WordPress Wednesdays–Sneaky Screen Options

This week, I wanted to draw your eye right to the very top of WordPress. It seems like, with every new version, more and more of the things which we used to see are being turned off. If you’re logged into your dashboard looking at a page or a post, you’ll see a little tab sticking down which says “Screen Options.”

Try clicking it. Holy cow! That’s a lot of things which WordPress is hiding from us.

Here’s a quick run-through of the ones which are turned off now by default:


On certain themes, when you see the list of blog posts, rather than the full content, you’ll just see the first few lines. By default, this a certain number of characters from the top of the post, but this allows you to write a custom excerpt. This is great for summarizing the complete blog post, and writing it in a sales-y manner to catch customers’ attention.

Custom Fields

Not everyone will have a use for these, but they can you give you some really fantastic customization options. We’ve used this to great effect to give us greater, more consistent control of the formatting and lay-out of featured posts.


This one allows you to turn on and off comments and trackbacks. For most pages on your site, you’ll likely want to turn this off, and just leave it available on blog posts where you’re looking to create a discussion. One quick tip: you can bulk edit all your pages at once to turn this off, from the “All Pages” screen. I normally do this to ensure I haven’t missed any.


If you have comments turned on, this will let you see the comments in the back end, right below the post. It also gives you all the tools to approve, unapprove, mark as spam, etc.


This one is less necessary, as you can change the slug using the field at the top of the page, below the title. More on slugs, here.


If you have multiple users on your site, this can come in really handy. Normally, when working on a clients’ website, I log in using an AWTW company account. However, when I publish, I always want to have the post to come from their staff. By using this drop-down menu, I can choose who I’d like this post to belong to, and they will be credited as the author. This is super powerful for anyone who has multiple blog contributors, as you can have one administrator load their posts and attribute them to the correct author.


This will allow you to go back in time to any older versions of the page or post. If you’re looking for some old content, or if you make a mistake when updating, this will allow you to compare versions, and restore any of the older save points.

It might be time to take a look at your screen options to make sure you’re seeing all your options. Need a hand getting set up? Just give us a call.

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Posted on by Sue
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