Prep your WordPress course site for next semester

Even seasoned WordPress users can learn a new trick. WordPress actively changes as new updates are applied to the main product; these major updates come with new version numbers. That is to say, WordPress is not a stagnant product. Years after I began using WordPress almost daily, a coworker showed me how to edit multiple settings from within one screen!

There are a lot of things you need to do to get ready for the semester; making duplicate changes one-by-one is tedious. While this won’t change your posted due dates, it will speed up your clean up and refreshing process greatly. Curious what all you should be updating? See the related section for 26 things to consider.

When should you get ready for the next semester? I’d recommend two weeks out. I’ve prepped things prior to that, but never really felt ready. I always thought I was missing something. Generally, I was. Whenever you have time, delete old content. You can update dates and schedule items to post as soon as the current semester is over.

Read the  script Prep your WordPress site for next semester.

Here are tips to prep your class site for next semester:

  • Export a back-up copy
  • Delete old or unused posts
  • Unpublish posts you want to keep or reuse
    • Edit and schedule posts you’d like to reuse

Before the semester begins, look at your site with fresh eyes. Remove old content. Refresh your dates and remove or reuse posts. Change the published date of an older essential post to make it fresher. Bulk edits are very helpful for removing student content and refreshing your own posts.

Three steps to edit multiple items

Here’s how to do a bulk remove of older posts:

  1. Go to your dashboard
  2. Choose Posts > All Posts
  3. Select the checkboxes to the left of the posts to disable
  4. Click the “Bulk Actions’ dropdown menu and choose Edit
  5. Under the Status dropdown change to “Unpublished’ or “Pending Review’
  6. Click Update
  7. Check your site

Backing up?

A quick export of all your materials results in an XML file that you should save periodically. You can reimport this file if you run into trouble. To accomplish this task:

  1. Log into your site /wp-admin/ area
  2. Choose Tools, Export
  3. The default option is “All content’ leave it or alter as you see fit
  4. Click “Download Export File’

Please continue to poke around and learn new skills.

Questions? Reply to this post. I’m here to help.


  1. Exporting information from WordPress
  2. Video Tutorial on how to update posts
  3. Teaching Tip: Getting ready for next semester in one hour a day
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