The iPad app for WordPress offers users of the popular blogging software an easy way to create blog articles on the move but more than that you can edit existing articles and update then in seconds. It works with both WordPress.com blogs and self hosted blogs.
The WordPress iPad app first run
After downloading and launching the app the first thing your presented with is a screen showing you which type of WordPress blog to choose from. If your new to blogging you can setup a new WordPress.com blog here. For most people it will be a case of choosing the options for your existing blog. When testing this I choose the self hosted option.
iPad WordPress app opening screen
Tip for using the app with self hosted blogs
Here’s a tip you will need to load up WordPress in your browser first, log in as admin and go to settings > writing and then scroll down until you find the “Remote Publishing” section, make sure the XML RPC checkbox is ticked. It’s best to do this first.
WordPress writing settings XML RPC check box
Once logged in, click on your blog to open it and you should see a screen to start writing a new blog post.
At the bottom there are three icons to the left of the main pane are greyed out when selected. The first is the writing mode, the second is settings and the third is a preview.
Writing and editing in the WordPress iPad app.
What you are given is a very functional editor for text editing. It performance basic functions such as bold, links quotes order and unordered lists and a few more but this is all done by wrapping HTML tags rather than having a full Wysiwyg editor available to you. There are no options to automatically add heading tags which would be useful.
the main writting screen in the WordPress iPad app
You can add both images and video from the photo library . But there’s a problem, no matter where you place your cursor within your text the image is placed at the bottom of the article with two line break tags preceeding it. On uploading you aren’t given any options to add captions descriptions or alt tags as you would normally do in WordPress but it is quick and efficient. Alt tags are generated from the file name automatically which may suit you but otherwise it’s a case of going in and editing these manually.
When writing in the WordPress iPad app you need to ensure that you publish or update your changes before removing any attached images or you may find you loose some of your work which is an irritation.
Unlike the WordPress administrator dashboard the options in the iPad app are stripped down and fairly limited. You will find you can change the published status, visibility and date which should be sufficient for most uses although permalinks title and description would also be useful.
There is one final issue and this is the one that needs addressing the most. The fact that you can’t paste in to the app from another app (or so i have found) is fairly critical. Trying to import text from either Dragon Dictate or Pages just didn’t work. This means that the opportunity for any kind of multi-app work flow is almost impossible. Remember this point before you start your posts otherwise you could find your time is wasted.
All of this does not detracted from what is essentially a useful app for anyone looking to blog on the fly perhaps on the train to work or at a seminar. The sheer lack of distractions makes it easy to focus on traditional blogging. It’s limited visuals make it more suited to writers with a basic understanding of HTML but there s room for improvement here in adding a few more options and sorting out the image insert issue.