HOWTO: WordPress Posts From An iPhone/iPod Touch

Note: This is about using the free WordPress service. If you run WordPress open source software on your own server, this will probably not apply.

Most WordPress bloggers will enter their blog(s) from a desktop machine with the wordpress.com login page looking like this:

wordpress0001a2.jpg

That is not the best way in with an iPhone or iPod Touch.

Instead, go to m.wordpress.com to access the mobile-friendly minimalist interface for WordPress, which looks like this:

mwordpress001.jpg

Bookmark that page now!

It’s probably a good idea to place a web icon on the iPhone/iPod Touch Home screen too.

Sometimes when using an iPhone or iPod Touch there is a strange problem which causes the page to look like this:

mwordpress002.jpg

In other words, the fields become very small because a large WordPress logo graphic also appears. I don’t know why this sometimes happens. Simply pinch out over them to enlarge the login fields.

Just like any other text field, tapping on the Username field will call up the on-screen keyboard. After filling that in, tap on the Password field to get the on-screen keyboard to fill in that.

If Remember Me is checked, WordPress will plant a cookie on the iPhone/iPod Touch so this login process can be skipped.

Then tap on the Login button.

WordPress will then display a minimalist Dashboard:

mwordpress003.jpg

My Dashboard is showing five blogs(!) (only one of which is actually alive).

Do not tap on any blog title on the Dashboard. That’s not the way to post. Tapping on a blog title will open the blog in full-blown regular display. That’s not wanted.

What we’re interested in here are the tabs at top, specifically the one for posting a blog entry. Tap on the Post tab:

mwordpress004.jpg

This will bring up the minimalist posting form:

mwordpress005.jpg

Let’s compare that to the form displayed on a desktop machine:

wordpress00072.jpg

What a difference, huh? The mobile interface gets rid of all of the overhead associated with the desktop version, making posting from an iPhone/iPod Touch basically trouble-free.

Anyone with more than one blog will see a drop-down menu, as so:

mwordpress006.jpg

On anything other than an iPod or iPod Touch, tapping on that would produce this drop-down menu of choices:

mwordpress007.jpg

What happens on an iPhone or iPod Touch is the Safari browser pops up a cylindrical picker at the bottom of the screen, displaying the blog titles. Tap on the specific blog title to post in.

Then tap on the Headline field to bring up the on-screen keyboard:

mwordpress008.jpg

Then tap on the Content field:

mwordpress009.jpg

HTML codes have to be entered manually. It would be a good idea to learn a few basic codes, particularly italic, bold, and how to manually create a link.

mwordpress010.jpg

Notice something here:

mwordpress011.jpg

That’s a blank line! And yes, it will remain a blank line.

From the desktop WordPress post entry interface, the TinyMCE editor causes blank lines entered by Safari — both on the desktop and the iPhone/iPod Touch versions — to disappear, resulting in one fugly block of text.

Happily, that is not the case when using the minimalist WordPress post entry method!

Anyone using Tags in their posts should then tap on the Tags field:

mwordpress012.jpg

Do not confuse Tags with Categories! Here’s a WordPress primer on Tags.

I don’t use Tags because I’d lose track of which ones I’ve used and just get all confused. I prefer Categories.

Unfortunately, there is no way to select any Categories in the minimalist posting form. This means everything winds up in the Uncategorized Category until editing it from the desktop.

What would be neat here is if WordPress added one more field that would tie into a Category that would be generic along the lines of: Posted From [cellphone name] where [cellphone name] could be edited by the blogger to the specific phone. In this case, Posted From iPhone. (I don’t know if that’s possible, but they did wind up allowing us to edit the More prompt.) Well, that’s my unimaginative suggestion. I’m sure the Wizards of WordPress could devise something better (and worthy of the iPhone!).

After entering Headline, Text, and any Tags, there are two choices: Save as Draft and Publish.

mwordpress013.jpg

Save as Draft will save everything but make it inaccessible again on the iPhone/iPod Touch. The only way to re-edit it is to enter via the ginormous desktop WordPress interface. Don’t confuse Save as Draft with the desktop button Save and Continue Editing. It’s not that.

In fact, as far as I can see, there is no periodic autosave taking place in the minimalist posting form. This potentially can be a disaster if something unexpected happens. All entered text can be lost. (This is another argument for Copy/Cut/Paste on the iPhone/iPod Touch. But I’m sure we’ll have it in June.)

If the post is ready to go, just tap on Publish:

mwordpress014.jpg

WordPress will confirm the post has been placed on the blog:

mwordpress015.jpg

And the post will indeed be there. See this sample and this sample I did yesterday.

After whatever posts have been made, tap on Log Out:

mwordpress016.jpg

A dialog box will pop up for confirmation;

mwordpress017.jpg

Uh-oh! I’m busted. Yes, I did all these screensnaps on a Windows XP box at my desktop. But honestly — the iPhone/iPod Touch will also pop up a confirmation dialog box in the center of the screen. And it will be prettier than the one from XP.

Astute readers will notice that I skipped the third tab, for Bookmarks. That’s because I don’t use that feature and, in fact, can’t figure out why I’d want to use it. Feel free to investigate it.

And in case no one noticed: There is currently no way to upload photos or graphics via the minimalist post entry form. It doesn’t matter what kind of portable device is used, either. The feature isn’t there. It’s a lightweight form and offering that capability would bulk it up with downloadable code, slowing everything down and probably causing errors.

Anyone who is a WordPress blogger desiring iPhone/iPod Touch support should drop an email to WordPress Support. So far, only three people have placed requests for this. I was the third request.

Perhaps at some point WordPress will offer a truly mobile interface that will permit front-end programs on portable devices simply to upload everything in a hidden-from-view ftp-like process.

The WordPress used as part of the free service is a special multi-user version and there are many security concerns that would immediately prevent this.

But perhaps WordPress will consider a special server that interfaces with mobile users, checks things that have been uploaded, and then passes non-threatening content along to the regular WordPress service. It could be a small yearly fee I’d gladly pay. And since that fee would be tied to a bank account and phone number, I think malicious users would generally be screened out.

Anyone who has been using an iPhone or iPod Touch to blog via WordPress, leave a Comment with the URL for your blog!

Previously here:

Test Post From iPod Touch
Second Test Post Via iPhone
Test Post From iPhone
Reference: WordPress Mobile URL!
New iPhone/iPod Touch WordPress Test This Week
Reference: iPhone/iPod Touch Network Test
More On That iPod Touch Mystery
Test Post From Beta Safari For Windows
Second iPod Touch Test Post
The iPod Touch Has A Mystery!
Test Post From iPod Touch
Another iPhone Test
Test Post From iPhone

Explore posts in the same categories: Reference - Tech, Tech - Apple, Tech - Other

7 Comments on “HOWTO: WordPress Posts From An iPhone/iPod Touch”

  1. mconnick Says:

    Actually you can get graphics posted from an iPhone or iPod Touch. See my WordPress blog – http://mconnick.wordpress.com , you’ll see a little graphic I use for posts from my Touch. The secret is to use the normal posting screen but pressing the “code” tab instead of the “visual” tab. It’s also a lot easier to manage the posting effort of you use something like Mobile Web Office to edit the posts and then the iCopy bookmarklet to copy and paste them into WordPress. That’s what I do.

    Michael

  2. mikecane Says:

    Oh man, Mike. You just pushed my iP/iPT Lust Pedal to the floor!!

    Why don’t you do a post explaining how you used that Mobile Web Docs to post?

    I’m still unclear about how you get the graphic. Did you see my prior post about how Safari tends to crash when using the TinyMCE editor of WP?

    https://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/more-on-that-ipod-touch-mystery/

    That’s why I did this HowTo on avoiding the regular posting method.

    Write it up on your blog and I’ll link! No one will think to look in Comments here.

  3. mconnick Says:

    Done. I hope the instructions I created on my blog are clear enough.

    Michael

  4. mconnick Says:

    I haven’t had problems with Safari crashing in WordPress. I think that is due to the fact that I interact minimally with it – I just paste, insert graphic, enter return, and press Publish.

    Michael

  5. mikecane Says:

    Yeah, but you state you switch from Visual to Code in TinyMCE. That right there ALWAYS caused problems for me. You live, as usual, a charmed life.

  6. Hani Salem Says:

    Hi
    you have a nice work here friend com visite me on my site and forums


  7. I use Plone for blogging and recently tried to use my iPhone to see if Safari Mobile would work with our WYSIWYG editor FCKeditor (similar to TinyMCE). Try the demo at fckeditor.net on your iPhone / iPod Touch. I couldn’t get the tables or images or anything to give me the popup window which sucked, but after digging around I found this blog post and also a new app in the app store that is worth a look, DAV-E. This webDAV app is pretty cool for snapping photos and uploading them to your server while on the go… thx for the info :)


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