3 Powerful Tips For Experienced Bloggers

3 powerful tips for experienced bloggers

The title mentions these 3 powerful tips are for ‘experienced bloggers’. Yup, that’s true, because at first you have completely other areas of interest, all very important, like: finding out how to get rid of spam comments (easy one: Akismet), getting some regular readers of your posts and people subscribing to your list for updates and unique materials, discovering your own pace for blogging, etc.

But with experience, you want to do some fine tuning. Leave that plugin and start using the other one. Have more custom work done, which adds the unique flavor you wished for to your blog, without cluttering it with a thousand plugins. And that’s to name some of the under-the-hood, often unseen things bloggers do.

The 3 powerful tips I selected to talk about today, will allow you to

  • present different menu options based on certain conditions like the device used to view the site (i.e. different for mobile versus desktop/laptop). the page type viewed, user role or if the user is logged in or not, and even based on your own custom conditions
  • show or hide sidebar widgets based on the same criteria as above, or, the alternative I like, write custom code to generate them
  • exclude entire categories — which you display separately — from appearing also on the main blog

These tips are for blogs using the WordPress platform. Let’s go over each one of them:

  1. Different Menu Options Based On Context
  2. The menu options we show should, as much as possible, be influenced by the context we are in. For instance, hiding certain menu options for visitors. That’s a context.
    Or showing different menus depending whether the user views a blog post, the front page or a different static page. These are different contexts.

    You’d think this is a very complicated stuff to make it happen. Nope. All you need is an easy-to-use plugin called the if Menu. Here’s how it works:
    if menu at work
    After you install and activate the plugin, of course, under the menu item you choose to experiment on, you check ‘Enable Conditional Logic’ and then from below select the action you want to perform with the menu item (show or hide) if the condition you choose is true. You can add multiple conditions for the same item, using simple boolean logic to aggregate them. In the image above, I selected the “other” condition because I needed a specific condition, which I defined myself in the

    functions.php

    php file of my child theme, like this:

    //if-menu plugin custom condition
    add_filter( 'if_menu_conditions', 'wpb_new_menu_conditions' );
    
    function wpb_new_menu_conditions( $conditions ) {
      $conditions[] = array(
        'name'    =>  '[name of the condition]', // replace with name of the condition
        'condition' =>  function($item) {   // callback - must return TRUE or FALSE
          // do any processing if you need to
          return [TRUE or FALSE]; // replace with TRUE or FALSE, depending if your condition is met
        }
      );
      return $conditions;
    }
  3. Sidebar Widgets Customization Based On Context
  4. If you need to add the same kind of conditional logic to your blog’s sidebar widgets as for the menu, but without the possibility to define custom conditions, this plugin is the solution (I haven’t tested it exactly because I needed a custom condition).

    The alternative is to use a WordPress shortcode for your widget which you want to customize based on context. If you haven’t used shortcodes before, this solution is probably not for you… yet.

    By default, shortcodes are disabled on the sidebar widgets. That can easily be changed by adding this line in your

    functions.php

    php file:

    // Enable shortcodes in text widgets
    add_filter('widget_text','do_shortcode');
  5. Removing Categories from the Main Blog
  6. Why would you want to do that? Here’s an example: if you display your category elsewhere (like I do with ‘Interviews’, for instance), it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to keep them in the main blog too. It depends on the situation and preference if you want them out of the main blog or not, but here’s how it can be done. Again, from the infamous

    functions.php

    php file:

    //exclude a category or more from main blog
    function ah_exclude_category( $query ) {
      if ( $query->is_home() && $query->is_main_query() ) {
        $query->set( 'cat', '-50,-75' );//comma separated for more categories (in this example, 50 and 75 category ids)
      }
    }
    add_action( 'pre_get_posts', 'ah_exclude_category' );

Now, if you’ve managed to read so far it’s probably because you aren’t scared when you see a bit of code. If you think of starting a new blog, or changing the theme on your current blog, keep in mind this advice before doing anything else: if you want to be able to customize your theme without losing your new settings at every theme update, you need to create and use a child theme instead of using the parent theme.

The first and second tip presented above I have just tested myself for Adrian’s Hub, but will begin a longer process for my site, that I postponed long enough.

The tips can go on, and if you know what to look for, there are many sources where you can find them on. Try WP Beginner, a huge site, with well-presented, easy-to-understand materials.

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About Adrian
Creator of AdriansHub.com, I enjoy working from home and having a flexible schedule. My mission: to grow myself, then teach and help others to step up and inspire them to offer help at their turn.

2 Comments on 3 Powerful Tips For Experienced Bloggers

  1. Tony Matyasovszky // April 1, 2017 at 1:43 am //

    Hello Adrian,
    I am not an experienced blogger but I have a blog and these or any other tips that you post on here I will take to heart.

  2. Hi Tony. Yup, I know I needed them and I still do. These tips are for WordPress blogs, not sure how clear I was in the article.
    Adrian Gurgui recently posted…Bitcoin Dorado

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