I’m probably not alone when it comes to frustration around the post editor system in WordPress…
I hate it when suddenly, a small change or edit to my blogpost, mess up the whole post by escaping certain characters, removing formatting or what have you.
Thankfully, there is a good solution to this! You can write your blogposts using Markdown instead of wordpress’ special text editor.
Markdown isn’t new, it’s about ten years old, but it’s hard to beat Markdowns simple syntax for things like writing articles and blogposts.
Many editors support the format, and since it’s just a plain text document, it can easily be parsed or converted, to say a pdf.
Many developers use markdown as an easy way to write readme files and documentation for their projects. Markdown is used extensively for this purpose in projects at Github.
Markdown also support html, if you need to enter anything custom, such as embedding youtube videos, or adding images to your blogpost, via the WordPress media manager.
How can you write your WordPress posts in Markdown?
There’s a plugin called Jetpack which gives you a lot of extra functionality for your WordPress blog, one of which is writing posts in Markdown.
Markdown lets you compose posts and comments with links, lists, and other styles using regular characters and punctuation marks. Markdown is used by writers and bloggers who want a quick and easy way to write rich text, without having to take their hands off the keyboard, and without learning a lot of complicated codes and shortcuts.
Activating the addon:
- Add the Jetpack plugin to your WordPress installation
- Navigate to the Jetpack menu item in your sidebar, click the Markdown addon, and enable it.
You can now create a new post, select the “Text” view mode instead of the Visual one, and enter Markdown! Try entering this Markdown for example:
## This is a H2 header This is some **bold** text. And [this is a link](http://envyandroid.com). - This - is - a - unordered list
And then hit preview in WordPress, to see if it’s working.
You can have a look at this WordPress Markdown reference sheet.
Since you have to press preview everytime, before you can see your rendered post, it’s easier to use a Markdown editor with live preview of your post.
One such great editor, is called Mou.
(Image copyright Mou)
You can write your posts in Mou with live preview, then paste them into WordPress, hit preview to check that everything is ok, and then publish!
Another editor (non-free) for Windows and Mac is Texts.
This blogpost was written in Markdown with Mou, and published with the help of the Jetpack Markdown addon.