As a WordPress user, you may have heard about the term of Markdown, but have no idea of how can it benefit your site and how to take advantage of it. In fact, it is a markup language that acts as an easy-to-use text editor. With it, you can optimize your content styles in an easy manner.
In the following, we have showcased a detailed guide to introduce the WordPress Markdown, along with its definition, benefits you can get and the ways for how to add to your site.
General Information about WordPress Markdown
To put it simply, Markdown is an intuitive and lightweight markup language that was developed by Aaron Swartz and John Gruber in the year of 2004. With it, you can format and style your textual contents easily and quickly, without the need to learn the complicated coding stuff.
For instance, if you want to italicize some words, you simply need to add the corresponding Markdown syntax on both ends of the texts. Here, it means the asterisk. Then, they will be showcased in an italicized format when published on the web. Note that the syntax will be converted into HTML automatically.
Here, we’d like to list some benefits you can get when using this special conversion tool from text to HTML.
- It is true that the default WordPress Visual Editor allows you to format your words easily, but you may lose some controls over how your contents are showcased due to its limited functions. With the Markdown, however, you can cut down your time by styling your words, and in the meanwhile, leverage as many formats as you want.
- Unlike the WordPress text editor that requires you to have the HTML coding knowledge for formatting your posts, the Markdown is simple enough that allows you to do the formatting job only by using some special characters, such as the asterisk, underscore, dashes, number signs, and many more.
- Although the Markdown will convert your texts into HTML when the contents are published, your words will be remained in the Markdown syntax. Therefore, you can go back to the editing page at anytime and modify the styles easily.
How to Use WordPress Markdown
Among all the plugins that can add the Markdown function to your WordPress site, we personally recommend the WP Markdown Editor. This plugin leverages the Markdown module from the safe and powerful tool of Jetpack, with which you can get a quick and easy way for coming out the rich and stylish contents without having to learn the advanced codes and shortcuts.
After installing and activating this special plugin on your dashboard, you do not need to do any configurations but can create or edit your posts and pages immediately.
Here, you simply find that you can no longer find your default text editor and the visual editor, but a new Markdown editor instead.
In addition to the Add Media button, you can get 12 useful buttons by default. The first 8 buttons are used for your content formatting, such as the bold font, italic words, post heading, quote inserting and many more.
However, if your style choices are not within the available 8 options, you can click the last button coming with a question mark. Then, you can be presented with a quick preference for the WordPress Markdown, which showcases a long list of markdown syntax you may need, such as text highlighting, foot notes, block quotes, code blocks and many more.
In fact, one of the greatest features of this plugin is that you can check a live preview when editing your blog posts. In this case, you can figure out whether the content format and style can better showcase your words in a vivid manner or not.
For this, you simply need to click the Toggle Side by Side button or press the F9 button in your keyboard. Then, your editing page will be showcased in a full screen and be split into two sides. The left side is used for editing and the right side is used to check the final result.
Check the real example in the following.
Alternative for Adding WordPress Markdown
It is possible that you also want to enable the Markdown feature for some other sections of your site, but not just for the posts pages. In this case, you can have a try on the WP-Markdown plugin. With it, you can activate this function for your comments, events, as well as the topics and replies for the bbPress forum. Also, you can enable the Prettify syntax highlighter which is used in some Stack Exchange websites.
Here, you need to click the Writing button from the Settings tab in your WordPress admin. Then, you can find a newly added area named as Markdown, from which you should check the boxes to enable Markdown for comments and bbPress forums.
Now, you can start using this feature without any hassle. Initially, you may need to take times to memorize the characters for implementing the styles. With enough practices, however, formatting your WordPress posts can be an easy task.