WordPress is designed to make content creation easy for its users. Its default, built-in editor enables you to create content visually and, at the click of a mouse, lets you edit the HTML, too, if you know how. The visual editor enables you see what your content will look like as you create it, letting you add text and images, create headings and a do whole host of other great things.
That said, it does have its limitations. The good news is that there is a range of visual editor and page builder plugins available that enhance what the built-in editor can do, adding a far wider range of features for you to create even more visually stunning content. Here are some of the best ones.
With over a million downloads, TinyMCE Advanced is one of the most well-known and popular WYSIWYG visual editor plugins. It has some excellent features to enhance the functionality of the built-in editor and can help you improve the visual impact of your content
One of its great features is that you can actually customise the editor itself by adding, deleting and rearranging the feature buttons on its toolbar. You can configure up to four rows of buttons including background colour, font family and font size. TinyMCE Advanced also provides support for creating and editing tables and lets you search and replace. It has a wide range of other features, too, as you can see in the image below.
Just like TinyMCE Advanced, WP Edit adds a wider range of buttons to your editor which can be used to extend the formatting options at your disposal. However, it also has a set of other powerful features that give you even further potential to boost the quality of your posts.
WP Edit makes it easier to add images, media, clip art and even YouTube videos to your content and it makes it simple to add shortcodes. It also provides its own shortcodes which can be used to organise your content into columns, like a newspaper or magazine.
Besides columns, WP Edit also enables you to create tables via a graphical interface and lets you adjust the border and background colour of the table’s cells.
If you are looking for a visual editor that lets you have real control over how the content is arranged on the screen, then Zedity is the ideal solution. It works as both an editor and a content builder, helping you create professional looking posts quickly and without the need for knowing HTML or CSS, to get the look you desire.
With Zedity, you can achieve many things very easily. You can drag, drop and resize images, video and text boxes and even add content layers, for example, placing text over images. You can add text in different shaped boxes, rotate them and even add background colours. It also lets you embed music into the page.
This plugin is available for free from the WordPress repository but there is a premium version available, too, with more advanced features.
Like Zedity, Live Composer is another page builder, designed to give you complete flexibility over the way your posts and pages can be arranged and presented without the need to edit HTML or CSS.
One of the best things about Live Composer is that the pages and posts it creates are fully responsive so that they will look great on any device – and will keep Google happy with your website.
Live composer works in a similar way to Zedity, using drag and drop as an easy and quick way to arrange your content in the most appropriate way. Unlike Zedity, it is open source and completely free – there’s no paid upgrade to get its best features. Want to see what it can do? Check out the video below.
Whilst Live Composer may be a little more complex to use than the basic TinyMCE Advanced editor, the power it gives you to create truly stunning web pages makes it worthwhile learning how to use it. It could save you a fortune in buying a specialised theme and mean that you never really need to change your theme again as you have the potential to make your website look exactly the way you want it too.
Simple Symphony is another free plugin that works as both a visual editor and a website builder with an easy to use, drag and drop interface. It works in a similar way to Live Composer but its in-theme live editing creates a styling that follows the CSS of your existing theme, ensuring that there is consistency in how your content looks across your website.
What is particularly interesting about this plugin is that it enables you to create some of the most contemporary and visually stunning effects around, including full-width video headers and the increasingly popular parallax scrolling – an effect created when objects on the page move at different speeds when the user scrolls. If you’ve not come across parallax scrolling before, you can see some examples of just how spectacular it can be by visiting the Designs Crazed blog
In addition to the special effects, Simple Symphony also enables the creation of responsive pages. However, it goes one step further, letting you edit mobile pages independently so that you can create content specifically for users on phones or tablets if you wish to do so.
Whether you are looking for a simple way to add extra features to your existing WYSIWYG editor or want to have complete control over the design and content of each page or post, the plugins mentioned above can provide you with what you need to enhance the way your content is displayed and give you the tools to do more without the need to learn HTML or CSS.
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