Lose the WYSIWYG editor in Joomla

The editor is great in Joomla, don’t take this the wrong way, but if you want perfectly formatted content that displays exactly how you want it, there is no replacement for hand coding your articles.

Yes, it is great to be able to write a quick article and click a few buttons in the editor window to align things, but in the long run, you are really just hindering your education. Knowing basic html is going to help you make cleaner, more readable, and more reliable websites. Most articles consist of a lot of:

and tags.
Why run the risk of using a editor that may insert all sorts of nonsense like using

as spacers? It’s not semantic, it makes no sense, and it’s invariably going to cause you issues over the long haul.

Get a html cheat cheat, keep it nearby, and go unpublish all your WYSIWYG plugins in Joomla. You will be glad you did.

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7 Comments

  1. This is what we do as developers in many cases, on our own sites, but you can’t expect a client who takes delivery of a site to do this – they need video screencast guides to using WYSIWYG editors, let a lone HTML coding!

  2. hmmm, the editor makes it so much more simple to do it correctly, but of course as everything else you would need to use it correctly
    besides, try to hand over the site to customer w/o the editor and you will probably get a hard time explaining why and how
    so i believe the best way is to learn from the beginning how to use the editor correctly
    but then, there are time you would need to look at the source to get it perfectly and for that they have the view source functionality as well
    at last a plug for my favo editor JCE (www.joomlacontenteditor.net)

  3. Both, very valid points. I suppose it really depends upon the clients you cater to. In my personal situation, 95% of the sites I hand over are never touched by the clients and they never even know there is a Joomla admin area. My clients tend to have more static sites that they do not update at much, or at all. On the rare instance they want info updated, they have me do it for a administrative fee.
    I see your points though for the clients who are more hands on. It’s just frustrating losing html compliance due to the editor, or screwing up layouts or formatting due to horrific inline editors.

  4. What would be great is a WYSIWYG editor that only allows semantic markup.

  5. I agree that going without the WYSIWYG editor is generally the best way to go. I like to give my clients access to change and update pages, but not access to the admin panel. The problem is, without a WYSIWYG they can’t do this at all, and with it, they invariably mess around with the styles to the point where the look of the text is horribly mangled. What would be great is if someone would create an editor that could be exposed through the front end that would allow the user to edit text – add paragraphs, headings, MAYBE some bold or italics – and nothing else.

  6. Whilst the editor may cause problems surely one of the key selling points of Joomla is the ability for customers to update the content themselves? Would seem to defeat the object of using a CMS otherwise!

    I usually issue pretty strict instructions and a ‘cheat sheet’ detailing what can – and cannot – be changed. If the customer decides to do something different the results can be pretty horrendous, but then that in itself is a useful learning curve!

  7. I have experience with WordPress now I’m starting my adventure with Joomla – It’s a little confusing but I’m starting to get it – Thank you for the HTML tips :)

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