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Blogging on the Go: Creating Content on the WordPress App

Rumor has it that kids these days use magical objects called “smartphones” and “tablets.” So do their grandparents, apparently. It’ll…

Rumor has it that kids these days use magical objects called “smartphones” and “tablets.” So do their grandparents, apparently.

It’ll come as no surprise to anyone (unless you’re leaving off the grid, in which case, how are you reading this?!) that we are producing and consuming more and more content via our mobile devices. How does blogging play into this trend? Are we facing the end of blogs as we know them?

Not so fast! When you download our mobile app (available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry, among other platforms), your blog can look gorgeous on screens of all sizes. Your posts can be as rich and as long as you wish them to be no matter the device on which you write them. And reading your favorite blogs stays just as smooth whether you’re sitting at your desk, riding the bus, or sunbathing on the beach.

Going mobile no longer means you have to compromise. We’re here to make sure your blogging experience moves seamlessly from your home, to your pocket, to your lap.

Write wherever inspiration strikes

The best ideas tend to pop up in our heads in the most unlikely places — standing in line at the supermarket, during our bus commute to work, sipping on a beer with friends. For those who are used to blog from their laptops or desktops, this often means a lost opportunity (if not a lost post). We let the idea die, never to be retrieved.

photo

With a mobile device equipped with the WordPress app, there’s no limit to where you can blog. Do you feel like quoting the witty remark your friend just made? Type it into your app, and it’s published in seconds. Did you just watch a great movie, play, or football game and want to record your visceral, unfiltered reactions? Just open your smartphone and start a new post.

While you always have the option to write blog posts by email, with the mobile app you can write posts of any length, and with all the blogging and word-processing tools you’re used to from your dashboard. You can preview posts and add tags. You can italicize or bold words, add a blockquote or a link, and create a bulleted list — all without knowing any html code. The app takes care of everything for you.

For example, in the screenshot to the right, the app will render the text in the box into the following:

post view

Quick mobile tips:

If you’re a longform writer, or are uncomfortable composing long posts on a touch keyboard, you could still gain a lot from the mobile app.

  1. Use it for your shorthand draft, and finish your post when you’re back at your laptop.
  2. Invest in a compact Bluetooth keyboard to type comfortably no matter where you are.

Photoblogging on the move

photo-post

One of the mobile apps’ distinct advantages is the ease with which you can upload and publish photos to your blog. Images are always a great way to engage your readers; with a camera-equipped smartphone or tablet (read: all smartphones and tablets) you can invite your audience to share a moment with you, no matter your whereabouts.

The WordPress app encourages you to use striking visuals in your blog in a number of ways. If you’re in the midst of composing a post, and feel like it could benefit from an image, just click on the picture icon in the bottom-right corner, and you’ll be prompted to select any photo or video from your device’s library, or to take a new one. The chosen media will then appear automatically in your post.

dash-cropped

Sometimes, though, an image you’ve captured is the real trigger of inspiration: you’ve just caught a dazzling sunrise on Instagram, or made the most convincing duckface of your life. You can share it immediately from the app’s dashboard by clicking on the camera icon, which will let you select the photo you want, and create a new post for it.

Even better: if you haven’t taken the photo yet, you can snap a quick one directly from the app, which will then be inserted into a new post. Add a few words to let your audience know what the image is about (or don’t!), and that’s it. Your post is ready. (For more information on the app’s photo features across the different platforms, check out this post.)

Quick mobile tips:

  1. If you want to see how your images will look in the post before publishing it, click on the eye icon in the bottom-left corner of the post for a preview of your post.
  2. To ensure your posts look great on your readers’ screens no matter what device they have, consider using one of our many responsive themes.

Always on top of things

While creating content on your mobile devices might be the app’s greatest hook, that doesn’t mean other aspects of blogging are left in the wayside. Stay tuned for the next installment of Blogging on the Go, where we’ll cover other great features of the WordPress app, including the in-app stats, Reader, and comment management.

With the full WordPress.com experience at your fingertips, there really are no excuses: blog wherever you are, and whenever you want to.

How do you use the mobile app in your blogging? Do you have any tips to share? We’d love to hear them!

 

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  1. Great post! Most of my blogging is by smartphone…it is always with me….Can’t lug around that heavy laptop…and I am looking into purchasing a tablet this year.
    My websites work really well on mobiles.!!
    Thanks!

    1. You are write it happened to me once or twice. I was writing a new post and some comments pop Up and I lost it all. 2 options save update your draft regularly. If too many pop up put your smart phone in plane mode

      1. yeah i had the same experience like, 500 words lost so now if I really want to come back to something I’m afraid I might lose, I do a screen shot. it does help!

  2. I’ve had the same problem as Maywoodliving… Tried to write some posts as drafts, and rather than being able to save them to finish later, it seemed I could only publish them, leading to a couple of hastily deleted posts! How can you save a draft on the Android app please?

      1. When you’ve written what you want, go to settings (gear in bottom right), tap “status” then at the top is draft. Then go back to your post, and you should be able to save it as a draft and continue updating it when you want.

      2. If I hit the back button on my gal tab2 when writing a post in the app, I get the prompt to save or discard changes or cancel. Save will save changes as a local draft.

    1. I’m using a galaxy tab2 with android, and I use the app 99% of the time. I make my posts ‘Private’ instead of local draft. No one on the web can see it, but I can tweek until it looks my best, checking it ‘live’ in my browser. When I’m satisfied I edit the publish date to the current date/time and change to ‘Publish’

  3. I Also blog 99 % on my iPhone i l’île it That way I Can write when I have a minute. For long post, it needs more concentration to upload pictures and place them where you want in the text. But I adjust. Hope it works out good. ;-)

    1. Down towards the bottom is Status (just below Categories). You should see Publish and on the right is a small triangle/arrow; click on that and you’ll have the option of Publish, Draft, Pending Review and Private. Clicking on draft then the right arrow at the top of the screen should save your draft.

  4. I continue to live in the dark ages where my computer sits on my desk. I just got rid of my flip phone because my family only texts and they bitched at me for so long I finally gave in. Really don’t see a tablet in my future nor a smart phone. Wonderful post.

  5. Great post, and there is a reason my name is “TheTabletGuy”! :P I prefer to tote my android tablet everywhere I go for when inspiration hits! My blog is mostly thoughts from my heart, or poems depicting my emotions at that time…so a tablet is the way to go for me. :)

  6. I confess that I don’t usually like writing posts on my WordPress app, but it is an excellent way to get an idea down anywhere. Also, it’s actually the easiest way to get photos from my phone to the world. If I take the photo for a post, it almost always involves a trip via the WordPress app!

  7. I think the app is pretty good, but definitely buggy. I have lost a draft as well as a multitude of comments this way. Additionally, it eats up the battery life like crazy. Still, nice to have as an option for those who can’t/don’t want to get to a computer.

  8. In response to everyone trying to save as a draft on the Android App, when you’re writing a new post, the selections available under “Status” are a drop down menu. Simply select “draft” and you’re good to go :)

      1. Not at all — I’m glad your question’s been answered before I even got to address it (Thanks, Luanne!).

  9. I use the app on my W8 phone now and then. Mostly just to jot down a draft due to an idea that came to me. I do wish that when I go to reply to a comment that the box wasn’t black (can’t see the words I’m typing) and only if I tap the back arrow to make the keyboard drop out sight is when I can finally see what I’m writing for a comment. Blind writing is no bueno. Otherwise I do like the app but it’s not my main way to post to my blog—I prefer my desktop or laptop for that, goes faster due to typing speed for one, but ease of attaching photos (for me) is still on a regular computer. I haven’t added the app to my Kindle Fire HD yet, didn’t know it was out there, but I’ll look into it because trying to write a post and navigate the dashboard via the website on my Kindle is not as helpful.

  10. I use an iPad, and prefer writing with the app. I have a problem with photos though. My only choices are those on my device, and when I publish them, they don’t get into the blog. The app doesn’t give me an option to access my media folder.

    I have to load a photo into my WordPress media file, then write with the app and publish. Then I have to bring it up online an edit in the photo from my media file.

    Any hints?

    1. You’re correct that for now, the app can access your device’s photo library, but not your WordPress.com media library.

      We hope to offer better synching in the future. For now, one way around this would be if your media library images were also stored on your iCloud photo stream — that way they’d be accessible through your device. But I agree that it isn’t yet the most ideal solution.

  11. Well I use the mobile app for blogging all the time, even though it’s pretty buggy, kicks me out to notifications while I’m replying to comments, and recently has been force. Losing while I’m writing a post. Today it’s done it like five times. If it worked the way it’s supposed to and had access to the media library it would be perfect.

    1. Sorry to hear you’ve encountered these issues recently. Our Mobile team is constantly working on resolving reported bugs so that the app becomes as stable as possible for everyone.

      1. It’s hard to work with that going on hut I’m making do. Yesterday I lost the notifications item in the drawer, now if I go out of it I have to completely close the app and reopen it to get to it.

  12. ha! i actually do live off the grid, and connecting /reading/commenting is an art and balancing act! presently a bright-blue metal colander is balanced to my left with a usb ‘dongle’ perched in its center, and it’s aimed at the closest cell tower. reception is very weak, but without the colander, it would not be connected!

    to all of you who are connected with high speed connections, remember to cherish that option!!!

    z

  13. I prefer the feel of a real keyboard, but have done my share of blogging on my tablet (and occasionally my phone) as well. I still usually end up switching to the web app before publishing, though, mainly for SEO/usability reasons:

    - I can’t set a custom (short!) post slug on the app as near as I can tell.
    - For photo blogging, I can’t change the filename of an image on my phone from IMG123456789.jpg to something sensible like reflected-sunset.jpg (not easily anyway – I can probably find an app for that if I look). Not WordPress’ responsibility, but it’s another obstacle.
    - I can’t customize anything handled by a plugin, such as the meta description or publicize description.

    I guess customizing the post slug is really the only thing that the WP app could fix of the three sticking points here.

    1. Thanks for the really detailed/valuable feedback. We’re always looking for the most important features to add or tweak, so it’s important to know about what things that would make the app better.

  14. Thanks for the post Ben. I am replying on my iPad logged in to my blog on Safari. This way I have acces to my media library when I don’t have my laptop with me. I use the app “Posts” to upload my text and photos after I have edited them on “Snapseed”. This worked well when we were on our trip to Peru last June, as long as we had access to WiFi.

  15. First i would like to comend wordpress team for their unrelenting efforts in making blogging so easy and interesting. Mobile application has completely taken over. The world is better for it

  16. I mostly use the Reader and check Site Stats on the WordPress App on my iPhone. Love the convenience of both! I’ve blogged using the WP App from my iPad, but I definitely prefer to be on a regular computer. I only blog from my iPad if I am traveling or experimenting with the App. Still, nothing beats blogging on the computer for me. It’s so much easier b/c I am nit-picky and do a lot of editing.

  17. I use the app on my iPad and Android phone.It works fairly well, but iI’ve lost work to notifications too. My biggest issue is that you have to switch to draft mode in order to save… default to publish isn’t a good way to go.
    Also I’ve had some issues with scheduled posts getting messed up on their date path.

    1. Flash fiction is actually a great use for the app — I imagine poetry is similar, too (any mobile poets out there?).

  18. While I do have this app both on my iPhone and iPad, blogging on a laptop seems easier for me. I basically use my WordPress app to view my Reader and approve comments/check my blog stats.

    1. Have you activated Two-Step Authentication? If yes, this would require you to generate an app-specific password in your account settings.

  19. Perhaps it would take a long time for most people who are used to blogging from their laptops or desktops to be used to this. Owning a smartphone or tablet is more convenient (in typing down instant thoughts/ideas), but the blog quality is more precise viewed from a laptop or desktop. I write drafts from my tablet and update and polish them later on a desktop.

  20. I have this app on my iPad. I don’t find it as interesting as it is on my computer. Maybe you should do a blogger satisfaction survey to help improve the WordPress App. It looks very boring, though I love the easy service. Good Job!!! I don’t think I could have done it better.

  21. I love the Android app. It’s great to upload photos and draft posts which I later edit on my desktop. I’m only able to upload pics on WiFi and not on 3G which is sometimes annoying but I just upload when I can connect to a WiFi network. Blogging on the go does make my life so much easier! Thanks, WP!

  22. I have used the App for my posts pretty much since I started blogging and love it. It’s really convenient, easy to use and offers everything I was using my Laptop for. Awesome!!

    Word of warning though – make sure it has fully updated before you start to edit again, as sometimes the previous edit will not have been saved.

  23. Honestly I forget that I have it on my iPhone. I typically wait until the perfect moment to sign onto the website on my iPad. How silly! Thanks for reminding me!!! 😉

  24. Because my blog is mainly about photography, I only use my old Samsung tablet to write very short notes to accompany photos whenever I’m on travel. The photos are uploaded direct from my camera(s) through an OTG cable, watermarked with Add Watermark app, and then loaded to WordPress app for publishing. When I’m back I may change the uploaded photo with a better resolution with more proper watermark (with EXIF details).

    1. Thanks for sharing your workflow — I’m sure it’ll be useful for many photobloggers (especially the traveling kind).

  25. The android app for the galaxy tab2 is wonderful. I haven’t used anything else for creating and editing my blog except this awesome tablet. Bouncing between the mobile app and the dashboard in my browser is the way to get the most out of everything. Posting ‘Private’ gives the best option for live tweeking, then change to Publish when you’re happy. Multiple photos can be uploaded simultaneously to your media library simply by creating a private post with those images in it. Once you’ve refreshed your media and seen your new photos in there, you can always delete the upload post or tweek it into whatever you wanted those photos for in the first place. You guys are awesome – I love WP!

    1. Thanks! And thanks for sharing the way you use the app in your own blogging — I’m sure it’s really helpful for many.

  26. Although the tips on blogging from a smartphone are great, but somehow I feel I am at serious work only when I am on my old fashioned desk top, tapping away at the keyboard. There was a time when I needed to write everything on paper before starting a new piece, only making small changes here and there as I went along. So, at least this is a step forward :) But, yes I do save the idea and some imporatnt related points on my smart phone when inspiration strikes at odd and unexpected moments. At home, I always keep a pen and notebook handy!

  27. I do love the app for the iPad and iPhone, but I still carry a notebook and pen around with me at all times, I just think that thoughts (mine anyway) are more fluid and adaptable on paper. The physical act of writing connects me to the words more than typing (or tapping) does.

    I do use the apps when I’m out and about to polish these thoughts and then upload them to my blogs and for this they are great.

  28. I find the app tricky to use. It drives me mad that I can’t centre my photos and I find I have to swap between the app and the dashboard to do certain tasks. Maybe I’m doing something very wrong, as I seem to be a lone dissenting voice, but I find it takes me twice as long to do anything using it.

    1. I’m sure you’re not alone — I find that people’s reaction to blogging on mobile devices varies a lot depending on their style/type of blog. That said, almost all bloggers can find some things that are easy to do via the app, and that allow you to keep blogging even while away from your laptop/desktop.

  29. Great post and tips! I really love the WordPress mobile app and i always type on it and save it as a draft then go on to my laptop, edit it then publish. Love it!

  30. I do 90% of my blogging on my android phone and tablet. Two things niggle me, though generally I find the app really easy and intuitive. Firstly, how do you italicise text? And secondly, it would be helpful if the post status was set to draft by default, instead of publish. Several times I’ve been caught out and published by accident when I just meant to upload and save a draft!