Support for Markdown in WordPress

WordPress Markdown Plugins

WPTavern.com recently announced that WordPress.com has added support for Markdown. They can also be quoted as saying:

Very soon we should see a Markdown module added to Jetpack.

This is sure to make a lot of us developers happy. I’m not sure if it’ll gain traction with the everyday WordPress user, but it will definitely be a nice time-saver for many.

New publishing platforms like Ghost & Editorially use Markdown as the sole method of writing content. This is a more radical approach—arguably too radical for WordPress to adopt. But we’re excited to hear that Markdown is being added as an option. It looks like it will start as a Jetpack module, but don’t be surprised if you see it added to core. If I had to guess, I’d say we’ll see it in the 4.0 release.

WordPress Markdown Plugins

If you can’t wait for the Jetpack module, there are a few WordPress plugins that will enable Markdown in the WYSIWYG editor.

Markdown on Save Improved

Markdown on Save Improved by Matt Wiebe looks to be the best WordPress Markdown plugin out there. It will automatically assume you want to use Markdown, unless you tell it otherwise. It’s compatible with WordPress mobile apps. And it stores the Markdown-formatted content in a separate database column, so if you deactivate the plugin, you will still have all your normally-formatted HTML.

It has a few other neat features, like enabling Markdown for custom post types, and an HTML-to-Markdown conversion tool (beta), for converting old posts to the Markdown format.

WP-Markdown

WP-Markdown by Stephen Harris is another solid option. It will also preserve your HTML if you deactivate the plugin, and allows for Markdown in custom post types. A few added features for this plugin:

  • Markdown support for comments & bbPress forums
  • Preview comments with Google’s Prettify syntax

Github-Flavored Markdown Comments

Github-Flavored Markdown Comments adds the ability for users to post comments using Markdown syntax. And no surprise, it includes some of the additional features that Github has extended Markdown to include. This plugin does not impact an author’s writing experience when creating posts & pages—only the comment form.

Some of the Github-specific Markdown features include:

  • Single linebreaks are treated as new paragraphs
  • Code “fencing” with three backticks (```)

If you have used either of these two WordPress Markdown plugins, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

Markdown on WordPress Mobile Apps

WPTavern.com’s article eluded to the fact that Markdown is already available on WordPress mobile apps, however, I have not found that to be the case. I’m running WordPress for Android on my Samsung GS4, and Markdown syntax is not converting to HTML. Please let us know in the comments if this is working for you, and if there is additional setup required.

Image Credit, Matt Wiebe

4 Commentson "Support for Markdown in WordPress"

    1. (Author) /

      Li-An – PrettyPress looks to be a nice plugin if you’re looking for a completely different editing experience. Thanks for sharing that.

      I’m sure someone will create a Markdown-only plugin that uses the same exact code that is used in the Jetpack version (once it’s converted), so keep your eye out for that if you want to use Markdown, but don’t want all the other stuff that Jetpack adds.

    2. /

      I suppose you are right about a new plugin replacing Markdown on Save Improved.

What Are Your Thoughts?

All fields are required. Your email will not be published.

You can use standard <code> and <pre> tags to post code examples, or a service like codepen.io.