Blogging and Writing

Assorted WordPress Tidbits You Might Not Know

Wordpress logo surrounded by rainbow cloud

Chances are the longer you’ve been blogging, the more you’ve learned about WordPress’s various ins and outs. But it’s very easy to miss things, so I wanted to go over some of the tidbits that I’ve managed to figure out along the way.

Your Gravatar should match your domain name

Your Gravatar is the picture and username that get displayed in other bloggers’ notifications if you follow, like, and comment on their posts.  If you’ve changed your domain name at some point, your Gravatar may or may not have updated automatically.

Why does this matter? If your Gravatar is linked to your old domain name that no longer exists, people who click on it will be directed to a message that your site no longer exists. So, if you follow someone’s blog, they see the notification and try to go check out your blog, it looks like you don’t exist, and they’ll wonder what the heck is wrong with you that you have destroyed your blog in the 2 minutes between you following them and them clicking on your Gravatar.

You can check your Gravatar by:

  1. In the app, go to “Me” at the bottom of the screen, or in the browser version, click on your Gravatar image near the top right of your screen. 
  2. Go to “Account settings.” 
  3. On this screen, look for the box for the “Web Address” (and below this, it says “Shown publicly when you comment on blogs.” 
  4. Make sure the domain name listed here is correct. If it’s not, update it.

Check your comment spam folder

Did you realize you have a comment spam folder?  You do, and if you haven’t checked it recently (or ever), you’ll find some (or many) stray legit comments in there. 

  1. In “My Sites”, expand the “Sites” section
  2. Click “Comments”
  3. Click on the “Spam” tab at the top of the screen
  4. For non-spam posts, click to view the comment, or check “Approve”

If you approve a spam comment, it disappears from your spam list, and may now be buried two months back in your pile of legit comments. If you click to view the comment first, it takes you to the comments for that specific blog posts. If you click approve from there, you only have to hunt through that one post’s worth of comments if you want to respond to it.

Searching comments

For the longest time, it annoyed me that you couldn’t search through your whole ocean of comments from the beginning of time. I discovered just recently that you actually can. You just have to open up the wp-admin dashboard. You’ll find this in “my sites” down at the very bottom of the list on the left-hand side. That opens up a window that looks same-same-but-different, and you can go into the comments section and search to your heart’s content.

About that email address…

You may or may not be aware that any time you leave a comment on someone’s blog, they can see your WordPress-associated email address. They may not realize they can see it or know how to see it, but it’s not hard to find. If you’re trying to be anonymous and don’t want people knowing your email address, you might want to do something about that.

Blacklisting

You can’t prevent people from being able to follow your blog, but you can stop them from being able to comment. In “my sites”, go to “settings” and then click the “discussion” tab. Scroll on down to the “disallowed comments” box. Anything you disallow here will go straight to comment trash (it doesn’t go to spam). Thank you, next!

Pingbacks

If you’re mentioning another blogger in a post you’re writing, and you want them to get notified about that, you can include a link to one of their sites, and they will get a “pingback” that shows up as a form of comment on their post you’ve linked to.

For it to work, it has to be a link to their actual site, not just to the URL of the post in the WP Reader. Depending on how a site is set up, only posts, not pages, will register pingbacks. On my site, the pages don’t accept pingbacks, so if someone links to https://mentalhealthathome.org, I won’t get a notification of that.

Clean up your block editor

If you find it annoying that the block editor bombards you with a whole pile of block options that you’ll never use? You can hide some of them. When you’ve got a post open in the editor, click on the three vertical dots in the top right-hand corner. Click “block manager.” You can then uncheck any block types you don’t want it showing you. This seems to be remembered via a browser cookie, and if you open WordPress in a different browser, you’ll see the full complement of blocks again.

Anything else?

Are there any other WordPress bits and bobs that you can think of that people might want to know?

A blogger's guide to blogging from Mental Health @ Home

The Blogger’s Guide to Blogging isn’t about what the blogging gurus say you should do; it’s about relevant tips that the regular, personal blogger can use.

41 thoughts on “Assorted WordPress Tidbits You Might Not Know”

  1. Does the block editor have any particular advantages I should be made aware of? A number of people have told me that they achieved more inner peace by simply “accepting” it and all its new features. I have not in the past few months noticed anything new about it other than that it’s a gigantic pain in the butt.

    1. For me, the biggest thing is that I like the reusable blocks. I also like some of the layout capabilities, although I mostly use those on pages rather than blog posts.

      1. Okay. I probably just have been so emotionally irritated by it that I haven’t bothered to explore it very thoroughly. Somebody emailed me a link that supposedly will return me to the old editor, though I can’t seem to find their email.

      2. I also notice that, when I’m writing the Tuesday Tuneup for example, everything seems unevenly spaced all of a sudden. Also, when it used to be I could apply some change (like a font change) to the entire text of my blog, now I have to apply it separately, block by block, and it’s a total pain in the ass.

        Last Tuesday I went into the code editor and simply removed every “wordpress paragraph” tag. Then the Tuneup lined up right. But it’s pretty time consuming to do it that way.

        1. If you create a “class block” (rather than a “paragraph” block), you can do multiple paragraphs of text within that one block and change fonts and the like all at once.

  2. I’ve found multiple messages in my spam so far and none of them have been spam. It’s never good to miss people’s comments after they’re poured their heart into creating them.

  3. “You just have to open up the wp-admin dashboard. You’ll find this in “my sites” down at the very bottom of the list on the left-hand side. That opens up a window that looks same-same-but-different, and you can go into the comments section and search ”
    Aha! I did not know this!
    Thank you, Ashley!

  4. Great tips! Cleaning up the block editor is something I did not know about so I will definitely do that.
    One thing that seems simple but that I just recently started doing is publishing posts privately first. Quite helpful and is more effective even than merely viewing the preview.

  5. How’d I miss this yesterday? I must’ve been braindead again. This is a lot of useful info!! You’re a total computer geek!! I knew some of this stuff but not all of it!!

  6. Hey!! This is so helpful. I am new on wordpress and I have started my own blogging site. So, I learnt some bits from here. Thank you.
    Please do check out my post too. Will be grateful for some support.

Leave a Reply