Why You Shouldn’t be Writing in WordPress
A newly launched WordPress plugin has presented me with an opportunity to mount a soapbox and recommend better work habits.
I was just reading about a plugin that removed distractions while writing in WordPress. Writers are constantly searching for ways to remove distractions while they are writing, and while Iceberg sounds like a really useful plugin, you should not use it with your WordPress site (and not just because it costs $49).
The thing is, you should not be doing original writing in your WordPress site. Instead, you should write and edit elsewhere, and then copy the text to your site so it can be laid out and published.
Iceberg features a minimalist editor with four color themes, the ability to create a custom theme, and a set of typography controls. In switching to Iceberg, there is not much missing much from the default block editor that would be necessary for writing. Users can drag and drop media into Iceberg and the backslash command works to trigger the block inserter. It also includes a Table of Contents, word and character counts, reading time, keyboard shortcuts, and support for emoji.
While this plugin sounds interesting, I think anyone who wants a distraction free writing app should look for one that is separate from their WordPress website.
The thing is, if you get in the habit of doing your original writing in WordPress, you will get out of the habit of creating an independent backup of your work. This means that if your website crashes and has to be restored from a backup, you might lose your work.
This happened to me recently, and while I did recover my work, this painful experience has taught me that I should really be writing posts elsewhere, and then copying the text to my blog for publication.
That is the safe (and smart) thing to do.
P.S. Backups are important, but it can also be a nuisance, which is why I put a system in place so that all my working files are automatically backed up to Google Drive.
Xavier Basora May 21, 2020 um 5:14 pm
Agreed. I use a text editor add straightforward HTML tags. It even offers the possibility to use CSS but that’s overkill.
Besides the text editor I use Wordperfect. I save it as an html file then I copy and paste it in the blog editor.
Roland Denzel May 25, 2020 um 12:54 pm
Nate, what do you recommend we write in? It seems that tools that are easy to write in don’t paste well into WordPress.
If I write in Evernote or plain text editor I have to double space between paragraphs to see what I’m writing, meaning I have to delete A LOT of blank lines in my blog posts.
Write in Word and it’s filled with garbage and hidden tags, code, and characters that come back to haunt your formatting later. Worse, sometimes it keeps paragraph formatting, and sometimes I have to jump through hoops to get WP to honor the space between paragraphs, often having to backspace to the previous line and hit enter again to get the new paragraph space.
I tried Google Docs and it was bad, too, but I can’t recall what crap happened, but it did.
It gets old.
What do you recommend?
Nate Hoffelder May 25, 2020 um 1:28 pm
My recommendation is MS Word, Google Docs, Libre Office, or another office app.
I usually use Libre Office or Google Docs, and the text I copy out of those apps are usually clean.