- Edit the existing copy on your website…without messing up the existing copy on your website?
- Change the tagline on one of the Internet’s most visited websites? Just for kicks?
- Get a more constructive, healthy hobby?
Kidding. If you’re writing web copy – your own or anyone else’s – nothing could be smarter and more constructive than seeing how it looks on the page. Or, if you don’t have one yet, on someone else’s page.
I present to you an insanely cool trick that lets you “edit” the text on any website.
(As long as it’s actual coded text and not an image.)
👉 I say “edit” because you’re the only one who can see it. The change only exists in your own browser, and it goes away as soon as you reload the page. 👈
If you’re a professional copywriter, this can help you sell an idea — a tagline, a headline, or a block of text — to your client. It lets them see it in play without having to hand it off to their designer to mock it up.
If you’re writing your own copy, ditto. Sometimes you don’t know how a headline or tagline will feel until your designer hands it to you, all coded up. And then, you might try to edit it yourself and break your website. (Because, as many of us have learned the hard way, editing your own website code is like cutting your own bangs.)
Here’s how you do it.[UPDATE! If you use chrome, try simply installing the extension called Edit This Website. It works for me. Then again, so does the method below, which I’ve used in both Chrome and Safari. Some people can’t get it to work, and I can’t figure out why.]
STEP 1) Select and copy this orange line of code with your cursor, then paste it into Evernote or a Word doc (other platforms may work):
STEP 2) From where you’ve copy-pasted it, select the line of text again, and drag the highlighted text into your bookmarks bar the way you would add any bookmark.
STEP 3) It’ll just be a little symbol with no name. You can edit it in the bookmarks bar to something short like “copy changer.”
STEP 4) When you’re on the page you want to edit, click on your new bookmark.
STEP 5) This one is crazy magic: YOU CAN NOW EDIT ANY COPY ON THAT WEBSITE.
(HOLD UP! If it doesn’t work, verify in your bookmarks editor that the URL of the bookmark is the exact same as the line of code on this page. Sometimes it reconfigures all funky. If that happens, paste the original line directly into the bookmark’s URL field.)
STEP 6) Take screenshots. Prank your friends.
Any time you want the regular website back, just refresh the page.
There’s so much you can do with this, I fear for you. I fear for all of us.
What good or evil might you use this for?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.
ps – Yes, my father lost his new iPhone 7 in the house. Find My iPhone was no use, because the battery was dead. Many different people have turned the house upside down looking for it. Opened up couch cushions, rummaged through unspeakable things in bathroom garbage cans, explored the freezer and breadbox, lifted up Jimmy Hoffa, the works. Nothing. We will find that phone around the same time we get to see Donald Trump’s tax returns.