How To: Improve Readability of Your WordPress Blog

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WordPress has become known far and wide for its user-friendly blogging services that include a really great core features list. Part of what it offers is an expansive selection of fonts for you to choose from, which can be inserted into your blog content to allow you to create an easy-to-read – or just cool-looking – typeface for your post.

That is all pretty great. But that doesn’t mean it will immediately be what it was you were hoping for. In fact, you might be disappointed to see that you can’t generate the look you want with what WordPress has on file as standard.

The good news is that WP is more than just customizable through the actual program. It is also ripe for easily installed plug-ins that tailor-make your features list and give you more control over your theme and effects. They are free, functional and usually updated on a regular basis, as well.

If you are hoping for a little more than the basic fare, check out these excellent plug-ins for typography upgrades.

1. TTFTitles

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If you like to use TrueType, you will love this plug-in. It allows you to easily replace any headers with images from that format. If you have used Image Headlines, you will already be familiar with this program. It was a rework of the original, and the same basic interface was used.

2. Drop Caps

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A drop cap is a capital letter at the beginning of a page, chapter or article that is larger than the rest of the font, usually in bold or with a layered font. This is done for various publications, such as printed books or newspapers. It is a professional standard and can really give your blog a more sophisticated look. This plug-in lets you put in the drop cap on any post.

3. Censortive

This is another plug-in meant to get you around censorship laws in countries that are sensitive to stringent obscenity or anti-activism/information laws. You can select what words you want to be converted into images, and it keeps them from showing up in searches. However, you will still be able to use the rest of the posts for drawing traffic or directing people to your site, since the entire post isn’t converted.

4. Simple Pull Quote

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I have always rather liked the look of pull quotes on media websites, such as BBC News. It is when you select a quotation from a source in the story and put a box of the text, larger than the rest, on one side of the screen. Magazines also use this method of highlighting certain portions. Simple Pull Quote lets you create both the quote box itself and the layout of the post around it without breaking the lining.

5. TextImage

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This plug-in is somewhat controversial, but helpful. It works by converting the entire post of text into a PNG image. This makes it unreadable by search engines and bots, which are designed to find buzz words and report back to their source on the content. While this can be used for nefarious purposes, it can also be a matter of privacy or even security. For example, if you have a PNG converted post, it won’t come up in searches from countries that block Internet content, for example, in China or Iran.

6. WP Typography

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This is becoming a popular plug-in for people who like more control over their blog fonts. It has a huge catalog of features, such as spacing control, CSS hooks for character styles and various fonts available for use. It is a little advanced, but easy to work once you get the basics down.

7. WP Super Edit

One of the easiest ways to provide editing options for text, this plug-in creates two whole new rows of options to let you generate effects, characters, fonts and layouts. You can also add in formatting tables and customize it.

8. Real WYSIWYG Plugin

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The name may look like someone smashed his or her face into the keyboard on accident, but the plug-in is great. It is another full editing application that gives you more typography options than the kitchen sink. But you can see the end result in a preview in the actual post as you type, so you can check the lines and breaks, as well as the look, before you save or publish.

9. Post Typographer

This plug-in works more like a macro, automatically making typography changes in your posts as you go. For example, it changes hyphens without spaces to en dashes and hyphens with spaces to em dashes.

Do you have a plug-in we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!

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There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Frank at 6:02 pm

    Hello Sonja, thanks a lot for your very helpful and detailed article. Now I got possibility to improve my blog without troubleshooting css-experiments ;-)