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:
- 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.
- Go to “Account settings.”
- On this screen, look for the box for the “Web Address” (and below this, it says “Shown publicly when you comment on blogs.”
- 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.
- In “My Sites”, expand the “Sites” section
- Click “Comments”
- Click on the “Spam” tab at the top of the screen
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
Are there any other WordPress bits and bobs that you can think of that people might want to know?