You know how it is. Day in, day out, the same old same old … all relationships grow stale, over time.
While it might be a manufactured holiday of forced romanticism, Valentine’s Day can be the perfect day to rekindle the passion that’s gone out of your own relationship with WordPress.
Follow our strategies below to find the fun and fall in love with WordPress all over again.
Improve Your WordPress Game
It’s not much fun when you just don’t understand each other.
While your relationship with WordPress will undoubtedly be somewhat one-sided in this regard, it’s still possible to deepen your understanding by improving your WordPress game. Learn more about the code that makes it go. Acquire new skills.
After all, not knowing how to maximize a technology’s utility can seriously drain your fun.
If you’re a novice, learn how to create a local site that you can play with and learn on. If you’ve already done that, take a course in HTML and CSS.
There’s almost certainly some slice of WordPress that will get your heart pumping a little faster, and plenty of resources available to become an expert in it.
Reach Out and Get More Social
Tired of staying home on your own blog, staring at the same four virtual walls? Maybe it’s time to get more social.
WordPress offers a number of ways you can bring the socializing to your own site. Four of the biggest social boosts you can add to your site (and the plugins that help) are:
- Your own social network with BuddyPress or WP Symposium
- Your own job board with WPJobBoard
- Your own forums and message boards with BBPress
- A “question and answer” board with CM Answers
Make It Easier on Yourself
No need to make this relationship stuff hard. In fact, making it easier on yourself can actually help you find the fun again. One simple way to lighten your WordPress load is to learn Markdown and use it to speed up blogging.
Markdown is a simplified way of formatting your text that can save you time in creating and formatting your blog posts and page copy.
Learn more about how WordPress supports Markdown, then use a Markdown-friendly editor such as the Desk app. Alternatively, you can compose your posts in the Dashboard (not generally recommended), or use a plain text editor to compose, then paste into the Visual Editor for formatting via Markdown.
Another easy shortcut that will help you save time in formatting and publishing blog posts is the paste-link trick. Simply highlight the text you want to turn into your anchor text, then use the “paste” keyboard shortcut (CMD + V for Macs, CTRL + V for PCs). Voila – instant link!
While automation in human relationships is probably a really bad idea, it can definitely help you find the love with WordPress again.
When it’s applied to the right tasks — that is, tasks that don’t require the personal touch but take up time in the aggregate that you could be better spending elsewhere — automation is a sanity-saver.
IFTTT stands for “if this, then that” and is a simple way to explore automating some basic WordPress tasks. You can use IFTTT (it rhymes with “gift”) formulas, known as recipes, to accomplish a number of actions that require integration with another internet network, site, or application. Basically, you’re instructing IFTTT that, if one thing happens (your “this” in your recipe), then it automatically triggers another action in the other network or app (your “that”).
- Automatically send an email to anyone who comments on one of your posts
- Automatically post anything you share on Instagram on your WordPress site
- Automatically share any video you post to your YouTube channel to your blog
An alternative to IFTTT is Zapier with its own set of connecting apps you can check out.
There are a ton of plugins out there that perform all kinds of serious — and seriously helpful — functions for a WordPress website. But sometimes, what a stale relationship needs is a healthy dose of fun and silliness.
Dooodl is a seriously fun game that allows your users to create doodles and display them in a sidebar widget on your site along with a little note.
Star Trek lovers (whether you call yourself a Trekkie or a Trekker), check out two cool alternatives to the infamous Hello Dolly plugin: He’s Dead, Jim and Make It So. Both display quotes from Star Trek (original and TNG flavor, respectively) in your dashboard.
BuddyPress Identicons lets users without Gravatars get a generated Identicon based on their hashed-up email address.
Are You a Human – the Fun Spam Blocker brings a lighthearted gamified twist to CAPTCHA tasks on your site. It promises to work seamlessly with comments, contact forms, lost password requests and more.
Now that you’ve fallen in love again, or at least are taking steps to rekindle the passion, keep the fires burning by staying up to date.
We might be biased, but we think Torque belongs on any list of the best sites to keep up with WordPress news; we’re grateful that others agree, since we’ve made quite a few of those lists.
And of course no such list would be complete without the official WordPress blog itself. In addition, we can heartily recommend a number of other sites, including:
If you want to keep a relationship going, you have to give as well as receive. A relationship with the WordPress community is no different.
Fortunately, depending on your skills, there are lots of ways you can contribute and improve the WordPress experience not only for yourself but for others as well.
For example, you can:
- Take some time to answer questions in the WordPress support forums or contribute to the Codex
- Create a theme or a plugin
- Beta test an upcoming version of WordPress
- Review a new theme on your own site
Meet the Other Lovers
This might be a dealbreaker in human relationships, but with WordPress it just might get your motor running again in a big way. Fortunately, with WordCamps, it’s easy and relatively painless to meet up with other WordPress fans, users, and developers.
WordCamp is actually a series of conferences and real-life meet-ups that focus on all things WordPress related.
You can find a WordCamp near you just about anywhere in the U.S. and in many locations around the globe. For instance, as of the time of this writing, you can find WordCamps in the coming weeks in Prague, Bangkok, Kochi … and Lancaster, PA.
How are you going to fall in love with WordPress again?