Sir Trevor WP: An Alternative Post Editor for WordPress

There’s nothing more fun than exploring different interface ideas for the WordPress publishing process. Over the past several months we’ve featured a number of plugins that are vying for the best way to edit content on the front end. Sir Trevor WP is a new plugin that presents an alternative way to edit content within the admin.

It’s based on Sir Trevor JS, a rich content editor that claims not to presuppose anything about how the content will be rendered. Sir Trevor content is made up of blocks that are easy to edit. It ships with a handful of default content blocks but is also extensible if you want to add your own:

sirtrevorjs

The Sir Trevor WP plugin brings these intuitive block types into the WordPress content editor, making it easy for anyone to understand how to add content. When you install the plugin, it is turned on by default for all new posts, but you will retain the option to use the normal editor at any time via a strategically placed button. Here’s what Sir Trevor WP looks like in the post editor:

sir-trevor-wp

Selecting the Text block gives you what you need to input text:

text-block

Selecting “Image” provides an upload interface that bypasses the normal WordPress media dialog.

sir-trevor-media

Testing Sir Trevor WP

If you want to test out this plugin, the most important thing to remember is that you will need to start a new post in order to see it in action. If you go to edit your old posts, Sir Trevor will not be an option.

No time to test on your own server? Check out an animated gif of the plugin in action.

sirtrevor

You can also try out the live interactive demo of the editor on the Sir Trevor JS site.

While testing the plugin, I found that it certainly could use a little polishing. Adding images is currently very slow and may not work at all. Also, you will not be able to edit previously created posts in the Sir Trevor editor. This may ultimately be an impossibility given how it stores content. Errors on content blocks could also be a little more explanatory. For example, a user might receive the following error “List block is invalid”, but there is no explanation to help the user find a way forward. Unless you’re willing to experiment quite a bit, it’s not as user-friendly as it seems from the outset.

The Sir Trevor WP plugin probably isn’t ready for a production environment at present, but I love the fact that its creator is exploring new ways to improve the WordPress publishing experience. It reminds me of all of the things that were appealing about the Post Formats UI feature the WordPress community explored in 3.6. The challenge of simplifying WordPress’ powerful publishing capabilities still remains. Sir Trevor WP tackles that with a new way of presenting the editor. Hopefully, the surrounding discussion can spark some new ideas for the future.

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