Or a better title: WordPress can drive you crazy but probably the solution is a simple one … if you know where to look.
Yesterday I went down a rabbit hole trying to learn a better way to make changes to a WordPress theme. I’m still down the rabbit hole and learning on that one. Although I see why it’s easy to want to make the changes the way most people suggest.
You’ll be updated with a tutorial once I make my way out the other side. Today I actually want to talk about another issue, also WordPress related.
Last night, after writing a 1000+ word post in notepad, copying and pasting it into the WordPress WYSIWG editor and hitting save, it showed 73 words saved.
I freaked out. That is to say, I cut my accountability partner off in mid update and promptly spent the next 90 minutes trying to figure out what the bleep bleep bleepity was going on.
After turning off all the plugins, after switching the theme out to default, after logging into ftp and resetting the plugins folder, after going into phpMyAdmin and (thank god not messing anything up), I found the culprit.
Notepad. Specifically it was the format aka encoding, in which I was saving my notepad files.
Make sure to click UTF-8.
This is the beauty of notepad, you can write code in it and not get weird and extraneously added characters. Or at least you’re not supposed to get them.
From what I figured out, WordPress uses UTF-8 encoding. Since I was saving my notepad files with ANSI encoding, I was getting weird characters after I copied and pasted.
Looking over several of the previous posts, I see the same weird characters showing up. I don’t know why, on yesterdays specific post, they decided to break things.
I do know that once I removed the characters, saved the file with UTF8 encoding in notepad, copied and pasted again into the WYSIWG editor in WordPress, it saved all 1000+ words.
Another question you may have is why don’t I just write in the editor to begin with, then I wouldn’t have these types of issues?
I’m glad you asked. I use notepad so I have a text version of my posts. It’s like a redundant backup.
I also have backups of all my files and databases from WordPress. But those are for the server. It’s actually quite the process to go into a mySQL database and get a clean text version of posts.
It takes very little space on my computer to save them as .txt files in notepad. I can then take what I’ve written and repurpose it for somewhere else without ever needing access to the internet.
If I only had the post saved on my blog, I couldn’t do that.
So moral of the story, check your encoding first if you find you can’t save a full blog post in your WYSIWIG editor.
You’ll at least save yourself 75 minutes, if encoding is the culprit. If it’s not, then you won’t be wasting your time turning off all the plugins, switching the theme to default, resetting the plugins folder via FTP, or going into phpMyAdmin and repairing things.
Simple solutions first.
Now I’m heading back down into that ‘learn a better way’ rabbit hole and muttering simple solutions significantly save sanity…
I fear mine may already be lost. 🙂