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How to Easily Display Code on Your WordPress Site

Do you want to display code in your WordPress blog posts? If you tried to add code like regular text, then WordPress will not display it correctly.

WordPress runs your content through several cleanup filters each time you save a post. These filters are there to make sure someone does not inject code via a post editor to hack your website.

In this article, we will show you the proper ways to easily display code on your WordPress site. We will show you different methods, and you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

How to easily display code in WordPress posts

Method 1. Display Code Using The Default Editor in WordPress

This method is recommended for beginners and users who don’t need to display code very often.

Simply edit the blog post or page where you want to display the code. On the post edit screen, add a new code block to your post.

Add code block to your WordPress posts

You can now enter the code snippet in the text area of the block.

The code block will show a preview of your code.

Add code to your blog post

After that, you can save your blog post and preview it to see the code block in action.

Once you’re satisfied with the appearance of your code, go ahead and publish your blog post.

PHP code displayed in WordPress

Depending on your WordPress theme, the code block may look different on your website.

Method 2. Display Code in WordPress Using a Plugin

For this method, we will be using a WordPress plugin to display code in your blog posts. This method is recommended for users who often display code in their articles.

It gives you the following advantages over the default code block:

  • It allows you to easily display any code in any programming language
  • It displays the code with syntax highlighting and line numbers
  • Your users can easily study the code and copy it

First, you need to install and activate the SyntaxHighlighter Evolved plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you can go ahead and edit the blog post where you want to display the code. On the post edit screen, add the ‘SyntaxHighlighter Code’ block to your post.

SyntaxHighlighter code block

You will now see a new code block in the post editor where you can enter your code.

After adding the code, you need to select the block settings from the right column.

Change Syntax Highlighter code settings

First, you need to select the language for your code, like PHP, CSS, Java, etc. After that, you can turn off line numbers, provide the first line number, highlight any line you want, and turn off the feature to make links clickable.

Once you are done, save your post and click on the preview button to see it in action.

Code displayed with syntax highlighting

The plugin comes with a number of color schemes and themes.

To change the color theme, you need to visit the Settings » SyntaxHighlighter page.

SyntaxHighlighter settings

From the settings page, you can select a color theme and change SyntaxHighlighter settings.

You can save your settings to see a preview of the code block at the bottom of the page.

Code block preview

Using SyntaxHighlighter with Classic Editor

If you are still using the old classic WordPress editor, then here is how you would use the SyntaxHighlighter plugin to add code to your WordPress blog posts.

Simply wrap your code around square brackets with the language name. For example, if you are going to add PHP code, then you will add it like this:

<?php
private function get_time_tags() {
        $time = get_the_time('d M, Y');
        return $time;
    }
?>

Similarly, if you want to add an HTML code, then you will wrap it around the HTML shortcode like this:

<a href="example.com">A sample link</a>

Method 3. Display Code in WordPress Manually (No Plugin or Block)

This method is for advanced users because it requires more work and does not always work as intended.

It is suitable for users who are still using the old classic editor and want to display code without using a plugin.

First, you need to pass your code through an online HTML entities encoder tool. It will change your code markup to HTML entities, which will allow you to add the code and bypass the WordPress cleanup filters.

Now copy and paste your code into the text editor and wrap it around <pre> and <code> tags.

Adding code manually in classic editor

Your code would look like this:

<pre><code>
&lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;/home.html&quot;&gt;This is a sample link&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
</pre></code>

You can now save your post and preview the code in action.

Your browser will convert the HTML entities and users will be able to see and copy the correct code.

Manually displaying code in WordPress

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily display code on your WordPress site. You may also want to see our ultimate list of the most wanted WordPress tips, tricks, and hacks.

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Reader Interactions

28 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Hi, first of all, Thanks for this blog.

    I want to add codes for any problem in different languages (e.g. Python and C++). How can we do that?

  2. This is great.
    If it wasn’t for this, I would’ve used a separate plugin for input code snippets.
    I’m still using WordPress’s classic editor and will add the code snippets to my posts as mentioned in this.
    Thank You for this amazing share!

  3. Thanks,
    This article is very useful. I installed the plugin and it works well. There’s a problem with my theme that when I put a code from the block editor the theme displays it with the background color so it’s impossible to see the code. I’m a big fan of WpBegginer!

    • Glad our guide was helpful, you should be able to reach out to your theme for assistance with that issue.

      Admin

    • You could place the code as we have in this article and note beneath it where it came from Github. There may be plugin options as well for embedding the code directly

      Admin

    • It is not required but for sites that wish to show code to their users, these are some methods they can use.

      Admin

  4. Great, Just wonder how you can post the code inside

     

    and still make the code look like text.

    Like how you can post this code

    .entry-title {
    font-family:”Open Sans”, arial, sans-serif;
    font-size:16px;
    color:#272727;
    }
    

    to your post without changing how it shows on the post.

  5. There’s a typo on the word ‘Syntax’…no wonder I was getting no results when I copied paste the text on WordPress plugin search! ;-)

    Synatx Highlighter Evolved plugin

  6. I think there is a problem with Syntax Highlighter Evolved in latest versions of WordPress. I, and others, are having it incorrectly display html entities. See support forums for more.

  7. Personally, I use WP-GeSHi-Highlight, which uses the standard GeSHi codes. I think I used a predecessor of the plugin featured here, but I had difficulty finding the language codes.

    • I do absolutely agree. They´re pretty well formatted and syntax-highlighted, they´re forkable and they´re versionable too. So WP GIST is the way to go for me at least..

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