php print_post_title() ?>

The code part is over, now you need to add the external URL to the post. Simply edit the post or create a new one. On the post editor page, look for the custom fields meta box.

If you cannot see the custom fields meta box, then you need to click Screen Options in the top right corner of the screen. This will bring down a menu where you need to check the box next to ‘Custom Fields’.

Show custom fields meta box on the post edit screen in WordPress

You will find the custom fields meta box below the post editor.

Click on ‘Enter New’ and then enter external_url in the ‘Name’ field and the URL you want to add to post title in the ‘Value’ field.

Adding new custom key

You can now save or publish your post. That’s all, your post title will now be linked to the URL you added in the custom field.

Next time you need to add a link, you just need to select the external_url custom field from the drop down menu and enter your external link in the value field.

We hope this article helped you learn how to link to external links from the post title in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to add an external link icon on your WordPress Site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Link to External Links from the Post Title in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to List Future Upcoming Scheduled Posts in WordPress

Recently, one of our users asked us how they can list scheduled or future upcoming posts in WordPress. Showing upcoming posts can be helpful in getting people to subscribe to your blog. In this article, we will show you how to display future upcoming posts… Read More »

The post How to List Future Upcoming Scheduled Posts in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

Recently, one of our users asked us how they can list scheduled or future upcoming posts in WordPress. Showing upcoming posts can be helpful in getting people to subscribe to your blog. In this article, we will show you how to display future upcoming posts in WordPress sidebar.

Show scheduled and future upcoming posts

What is Scheduled or Future Upcoming Posts in WordPress?

If you have been blogging for a while, then you have probably noticed that publishing posts on a certain time gets more people to read it. If you are new to blogging and don’t know what time you get the most visitors, then you should start using Google Analytics to track this information.

The problem is that you cannot just sit around and wait for that time to hit the publish button. That’s why WordPress comes with built-in scheduling feature. It allows you to schedule your posts to be published later.

Using scheduling you can focus on creating content and managing your editorial calendar like a pro.

Having said that, let’s see how you can show off your upcoming posts in WordPress and use it to get more subscribers.

Method 1: Showing Scheduled or Future Posts with Plugin

First thing you need to do is install and activate SOUP – Show off Upcoming Posts plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Appearance » Widgets page. There you will find ‘Upcoming Posts’ widget under the list of available widgets. Simply add the widget to your sidebar where you to display scheduled posts.

Upcoming posts widget

The widget settings allow you to choose the number of scheduled posts you want to show. You can also show dates next to them, link to your RSS feed, or link to a page where users can signup for your email list.

Click on the save button to store your widget settings.

You can now visit your website to see the widget in action.

Preview of upcoming posts in sidebar

Method 2: Showing Scheduled or Upcoming Posts Manually

Simply add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.


function wpb_upcoming_posts() { 
	// The query to fetch future posts
	$the_query = new WP_Query(array( 
		'post_status' => 'future',
		'posts_per_page' => 3,
		'orderby' => 'date',
		'order' => 'ASC'
	));

// The loop to display posts
if ( $the_query->have_posts() ) {
	echo '<ul>';
	while ( $the_query->have_posts() ) {
		$the_query->the_post();
		$output .= '<li>' . get_the_title() .' ('.  get_the_time('d-M-Y') . ')</li>';
	}
	echo '</ul>';

} else {
	// Show this when now future posts are found
	$output .= '<p>No posts planned yet.</p>';
}

// Reset post data
wp_reset_postdata();

// Return output

return $output; 
} 
// Add shortcode
add_shortcode('upcoming_posts', 'wpb_upcoming_posts'); 
// Enable shortcode execution inside text widgets
add_filter('widget_text', 'do_shortcode');

Now you can visit Appearance » Widgets page. Add a text widget to your sidebar where you want to display upcoming posts and add this shortcode inside the widget.

[upcoming_posts]

Adding upcoming posts shortcode in a text widget

Click on the save button to store your widget settings.

You can now visit your website to see the upcoming scheduled posts in your sidebar. You can also use this shortcode in a post, page, or a template in your child theme.

We hope this article helped you learn how to show scheduled posts in your WordPress sidebar. You may also want to see our list of these 25 most useful WordPress widgets for your site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to List Future Upcoming Scheduled Posts in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Find and Replace Text with One Click in your WordPress Database

Are you looking to do a mass search and replace in WordPress? Whether you want to find and replace a specific text, URL, or an image, you can easily do so by using a find and replace WordPress plugin or a simple SQL query. In… Read More »

The post How to Find and Replace Text with One Click in your WordPress Database appeared first on WPBeginner.

Are you looking to do a mass search and replace in WordPress? Whether you want to find and replace a specific text, URL, or an image, you can easily do so by using a find and replace WordPress plugin or a simple SQL query. In this article, we will show you how to find and replace text in your WordPress database.

Find and replace text in WordPress database with just one click

When You May Need Find & Replace for WordPress Database?

Let’s suppose that you have added specific text or URL to a number of your posts. You don’t know which posts you have added that text to, but you do know that there are a lot of them.

Now you can manually search your site and edit every single post one by one. That’s going to take time and has a high chance of you missing some occurrences.

Using a single command to automatically find and replace will do the same thing but much quicker and efficiently.

There is one downside to it though. If you made a mistake, then you will not be able to undo it. Once you replace the text, it is gone. You will need to carefully type the text you are looking for and the text you want to replace it with.

Having said that, let’s see how you can easily find and replace text in your WordPress database.

Getting Started

As we mentioned earlier that the changes you make to your database will not be reversible. You need to take every precaution to make sure that you don’t lose data.

First you need to create a WordPress database backup. You can do that by using a WordPress backup plugin. Alternatively, you can also create a database backup using phpMyAdmin.

After creating the backup of your WordPress database, you can move on to run your find and replace commands.

Running Find and Replace with a WordPress plugin

If you are not familiar with code and don’t want to write a custom SQL query, then there is an easy to use find and replace WordPress plugin called Better Search Replace.

Better search replace plugin settings

It allows you to run search and replace commands from inside your WordPress admin area. We have a detailed guide on how to search and replace in WordPress with Better Search Replace plugin.

Running Find & Replace MySQL Query with phpMyAdmin

You can also use phpMyAdmin to find and replace text from your WordPress database.

First you need to login to cPanel dashboard of your WordPress hosting. Scroll down to the database section and then click on phpMyAdmin.

phpMyAdmin

The screenshot above is showing the cPanel dashboard on BlueHost. Your cPanel dashboard may look slightly different.

This will launch phpMyAdmin where you will need to click on your WordPress database name and then click on SQL.

Running SQL query in phpMyAdmin

You will need to enter your SQL query in this format:

update TABLE_NAME set FIELD_NAME =
replace(FIELD_NAME, 'Text to find', 'text to replace with'); 

For example, if you wanted to search for text in a WordPress post’s content, then you would write your query like this:

update wp_posts set post_content =
replace(post_content,'Text to find','text to replace with');

Click on the ‘Go’ button to continue.

PhpMyAdmin will run your SQL query and upon success it will show the number of rows affected by the query.

You can now visit your WordPress site to see your changes in action.

We hope this article helped you learn how to find and replace text with one click in your WordPress database. You may also want to see our beginner’s guide on WordPress database management with phpMyAdmin.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Find and Replace Text with One Click in your WordPress Database appeared first on WPBeginner.