One of the really great aspects of the web design community is their willingness to share solutions and ideas. As such, many people choose to post tutorials and helpful code snippets on their blogs.
When viewing code, it’s a good idea to make the snippets look as clean and easy to read as possible. You’ll also want to make sure it’s easy for users to copy and paste for their own use.
In addition to posting snippets on the front end, there are also some good reasons to add syntax highlighting within WordPress itself. First, the standard WordPress code editor can be cumbersome when trying to find a specific code — especially on longer pages and posts.
Here is a collection of free WordPress plugins to help you beautifully view and edit your code.
Designed for use with both block and classic editors, Highlight Code Block makes viewing your highlighted code in syntax easy. Many popular languages are supported, and a built-in settings screen allows you to customize the display.
With Prism’s syntax highlighter, Code Syntax Block improves on existing Code block. This makes it easy to view rich code snippets on the front end without any extra work.
In addition, the plugin includes a selection of visual themes. Additional options are available through the Prism Theme Repository.
Code Block was created to highlight grammar with a focus on performance. Install the plugin and it will automatically add language highlighting to your WordPress Code block – including existing blocks.
SyntaxHighlighter Evolved is a simple plugin that allows adding well-formatted code to your WordPress site. It includes a custom block for Gutenberg users but still plays nicely with the classic editor as well. As an aside, the block is also used on WordPress.com.
Fans of the old Crayon Syntax Highlighter will want to check out this “reincarnation.”
The included custom block makes it easy to add featured snippets but it works elsewhere with any code placed in between
<pre></pre> tags. The integrated theme editor allows for a lot of customization.
With 36 themes supported, there’s a good chance that My Syntax Highlighter will fit beautifully into your WordPress site.
The plugin uses the CodeMirror library and has included 16 different shortcodes that you can use to easily view the code.
Enlighter will allow full integration with the WordPress visual editor on both the backend and the frontend of your site. This means that the familiar TinyMCE editor you see inside WordPress can also be displayed on your public site.
You’ll also be able to view tab panes to group multiple snippets together.
Prismatic gives you three options for viewing your code: Prism.js, Highlight.js, and Plain.
The first two use their own libraries, while the third shows code without syntax highlighting (allowing you to customize the way it looks). The plugin focuses on being lightweight and only loads CSS/JS when needed.
Code Prettify uses the Google Code Prettify library to automatically mark any code within a file
Now, to improve the WordPress Post/Page Editor, we have the HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter. Highlighting code in the background makes life much easier for developers.
This plugin not only highlights the icon, but will also restore the position of the cursor after a page reload (eliminating the common annoyance of pets).
Highlight your site
Syntax highlighters are an easy way to improve your user experience, whether you’re sharing snippets with the world or just editing your code in the backend.
Take some time to try one or more of the plugins listed above and see which one works best for you.