Converting posts to pages and vice versa with pType Converter

Have you ever accidentally created a post when you intended to create a page? Sure you could cut and paste the content again. No big deal right?

There’s a more serious issue once you try to delete the post and you’re using a base category plugin. After you create a new page, you may have noticed you can’t use the original permalink that WordPress automatically + originally generated for the post. WordPress will append a number to the end of the permalink URL of your new page and you can’t get the original permalink back.

For example if your post title was “keyword” and saved it. If you try to create a new page with “keyword”, WordPress will create the permalink as “keyword-2”.

A work around for both issues is to convert that post into page using the pType Converter plugin. The plugin adds an item in the “tools” menu with the interface below. You can type in a keyword and it will find matching posts, pages, or even attachments.


Next click on the checkbox(es) to the posts or pages that were found that you wanted to be converted. Then click on the drop down to select the type you want to convert it into and then click on “Convert” button.

Here’s some WordPress trivia: for the most part posts and pages are essentially the same thing so doing the conversion is fairly safe but as always use a plugin like Backup Buddy to backup your site whenever you make major changes. 

Get it: pType Converter

Quick Tip: Link up up a post to page

Here’s a quick tip for the day you want to point one of your WordPress blog posts link up to a static page. There’s a plugin for that and it’s aptly called “Page Links To” by Mark Jaquith. We’ve been using it for over a year now and it works like a charm. We think it’s one of those over-looked WordPress plugin gems that people forget about it but it’s become an indispensible tool in our arsenal.

Page links to

If you haven’t had the need to do this yet, you might ask why would anyone want to do that?

Here’s example one, if you had a contest page (like our MarsEdit tweet contest page) and wanted to maintain an easy to remember permalink URL as a static page. That way you could have an entry (headline) show up in your blog (or news) section but the target link would be a static page URL ( versus a blog URL which would be a longer URL.

Another use for it would be if your WordPress theme had a photo gallery slider on the home page that was setup only to link to blog postings and not static pages. You could use this plugin to link up the blog postings to pages versus hacking the theme.

Get it: Page Links To

Take “posts” to the next level with four WordPress plugins

One of the most confusing things for new WordPress users is understanding the difference between posts and pages. We won’t attempt to re-hash this subject as there are plenty of good references but here’s our take to tee up the purpose of this article.

We like to think of “posts” as a chronological stream of content a.k.a. a blog. You could also think of posts as “chunks” of content and you could relate or “tie” them together when you use the taxonomy features of WordPress by selecting categories, tags, and now “post types” in WordPress v3.1 for posts that you create.

We would then define “pages” as a way to have a static web page of content, for example an “About” or “Contact” pages. Pages are usually not updated as often as a posts. Technically, behind the scenes in WordPress there’s very little difference between posts and pages.

Finding flexible ways to show posts
So what if you want to have a “page” on the navigation bar to pull in blog posts within a certain category or tag? You could build a new page template by editing and creating some PHP but that’s a headache when you could use WordPress plugins to the same thing, right?

We found three indispensable plugins that will make your life easier if you want to create “pages” by pulling in and controlling content from your posts.

A real life scenario
Here’s an example, say you wanted to create a WordPress site with job listings. You could enter in the various open job positions into the posts editor and add tags and/or categorize them. Then you could setup pages on the navigation bar with labels like “mobile” or “PHP”. Then you could use a plugin that would pull in only job posts matching that taxonomy.

Both of these plugins, once you activate them, all you have to do is create your new page and then paste in the shortcode with some parameters like the ID number of the category or tags. We haven’t tried using them both at the same time but they definitely work on their own on some of our real life sites.

So the first plugin is called Posts by Tags for use when you want to create a page filled with posts from tags. All you do simply is paste in shortcode like this into your page editor:

[posts-by-tag tags = "tag1, tag2"][/posts-by-tag]

Simply replace 1 (and 2) with your tag ID number(s) to have that page show only posts matching those tags. We’ve noticed on certain templates you don’t have to put in the ending tag because it will show up on the published site.

On a side note, so how do you know what your tag ID numbers are? When you’re editing the tags in WordPress admin, look for the ID number in the URL string at the top of the page like in the screenshot:


And yes, there is also an plugin to show your ID numbers (newer more recently) updated plugin to show that info in the WP admin pages showing all your pages, posts, tags, categories, etc.

Publishing posts by Categories
So what if you want to show posts based on categories instead of tags? Give List Category Posts a try. This one was recently updated so it works with WordPress 3.1. It works in a similar way to the tag plugin but lets you use category names as well as ID numbers. In fact List Category will also support tags so if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, give this one a try first.

The other way to publish “pages” of posts
Yes, there is another way to reproduce this type of site structure by simply using WordPress 3x’s navigation bar menu builder to create URL based queries for the tags or categories (example: /category/name-of-cateogry/). However using this method, you wouldn’t have the ability to add (type out) content around the posts either at the top or the bottom of the page.

Hide posts without a need for password
And the final plugin that you’ll want to try out is WP Hide Posts. This one might be helpful even if you don’t need to pull in posts into pages. With WP Hide Posts, you can hide certain posts from appearing on the home page or other post pages.

It’s useful if you want to write a “test” post that you didn’t want the general public to see yet on the home page. For example you had an announcement that you were working on with a copy writer but didn’t want to give them access to WordPress admin but wanted them to look at it first without the public seeing it.

Wp hide posts

Think of it as a way to have a “quasi-hidden” posts category that doesn’t require a password for anyone to see that posts. You can email people the URL of that post without a password required. We’ve used WP Hide Posts on our P2 reloaded site to hide posts related to revision history that don’t need to appear on the home page.

Note that users may still be able to find your post if they are using a tag/category cloud widget, so that’s what we mean by “quasi-hidden” so if it’s something top secret, password protect it.

So we’ve talked a bit about four very powerful posts tools for WordPress that will let you expand the way you think posts normally work in WordPress. You can use these tools to write, organize, and publish information in WordPress that you normally wouldn’t think of.

Get it: Posts by Tags | Show IDs | List Category Posts | WP Hide Posts

Quick roundup of 3 lightbox plugins

Here’s a feature that content creators usually seek out upon starting out with WordPress: Lightbox plugins. What’s a “lightbox?” Click on any of the screenshots below to see an example.

Unfortunately for now, WordPress doesn’t have this as a standard feature, so new users have to search for a suitable plugin for their WordPress installation.

Let’s take a look at three photo lightbox plugins that maybe suitable for your particular need.

Let’s first take a look at Simple Lightbox. In our experience, it works well on WP sites that don’t have a lot of other plugins installed. Once the plugin is activated, you won’t have much else to do as it will automatically insert itself into pictures when you use the media button in the post / page editor as long as you follow our notes near the bottom of the review. Click the thumbnail of the simple lightbox settings below to see it in action.

We found the second plugin, Photo Lightbox, also works well on WordPress sites that have a minimal set of plugins that are activated. Like Simple Lightbox, it will automatically link up your photos as long as you use the insert media command. The only thing is that it adds a somewhat gaudy slideshow media player buttons at the top of the page.

Note: When using both plugins above, we noticed that new installations of WordPress may specify the link URL as an “attachment,” so make sure you click on “File URL” (see below) as the the target otherwise the plugin won’t work.

Wp upload media

The third plugin is not a traditional plugin but part of library of shortcodes sold at Evnato’s Code Canyon called Styles with Shortcodes. The library offers an extensive set of useful WordPress functions including social network icons, block quotes, Google maps, tables, and more. This particular solution is not as user friendly as the other two plugins reviewed here but we were able to get it to work in our environment with ten active plugins.

The steps to use this plugin require more manual work as it doesn’t automatically link up pictures using the usual WordPress workflow. First, you upload the picture using the standard WordPress media dialog box. Copy the uploaded image path into your clipboard. Then click on the “S” button that appears on the toolbar. Then you have to copy/paste the URLs and enter in various settings into the dialog box shown here:

[sws_overlay src=”” title=”” subtitle=”” description=”Shortcodes Overlay lightbox” thumb_width=”404″ thumb_height=”273″ icon=”red” Align=””] [/sws_overlay]

We wish there was a fourth contender, as we used to use Flexible Lightbox but the developer stopped updating it about a year ago and we haven’t had any luck with it since WordPress 3.0.1.

Let us know what your favorite lightbox plugin is and why you like it.

Comprehensive set of free CMS plugins

WNET a PBS station in New York uses WordPress to power their website. Now in conjunction with their developers, Tierra Innovation, they’re giving back to the WordPress community a set of unique WordPress plugins that extend its CMS functionality. Here’s a quick summary of the available plugins:

Ajax Report Comments allows users to report inappropriate comments to the administrators.

Audio Playlist manager extends the MP3 play capability of the built-in media gallery.

Billboard Manager is a JQuery-like slider or gallery. You can give it images or videos to cycle through along with unique hyperlinks for each one.

Extend KSES allows your WordPress editor to accept currently disallowed HTML tags like embed or iframe.

Facebook iLike allows your users to like your pages within your WordPress site along with customization options.

Smart Category Ordering allows you to resort your categories at both the parent and children level. This is useful if your theme automatically shows themes on a sub-navigation bar.

WPDB Profiling lets you profile your SQL database. It’s useful to track down errant plugins that might be slowing down your website.

Get it all: Tierra Innovation