The Benefits of Using Markdown on Your Squarespace Website - dummies

The Benefits of Using Markdown on Your Squarespace Website

By Kris Black

Markdown is a plain-text writing format that enables you to quickly apply text styling based on how you format your Squarespace 6 website’s text. Markdown is one of You use two types of blocks you can use to add text.

You add content to your Squarespace site pages by using content blocks in Site Manager→Content Manager. These blocks enable you to piece together the various types of content you can add to your site: images, videos, audio, and text.

Here are the benefits of using Markdown.

Properly format your text

You probably have a favorite application for writing. So why would you want to switch to writing directly in your site? Instead, you continue to copy and paste content into a text block. Boom! That’s when WYSIWYG can cause you a considerable amount of grief.

WYSIWYG writing apps style text by applying code that you can’t see. When you copy and paste WYSIWYG text in another app, such as your web browser, you inadvertently paste the invisible code. Squarespace does a darn good job of stripping out any hidden styling code when you paste content into a text block, but sometimes styling code can still slip by and cause your text to be improperly formatted in the text block.

Markdown makes it impossible to improperly format your content by converting your text to properly formatted HTML based on how you type the text.

Write HTML without knowing how to write code

The main benefit of writing in HTML is to make sure your content is properly coded for the web. If you’re a hard-core web developer, you could write your content as HTML code using the code block — but no one wants to do this.

Fortunately for you, Markdown converts your text into properly formatted HTML. You don’t even need to know how to write HTML. Using Markdown to write your text will ensure that your site’s content is always properly formatted for the web, making you an instant web superstar.

Expand your styling options

WYSIWYG formatting in Squarespace provides you with a limited set of styling options that are plenty for most users. Sometimes, however, you may need to use more.

For example, the WYSIWYG editing toolbar allows you to set text in three heading types (h1, h2, and h3). HTML code allows up to six levels of headings (h1–h6). You can’t style text with h4, h5, or h6 headings in a text block. In the Markdown block, however, you can style headings by beginning them with one or more pound signs (#) and a space:

# Heading 1
## Heading 2
### Heading 3
#### Heading 4
##### Heading 5
###### Heading 6

Another formatting nightmare with WYSIWYG is adding bulleted items in your text. Markdown allows you to quickly create bulleted and numbered lists using intuitive formatting. You can style a bulleted list by preceding each line item with a dash and a space:

- apple
- bananas
- pear

Numbered lists are styled by preceding the line items with the number followed by a period and space:

1. Spider-man
2. Hulk
3. Wolverine

Using Markdown, you can also nest lists. You can even nest numbered lists inside bulleted lists and vice versa.

Find out more about formatting Markdown using Squarespace’s cheatsheet.

Use Markdown everywhere

Many writing apps for computers and mobile devices support Markdown. For example, Byword is available for iPhone, iPad, and Macs. You can sync your Byword documents to all your devices using either iCloud or Dropbox.

On Windows, check out MarkdownPad, which displays your Markdown on the left side of the editing window and how it looks rendered in HTML on the right side of the window. MarkdownPad syncs to Dropbox, allowing you to edit your documents on your mobile device. If you have an Android device, check out Draft, which offers great support for Markdown and for syncing through Dropbox.