PrettyPress Plugin Reinvents WordPress Post Editing With Live Preview

The WordPress post editing experience is one of the next major features that will be evolving to meet the needs of modern publishers. We don’t know what that’s going to look like yet, but there’s a trend emerging where everyone is taking a stab at re-imagining the post editor. Free and commercial plugins are popping up all over the place, each with a different take on improving the publishing experience.

PrettyPress is one that landed in the WordPress plugin repository over the weekend. The plugin offers a live front-end preview of your post while you’re typing.

PrettyPress Live Preview
PrettyPress Live Preview

Essentially, it’s a Ghost-style editor without the Markdown. You could, however, install another plugin to add Markdown capabilities.

PrettyPress aims to streamline WordPress publishing by simplifying the editing layout. It removes the distraction of having to switch back and forth between the frontend and backend to preview post formatting.

While testing the plugin, I appreciated the fact that it doesn’t completely take over the post/page editor. Instead, it places a “Launch PrettyPress” button in the sidebar of the editor so that users can select when to activate the side-by-side screen.

The plugin uses Javascript and jQuery to create the side-by-side layout with live preview and the PrettyPress developer notes that larger posts may have some performance issues. This is one aspect of the plugin that they plan to improve in the future. If you like this style of editing experience and you want to test it out, download the PrettyPress plugin for free through your WordPress dashboard.

16 Comments


  1. This is great, all these different ways of approaching the content editing experience build up collective knowledge that hopefully can lead to a better editor in core down the road.

    Report


  2. Would love this, but after testing it just now, it just didn’t work. Showed the preview when I first opened it, but changes I’d make, aren’t reflected in the not-so-live Preview. (i.e. the Preview never changed). Great idea though.

    Report


  3. @Donna Fontenot – Yeah, this plugin does not offer (real time) side by side editing. In fact, you can’t close the PrettyPress preview and then open it again to see the changes you’ve made. Instead, you have to press the save draft button before you can see your changes using PrettyPress.

    All in all, it’s just another way to preview one instance of a post.

    Report


    1. If you want side-by-side real time editing, you should try another plugin – Gust – http://wordpress.org/plugins/gust/, that is a port of the new Ghost blogging platform. Side-by-side editing and preview is one of the main features. Editor is not WYSIWG, but Markdown based, though.

      (Full disclosure: I am author of that plugin)

      Report


      1. Tried Gust on WordPress 3.8. Editor doesn’t allow any text entry and list of post items is blank.

        Report


      2. I tried the Gust plugin for about a week and I liked it, but it doesn’t allow for scheduled posting nor does it allow for categories. I will use it once scheduled posting is added.

        So far the plugin is solid, but it needs a little bit of work.

        Report


      3. Kristine, thanks for your input.

        Adding categories to posts are coming in next release (0.3) (in a few days, probably). Ability to manage categories themselves (add/rename/delete) is scheduled for (0.4).

        Post scheduling issue is a bug, should be fixed in 0.3, too. A published post can be moved to future by setting a future date, but it does not work for drafts at the moment (a bug, as I said).

        Report


  4. Guess I misunderstood the “live front-end preview of your post while you’re typing” part of the post then.

    Report


  5. Worked perfectly for me. Wondering if some have scripts disabled/blocked or something which could affect the live preview. I can’t fault it (shortcode rendering aside).

    Report


  6. @Donna Fontenot – Yeah it sounds like you probably have a plugin conflict or something. Might try disabling all your plugins and turning them back on one by one to find the offender.

    Report


  7. Hmmm, I just tried again on my localhost install of WordPress. Disabled all plugins except PrettyPress and also switched from the 2012 Themes to 2014 and I still don’t see a real time preview. I don’t see anything change on the right side of the screen as I edit text on the left side.

    Report


  8. Hi guys,

    Check the support tab of the WordPress plugin repository – looks like the “plain text” editor has a bug. Developer says it will be fixed with the next release.

    Enable WYSiWYG and refresh the page…

    Report


  9. Using Visual didn’t make a difference for me, Richard. However, I did try this on a localhost install like Jeffro, so maybe that’s the clue.

    Report


  10. I had to save the draft before it started showing the changes in the preview pane.

    I like the idea but I found myself looking for a way to save my changes without leaving this view. It appears you have to go back to save.

    Report


Comments are closed.