The best way to write your blog posts

This post is in response to a number of issues that have occurred to some Tea Trade users in the past. @xavier brought up an issue recently in the forums. A few users like to write their posts in other programs (like Word Processors or text editors) and then paste the test into the editor inside their blog. This can sometimes cause issues with presentation on one’s blog, but also on Tea Trade itself as noted by Xavier. There are ways to properly paste in text, but if you don’t do it the correct way it can get problematic, which is what Xavier experienced. This is not the first time, I’ve come across users doing this and experiencing problems.

Writing this post in Distraction Free Writing Mode

I want to encourage Tea Trade bloggers to use the built-in tools that come with WordPress, and your Tea Trade blog to do your blogging. The reason is that WordPress has come a long way, and in earlier versions I would have supported users in using third-party applications to write. Some people developed the habit of writing in third-party applications because of lost posts and lost work. This was because as recently as 6 months ago, there were serious problems with the way WordPress handled autosave. Anyone who has ever lost a post because their computer or browser crashed has felt this frustration.

The latest versions of WordPress have corrected this issue, and if you are working in a modern web browser, autosave now leverages the caching in the web browser on your computer instead of autosaving only to the server. That means, as you type, your post is saved to your computer in the event of a crash. This makes writing in WordPress safer and more stable than ever.

WordPress has also improved what is called Distraction Free Writing Mode (DFWM). This is available through a button in the toolbar that gives you a clear screen to write on. The default toolbar in DFWM that WordPress offers is a little weak on formatting features like bold, italics, and more, so, in response to Xavier’s noted problem, I’ve added some features to DFWM to make it more useful.

A better place to write.

DFWM now gives a full toolbar for you to use, which fades in and out, but is available as you need it. Additionally, you can alter the new DFWM toolbar to display only the buttons and tools you need.

Activating DFWM is as simple as clicking a button, which you’ll find here:

How to activate Distraction Free Writing

Once you’ve activated it, the full formatting toolbar will be available to you. It will fade out when not needed and will magically appear when you mouse over it. The buttons available are all the tools available in the standard editor.

Here is what the new setup looks like in DFWM with all the buttons and tools available:

DFWM with full toolbar

More importantly, you also have the ability to control which buttons to use and display. If you don’t use all the buttons and only use certain ones for formatting, in your dashboard, simply visit Users => Your Profile and scroll down to the Just Writing section. There you will have access to large range of configuration features that will give you complete control over the editor buttons.

How I use it.

I’ve come to really love using the DFWM as part of writing and blogging. With this new addition to it, it really is an excellent place to write and gives me the ability to write using WordPress organically, the way it was meant to be used, without having to use a work around to get a post written. I find it to be as good, or even better than a word processor and it works within the framework of the blog, which, quite frankly, is just nice.

Another feature we added in the past were themes for DFWM, that enhance the experience even more, so that you can have an even better writing experience as you work.

How do you use it?

If you’ve used DFWM in the past and if you use it now, or if you plan to never use it, share your thoughts about it in the comments below. If you don’t use the WordPress editor at all to write posts, I’d like to know why and learn more about what I can do to encourage you to take advantage of the great built-in tools that are on offer.

peter

Peter Davenport is one of the founders of Tea Trade. In addition to building, enhancing and supporting Tea Trade and its members, he studies Business Administration and Management at American Public University with a focus on Entrepreneurial Studies and Enterprises.

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Comments

  1. bram

    I might try it once I find the time to blog again.

    Just took a look. I noticed that the button to DFWM is only in visual mode and not in text mode. Once in DFWM mode you can switch to text mode, so it is no big deal, though some people might look for it at the wrong place.

    1. Peter Post author

      @bram – When viewing the post editor in text mode, there is a button called “Fullscreen” which activates the distraction-free mode. However, if you were referring to the toolbar while in text mode, that is correct, it does not display while in text mode (only in visual) since text is intended to be used to manually enter HTML.

    1. Peter Post author

      @thedevotea – don’t you mean that if you left out the distractions – your blog posts would be twice the length. Stop staring at cat videos while writing! :0

  2. Xavier

    I do it in a processor because I don’t always have Internet access when I begin writing my posts.
    But next time, I will do it in a different way

    1. Peter Post author

      @xavier – You can certainly continue to write in your Word Processor, and even use it to add formatting to your posts. It just has to be added into WordPress the right way. Watch the short video tutorial called Pasting from Word in your blog’s dashboard.

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