5 Things You Didnít Know You Could Do With WordPress

WordPress sites occupy more digital space than any other platform on the Web. As the most popular content management system, there are a myriad of reasons that users continue to take the WordPress route: its open source platform is intuitive, highly customizable, and versatile.

With over 30,000 plugins available to add optimized functionality, the options for your site are essentially limitless. With so much to offer, WordPress is the go-to option for celebrities like Jay-Z and Russel Brand, as well as publishers like The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Harvard Business Review.

While many of WordPressís benefits are well-known, there are still quite a few that arenít. Here are five cool things about WordPress you may not have known.

1. Make Quick Changes With WP-CLI

The WordPress Command Line Interface allows WordPress users to make quick changes to their websites using code. Many users donít realize that this interface exists. The alternative would be to use the WordPress dashboard to achieve the same results at a much slower pace. With WordPress CLI, you can nix the added effort and copious amounts of time spent in traditional the graphical interface.

Once you get a hang of the commands, you can automate many of the time-consuming tasks that use on a day-to-day basis (like updating themes, files, and plugins across multiple client sites at once). This also makes solving complex issues as easy as 1-2-3. For example, according to this WP-CLI guide, if an admin lost their password and their email is no longer accessible, you could easily restore access with a few lines of code.

While navigating the command line interface would be easier for users who understand code, itís not difficult to learn for beginners. Many of the most common commands can be found online, and once youíve started to develop a flow, strengthening your skills will become much more easier.

2. Turn Your Site Into A Social Network

Want your platform to have the power of WordPress, but donít have the million-dollar budget? Fortunately, you donít have to create a social network from scratch. You can easily turn any WordPress website into a social network using BuddyPress. With a BuddyPress site, users can create profiles, posts, send private messages, comment on social content, and even create their own blogs.

This type of site works with over 300 plugins unique to BuddyPress, allowing admin to truly create the social network site they envision. It also acts as its own content management system, and because itís open source, it taps into the power of its community of users. You set the parameters for exactly how little or how much your users can do, and the rest is a collaborative effort. These BuddyPress-enabled sites show you exactly how itís done.

3. Receive 404 Alerts

One of the best things you can do with your WordPress site is set the admin up to receive 404 email alerts. Visitors reach a 404 page when theyíve accessed a broken link, mistyped the URL, or arrived at a page that no longer exists. This can thwart the user experience, and insight into when visitors reach a 404 page can prove highly valuable in curving future errors.

Understanding and preventing 404 pages will help your SEO in the long-run. Letting broken links and other errors go unnoticed too long can negatively impact your rankings. With email alerts, you can identify any inaccurate inbound links and quickly set up a 301 redirect. It can also help you spot potential future errors.

4. Create An Ebook

Ebooks can prove highly beneficial to any marketing strategy, regardless of the industry youíre in or what type of products you sell. But if youíve already been creating valuable content for years, why not repurpose it rather than start your ebook from scratch? With the Beacon plugin, you can easily create ebooks using your existing posts directly from your WordPress dashboard. You can also offer content upgrades — bonus content that expands on an existing individual post. This also offers another great marketing tactic and helps increase your subscriber rate.

5. Create Parallex Effects

A Parallax effect is a web design tactic where the webpage background moves slower than the foreground when scrolling. Many webmasters arenít even aware that this design element exists, and you donít see it too often on the Web. Too many Parallax effects can be overwhelming, but the right amount can provide amazing visual imagery and add depth to your site. Hereís some examples of Parallax effects done well. This type of effect is perfect for responsive WordPress sites, but itís not for everyone. Generally speaking, it works well for creative industries and portfolio sites.