7 WordPress tricks and hacks to use on every site

Although WordPress is really powerful CMS there are some annoying things I would like to be deactivated by default. For example, I don’t see the reason why commenting should be enabled by default. Therefore, today I’m going to show you 7 best WordPressi tricks I‘m using on every site.

Before we start you need to know that you need to add all the code snippets here below either to your child theme’s functions.php file or better yet, inside Code Snippets plugin code box.

Disable WordPress comments without a plugin

Instead of using a Disable Comments plugin (or similar) you can get rid of the comment area by using this snippet here.

// Disable comments
function __disable_feature($data) { return false; }
add_filter('comments_number', '__disable_feature');
add_filter('comments_open', '__disable_feature');

Remove Emojis

Why would one want to do so? Well, take me for example. I haven’t use any emojis on my sites for years and I’m not planning to use them either. But, since they are activated by default, then every time you load a page an emoji script is loaded. Therefore, I’m removing emoji script to reduce the page load size and requests.

// Remove Emojis
add_action( 'init', 'generate_disable_wp_emojicons' );
function generate_disable_wp_emojicons() 
{
	// all actions related to emojis
	remove_action( 'admin_print_styles', 'print_emoji_styles' );
	remove_action( 'wp_head', 'print_emoji_detection_script', 7 );
	remove_action( 'admin_print_scripts', 'print_emoji_detection_script' );
	remove_action( 'wp_print_styles', 'print_emoji_styles' );
	remove_filter( 'wp_mail', 'wp_staticize_emoji_for_email' );
	remove_filter( 'the_content_feed', 'wp_staticize_emoji' );
	remove_filter( 'comment_text_rss', 'wp_staticize_emoji' );
}

Unregister unnecessary WordPress widgets

WordPress Widgets area is loaded with all sorts of widgets 95% users won’t need. Take Archive or Calendar widgets for example. So, with this little code snippet here below you can remove these widgets you don’t need and unclutter your widgets area.

// Unregister widgets
function unregister_default_widgets() {
unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Pages');
unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Calendar');
unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Archives');
unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Links');
unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Meta');
unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Categories');
unregister_widget('WP_Widget_RSS');
unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Media_Audio');
unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Media_Video');
unregister_widget( 'WP_Widget_Tag_Cloud' );
}
add_action('widgets_init', 'unregister_default_widgets', 11);

Remove WordPress dashboard widgets

Now let’s modify a WordPress dashboard which is also full of unnecessary widgets. Yes, you can turn then off under Screen options by I like to deactivate them for all users. So, grab this code and remove WordPress dashboard widgets you don’t need.

function remove_widgets() {

	remove_meta_box( 'dashboard_primary','dashboard','side' ); // WordPress.com Blog
	remove_meta_box( 'dashboard_plugins','dashboard','normal' ); // Plugins
	remove_meta_box( 'dashboard_right_now','dashboard', 'normal' ); // Right Now
	remove_action( 'welcome_panel','wp_welcome_panel' ); // Welcome Panel
	remove_action( 'try_gutenberg_panel', 'wp_try_gutenberg_panel'); // Try Gutenberg
	remove_meta_box('dashboard_quick_press','dashboard','side'); // Quick Press widget
	remove_meta_box('dashboard_recent_drafts','dashboard','side'); // Recent Drafts
	remove_meta_box('dashboard_secondary','dashboard','side'); // Other WordPress News
	remove_meta_box('dashboard_incoming_links','dashboard','normal'); //Incoming Links
	remove_meta_box('rg_forms_dashboard','dashboard','normal'); // Gravity Forms
	remove_meta_box('dashboard_recent_comments','dashboard','normal'); // Recent Comments
	remove_meta_box('icl_dashboard_widget','dashboard','normal'); // Multi Language Plugin
	remove_meta_box('dashboard_activity','dashboard', 'normal'); // Activity
	remove_meta_box('dashboard_site_health', 'dashboard', 'normal'); // Site health
	remove_meta_box( 'e-dashboard-overview', 'dashboard', 'normal'); // Elementor
}
add_action( 'wp_dashboard_setup', 'remove_widgets' );

Add file size column to your WordPress Media list table

As the heading says, this snippet here below adds a file size column so you can see how big are the uploaded files without the need to open every file one at a time.

add_filter( 'manage_media_columns', 'sk_media_columns_filesize' );
/**
 * Filter the Media list table columns to add a File Size column.
 *
 * @param array $posts_columns Existing array of columns displayed in the Media list table.
 * @return array Amended array of columns to be displayed in the Media list table.
 */
function sk_media_columns_filesize( $posts_columns ) {
	$posts_columns['filesize'] = __( 'File size', 'my-theme-text-domain' );

	return $posts_columns;
}

add_action( 'manage_media_custom_column', 'sk_media_custom_column_filesize', 10, 2 );
/**
 * Display File Size custom column in the Media list table.
 *
 * @param string $column_name Name of the custom column.
 * @param int    $post_id Current Attachment ID.
 */
function sk_media_custom_column_filesize( $column_name, $post_id ) {
	if ( 'filesize' !== $column_name ) {
		return;
	}

	$bytes = filesize( get_attached_file( $post_id ) );

	echo size_format( $bytes, 2 );
}

add_action( 'admin_print_styles-upload.php', 'sk_filesize_column_filesize' );
/**
 * Adjust File Size column on Media Library page in WP admin
 */
function sk_filesize_column_filesize() {
	echo
	'<style>
		.fixed .column-filesize {
			width: 10%;
		}
	</style>';
}

Add menu for WordPress Reusable Blocks

If you’re using Reusable Blocks then you need a shortcut to them. Here is the code snippet which adds a Reusable Blocks menu to the WordPress admin sidebar.

function reusable_blocks_menu() {
    add_menu_page( 'Reusable Blocks', 'Reusable Blocks', 'edit_posts', 'edit.php?post_type=wp_block', '', 'dashicons-editor-table', 10 );
}
add_action( 'admin_menu', 'reusable_blocks_menu' );

Disable WordPress auto-update email notifications for plugins and themes

Since WordPress 5.5 there is a nifty feature which allows you to activate auto-updates for themes and plugins. If you do so then you will be surprised about how many “Your plugin is updated” email you receive weekly. Therefore, If this annoys you lik it annoys me, then use this snippet here below to deactivate those emails.

// Disable auto-update email notifications for plugins.
add_filter( 'auto_plugin_update_send_email', '__return_false' );
 
// Disable auto-update email notifications for themes.
add_filter( 'auto_theme_update_send_email', '__return_false' );

Bonus tip: Leverage Browser caching and enable GZIp compression

## LEVERAGE BROWSER CACHING ##
Header unset Pragma
FileETag None
Header unset ETag
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 week"
ExpiresByType text/html "access 0 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/xml "access 0 seconds
ExpiresByType text/json "access 0 seconds
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access 1 month"
</IfModule>
## END LEVERAGE BROWSER CACHING ##

# GZIP COMPRESSION
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
# Compress HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Text, XML and fonts
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
 
# Remove browser bugs (only needed for really old browsers)
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
Header append Vary User-Agent
</IfModule>
# END GZIP COMPRESSION

Video: 7 WordPress tricks and hacks to use on every site

Useful tips

Here are some of my favorite Wordpress tools

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you build your own websites and e-commerce sites. Here are some tools I use as a Wordpress developer and enthusiast that I hope you’ll also find helpful.

These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission and this helps me create these tutorials and make Youtube videos. But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my friends and family.

Themes: For the last couple of years I have two go-to themes which I use for every kind of projects. Those two themes are Blocksy theme and Kadence Theme. On this site and my Youtube channel you’ll see a lot of tutorials I have made about them. If you would like to get a 10% discount for both of them then:

Contact forms: There are hundreds of contact forms out there but Fluent Forms is the one I like the most. If you need a 20% discount then use this link (save 20% coupon is WPSH20).

Gutenberg add-ons: If I need a good Gutenberg blocks add-on then Kadence Blocks is the one I have used the most. You’ll get 10% discount with the coupon SIMPLEHACKS here.

Website migration: While building a website you probably need a good plugin that can help you with the migration, backups, restoration and staging sites. Well, WpVivid is the one I have used for the last couple of years. If you use this link along with the WPSH20 coupon you’ll get 20% discount.

Woocommerce extensions: There are a bunch of Woocommerce extensions that I really like but the one that stands really out is Advanced Dynamic Pricing. Once again, you’ll get a 20% discount if you use this link here (save 20% coupon is WPSH20)

Web Hosting: For getting started, I really like A2 Hosting. They have the dedicated and fast Wordpress hostinh and support has also been fast and responsive. If you’re more tech savvy and want to have a really fast managed cloud hosting then I recommend Cloudways. (Btw, this site is hosted in Cloudways.)

To see all my of most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource that I made for you!

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Janek T.
I am a Wordpress enthusiast who has been making websites since 2011. In this site I am offering simple to follow tips on how to use Wordpress and Woocommerce. If you want to be the first to be notified about the new tutorials then please subscribe to my Youtube channel here Follow me in Twitter here
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