Those of you who blog on WordPress will know what I’m talking about. How have you been finding the new editor? I’ve been mostly ignoring it because my first impression was:
ugly, clunky, and where have they put all the things I’m used to having within easy reach… sighing and rolling my eyes when I see the message inviting me to switch to the new “improved” posting experience, talking about an “easier” way to create… But the other day I thought I’d check it out again, and I think I may have misjudged it.
I still don’t like the look. It feels more boring and lifeless than the old one. (also, the bits in blue are in super low contrast and very hard to read.)
And somehow it feels more natural to me to have the tools I need on the right hand side, while in the new editor they’re on the left. But maybe it’s just because that’s what I’ve been used to.
The feeling of “where have they put all those things” – ok, I’ve calmed down about that, I’ve found all those things now and I expect once I start using the new editor regularly I’ll get used to the new locations.
The one thing that specifically didn’t work back then – it’s working now, so I guess that was just a temporary bug. (It was to do with linking to previous content, which is something I do often enough so it really bugged me.) (yes, I went there…)
And I found a new nifty feature! It’s called Excerpt, and I probably wouldn’t have noticed it if it wasn’t that I was checking out the Slug box – wanting to see if Slug is really what I thought it might be, and yes, it is! yay! (In the old editor it’s the permalink bit near the top, just under the post title. It’s a way of changing the URL so the address shows something different to the post title. Can be handy, for example, if you want the address to be shorter and snappier. You might title your post “the day I discovered that chocolate ice cream goes amazingly well with bacon” but then give it the slug “yes to bacon and chocolate”.) (No, I haven’t tried it…)
Anyway, back to the new Excerpt feature, which cheered me up no end. I saw that box just above the Slug box, and wondered…
What does it do? I’m sure the answer is available in some tutorial or other, but I’m much more of a test-things-yourself kind of gal. So I did a test post, and this is what I found:
If I type text into the Excerpt box, that text will be shown instead of the beginning of my post – both on my home page (if I set it as a Gallery type post), and also if I share a link to the post on another platform, as seen in this screenshot, taken when I was pretending to share the link on Google+.
My post didn’t start with “Trying out the Excerpt box” – that’s the text I’d typed into the Excerpt box. So the Excerpt is an alternative text – something you can use as a teaser, or as a kind of explanatory note (e.g. This is the post I’ve been meaning to write ever since some bacon accidentally fell into my ice cream).
Also, if you look at this screenshot you’ll see the Slug in action. The post title was “Testing – ignore this” but the slug reads “trying out the slug box”.
This was all prompted by a Twitter conversation I recently had with WordPress, when I grumbled about the new editor and they asked me for more detailed feedback, so, hey, that worked – they got me to have another look and see that it’s not as bad as my first impression :)
That boring, lifeless blue though…