Emoticons, also known as “Smileys”, are used to convert emotions in texting, like “:)” or “:D”, into graphics: 🙂 , 😀 .
Emoticons are not emojis, even though some graphics are quite similar. Read here about the difference between emoticons and emojis.
Emoticons are enabled by default in WordPress, and even though they are quite neat and can brighten up the content, some webmasters might not find them suitable for their website/blog, and want to disable them.
How to disable emoticons
As of WordPress 4.3, the option to disable emoticons was removed from new WordPress installs.
“From new WordPress installs” means that, if you have WordPress installed before 4.3, you will still have the Formatting feature in Settings -> Writing. You just need to uncheck the first box to disable them.
If you have installed WordPress after 4.3, then you’ll have to use a plugin in order to disable the smileys.
The Keep Emoticons as Text plugin will do just that. All you need to do is install it, nothing more. It hasn’t got any settings.
Now the emoticons will be just plain text, no graphics!
That’s a wrap
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