20+ WordPress Hacks for Developers

One of the things that WordPress really popular today is the opportunity to extend it a million ways. For example, functionality can be enhanced with plugins while themes are great for changing the appearance. As the result, the site gets tweaked to meet various needs of blogging, ecommerce, and others.

But what about unleashing a true power of WordPress with tweaks? Let’s take customizing one step further with these killer hacks.

#1. RSS Feed with Featured Images

RSS Feed with Featured Images

Have you ever wondered why WordPress did not allow displaying featured images by default in RSS feeds? That’s clearly a better move if you are a blogger or you just want to provide a bit more encouragement to people to subscribe.

Here’s how to do it (add this to your theme’s functions.php file):

add_filter('the_content_feed', 'rss_post_thumbnail');
function rss_post_thumbnail($content) {
global $post;
if( has_post_thumbnail($post->ID) )
$content = '<p>' . get_the_post_thumbnail($post->ID, 'thumbnail') . '</p>' . $content;
return $content;

#2. Add a “Send to Facebook” Button

Send to Facebook

Bloggers see Facebook as a huge database of potential customers and visitors. That’s correct, with more than a billion users it can really increase the volume of traffic. So, how does one creates a “send to Facebook” button to add to a blog and boost the traffic?

It’s done by opening the single.php file in the current theme and pasting this code in the loop:

<a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=<?php the_permalink();?>&t=<?php the_title(); ?>" target="blank">Share on Facebook</a>


#3. Eliminate image compression

Eliminate image compression

We all know that WordPress does not provide 100 percent quality images because it compresses them to 90 percent. While this may not sound like something that needs to be changed for many people, we developers know we can do better.

For example, we can force the platform to display 100 percent original images to ensure perfect quality. The following needs to be added to the current theme’s functions.php file:

add_filter( 'jpg_quality', 'high_jpg_quality' );
function high_jpg_quality() {
return 100;

#4. Reference a site with URL

Reference a site with URL

By using WordPress, one can add a shortcut to a site as a reference. As the result, there is no need to type out the URL every time. Here’s how it’s done:

<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>

The function is then used like this:

<a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); >/about">About Our Company</a>

#5. Improve security by removing publicly shown WordPress version

WordPress version

For hackers, knowing a WordPress version is enough to try to exploit some security holes (especially in older versions: the Panama papers breach is blamed on old installations!). To hide this information from anyone, you can use the following hack:

// Remove the WP version for extra WordPress Security
function remove_wp_version(){ 
return ''; 
add_filter('the_generator', 'remove_wp_version'); 

#6. Restrict the number of people who can register

If you noticed that many new WordPress users have been visiting the user page, it means you probably allowed anyone to register. When you check the setting, you’ll find that the users are subscribing through your RSS.

If you don’t want too many registered users, go to Settings and uncheck the box that permits everyone to register using membership option. That’s it!

#7. Prevent spam by disabling HTML in comments

Disabling HTML in comments

Spam is a real problem for many people who use WordPress. For example, bloggers often discover links to suspicious sites in the comments section. The posts with spam are not a good way to get noticed, so the problem needs to be eliminated as soon as possible.

To disable HTML and prevent spammers to include links and other methods, this code needs to be added to functions.php file:

// This will occur when the comment is posted
function plc_comment_post( $incoming_comment ) {
    // convert everything in a comment to display literally
    $incoming_comment['comment_content'] = htmlspecialchars($incoming_comment['comment_content']);
    // the one exception is single quotes, which cannot be #039; because WordPress marks it as spam
    $incoming_comment['comment_content'] = str_replace( "'", '&apos;', $incoming_comment['comment_content'] );
    return( $incoming_comment );
// This will occur before a comment is displayed
function plc_comment_display( $comment_to_display ) {
    // Put the single quotes back in
    $comment_to_display = str_replace( '&apos;', "'", $comment_to_display );
    return $comment_to_display;
add_filter( 'preprocess_comment', 'plc_comment_post', '', 1 );
add_filter( 'comment_text', 'plc_comment_display', '', 1 );
add_filter( 'comment_text_rss', 'plc_comment_display', '', 1 );
add_filter( 'comment_excerpt', 'plc_comment_display', '', 1 );
// This stops WordPress from trying to automatically make hyperlinks on text:
remove_filter( 'comment_text', 'make_clickable', 9 );

#8. Use email as a login

This incredibly simple hack can be very helpful in terms of increasing security. For hackers, it will be much harder to predict an email than a username, so it is a more secure method.

#9. Display recent posts on homepage

Display recent posts on homepage

This is a great hack for bloggers that allows to show the latest blog entries on the homepage. No need to make the blog a homepage! Only the following code should be used:

<?php query_posts($query_string . '&showposts=5' ); ?>
<?php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
<div class="story">
<div class="story-content">
<h4><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h4>
<?php the_excerpt(); ?>
<?php endwhile; endif; ?>

#10. Change the admin logo

Change the admin logo

As it was said above, one of the greatest functions of WordPress is customization. This section falls into this category. The following hack allows to feature a client’s logo instead of the default admin logo. You don’t need a plugin or anything to do that, just insert the following code into functions.php:

function custom_admin_logo() {
  echo '<style type="text/css">
          #header-logo { background-image: url('.get_bloginfo('template_directory').'/images/admin_logo.png) !important; }
add_action('admin_head', 'custom_admin_logo');

#11. Delete error notification on the login page

This is another security hack that removes the error message from the login page, thus preventing hackers from alert about incorrect login or password. Insert this code:

add_filter('login_errors',create_function('$a', "return null;"));

#12. Set default HTML editor

Set default HTML editor

The next hack on our list lets WordPress users decide whether to use Visual Editor or HTML editor. If you prefer a particular one, use this code (insert them into functions.php):

# HTML Editor as default
add_filter( 'ks29so_default_editor', create_function('', 'return "html";') );

# Visual Editor as default
add_filter( 'ks29so_default_editor', create_function('', 'return "tinymce";') );

#13. Change footer text on dash

This hack could be useful for developers who want to make their clients pleasantly surprised by having some text on the dash footer. Just insert the following into functions.php file:

function remove_footer_admin () {
  echo "Your own text";

add_filter('admin_footer_text', 'remove_footer_admin');

#14. Add a shortcode to widget

Add a shortcode to widget

You can teach WordPress to use helpful shortcodes by adding the following code into functions.php:

add_filter('widget_text', 'do_shortcode');

#15. Customize dash logo

Once more hack for developers to customize websites for their clients. To personalize the installation, you can add a logo to the dash by using the following:

add_action('admin_head', 'custom_logo');

function custom_logo() {
echo '

<style type="text/css"><!--
#header-logo { background-image: url('.get_bloginfo('template_directory').'/images/custom-logo.gif) !important; }

#16. List upcoming posts

This hack is for bloggers who want their upcoming posts to be scheduled in a list visible to the visitors. Copy and paste the following code anywhere in your theme:

<div id="zukunft">
  <div id="zukunft_header"><p>Future events</p></div>

  <?php query_posts('showposts=10&post_status=future'); ?>
  <?php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
    <div >
      <p class><b><?php the_title(); ?></b><?php edit_post_link('e',' (',')'); ?><br />

      <span class="datetime"><?php the_time('j. F Y'); ?></span></p>
  <?php endwhile; else: ?><p>No future events scheduled.</p><?php endif; ?>


#17. Proper URLs

It’s important that the address of your site is correct. The esc_url() function allows to keep it error-free:

$my_url = 'http://myawesomesite.com/?awesome=true';
$url = esc_url( $my_url );

#18: Reduce post revisions

Reduce post revisions

WordPress comes with no default limit of post revisions stored in the database. With time, their number can increase dramatically (which won’t do any good to the site). Add the following code to wp-config.php file to set the limit:

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3 );

The example sets the limit to 3.

#19: Disable storage of revisions

Disable storage of revisions

This one continues the topic of post revisions. If you want to disable them, use this code:

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', -1 );

#20. Change the length of excerpts

In some cases, standard excerpts may not be the best fit for the layout. Changing them is really easy. Open functions.php and insert (“20” is the value of length):

function custom_excerpt_length( $length ) {
  return 20;
add_filter( 'excerpt_length', 'custom_excerpt_length', 999 );

#21. Add Twitter style “time ago” dates

Time ago dates

Some developers don’t know that WordPress can display the date using “Time Ago” format. This can be done by pasting the following code anywhere within the loop:

Posted <?php echo human_time_diff(get_the_time('U'), current_time('timestamp')) . ' ago';

Time to Hack!

Ready to unleash the power of WordPress with these simple but handy hacks? By trying them, you can discover new capabilities of your website and extend its functionality to make it a more functional environment.

Once you’ve seen the benefits of these hacks, you can make your content management effort more effective. Also, some of them can really enhance the security of your site, which is especially important.

All of this – without the need to install a single plugin! Given that WordPress sites rely on many plugins installed, these advancements could be very helpful to maintain a quick loading speed.

Hope this article is helpful to you to find some new WordPress hacks and enhance your site.

Like the article? Share it.

LinkedIn Pinterest

Leave a Comment Yourself

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *