Cambridge University Design / UX group

Microformatting WordPress posts


Microformats allow you to add more semantic meaning to your page content. Using exiting HTML elements in standardised ways, you can “microformat” things like contact details and event summaries, giving them extra “value”. Microformats are still a young technology, but last year, both Google and Yahoo configured their search engines to look for microformatted content. Get noticed!

There are a range of Microformat-related plugins available, but one that I liked the look of is Micro Anywhere, which gives you a WYSIWYG way to add hCard or hEvent formatting and data.

However, with blogs hosted (for free) on WordPress.com, you’re not able to install any plugins. Sensibly enough, this is for security reasons, since we’re all sharing a big server here.

I’ve found, though, that you can manually microformat the HTML of a post. I did it on the first post on this blog, wrapping the details of our first get-together with a hEvent identifier, and it works. Cool.

If you’re not sure of the standard microformatting syntax (which is only HTML, really), there are wizards available to help you.

hCard Creator gives you a simple way to microformat contact details, and hCalendar Creator does the same for events. There’s also the hCard Wizard JavaScript bookmarklet, to help add a bit more weight to someone’s name in the middle of a sentence. Nice.

They’re not perfect, but there are lots of resources out there to help you hadcode your own microformats.

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