The sad state of WYSIWYG WordPress clients

Now before you say anything – yes, I am with you: WYSIWYG has always been some sort of a lie: what you see is hardly ever what you get and at least for the slightly geekier people it is always a better option to learn some basic HTML or at least something easier like Markdown.1

As you might know, I am running the blog Dicke Hipster with a bunch of other dudes and for all of us it’s a hobby, something we do in our spare time. And since most of the other guys are not well-versed in HTML, they use different kind of WYSIWYG blog software. And that’s legitimate – they shouldn’t need to have to learn HTML, after all the blog clients proudly promise to enable writing and even formatting blogposts without having to know the underlying markup language. Some even come with fancy integration of external services like Flickr and YouTube.

And while I haven’t yet found out what software the guys are using, I have to say that the resulting markdown that I have seen in the blog posts has been pretty atrocious. Inline-styles, paragraphes seemingly randomly marked up as divs and ps, images scaled up and down in HTML and more.

Now the cranky nerd2 in me wants to yell at the other dudes to just use the actually not at all bad editor that WordPress has in its web interface or just try to learn some basic HTML. But the more resonable part of me3 knows that I can’t and shouldn’t expect people who are gracious enough to write for a hobby project to have to learn HTML. Instead we all should be able to expect client software to not futz around with inline styles and terrible html code – after all, it’s 2013 and everybody who is working on and for the web these days should have learned their lessons from the almost 20 years of FrontPage.


  1. I also very much think that people, who write into the internet as their main job should be able to format their work in HTML or at least accept that if they can’t do that they should just write it in plain text. But that’s an whole other issue. 
  2. Yes, that’s a nerd thing to do. RTFM, basically. 
  3. This is actually something that exists.