A reader offered the following comment/question today about the WordPress HTML Editing Window.
I’m frustrated with the WP editor. I’m used to Dreamweaver and having lots of html coding available to me, along with design view. I find that the html view of WP jumps around, doesn’t take me to where I was in the design view, is limiting on features, increases or decreases spacing between lines on me once posted, and is generally frustrating. It won’t even underline properly.
Do you have any suggestions about an outside editor for WP??
Here’s my answer:
Thanks for your question. It’s something that I’m hearing more often these days. In general, it’s the idea that people want more control over their pages and posts.
Bloggers in the traditional sense are not the ones calling for this. It’s usually businesses, independent consultants and professionals that are using WordPress for full-blown websites.
What most people seem to want is a WYSIWYG editor that will allow them to do more with layout and styling using the Visual editing window. For that, there are several solutions. The most popular is TinyMCE Advanced WordPress Plugin.
But what you are asking for is more control over the HTML. This is tricky.
On the one hand, you have just about as much control as your HTML and CSS skills allow, but practically speaking it’s a pain. You can paste all kinds of code into the HTML window. For this, I usually use an external HTML editor. Dreamweaver works fine. There’s a free editor on the Business Blogging 101 Resources page. You can’t preview your work in Dreamweaver, however, unless you go through some other technical setup. Not worth it, imo. You can paste the HTML into the WP editor and save the changes, then view the page. The more complicated your HTML, the more tedious it gets!
The other thing you have to contend with is that your WordPress theme may conflict with the CSS you use in your hand-coded HTML. My guess is that the problem you cite with underlining is due to such a conflict. If the conflicts are very disruptive or they don’t allow you to do what you want at all, you may need to edit your style.css or other CSS files.
If you want to simplify the editing process and see how things work when you edit your page using HTML without having to constantly paste your changes into WordPress to preview them, you might try this:
In a web browser, View the Source Code for the page or post you are working on. Select All. Copy and Paste the code into the Code/HTML window of Dreamweaver. Now save that page somewhere, and you should be able to open it in a browser – or maybe view it in Dreamweaver’s visual window – that is, you should be able to view it from your desktop, so that you don’t have to keep saving changes into the WordPress editor to see how they look.
You’ll need to identify the section of the HTML page that is the chuck of code you will paste into the WordPress HTML editing window when you get things looking the way you want. (Try demarcating it with <!– HTML comments –>.) This doesn’t always work, but if you want more control over your pages, this is the easiest way to do it.
If you love Business Blogging 101, head over to the WordCamp Seattle website and vote for one or both of Mark McLaren‘s proposed Ignite WordCamp Seattle presentation topics!
You’ll find a link that says “View Poll”. Click there to take the poll. Estimated time required: 60 seconds. Estimated brain power required: 0.01 calories.
I’ve got an opportunity to present at WordCamp Seattle (a conference for users and developers of WordPress), and voting is open to members of my social network.
My topics are:
The Untimely Demise of the Webmaster, a Historical Journey, as Told by Stephen Colbert
WordPress and the Social Web
This WordPress Tutorial shows how to change your WordPress theme, and how to install & activate a new theme. It uses WordPress version 2.8.4 (the latest version) hosted on a third-party web host. You change a theme in the same way on a WordPress.com site.
Third-party-hosted (also called “self-hosted”) WordPress sites allow you to upload and install more themes through the WordPress Dashboard. You can find free themes by browsing with the Dashboard Theme Installer. Or you can find themes on the Web using a Google search for “free wordpress themes” or just “wordpress themes”. If you find a theme you like on the Web, you can download it to your computer and then upload it using the Theme Installer.
In addition to the thousands of free themes available, you can also buy “premium” themes, which have extra features like additional page templates and search engine optimization. There is a list of WordPress premium theme providers on the Business Blogging 101 Resources page.
As happens in this tutorial, some premium themes do not install well using the Dashboard Theme Installer. You may need to upload these themes to the /wp-content/themes/ directory using FTP software.
This tutorial shows how to delete a theme using Appearance > Manage Themes in the WordPress Dashboard. It shows how to find new free themes using Appearance > Install Themes in the WordPress Dashboard. And shows how to upload a theme from your computer. It shows how to activate a new theme once you install it.
WordPress themes come in the form of a .zip file.
What are your favorite WordPress themes? Let me know and I will add them to my Resources page.
Note that if you have a fast Internet connection, you can play the video in HD by clicking the HD button on the player, and you can also click the button next to that to play in full-screen mode.
How to Change, Install & Activate a New WordPress Theme
If you use WordPress – a pretty safe bet given that you are reading Business Blogging 101! – then you will love WordCamp. WordCamp conferences are held in cities around the world and one will be held in Seattle for the first time on Saturday, September 26, 2009.
What is WordCamp? The WordCamp Central website says it well:
WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. WordCamps are open to WordPress.com and WordPress.org users alike.
One of the most amazing things about WordCamp is the price. It’s up to organizers to decide, but it’s almost always very affordable. Early-bird registration (before September 1st) for WordCamp Seattle is only $25! The regular price is $35. I mean, you can’t afford not to go to WordCamp! At the time of this post, there are only 45 tickets left.
Don’t let the low price deceive you, the speakers at WordCamp Seattle are going to be top-notch: Liz Strauss, Chris Pirillo, Lorelle VanFossen, Ian Lurie, Aaron Hockley, Scott Porad, Maya Bisineer, Jane Wells, Brett Nordquist, Nick Ohrn. These are not just WordPress power users and developers, these are leaders in the world of blogging and social media. Read more about WordCamp Seattle speakers here.
Whether you live in Seattle or not, if you can be here on September 26th, then come to this conference. It is going to ROCK! Looking forward to meeting you!
Join me for a teleseminar on Business Blogging 101: How to Build a Successful Business Blog this Thursday, August 27th, at noon Pacific time. The seminar is free and open to everyone. It will be hosted by Stacy Karacostas of Success Stream Sales & Marketing Solutions.
Here are the topics we will be covering. There will be open Question & Answer time at the end of the call.
- Why is blogging so important?
- How to use blogging to grow your business
- Blogger, Typepad, Moveable Type, WordPress…Which hosting platform is right for your business?
- Widgets, plugins and other tools that every successful business blog should have
- How to craft blog posts that readers and the search engines will love
- You’ve got a blog, now what? Steps for promoting your blog
- Want to create a full Website using your blog? We’ll cover how to create static pages for your blog/site.
You can tune in via telephone. To sign up for this free teleseminar, click on the following link: How to Build a Successful Business Blog – with Mark McLaren and Stacy Karacostas.