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How to Display Code in WordPress

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Conclusion

Effectively displaying code on your WordPress website is crucial for delivering an enhanced user experience. Whether you’re a developer sharing your work or a blogger discussing technical concepts, using the right methods and plugins can significantly improve the readability and visual appeal of your code snippets. Experiment with different solutions, customize the appearance to match your site’s design, and follow best practices to ensure your code is accessible and easy to understand.

Why Displaying Code Properly Matters

When it comes to sharing code on your WordPress website, it’s not just about the content of the code itself. How you present that code to your audience can make a significant difference in their ability to understand and utilize it effectively. Properly displaying code is essential for several reasons:

  1. Readability and Comprehension: Clear and well-formatted code snippets are easier to read and understand. When code is displayed in a structured and organized manner, it becomes more readable, reducing the chances of confusion or misinterpretation. Syntax highlighting, line numbering, and indentation all contribute to improving code comprehension, making it easier for your audience to grasp the logic and flow of the code.
  2. Error Prevention: Displaying code properly can help prevent errors and bugs. When code is presented in a consistent and logical manner, it becomes easier to spot any potential mistakes or typos. By enhancing the readability of your code snippets, you make it simpler for yourself and others to identify and rectify errors, ultimately saving time and effort in the debugging process.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: The visual presentation of code on your website matters. Well-formatted and visually pleasing code snippets enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your content. It gives a professional impression and makes your website more engaging for visitors. When readers encounter visually appealing code, they are more likely to spend time on your site and engage with your content.
  4. Accessibility: Properly displayed code ensures accessibility for all users. When you structure your code snippets with clear headings, appropriate line breaks, and descriptive comments, you make it easier for individuals with visual impairments or screen readers to navigate and understand the code. Accessibility is a crucial aspect of web development, and presenting code in an accessible format is a step toward inclusivity.
  5. Sharing and Collaboration: If you’re sharing code snippets for educational purposes, tutorials, or collaboration with other developers, displaying code properly is vital. Well-formatted code is more likely to be shared, referenced, and used by others. It enables efficient collaboration and fosters a positive learning experience for your audience.

By considering the importance of displaying code properly, you can significantly enhance the user experience and engagement on your WordPress website. Whether you’re a developer sharing your work, a blogger discussing technical concepts, or an educator providing coding examples, investing time and effort into presenting code in an optimal way will undoubtedly benefit your readers.

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Remember, by using appropriate formatting techniques, syntax highlighting, and other customization options available in WordPress, you can elevate the quality and impact of your code snippets, making them more accessible, understandable, and visually appealing to your audience.

In the next sections of this guide, we will explore different methods and plugins that will help you display code effectively in WordPress, ensuring that your code snippets are presented in the best possible way.

Native WordPress Code Formatting

WordPress provides a native method for displaying code snippets using the <code> and <pre> HTML tags. This method is straightforward and requires minimal setup. However, it is important to note that native code formatting lacks advanced features such as syntax highlighting and customization options. It is best suited for displaying short code snippets rather than longer pieces of code.

To display code using the native method, follow these steps:

  1. Open the WordPress editor and switch to the “Text” or “Code” view mode.
  2. Enclose your code within the <pre> and <code> tags. For example:
<pre><code>
// Your code goes here
</code></pre>
  1. Replace the comment “// Your code goes here” with your actual code.
  2. Save or publish your post or page to see the code snippet displayed.

While native code formatting is simple to use, it may not meet the needs of developers or those who frequently share code on their WordPress websites. Without syntax highlighting, it becomes challenging for readers to distinguish between different parts of the code, making it less readable and potentially leading to confusion.

If you only need to display short code snippets occasionally and prefer a basic approach, native WordPress code formatting can still be a viable option. However, for more advanced and visually appealing code display, we recommend exploring syntax highlighting plugins and Gutenberg blocks, which we will cover in the following sections.

Remember, the goal is to present your code in a clear and organized manner, making it easier for your audience to understand and implement. Let’s dive into the next section to explore syntax highlighting plugins, which offer more robust solutions for displaying code on your WordPress site.

Using Syntax Highlighting Plugins

To overcome the limitations of native code formatting in WordPress, syntax highlighting plugins offer a more robust solution. These plugins not only provide enhanced code display options but also support syntax highlighting for various programming languages. Let’s explore some popular syntax highlighting plugins that can elevate your code presentation on WordPress.

SyntaxHighlighter Evolved

SyntaxHighlighter Evolved is a widely-used plugin that offers a user-friendly interface and extensive language support. It allows you to showcase code snippets with syntax highlighting, line numbers, and customizable color schemes. The installation and activation process for SyntaxHighlighter Evolved are straightforward, making it an excellent choice for beginners.

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to “Plugins” > “Add New.”
  2. In the search bar, type “SyntaxHighlighter Evolved.”
  3. Locate the plugin and click on the “Install Now” button.
  4. Once the installation is complete, click on the “Activate” button.

After activating the plugin, you can start using it to display code snippets in your WordPress posts and pages. To insert a code block using SyntaxHighlighter Evolved, follow these steps:

  1. Edit the post or page where you want to display the code snippet.
  2. Inside the editor, click on the “SyntaxHighlighter” button in the toolbar.
  3. A pop-up window will appear, allowing you to enter your code snippet.
  4. Choose the programming language from the drop-down menu to enable syntax highlighting.
  5. Optionally, you can customize the color scheme, line numbers, and other settings.
  6. Click on the “Insert” button to add the code block to your content.

SyntaxHighlighter Evolved provides an intuitive and straightforward way to showcase code on your WordPress site, ensuring that your code snippets are easily readable and visually appealing.

HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter

HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter is another powerful plugin that offers extensive customization options and supports multiple programming languages. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating beautifully formatted code blocks.

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To install and activate HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to “Plugins” > “Add New.”
  2. Search for “HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter” in the search bar.
  3. Locate the plugin and click on the “Install Now” button.
  4. Once the installation is complete, click on the “Activate” button.

After activating the plugin, you can start using it to display code snippets. Here’s how you can add a code block using HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter:

  1. Install and activate the HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter plugin from the WordPress Plugin Directory. You can do this by navigating to “Plugins” in your WordPress dashboard, clicking on “Add New,” and then searching for “HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter.” Once you find the plugin, click on “Install Now” and then “Activate.”
  2. Once activated, you can start using the plugin within the HTML editor or any other text editor where HTML code is entered. To access the HTML editor, navigate to “Pages” or “Posts” in your WordPress dashboard, select the page or post where you want to insert or edit HTML code, and switch to the “Text” or “HTML” editor mode.
  3. Within the HTML editor, you’ll notice a new toolbar added by the HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter plugin. This toolbar provides options for formatting and highlighting your HTML code.
  4. To highlight a specific HTML code snippet, simply select the code and click on the corresponding syntax highlighting button in the toolbar. The plugin will automatically apply syntax highlighting to the selected code. You can choose from various highlighting options such as colors, fonts, and styles to customize the appearance of the code.
  5. The HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter plugin also supports line numbering. If you want to enable line numbers for your HTML code snippet, click on the line numbering button in the toolbar. This can be helpful when referencing specific lines of code in your articles or tutorials.
  6. Additionally, the plugin provides options to switch between different color schemes. You can experiment with different color schemes by clicking on the color scheme button in the toolbar and selecting your preferred scheme from the available options.
  7. After formatting and highlighting your HTML code, make sure to preview the changes in the visual editor or publish the page or post to see the highlighted code in action on your website.

HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter empowers you to create visually appealing code blocks with ease, enhancing the readability and comprehension of your code snippets.

WP-Syntax

If you’re seeking a lightweight and straightforward syntax highlighting plugin, WP-Syntax is a reliable option. While it may lack some advanced features, it offers support for a wide range of programming languages and provides a user-friendly interface.

To install and activate WP-Syntax, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to “Plugins” > “Add New.”
  2. Search for “WP-Syntax” in the search bar.
  3. Locate the plugin and click on the “Install Now” button.
  4. Once the installation is complete, click on the “Activate” button.

After activating the plugin, you can start utilizing it to display code snippets. Here’s how you can add a code block using WP-Syntax:

  1. Edit the post or page where you want to insert the code snippet.
  2. Inside the editor, click on the “Add WP-Syntax code” button in the toolbar.
  3. A pop-up window will appear, allowing you to enter your code snippet.
  4. Choose the programming language from the drop-down menu to enable syntax highlighting.
  5. Optionally, you can customize the appearance of the code block by modifying the styles.
  6. Click on the “Insert” button to add the code block to your content.

WP-Syntax offers a simple yet effective solution for displaying code snippets on your WordPress site, making it accessible and readable for your audience.

By using syntax highlighting plugins like SyntaxHighlighter Evolved, Crayon Syntax Highlighter, Prism Syntax Highlighter, and WP-Syntax, you can elevate the presentation of code snippets on your WordPress website. These plugins offer various customization options, extensive language support, and user-friendly interfaces, making it easy for you to display code snippets effectively and enhance the overall experience for your readers.

Next, let’s explore how you can display code using Gutenberg blocks.

Displaying Code with Gutenberg Blocks

With the introduction of the Gutenberg editor in WordPress, displaying code has become even more accessible. Gutenberg offers a range of blocks that allow you to showcase code snippets effortlessly. Let’s explore two popular methods of displaying code using Gutenberg blocks.

Code Block

The Code block is a native Gutenberg block specifically designed for displaying code snippets. It provides a simple and intuitive interface to input your code and offers various customization options to enhance the appearance and readability of your snippets.

To add a Code block, open the Gutenberg editor and click on the (+) icon to add a new block. In the block search bar, type “Code” or scroll down to the Formatting section to find the Code block. Click on it to insert it into your content.

Once you’ve added the Code block, you can start entering your code. Gutenberg automatically applies syntax highlighting based on the programming language you select from the dropdown menu. You can choose from popular languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and more.

Additionally, the Code block allows you to customize the appearance of your code. You can modify the font size, background color, text color, and even enable line numbers for better code navigation. These options can be found in the block settings sidebar on the right-hand side of the editor.

Classic Block with Syntax Highlighting

If you prefer using the Classic editor in WordPress, you can still achieve syntax highlighting by utilizing the Classic block. This method is particularly useful if you have existing content created with the Classic editor and want to preserve its formatting while adding syntax highlighting.

To get started, open the Gutenberg editor and add a new Classic block by clicking on the (+) icon and selecting the Classic block from the Formatting section. Once the Classic block is added, switch to the Text tab in the block editor.

Next, you’ll need to install a syntax highlighting plugin compatible with the Classic editor. There are several options available, such as SyntaxHighlighter Evolved or Crayon Syntax Highlighter, which we discussed earlier in this guide. Install and activate the plugin of your choice.

After activating the syntax highlighting plugin, you can wrap your code snippet within the appropriate shortcode provided by the plugin. The shortcode typically resembles [language]code goes here[/language], where “language” represents the programming language you’re using.

For example, if you’re displaying HTML code, you can use [html]code goes here[/html]. Replace “code goes here” with your actual code snippet. When you switch back to the Visual tab in the Classic block editor, you’ll see your code snippet highlighted according to the selected programming language.

By using the Classic block with syntax highlighting, you can maintain backward compatibility with older content while still benefiting from the enhanced code display features offered by syntax highlighting plugins.

These Gutenberg block methods provide convenient ways to display code snippets in your WordPress content. Choose the method that aligns with your editing preferences and enjoy the flexibility and ease of use that Gutenberg offers for showcasing code on your website.

In the next section, we’ll explore customizing code display to further enhance the visual appeal and readability of your code snippets.

Customizing Code Display

To make your code snippets more visually appealing and readable, you can customize various aspects of their display. Here are some key elements you can modify to enhance the presentation of your code:

Changing Code Colors and Styles

One of the significant advantages of using syntax highlighting plugins is the ability to customize the colors and styles of your code. This allows you to match the appearance of your code with your website’s design or personal preferences. Most syntax highlighting plugins provide options to modify the color scheme, background color, text color, and even the font family used for displaying code.

When customizing the colors, it’s essential to consider readability and contrast. Choose colors that provide sufficient contrast between the background and text to ensure optimal legibility. Experiment with different combinations until you find a visually appealing and readable color scheme that aligns with your website’s overall look and feel.

Line Numbers and Gutter

Line numbers and the gutter, which is the area displaying the line numbers, can be helpful for code navigation and reference. Enabling line numbers allows you to refer to specific lines of code more easily, especially when discussing code in tutorials or articles.

Many syntax highlighting plugins offer options to include line numbers and customize their appearance. You can choose whether to display line numbers on the left or right side of the code block, adjust the font size, and even add background colors to make them more distinct. Consider your preferences and the specific needs of your audience when deciding whether to enable line numbers.

Code Language Support

Different programming languages have their own syntax and structure. It’s crucial to ensure that the syntax highlighting plugin you choose supports the programming languages you commonly use. While most plugins support popular languages like JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and PHP, others might provide a broader range of language support.

Verify the plugin’s documentation or features list to ensure it covers the languages you frequently work with. Having proper language support ensures that your code is accurately highlighted and enhances the readability and understanding of your code snippets.

By customizing the colors and styles, enabling line numbers, and ensuring proper language support, you can create code display that is visually appealing, readable, and enhances the overall user experience on your WordPress website.

Remember to periodically review and update your code customization settings to keep up with any changes to your website’s design or branding.

Displaying Inline Code

Inline code refers to small code snippets embedded within regular text. Whether you want to highlight function names, variable names, or command examples, displaying inline code effectively is crucial for readability and understanding. Fortunately, WordPress provides simple methods for accomplishing this.

To display inline code in WordPress, you have a couple of options:

  1. Backticks (): Enclose the code snippet within backticks (), which are located on the same key as the tilde (~) on most keyboards. For example, to display the function calculateSum(), you would wrap it like this: calculateSum().Using backticks is the easiest and most common method for displaying inline code. It’s also a standard convention in many programming languages.
  2. <code> HTML Tag: Another way to display inline code is by using the <code> HTML tag. This tag tells the browser to treat the enclosed text as code and apply appropriate styling. For example, to display the variable count, you would use <code>count</code>.While using the <code> tag requires a bit more typing, it can be useful if you need to style the inline code differently or apply specific CSS rules.

Whichever method you choose, the important thing is to visually distinguish the inline code from the surrounding text. By doing so, you make it easier for readers to identify and understand the code snippet.

Additionally, it’s a good practice to avoid excessively long or complex inline code. If the code snippet becomes too large, consider using a separate code block or referencing it as a separate entity.

When displaying inline code, ensure that it’s formatted consistently throughout your website. This helps maintain a cohesive design and improves the overall user experience. By following these practices, you can effectively incorporate inline code into your WordPress content.

Example:

To demonstrate the usage of inline code, let’s consider an example where we want to display a JavaScript variable name within a sentence. Here’s how it would look using both methods:

  1. Using backticks (): We can simply write: "The value of the variable name` is ‘John’.”
  2. Using the <code> HTML tag: We can write: “The value of the variable <code>name</code> is ‘John’.”

Both methods achieve the same result of visually highlighting the inline code within the sentence. Choose the method that aligns with your preference and the specific requirements of your content.

In conclusion, displaying inline code in WordPress is straightforward using backticks or the <code> HTML tag. By properly formatting and distinguishing the inline code, you enhance the readability and understanding of your content. Incorporate inline code effectively to enrich your WordPress posts and make technical information more accessible to your readers.

Sharing Code in WordPress Widgets

WordPress widgets offer a convenient way to display code snippets in various areas of your website, such as sidebars, footers, or other widgetized sections. By utilizing a text widget, you can easily insert code into these areas. Here’s how you can share code using WordPress widgets:

  1. Add a Text Widget: To begin, navigate to your WordPress dashboard and go to “Appearance” -> “Widgets.” Look for the “Text” widget and drag it to the desired widget area.
  2. Configure the Text Widget: Once you’ve added the Text widget to the desired area, you’ll see some options to configure it. Provide a title for the widget that describes the code you’ll be sharing. This title will appear above the code snippet.
  3. Insert the Code: Within the content area of the Text widget, you can insert your code snippet. You have two options for doing this:
    • Use <code> HTML Tags: You can directly paste your code within the content area, enclosing it in <code> tags. This ensures that the code is displayed as monospaced text and maintains its formatting.
    • Use a Syntax Highlighting Plugin Shortcode: If you have a syntax highlighting plugin installed, it may provide a shortcode that you can use within the Text widget. Check the documentation of the plugin you’re using for the specific shortcode syntax. By using the shortcode, you can take advantage of the plugin’s advanced features like syntax highlighting, line numbering, and code styling.
  4. Save and Preview: After inserting the code snippet, click the “Save” button to store your changes. Preview your website to ensure that the code is displaying correctly within the widgetized area. Make any necessary adjustments if the code isn’t appearing as expected.
  5. Customize the Widget Appearance: If you want to further customize the appearance of the code within the widget, you can apply CSS styles to the Text widget. This can be done using the “Additional CSS Class” option in the widget settings or by adding custom CSS code to your theme’s stylesheet.
  6. Multiple Widgets and Code Snippets: WordPress allows you to add multiple Text widgets to different widget areas on your site. This means you can share different code snippets in various sections of your website. Repeat the steps mentioned above for each code snippet you want to display.

Remember to ensure that the code you’re sharing in widgets is properly formatted and optimized for readability. Consider adding comments or explanations if the code requires additional context. Testing the responsiveness of code snippets in widgets is also crucial to ensure they display correctly on different screen sizes and devices.

By leveraging WordPress widgets and the flexibility they provide, you can seamlessly integrate code snippets into different parts of your website. Whether you want to showcase your latest projects, provide tutorials, or simply share useful code snippets, widgets offer an efficient way to present code to your audience.

In the next section, we will discuss the best practices for effectively displaying code on your WordPress site.

Stay tuned for the upcoming section on best practices to ensure your code is presented in the most effective way on your WordPress site.

Best Practices for Code Display

When it comes to displaying code on your WordPress website, following best practices ensures that your code snippets are easy to understand, visually appealing, and accessible to your audience. Implementing the following guidelines will help you showcase your code in the best possible way:

  1. Optimize Code for Readability: To enhance code readability, it’s essential to follow a consistent and clean coding style. Consider the following tips:a. Use proper indentation: Indent your code consistently using spaces or tabs. This improves the visual structure of your code and helps readers follow the code’s logical flow.b. Maintain appropriate spacing: Include spaces around operators, after commas, and between different elements of your code. This makes the code more readable and easier to comprehend.c. Use meaningful variable and function names: Choose descriptive names that accurately reflect the purpose of your variables and functions. Avoid using ambiguous or overly generic names that can confuse readers.d. Add comments: Comments play a vital role in explaining complex sections of your code or highlighting important details. Use comments to provide context, explain your thought process, and make the code more understandable for others.
  2. Use Descriptive Titles and Comments: When sharing code snippets, provide clear and descriptive titles that convey the purpose or functionality of the code. This helps readers quickly understand what the code does and whether it is relevant to their needs. Additionally, include comments within your code to explain critical sections, logic, or any dependencies that users need to be aware of.
  3. Test Code Responsiveness: With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure that your code snippets are responsive and display properly on various screen sizes. Test your code on different devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to ensure that it remains readable and well-formatted. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure an optimal user experience across different devices.
  4. Consider Accessibility: Accessibility is an important aspect of code display. Make sure that your code is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Consider the following accessibility practices:a. Use high contrast colors: Choose color schemes for your code snippets that provide sufficient contrast between the background and text. This ensures that users with visual impairments can read the code without difficulty.b. Use semantic HTML: When displaying code, use proper HTML elements, such as <code> and <pre>, to maintain the semantic structure of your content. This helps assistive technologies interpret the code correctly and improves accessibility.c. Provide alternative text for images: If you include code screenshots or diagrams in your article, ensure that you provide descriptive alternative text for visually impaired users. This allows screen readers to convey the information effectively.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your code snippets are well-presented, easily understandable, and accessible to a wide range of users. Consistently applying these guidelines will enhance the overall quality of your code display and contribute to a positive user experience on your WordPress website.

Remember, clear and well-formatted code not only benefits your readers but also reflects positively on your expertise and professionalism as a developer or technical content creator.

Implement these best practices today to present your code snippets effectively on your WordPress site and engage your audience with well-structured and readable code examples.

Conclusion

Effectively displaying code on your WordPress website is crucial for delivering an enhanced user experience. Whether you’re a developer sharing your work or a blogger discussing technical concepts, using the right methods and plugins can significantly improve the readability and visual appeal of your code snippets.

Throughout this guide, we have explored various approaches to displaying code in WordPress. We started with the native WordPress code formatting using the <code> and <pre> tags, which is a simple option suitable for shorter code snippets. However, for more advanced features such as syntax highlighting and customization, syntax highlighting plugins prove to be the better choice.

Syntax highlighting plugins like SyntaxHighlighter Evolved, Crayon Syntax Highlighter, Prism Syntax Highlighter, and WP-Syntax offer a wide range of options to display your code effectively. They support multiple programming languages, provide customizable color schemes, and even include line numbering for better code navigation. Depending on your preferences and requirements, you can choose the plugin that best suits your needs.

With the introduction of the Gutenberg editor, displaying code has become more accessible than ever. The Code block in Gutenberg allows you to showcase code snippets effortlessly, with syntax highlighting, line numbering, and a live preview. Alternatively, if you prefer the Classic editor, you can still achieve syntax highlighting by using the Classic block and a syntax highlighting plugin.

To further enhance the display of your code snippets, customization options are available. You can change the code colors and styles to match your website’s theme, enable line numbers and customize their appearance, and ensure that the syntax highlighting plugin supports the programming languages you use.

It’s important to remember that code display isn’t limited to standalone snippets. You can also effectively present inline code within your text by enclosing it in backticks or using the <code> HTML tag. Additionally, WordPress widgets provide an excellent way to showcase code snippets in various areas of your website, such as sidebars or footers.

As you display code on your WordPress website, it’s essential to follow best practices. Optimize your code for readability by using consistent indentation, appropriate spacing, and meaningful variable names. Include descriptive titles and comments to provide context and explain the purpose of your code. Test the responsiveness of your code snippets to ensure they adapt well to different devices and screen sizes.

By implementing these techniques and guidelines, you can ensure that your code is not only visually appealing but also easily understandable for your audience. Properly displaying code enhances the user experience, reduces errors, and helps readers implement your code effectively.

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of how to display code in WordPress, it’s time to put this knowledge into practice. Experiment with different methods, explore various syntax highlighting plugins, and customize the appearance of your code snippets to match your website’s design. With the right approach, you can showcase your code like a pro and provide an engaging and informative experience for your visitors.

Start displaying code in WordPress today and unlock the full potential of your technical content!

Picture of Katerina Valeria
Katerina Valeria
Hi there! My name is Catherine and I am a professional content creator with a focus on WordPress. I write blog articles for Gloria Themes, sharing my knowledge and expertise on all things related to this popular website platform.

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