Category Archives: wordpress

WordPress, Tinymce, br class=”spacer_”, and unwanted white space all over the place

Using WordPress with the TinyMCE advanced plugin, if you view your content in the html editor all the p and br tags are stripped away by default.

If you are used to working with ‘proper’ html you probably won’t like that.

You can get your p’s and br’s to display again by checking ‘Stop removing the <p> and <br /> tags when saving and show them in the HTML editor’, on the tinyMCE settings screen.

However you will probably start to find nasty unwanted white spaces appearing all over your pages:

<p><br class="spacer_" /></p>

has been inserted all over the place, seemingly at random.

I can’t find a way to stop this happening (trying to hack TinyMCE is beyond me) but the following jquery at least hides the unwanted empty lines.

$("p br.spacer_").each(function () {

where the displayNone class hides the p.

If you do want an empty paragraph somewhere on the page, use


and the jquery won’t hide it.


Search engine optimisation

If SEO is important to you it is essential that you ensure your page titles, meta descriptions and so on are doing their job correctly on each page. This (combined with meaningful page content and lots of incoming links from other highly rated sites) is the key to good SEO.

The best place to start, if SEO is new to you, is Google’s Webmaster guidelines pages. These provide a clear and straightforward overview of most SEO related topics and should be read even if SEO is not that important to you, as a general guide to best practice. Read More »


Getting started with WordPress

One of the good things about WordPress is the quality and quantity of online documentation.

The best place to start, and for reference, is here:

It currently covers the following topics:

  • Installation
  • Installation Troubleshooting and Help
  • Posting in WordPress
  • WordPress for Beginners
  • File and Plugin Management
  • WordPress Support Forum

Read More »


WordPress user roles

  • Administrator – Somebody who has access to all the administration features
  • Editor – Somebody who can publish and manage posts and pages as well as manage other users’ posts, etc.
  • Author – Somebody who can publish and manage their own posts
  • Contributor – Somebody who can write and manage their posts but not publish them
  • Subscriber – Somebody who can only manage their profile

For more on different user roles, see


The difference between “pages” and “posts”

“In WordPress, you can write either posts or pages. When you’re writing a regular blog entry, you write a post. Posts by default appear in reverse chronological order on your blog page. Pages, on the other hand, are for content such as “About us,” “Contact us,” etc. Pages live outside of the blog chronology, and are often used to present information about yourself or your site that is somehow timeless — information that is always applicable. You can use Pages to organize and manage any amount of content.”

See more at and Read More »


How long should a blog post be?

Many people wonder about this, and online there are many different answers. Just google “ideal length for a blog post” to see. Having said that, there does seem to be some kind of consensus that blog posts of less than 250 words are probably a bit short, and more than 450 words is likely to put off some potential readers. You also need to take SEO into account, which prefers posts that are a bit longer than 250. For a serious blog you should probably aim for the longer end of the average, ie about 450 words, about the length of this post. Read More »