Posted by: rmostell | April 6, 2010

WordPress Needs a Better WYSIWYG Editor

I’ve been using WordPress for about a year and a half (since June 24, 2008) and have been relatively successful in creating and publishing a few blogs. The most difficult part of blogging for me is collecting the information needed to create the blog including a variety of web links. In general, I have been pleased with the builtin WordPress WYSIWYG editor with an occasional need to use the HTML editor (mainly to insert horizontal rules, the HTML “HR” tag). For the most part, the editing features seem to do what they should do and are easy and quick to apply. Up until this time, my major problem with WordPress has been the very long wait after clicking on the “Publish” button. I don’t know why this should take so long. The “Preview” function, on the other hand, is relatively fast. So why is the “Publish” feature so slow?

Recently, I had a new problem I couldn’t figure out when I created the “Open Course Ware (OCW) in the news again” blog on April 2, 2010. Whenever I created line breaks between paragraphs, they would disappear when I tried to preview or publish the post. I would re-open (edit) the post and re-insert the line breaks and they would disappear again in the published version and in the editor. I looked at the code in the HTML editor and saw that it was using HTML “division tags (DIV)” to separate the sections of the post. This seemed fine because I have used the “DIV” tags myself in web pages and know that they are good at creating some “blank space” between sections or paragraphs. So why isn’t it working here? In my frustration, I decided to try inserting the standard HTML line break tags (“BR”) between the paragraphs. This worked! BUT if I tried to edit the post further in the WYSIWYG editor, these also disappeared. So the solution was to do my final edit using HTML editor and never again open the post with the WYSIWYG editor. This sounds like some new bug that WordPress has introduced by changing or improving their WYSISYG editor. This did not occur previously in any of my posts on this blog.

This has led me to look for other editors that I can install on my desktop computer and use to create and upload my blog posts to WordPress. I’m trying one right now (BlogDesk by Johannes Oppermann) to create this post. You’ll see how it works.

If you are interested in trying the same, just Google for “wordpress editors” and you’ll find some links to a variety of alternative editors designed for blogging. Why doesn’t WordPress just use one of these and abandoned the old one that is giving me problems? Here’s a couple of web sites to help get you started.

12 WordPress Editors you can choose

4 Alternative WordPress Editors

Here’s what Johannes Oppermann has to say about BlogDesk:

“BlogDesk is totaly free of charge and optimized for the blog systems WordPress, MovableType, Drupal, Serendipity and ExpressionEngine.”



Note added after the fact: It worked !! No problems. AND the upload (“publish”) using BlogDesk was much faster than the builtin publish function in WordPress. In addition, I was able to edit (correct) my initial post and add this note using BlogDesk.



  1. Hi rmostell,

    I have been having the same problem with the WYSIWYG editor. I will even use very basic HTML to format my page and when I click the preview it will strip this out. it is taking me a lot more time than it should to create new pages. Very frustrating!

    All the best.

    James Todd

  2. Thanks. I will give BlogDesk a try, and I’ll look at that list of 12 editors also. The WP default that wrecks my line breaks every time I switch from html to visual is big time annoying.

  3. I guess I won’t look at the list of 12 editors after all. That site seems to have gone away.

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