The WordPress post editor is probably where you will spend most of your time when it comes to working on your site. While the buttons that make up the visual editor can be configured from the WordPress settings page, there are in fact a number of plugins which can change the way you use the post and page editors, even allowing you to edit content directly on the frontend of your WordPress site.
If you would like to add some new functionality to the WordPress post editor, or even give it a complete overhaul, these mostly free plugins can help you achieve your goal. With plenty of options to choose from, it really comes down to what features you want from your post editor when making a selection and deciding which one to install.
This is a free and popular choice for powering up the default WordPress post editor. It also makes changes to the other editors found in WordPress such as those used for editing theme and plugin files. WP Editor’s most notable addition to the post editor is the syntax highlighting which is great for writing code, whether that’s HTML for your posts or editing the PHP used in the theme and plugins files.
Another really interesting and potentially useful feature of WP Editor is the file uploader that it adds to the theme and plugin editor screens. This is really handy if you are doing any kind of development work on your WordPress site and want to save yourself the trouble of loading up your FTP client and transferring a file that way. It also makes editing a WordPress site on the road a reality as you only need to login to your admin dashboard, rather than setting up the FTP software.
If you work with code on your sites in any way, or even just write your posts in the text view, then WP Editor can make your life easier.
Barley: Inline Content Editor
We covered this inline content editor back in December 2013 with our review of the Barely plugin and it’s a great addition to the existing options for enhancing the post editor of WordPress.
The plugin lets you edit your post content, as well as other textual page elements, inline without having to switch to the admin dashboard and then edit your posts via the default post editor. This makes the process for creating and editing content very intuitive and removes the backend and frontend divide.
Using the inline editing abilities of Barely for WordPress is as simple as clicking on the icons that are displayed on the text areas on your site’s frontend and then making the necessary changes or adding new text. It’s surprisingly simple and definitely worth checking out.
There is a demo available so you can see this tool in action. If you are looking for a way to make content creation with WordPress a more simple and streamlined proposition then Barley should be of interest to you.
This is another plugin for editing post content inline. With this free plugin installed you can makes changes to your content directly from your site without switching to the admin dashboard.
Once installed Front-end Editor allows you to edit posts, pages, custom post types, the blog title and description, comments, widgets, and much more. The plugin also claims to be compatible with any WordPress theme right out of the box, so you should be able to use it on any WordPress site.
From the plugin settings, you can choose which fields are editable, allowing you to prevent registered and logged in users from changing the site title and description for example, when you might only want them to be able to edit post content.
If you want to make editing posts and other content more convenient, then this inline editor for WordPress will appeal.
WP User Frontend
This is another free option for those looking for a way to edit their content form the frontend of their WordPress site. There is also a feature packed pro version available too for those that require more functionality. However, the free version has enough power to get you started with frontend editing in WordPress.
The features you would expect from a plugin of this type are all present and correct with this post editor tool. You can create, delete and update posts, as well as uploading attachments, all from the frontend. You can even setup a pay per post option to charge people for the privilege of publishing their content on your site.
WP User Frontend is a good choice for anyone looking to enhance the standard post editor, as it can be further enhanced by upgrading to the pro version should you be happy with the overall usability of this plugin but need more advanced features.
CodeMirror for Post Editor
This plugin adds the functionality of the CodeMirror text editor tool to the WordPress post editor. Once installed the plugin adds a button the post editor menu that when clicked, turns on the features of this plugin.
Once you click the button, you get treated to a popup lightbox-style modal window that contains the CodeMirror editor. This gives you access to a fullscreen post editor with little to distract you from creating your content.
The editor window features colour coding and automatic tag closing to save your time and improve your workflow. If you like to write your posts in the text/HTML mode then this plugin can be of real benefit to you.
CodeMirror for CodeEditor
This is another plugin for WordPress that integrates the CodeMirror text editor with your site. This time however, the theme and plugin file editor is upgraded, as opposed to the HTML post editor. The plugin comes with a number of visual themes for changing the appearance of the code window, affecting the fonts and the colours used.
There are also some more useful features such as auto-complete, fullscreen editing, and a search and replace tool. This all makes this plugin another good choice for coders who are editing theme and plugin files directly from inside the WordPress admin dashboard and would like a more helpful interface for doing so. There was some overspill of text outside of the code window which occurred with long lines which wasn’t ideal.
Overall though, this plugin is a useful edition to the plugin and theme file editors for those who like to code in style.
Sir Trevor WP
This plugin brings something completely different to the table when it comes to giving the WordPress post editor an overhaul. Once installed, your post editor will have a different appearance altogether and a new workflow will be in place for creating a new post.
To use the Sir Trevor editor for WordPress, simply click on the plus symbols and then select what type of content you want to add to the post. Adding images to posts has been streamlined too and is just a case of dragging and dropping the image onto the designed area.
While this approach to creating a post might not be the most feature-rich, it’s something different and it should be worth keeping an eye on this plugin to see how it develops in the future.
It’s good to know that there are plenty of options for customising the WordPress post editor. This is the part of your WordPress site you will spend most of your time on, so having the ability to change how it functions can make the user experience more enjoyable or at least, less frustrating.
The options for editing posts and other content inline, through the frontend of the site are growing and there is a good selection of plugins with this feature to choose from. Adding inline post editing to WordPress is a good idea for those who want a quicker way to edit content, as well as those setting up sites for less technical users. Removing the need to switch between the published user-facing end of the website, and the WordPress admin dashboard can go a long way towards removing some of the confusion new WordPress users face.
Have you done anything to modify or improve the functionality of the WordPress post editor?