RocketMill loves WordPress. It’s our CMS of choice for its flexibility, support, ease of use and its bundle of awesome features. If you’re not a veteran WordPress user (or even if you are!), you may be missing out on some clever features that not everyone knows about.

This is part 1 of our “Things you didn’t know about WordPress” series, hoping to open the box of tricks that is WordPress.

1 Changing how often the trash is emptied

You may not be able to get your bin men to turn up more often, but you can certainly control when WordPress empties trashed pages and posts.

All you need to do is add the below code to your wp-config.php file found in the route of your WordPress installation. The number 2 is the number of days you want WordPress to keep trashed items for.

define( ‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 2 );

2 Changing how often WordPress autosaves your content

You may have noticed that when editing a page or post, WordPress autosaves your content every so often. If you have ever been furiously tapping away at your keyboard only to accidentally close your browser or lose your internet connection, you may find that you have lost some of your content.

To change how often WordPress autosaves your content, add the below code to your wp-config.php file. The number 160 is the number of seconds WordPress will wait before autosaving.

define( ‘AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL’, 160 );

3 Automatically embedding video, audio and other media into your content

A little known but awesome feature of WordPress is the ability to automatically embed content from various media sites by just pasting the URL into your content. You will need to make sure that the URL isn’t turned into a link by the WordPress editor for this to work. Try it now – grab the URL of your favourite YouTube video and paste it into a WordPress page or post then preview the page. It’s not only YouTube that this works with either!

Embedding works with the following services:

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Twitter
  • Spotify
  • SoundCloud
  • SlideShare
  • Photobucket
  • Instagram
  • Flickr
  • Bunkr
  • DailyMotion
  • Hulu
  • Qik
  • PollDaddy
  • Rdio
  • Revision3
  • Scribd
  • SmugMug
  • Viddler

To find out more click here.

4 Changing the default media embed sizes

When uploading an image for your post or page, you may find that the default measurements for the Thumbnail, Medium and Large sizes don’t quite work with your website design. Well you’re in luck! While logged into WordPress, head over to Settings > Media and you will find the default settings for each media size. You can also control whether the thumbnails are cropped to exact dimensions or are resized proportionally. The values for the medium and large sizes are maximum values and will be resized proportionally within these figures.

5 Screen Options

On most screens within WordPress, you will see a little tab in the top-right labelled screen options. This controls what is displayed to you on the current screen. You will be surprised at how many options are turned off by default. If you want WordPress to work for you, you’ll need to change some of these. My favourite is changing the amount of posts and pages are shown on the main posts and pages screen. By default, it lists 20 items – but if you have a large site, you might find this frustrating.

A final note

If this blog post has helped you learn something new about WordPress, or maybe there are some features I’ve missed out, leave me a comment at the bottom and let me know!