Learn All About The WordPress “Tools”

WordPress Tools

About This Lesson

Within WordPress is a section called “Tools”, which includes 4 extra tools that you might use to manage your site.

These aren’t tools that you’ll use all that often, in fact you may never use them. But because they’re available within WordPress, I wanted to show you what they are and how to use them.

I will say that I don’t think this is a lesson you need to go through in full.

To save you time, I’ve given a brief summary of what each of the tools do. Only read the parts of this lesson if you feel you need to use one of these tools and feel free to skip any parts that aren’t relevant to you.

The 4 tools are,

1) – Press This: – This is a shortcut you add to your browser, so you can easily grab text, images and videos, from any web page you visit and then add them into a post. This means if you see something on another website that you want to talk about, rather then having to login to WordPress and click “Add New”, you can simply click a shortcut in your browser.

2) – Categories And Tags Converter: – This does pretty much what you imagine it will. It lets you convert categories into tags or tags into categories.

3) – Export: – This lets you export your content from WordPress at any time. Exporting your content can be used to move sites and it can also be used to backup your sites data. (Note, this tool will export your WordPress content, so your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories and tags. It won’t export your themes, your theme settings or any plugins you’ve installed.)

4) – Import: – This lets you import content from other platforms. So if you already have a Blogger, LiveJournal or Tumblr account, and you want to import the posts/comments into a newly created WordPress site, you’ll use the import tool. You can also import content from another WordPress site.

Prerequisites

There are only 2 prerequisites for this lesson,

  1. You need to know what WordPress is
  2. You need to know what WordPress categories and tags are and you need to know the difference between them
Course Navigation

How To Use WordPress Course

This is Step 7 Part 5 – See the full course here!

Read All About It

Navigate To The Tools

First of all, to get to the “Tools”, you need to login to the admin area of your WordPress site. Then on the left hand side, click the menu item “Tools”.

WordPress Tools

Press This

Like I said in the intro, “Press This” is a shortcut you add to your browser, which lets you easily grab bits of the web, (text, images and videos), from any web page you visit and then add them into a post. (This only works for posts, not pages.)

This means if you see something on another website that you want to talk about, rather then having to login to WordPress and click “Add New” within the posts section of WordPress, you can simply click a shortcut in your browser.

Personally I’ve never used this feature, it’s just not something I’ve ever seen that much value in. In fact I’m sure if you were to ask 99.99% of WordPress users, they’d say they’ve never used this.

What’s more, if you ever need text or images from another website, just copy and paste it into a post. (Make sure to get permission first!)

But for those of you interested, just scroll down to read how to use this.

Add “Press This” Into Your Browser

To use “Press This” you first need to add a bookmark into your favorites. To do this,

Press This

  1. You need to be in the “Available Tools” section, within WordPress
  2. Then click and drag the “Press This” image, into the location in your favorites you want this bookmark to go. In this example I’m adding it into my Google Chrome bookmarks bar

Using “Press This”

Let me show you an example of how to use the “Press This” feature, so you can see how it works.

In this example, I’ve found an article on bbc.co.uk that I want to talk about on my site.

Using Press This

  1. So I highlight the bit of text that I want to quote on my site
  2. And click the “Press This” bookmark I just created
  3. This will then open a pop-up window, which is similar to the posts screen

I can then start creating a post around the article I found.

Creating A Post In Press This

  1. I can give it a title
  2. Add my own text and formatting options
  3. Put the post into a category or tag
  4. I can also save the post as a draft or publish it
  5. And you’ll notice, “Press This” automatically adds a link back to the main source, in this case the article on the BBC website

I can also insert an image from the article I found. To do this,

Adding An Image With Press This

  1. This area shows a preview of all the images from the article. I click the image I want to insert
  2. And the image will be added into my post

Or I could add a video from the article I found. However in this example, the article on the BBC’s website didn’t have a video, but it’s the exact same process as images, but for videos instead!

And that’s pretty much it for the “Press This” tool.

Side Note: Embedding Videos

I’ve found that sometimes the “Embed a Video” button doesn’t work. If you run into this problem too, you’ll need to embed the video manually.

I’ve created a separate lesson which shows you how to embed YouTube videos manually. (It’s a similar process for other video sharing platforms!)

It’s also worth noting that not all video are embeddable. Sometimes people just don’t want their videos being embedded on other sites. So if a video doesn’t have an embed option, this is why.

Categories And Tags Converter

If at any time you decide you want to change some of your categories into tags, or vice versa, then this is the tool for you.

Using Categories And Tags Converter

To use this,

WordPress Categories And Tags Converter

  1. Go to the “Import” section of WordPress
  2. And click the link “Categories and Tags Converter”

This will then prompt you to temporarily install a plugin. So click the install now button, like in the image below.

Install Categories and Tags Converter Plugin

When it’s finished installing you’ll get a “Successfully installed” message and the option to “Activate Plugin & Run Importer”, so like in the image below, click that.

Activate Plugin & Run Importer

This will then take you to the convert screen, here you can,

The Convert Screen

  1. Convert Categories to Tags
  2. Or convert Tags to Categories
  3. When you want to convert something, (in this example I’m going to convert two categories into tags), simply tick what you want to convert
  4. Then click the convert button

And that’s it.

Converted Successfully

Export Content

This lets you export your content from WordPress.

Exporting your content can be used to move sites and it can also be used to backup your sites data.

(Note: this tool will export your WordPress content, so your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories and tags. It won’t export your themes, your theme settings, or plugins you’ve installed).

To use the export tool, you first need to go to the export screen.

Choose What To Export

  1. So hover over “Tools” and click “Export”
  2. On the export screen you’ll see there are two ways you can export your content (3 & 4 below)
  3. You can either export all of your content
  4. Or you can choose to export certain parts of it, i.e. just your posts, or just your pages
  5. If you choose to export certain parts, you can also apply filters to these, so you can choose to export content in certain categories, or within a specific date range

Let me quickly walk you through an example of exporting content, so you can see how easy it is to do.

In the example below, I’m going to,

Exporting All Content

  1. Choose to export “All Content”
  2. Then to begin exporting, I simply click the “Download Export File” button

Which will then download an XML file to my computer.

And that’s all there is to it.

I now have an XML file, which I can import into another site elsewhere. (You can see an example of me doing this below.)

Import Content

Next up is the import tool, where you can import content from other platforms.

So if you already have a Blogger, LiveJournal or Tumblr account and you want to import the posts/comments into a newly created WordPress site, you can.

You can also import content from another WordPress site.

(Note: This is going to import content, so posts/comments etc, it’s not going to important theme designs or any plugins you might be using.)

Importing content is actually really easy to do.

The first thing you need to do, is go to the import screen.

WordPress Import

  1. So hover over “Tools” and click “Import”
  2. This then shows you the different platforms that WordPress can import from

Let me show you a quick example of importing content from one WordPress site, to a new install of WordPress, so you can see how this works. (It’s a similar process for the other platforms).

You already saw me exporting content from my “CMG Testing” site (Arrow 1 in the image below), which has 5 posts on there (arrow 2). Which means I now have that content in an XML file on my computer (arrow 3), which I can use to import into another site.

XML File For WordPress Content

I’m going to import this content into a new test site that I’ve created. This second test site currently has no content.

Second Site

So to import the content into my second test site, I need to,

Import Content From WordPress To WordPress

  1. First login to my second test site
  2. Then hover over “Tools” and click “Import”
  3. This then shows the different platforms that WordPress can import from
  4. In this case, because I’m importing from another WordPress site, I’ll click the WordPress option.

This will then prompt me to temporarily install a plugin. So I click the install now button like in the image below.

WordPress Importer

When it’s finished installing, I’ll get a “Successfully installed” message and the option to “Activate Plugin & Run Importer”, so like in the image below, I’ll click that.

Activate Plugin & Run WordPress Importer

I’ll then get the chance to import the XML file I saved on my computer when I exported my content from my test site. (Like in the image below.)

So to do this,

Upload File And Import

  1. I click “Choose File”
  2. Then choose the file I exported
  3. Finally I click “Upload file and import”

WordPress will then give me the chance to “Assign Authors”. This will basically assign all my content to the user I pick.

Assign Authors

To do this,

  1. You could create a user and give them a login name
  2. Or you can assign your content to an existing user on your second site. (Which is what I’m going to do in this example)
  3. You can also attempt to download and import file attachments (i.e. images), if you want.
  4. Finally click “Submit”, to proceed

This will then begin importing the content. Depending on how much content there is, this might take a while. (It may look like your browser isn’t doing anything… but just wait.)

When it’s done, you’ll get a message similar to the image below.

Import Successful

This means your content has imported.

If we go take a look at the posts on my second site, you’ll see I’ve gone from having 0 posts, to having 5 posts, which is the number of posts I exported from my test site. So it worked.

Imported Content

It’s always important that you take a look at your “Live” site, to make sure it has imported all of your content and media!

Quick Tip

Sometimes when you’ve finished importing and you try to visit some of your pages or posts, you’ll get a 404 error.

This simply means you need to update your permalinks.

To do this, simply visit your permalinks settings and click “Save”. And that’s it.

However, if when you click save you get the following message,

You should update your .htaccess now.

You’ll need to update/create a .htaccess file. Luckily for you I’ve got a separate lesson for this – How To Add A .htaccess File To Your Site

And that’s it for the WordPress tools lesson.

Next Steps

If you’re reading this as part of the “Learn how to use WordPress course”, you might also want to check out the other lessons in Step 7.

  1. Learn All About WordPress Post Formats
  2. Learn All About WordPress Comments
  3. Learn All About WordPress Users
  4. Learn All About The WordPress Media Library
  5. Learn All About The WordPress “Tools”

Or you might want to check out some other WordPress tutorials I’ve put together, just for you. (These aren’t required viewing, more optional extras.)