Anyone that writes at AG knows that I’m a stickler for clean HTML and that I have the “visual editor” in Word Press turned off on my account and encourage others to do so. I write articles from scratch and never ever use the code that WP offers, mainly because no editor is perfect and I’m waaay smarter than zeros and ones. This doesn’t mean I’m a dork- most people I went to high school with would likely be surprised that I know what the hell HTML even is… it just means I’m OCD and un-centered images and inconsistent fonts and sizes drive me batty (and yes, some writers here love making messy HTML just for me- you know who you are). I also hate not having control of the content that I produce. Hate it.
So How Do YOU Become a Purist?
First, never ever use any sort of editor. There are plenty of editors out there that allow you to edit and click “hooray” and it sends it to your blog. Don’t do it- it inserts all sorts of crazy code, even if you swear it doesn’t. I can look at the code source and tell if you used an editor because it sullies it. Yes, I said sullies.
Secondly, if you use Word Press, go to your User Profile and make sure the first box that says “use the visual editor when writing” is NOT checked. This turns off your visual editor and forces you to write in code (don’t worry, I’ll give you the tools you need). This is an unpopular move, but you wanted to know how to be a purist, so here’s how. (Benn noted that in the new WordPress, you can move between Visual and HTML editor without it defaulting to Visual, but I vote for disabling it so there is no confusion)
Thirdly, never copy and paste from anywhere to wordpress ever. Never, never, never, never. Remember- it sullies. Yes, you can paste into the HTML Editor without this problem, but again- it’s not worth risking. Want to know what DIRTY HTML looks like? Just watch what happens when you copy and paste two sentences from Microsoft Word to Word Press… if you’re not cringing, you may also be the type who isn’t bothered by dishes in the sink. Just sayin’.
But I Don’t Know HTML!
It’s cool, a year ago, I didn’t either- I just Googled stuff all the time. Never fear, there are TONS of online resources (just Google “HTML codes”), and below is a snapshot of the made-in-two-minutes cheat sheet for you. See, I wouldn’t have you wash your dishes without telling you what the best washing liquid is (it’s Williams & Sonoma Basil by the way)!
There is a HTML cleaner upper online but I don’t think it works so well, so it’s best to learn a few tricks! So, who’s with me on my quest for pure, un-dirty HTML?