WordPress editor leaves me in tears
February 8, 2018 9:42 AM   Subscribe

I recently built a small, simple site using WordPress, but I have a lot of trouble with the editor. I have great difficulty formatting the pages so that they look the way I want them to look.

I'm using the Twenty Fifteen theme, although I'm not wedded to it. The website is very simple – just six pages. But two of those pages need to be updated several times a week.

Every time I go to do an update, I end up fighting with the editor. These are some of the issues I'm seeing:

  • There is either too much or too little spacing between lines or paragraphs. I know about the shift-enter trick, but that doesn't always work. I've also tried the Spacer plug-in, but that one is clunky and doesn't work when you use it next to an image.
  • For my updates, I need to include images, along with some text that's associated with those images. It's very hard to get the text to flow properly around the image.
  • Sometimes the editor just does weird things. I'll hit backspace, and a horizontal line will disappear, even though it's not near the cursor. And there was one time when I made some text bold, and nothing I did would "un-bold" it. I had to switch to HTML view to fix it.
I do know a little HTML, so I can try to fix things manually (though the editor often un-does the changes I make). However, I need to turn over the website responsibilities to someone who doesn't know HTML, so he will be limited to using just the WYSIWYG editor. And he is less patient than I am.

Any suggestions on how to fix this? I'm opening to using other platforms, besides WordPress.
posted by JD Sockinger to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know if others have more to offer in terms of other platforms, but in my experience you always need to know a bit of HTML to really get things looking like you want them to. Good WYSIWYG editors (like Wordpress, IMO) can get you 90-95% of the way there, but if you're focusing in on what you've listed above (and you're right to do so!), it's going to be really tricky to do that exclusively with WYSIWYG.
posted by knownassociate at 9:46 AM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Agreed with knownassociate. I'm a WP developer and the WYSIWYG editor is going to be tough for things like this.

Have you looked into a builder plugin? Beaver Builder, WP Bakery Page Builder, and others can help with this kind of thing. They give you a lot more control over the look and feel of things without having to know how to do code.
posted by anotheraccount at 10:07 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

In my experience with the backend of WP, <div> tags are the main cause of line space weirdness. You will have to switch to the text view and strip them out, then hit save, and then see if that's cleared things up.
posted by rtha at 10:36 AM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

I agree with the first two responses. In your position, your options are:

1. Have someone who knows html and css fine tune these details.


2. Place less priority on those details and learn to live with what the WYSIWYG spits out.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:52 AM on February 8, 2018

I am not a WordPress coder by any stretch, but have really enjoyed putting a WordPress-based site together using a theme called Zerif (the lite version is free) and this Site Origin Pagebuilder

Good Luck!
posted by scooterdog at 5:27 PM on February 8, 2018

Teach that person you handing the site over to about what < p > (paragraph) and < br > (line break) tags do, and I agree with the person above that < div > tags tend have always caused problems in my experience. (Note that I can't write the actual code because MetaFilter is inserting new paragraphs when I write it but there shouldn't be the space between the < P > there, etc.)

I also wonder, are you pasting text into the editor from somewhere else, like Microsoft Word? In my experience, pasting stuff in can sometimes screw up the formatting because the editor will hang on to some of the formatting of the source, but not all of it. There should be a button to strip all formatting or paste text in plain, so maybe investigate that.
posted by AppleTurnover at 5:56 PM on February 8, 2018

Never paste from Word. Always strip all the formatting via notepad or whatever.

Make a list of all the fixes you need to do via html and teach your new person.
posted by plonkee at 11:16 AM on February 9, 2018

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