WordPress: Start Using The HTML Interface
Chances are, if you’re new to blogging, you’re using the visual editor in WordPress to type out your posts. The visual interface is what is referred to as a WYSIWYG editor (“What You See Is What You Get”) because it attempts to render the post in the input box exactly as it will appear on your website. I say “attempts” because it cannot do this exactly, what with the different issues that are presented once your code is subject to the laws of the design settings on your site.
Many bloggers use the “Visual” tab because it seems easier and closer to what they’re used to in word processing programs. That’s reasonable, but web programming is a different animal from the (comparatively) closed environment of word processing. The fact is that the visual editor has some limitations, such as the fact that things do not always end up looking the same, as well as far fewer options available than html code. When you’re using the visual editor, you only have a few choices of what to do with your text–bold, italic, make a list, add a link–whereas with html, you can do almost anything.
But the worst part about the visual editor is that it encourages you to stay in your little wilfully ignorant blogging bubble! If the only way you know how to add a link is to press the “link” button at the top of the input box, how are you going to move things around in your sidebar? How are you going to use text widgets effectively? How can you make buttons promoting your site? And these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Beginning today, I want you to start trying out the html interface. Just mess around with it. Figure out what’s different. Don’t feel like you always have to use it–you can always click over to “visual” to see what you’re doing. Just give it a shot. Because starting tomorrow, I’m going to show you all the wonderful things that html can add to your posts.