Keep tripping over artifacts in WordPress? Some easy answers. Anyone who’s ever worked with WordPress will be aware of bumping into the odd artifact, hieroglyph on inexplicable typo which seems to be part of the landscape when editing and previewing. These things even show up in headers, if you’re not careful. There’s a reason for these things, and in the interests of good SEO, it’s worth finding out how to handle these things when they occur.

Artifacts on WordPress, explained

WordPress is a special blogging formatting process. WordPress is designed to take HTML, among other things, and that, inevitably, means that some characters, even spaces, can have an effect on the layout. This is just a natural byproduct of formats, and it’s quite avoidable.

Issues using WordPress

There are some things which just create problems in formatting:

  • External text: This may or may not cause problems, but remember WordPress is designed for direct entry, based on XHTML, and any sort of cut and paste, if it’s not supported or has some sort of exotic code, may simply not work, because XHTML is based on XML, and its rules are different. Some things are invisible, and text, even on a Word document, may contain formatting which can cause issues. All WordPress can do is try to render what it thinks these things mean, hence the typos and weird characters. The fixes are easy, (see below) but they have to be done within WordPress entries, and can’t be done from the source materials causing the problems.
  • Media: These artifacts can be complex. Although WordPress is designed for standard platforms, some media materials are sourced from either old types of media or unusual types with which WordPress may have problems. Upload problems are a good indicator that WordPress doesn’t like the media for some reason. It’s better to take its word for that, and try to copy the media onto something more acceptable. There is no point in tinkering for hours with something that won’t run. Bite the bullet, try other options.
  • SEO issues and artifacts: The weird things you sometimes see aren’t exactly assets for Search Engine Optimization. Search engines don’t look for “%$%@”, so your title and hard work can be going straight down the drain in SEO terms if you don’t deal with them.
Fixes and precautions

The fixes for hieroglyphs and weird looking things are relatively easy, but can take some hard work. The best option is don’t put yourself in a position that involves endless reworking of your input data:

  • Entering materials: Make sure anything you enter is being faithfully reproduced by WordPress with regular previews. With each section of your work, preview and look for any weird things. The edit job can be long and hard if you don’t.
  • Entering links: Some links recently provide a lot more information which can garble text. This material will show up on your visual page, as well as your HTML. Always check links after you make them.
  • Editing: The notorious “?” which shows up in WordPress text, particularly the older versions, can be edited out quite easily, but every now and then a Save will create a few. Proofread your text before publishing.