WordPress.com and its Nightmarish Editor


The gif at the left is exactly how I feel about Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and HTML coding and…  well…  basically everything to do with the inner-workings of websites.  Website designers or support specialists will get it.  They’ll understand the animation to the left and just empathize.  As you might have guessed, I’m not a web designer.  I’m actually a network engineer by trade.  This said, one might ask how I’ve managed to make my blog look ‘decent’.  I dunno how decent it looks to a larger audience that judges aesthetic value of a website, but it works.  That was my main goal; to give myself a space where I could express myself, make my voice heard and for the site to be decently appealing aesthetically.

As of this last Friday, the two worst problems that I had were trying to make tables and use bullet points in my posts.  The denizens of Bullshit Mountain’s WordPress division (Bullshit Mountain being the arch rival of High Atop The Thing) decided that it was completely logical to not have bulletpoint or table capability available from within the WYSIWYG editor.  I know it has the ability.  I work for a company that makes a content management system which uses the same editor WP uses; TinyMCE.  We have tables and bullets. What gives WordPress?

So being frustrated with not being able to make tables without the aid of an HTML editor tool, Kompozer to be exact, I set out to find a desktop tool that would allow me to type my blog and have access to the types of features that I want all in one place.  I was disappointed and mildly frustrated to find that there aren’t any good ones these days.

As I write this post, I’m using a tool from the now three year-old, Windows Live Essentials package called Windows Live Writer.  It boasts WordPress compatibility up to and including being able to download your templates so that one may see what their page is going to look like as they type it.  I expect that it might have once upon a time, but with Microsoft having stopped development on the tools after the 2012 release, it seems that it has fallen behind with WordPress’ advancements.  It’s no longer able to pull the theming through the WordPress API.  This results in me having to “Save to Draft” once in a while and then flip over to the site and see what it looks like after a while.  I guess this is a small price to pay because the tool has…

  • Bullet Capability like MS Word
    • I can even do sub-bullets.
      • And sub-sub bullets

And they work.  Hooray!!!  I can even insert tables like a champ!

This worked out perfect the very first time I tried it
and works a lot like word then translates it over to WP

I wonder what kind of thing I’ll get when I try to do images in the table like I want… 

Ooooh…  That’s pretty snazzy!  I can do all kinds of crap now!!!  Maybe even fix the Star Trek Continues fan film page!!!
I know you’re confused.  But you know what confused corgi, these are some of the hardest damn things to do in HTML and CSS…  as far as I’m concerned anyway.

There are some minor things that I can’t do with Live Writer though.  I can’t set a featured image, but that’s easy enough to do.  Also, it will not pull in my images from my site automatically, nor will it publish images from my desktop to the site.  This is also only mildly frustrating.  To work around this, I just upload the images to my WordPress site which I intend to use, and get the URL of the images.  Live Writer does happen to have a nice little button where I can Insert images from Web if I know the URL.  It just establishes a static link.  Long term, this means that I’m going to have problems with my posts if I ever decide to transition from WordPress’ hosting offering to another hosting offering.  Otherwise, it does all the things I need.  So, hunt over for now.  I’ll stick it out with this.

Here’s what grinds my gears though.  I shouldn’t have to go through these hoops to find something that will allow me, a guy who does not code, to use two simple elements which are on virtually EVERY DAMN PAGE EVER!  These should be options within the What You See Is What You Get editor on WordPress.com.  Sure, I can install my own editor plugin if I host the site using WordPress software on a third party system.  By doing that though, I sacrifice the excellent spam protection and search engine optimization that comes with having a WordPress.com account.  I can hear my friend Greg Milton saying these this phrase though… 

Your choices are time, features and cost.  Pick two.  Well, I picked time and cost.  So I guess because I didn’t pick time and features, I and other HTML\CSS novices out there deserve the flaming red hot poker that WordPress hands us. 

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