WordPress is very popular and can be used to deliver your blogging requirements at the official WordPress site, via an install on your own servers, or even on public Cloud infrastructure like Microsoft Azure as we outline in this WordPress series. WordPress is currently the most popular Content Management System on the Internet, hosting 26% of all web site installations. Once you have your site up and running you’ll want to regularly add new posts and content. Regularly updating a Blog with relevant and interesting content is one of the best ways to build an audience over time.
But how do you easily add content? WordPress includes a web based Post Editor that allows you to write and edit directly on a Blog. Some people use that. Others write their posts in applications such as Microsoft Word and then copy and paste the text into the WordPress Post Editor. This works too. But is not ideal.
There are alternative options available that deliver a richer experience, and allow for a better workflow with offline post editing. Automatic, the parent company behind WordPress, and many third party developers provide dedicated Blogging applications designed to help you write and manage your Blog posts. Indeed, in the last year many applications that began as pure text editors have started to add the ability to post to WordPress blog sites. This is a reflection on the way that WordPress sites have proliferated over the last few years, and the need for good text editing tools.
The official app from Automatic is simply named WordPress and has versions available for Windows desktop, Mac OS X desktop, Android, and iOS devices. It has similar features across all versions and allows for offline creation and editing of posts that can be uploaded to connected Blogs when ready. The mobile apps on Android and iOS allow thoughts to be captured on the go when you think of them and posted there and then if complete, or saved as draft Posts to be worked on later on any desktop or device connected to the same WordPress Blog site. The official WordPress apps require the free JetPack plugin from Automatic to be installed on your WordPress site. JetPack provides a lot of nice functionality to WordPress sites in addition to providing the connectivity for the WordPress apps, and is worth investigating in its own right.
Third Party Apps
One of the nice features of WordPress is that it is open source and comes with an API that third party applications can use to post content. This API is in addition to the JetPack plugin already mentioned. The popularity of WordPress and these freely usable development interfaces has allowed many third party tools to add the ability to post to WordPress sites. Many of these tools provide features and functionality that is not available via the official apps. Here are some excellent examples:
- Open Live Writer for Windows – Microsoft had a little known blogging applications called Live Writer for Windows that flew under the radar but was passionately liked by those who did know about it. The application was released as open source when Microsoft decided not to support and develop it. It was taken up by the external developers who used and loved it and is now called Open Live Writer for Windows. It is a very nice WordPress blogging tool that anyone familiar with the Microsoft Office applications will feel comfortable using.
- iA Writer for OS X, iOS & Android – iA Writer is a minimal text editing applications that first appeared on OS X for Mac. It supports Markdown editing and presents the text you are writing in a very minimal distraction free manner. It was in the vanguard of the minimalist text editing wave that has occurred over the last few years. Supports posting directly to WordPress sites. (Android WordPress support is in testing at present and will be generally available soon). Like the official WordPress apps, iA Writer requires the JetPack plugin.
- Aflava SmartDown II for Windows – SmartDown II is a minimalist text editor for Microsoft Windows that is very similar in outlook and design to iA Writer. It supports Markdown and posting to WordPress sites.
- Blogo for OS X & iOS – Blogo is a full featured WordPress client that syncs settings and posts across platforms. Blogo is especially good at handling image placement and management in posts. It also allows Posts and Pages to be created and Edited offline and for moderation of comments to posts directly within the app.
This list is not meant to be comprehensive. Just some pointers to notable 3rd party applications that can be used on your device of choice to post to your WordPress blogs.