If you are a blogger, you know how easy it is to convert plain text to HTML through WordPress using shortcuts or the Visual tab. However, there is a potentially faster way to create blog posts while still getting beautiful formatting. It’s called markdown, and it has gained popularity among those who are willing to learn a few simple shortcuts while writing with plain text.
Markdown for WordPress is a formatting syntax created by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz in 2004. Markdown has become more than its creators ever expected, as we see forms of the original markdown in different software and content creation tools. Markdown works by replacing more complicated HTML code, making the process easier for non-coders.
Markdown is meant to keep your hands on the keyboard, improving your focus and speeding up your blog post creation process. Not only that, but markdown isn’t that difficult to learn as long as you pick out the elements you use the most. Markdown is similar to Excel shortcuts for bankers and accountants. Once learned, it’s hard to imagine life without them.
At one point in time, you could activate markdown directly by going through the Settings and Writing tabs in WordPress. However, more recent WordPress updates have included some of the markdown elements without any activation on your end. For everything that was left out, you’ll need to activate a plugin that supports markdown.
Several free plugins are available for you to take advantage of. Jetpack is the most promising because some of the other ones aren’t updated due to the fact that WordPress has included so many of the markdown items with recent updates.
Since markdown has evolved so much, average WordPress users don’t need to know every shortcut. Therefore, we put together a list of the markdown shortcuts you should remember as a WordPress blogger:
# Header 1
## Header 2
### Header 3
#### Header 4
##### Header 5
###### Header 6
Italics and Bold Text
*Italics have asterisks on both sides*
**Bold text has two**
A [link](http://example.com “Title”).
Images Inside Your Post
![Alternative text](/filename.png “Title”)
A Bullet List
A Numbered List
> The quoted text goes here.
Learning markdown for WordPress is bound to make writing easier for the average user. Similar to standard browser and software shortcuts, it takes a few minutes to learn the markdown shortcuts. After that, you might have to bookmark the reference sheet for a refresher on occasion. It’s refreshing once you start learning the more common markdown elements because you’ll create your blog posts faster and feel like a more professional worker in the process.