Barley: Inline Content Editing for WordPress

Barley: Inline Content Editing for WordPress

Barley for WordPress is a plugin which allows you to edit your site’s content inline. This means that once the plugin is installed, you can then add content, and make changes to your WordPress posts directly on the page, without having to use the WordPress post editor. Simply click on a post title or post content body, and you can edit it right there on the page.

This makes posting new content to WordPress and editing existing content even easier than before. With the Barely plugin installed, your content creation and editing workflow is greatly simplified. Unlike before, there is now no need to open a post from the WordPress admin dashboard and then use the post editor to make changes, then switching browser windows to preview the changes you have made.

With Barley, you can now effectively see how the changes you make will appear to your readers without having to take the extra steps of switching windows and previewing the alterations, before switching back to either publish them or make further amendments.

Barley Logo

About Barely CMS

The Barley CMS is a web platform that allows users to setup their own site and then begin editing the content without writing any code. The main selling point of the platform is that is allows users to directly edit their content inline, without switching between windows and working in editors. Just click on a page element and make changes to it directly.

The Barley for WordPress plugin brings those same direct editing features to your self-hosted WordPress site.

Using Barley for WordPress

Barley sounds like it makes some pretty drastic changes to the way you will be using WordPress. But how easy is it to use in practice?

Once you visit your site and view the published content, while logged in, you will notice that this content now has few extra icons and functionality. For example, clicking on a post title, allows you to edit it inline.

Barley Edit Title

Post content can also be edited just as easily. Simply click in the post area and begin typing. If you want to format the text, highlight it and then a contextual menu will appear allowing you to choose from the available options, such as applying a style, inserting a link or a list, or changing the formatting.

Barley Edit Post

Images and Video

When it comes to more advanced features, such as inserting media or HTML, it’s just a case of moving the mouse close to the edge of the post window and then clicking on the corresponding button from the popup menu.

Barley Insert Element

You can insert images by either uploading them or selecting them from existing images in the media library. When it comes to adding videos, Barley has its own video embed tool that makes it very easy to insert videos from YouTube into your posts.

With the Barley video embed tool, you can enter your YouTube channel name, and then the tool will display the videos from that channel, which can then be quickly embedded into your post. Alternatively you can search for videos on YouTube, directly from the video embed tool for easy inclusion in your post.

Barley Insert Video

If your video is not listed on YouTube, you can paste in a video URL or the embedded code, for another way of displaying video content on your site.

Tags, Categories and Featured Images

When it comes to tagging and categorising your posts, this can be done inline too. Move the mouse cursor near the tag area at the top of a post, and you can click on the tag symbol to access this menu.

Barley Tags

From the menu, it’s just a case of selecting an existing category or creating a new one, adding the tags and choosing a featured image for the post.

Barley Tags Add

Advanced Editing

If at any point you want to use the features of the standard WordPress post editor, simply click on the Edit Advanced Options text link under the post title.

Barley Edit Adv OptionsImage: Barley Edit Adv Options

This will take you to the regular WordPress post editor, where you can edit the post using the Visual editor or HTML view. The ease with which you can switch between traditional post editing and inline editing ensures you don’t miss out on any of the standard WordPress content editing features you will be familiar with, including the metaboxes or custom fields for any plugins you might have installed.

Publishing and Deleting Content

Once you are happy with your work, you can publish the post by clicking on the Publish button from the admin taskbar above the post area. Alternatively, you can delete the post you are viewing by clicking on the Delete button on the same menu. There doesn’t seem to be a way to schedule posts, or change their status, such as draft or pending, so to do so, you will need to switch to the standard post editor.

Support and Documentation

If at any point while using Barley for WordPress, you need support, just click on the + New button on the admin taskbar and then click on Visit Barley Help Center.

Barley HelpImages: Barley Help

From the help center, you can view user documentation, check out a walkthrough video or browse the community support forums. Users can also submit a ticket if they can’t find an answer to what they are looking for.

Who is Barley For?

Many people who turn to WordPress do so for its ease of use when it comes to publishing content. Those that build websites for clients, using WordPress as the platform, often promote how easy it will be for non-technical users to manage their new site.

While creating new posts in WordPress is undoubtedly easier and more convenient than creating a new HTML webpage each time new content is added; working in a post editor and then previewing the changes in a new window incrementally, can sometimes be too much to grasp for those new to online publishing.

Delivering a website to a client that includes inline editing goes a long way towards making the site even more user-friendly for the inexperienced; especially those who don’t have the time or the inclination to learn how to use the WordPress post editor.

For web designers offering easy to manage sites using WordPress, adding direct on-page editing to the package should be an attractive proposition.


Barley for WordPress is not free, but it’s currently available at a special introductory price of just $12 a year. If adding inline editing to your WordPress site, or that of your client’s sounds like something that would be beneficial, then this is a pretty good deal. Although it is worth pointing out that direct editing is being worked on as part of a possible new feature for WordPress in the near future.


The Barley inline editor for WordPress was surprisingly easy to use. It totally changes the way users can add and edit content on their sites. Being able to simply click on a post and being editing it, without having to change pages or windows will save users a lot of time and effort.

While I personally have no problem using the WordPress post editor, and am pretty much satisfied with the user experience of doing so, the appeal of direct editing is not lost on me. Barley takes the ease of use factor, which advocates of WordPress often listed as the most compelling reason for using this platform, to the next level.

If you really want to offer your clients, contributors, co-authors and even yourself, an easier to use online publishing platform, the inline content editing features of Barley is the perfect choice.

Start using Barley