Wordpress

The WordPress.com Desktop App

As I started looking for a blog tool for Mac, I almost immediately came upon the new WordPress.com Desktop App. Now WordPress has made apps before, but to be honest, I didn’t think they were all that great. They were truly bare minimum and when it came to working with images, things went sideways.

However, it seems WordPress has gone back to the drawing board and has something pretty neat and usable in their latest desktop app. Unlike other blogging tools that hook into all sorts of services, WordPress is only publishing to WordPress and it has to be a site hooked into their Jetpack service. That shouldn’t be a problem as Jetpack is free and offers a lot of useful tools. But if you don’t have it and a corresponding WordPress.com account, well, it’s not going to work.

Once installed, the desktop app will ask you to log in to your WordPress.com account to retrieve a list of blogs it knows about. And it’s not just going to get blogs posts and pages, it will pull back stats, comments, plugins, themes and even let you discover other blogs. You are basically at the Admin panel without having to open each site in a browser.

From here you can write blog posts as well as process any comments people have made. The editor is the same one as you get online with straightforward WYSIWYG styling. You can use the Visual style or get into the code with the HTML view.

It’s not the most feature rich editor, but it will certainly get the job done. Plus, it’s free and you get the benefit of a dashboard loaded with details about your site. And if you have multiple sites, you can easily move between them.

As far as Windows goes, I’m not sure if I will switch over from the new Open Live Writer, but I will give it a run on the Mac and will at least have it installed on both just to have the dashboard components. I can now see what needs an update without having to check each site individually.

Other articles of interest:

Posts by Pico – A quick review of the blog editing tool

I’ve worked with Posts for a little while now, enough to form an opinion of how it works. And overall it’s a pretty nice little program that has a lot of features going for it. With a couple of simple feature fixes, it could rise to the top of the blog editing software pile and hold it’s own against the likes of Blogsy and Poster.

Here are several of the features I really like:

The thumbnail view of articles is pretty nice. The titles show up in large print like a slew of newspaper headlines.

It supports multiple blogs both from WordPress and Blogger.

You can edit and post comments from within Posts itself.

The editor is very efficient. You can use formatting such as H1, Blockquote or Pre tags. You can insert links, indent, add images, select the publicating date, set the Category and Tags as well as jump into the HTML editor to fine tune the formatting.

You have control over inserted images such as the size, Alt Text, Tooltip and how it wraps around the text. In essence you get the same control as you would expect from something like Windows Live Writer.

Now, no program is without flaws and Posts has just a few:

The ability to picks tags needs to be improved. You can’t start typing and then select from the list of matches. You have to scroll through the entire index.

The HTML editor seems to add a lot of extra spacing to the output. How that would show up when actually published I don’t know, but there was too much spacing between paragraphs.

The editor doesn’t have a quick way to set text as a List. I wanted to set the text above to be a bulleted listed without using the HTML tags.

The comment font is almost too small to be readable. The same editor used for articles would be an improvement.

The main editor doesn’t seem to use the same autocorrect features that you would see in most other apps. Or is that because of the wireless keyboard?

The main editor doesn’t scroll when you reach the very bottom of the screen. You have to tap it to see the last line of text you’re writing.

Overall, I think Posts is a very good blogging tool and in fact this article was written with it on my iPad using the wireless keyboard. Hopefully the price won’t return to the $9.99 as that is just too damn high for a blogging tool, especially when other tools are coming in at $4. Also, considering some of the functionality that could be improved, it would be wise to keep the price in line with other apps. At $9.99 you’re in the same league as Pages and the two apps done even come close to each other in refinement and functionality.

That being said, for the Free pricetag I paid I believe I will be using this blogging tool more and more. I hope to see more updates from the author and look forward to an improved feature set. Anyone else grab this tool during the price drop? What do you think of it? Anyone able to make comparisons between Post, Blogsy and Poster?

Check out more screenshots and information on the Pico Developer Site

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Posts by Pico is still Free and you should grab a copy

I got my copy yesterday and this is turning out to be a pretty impressive app. The thumbnail view of the posts is pretty interesting, it makes them seem like newspaper headlines. There are a lot of features like setting a future date on posts, control over image size, responding to comments from within the app, multiple blog support and an HTML editor. I haven’t really put Posts through it’s paces yet, but so far I like what I see. I did write an article for the blog and replied to some comments. I had no problems.

Since Posts is free for the time being there is no reason not to download it and check it out. It has some decent features and offers quite a bit of control. I’ll post more of my opinions once I work with it a bit more, but so far I don’t see a reason not to at least download it and give it a try.

Posts by Pico on iTunes a WordPress and Blogger publishing tool

image

Other articles of interest:

Posts by Pico – A WordPress Blogging Tool for the iPad Free for Today

I know very little of this app except that it interested me and I bookmarked it for notification of price drop. Well, today is that day. And what a price drop it is. Posts has dropped in price from it’s regular hefty price tag of $9.99 to Free for today. That’s an impressive $10 savings isn’t it?

I’ve just downloaded the app and hooked it to my site. The articles come down in little thumbnail images across a timeline of when they were published. From the description the editor allows HTML editing, comments can be processed through the app, posts can be written and stored until you get back online, different blog accounts are supported, you can control image width and height and it hooks into WordPress and Blogger.

The interface is reminiscent of Blogger+, which is an iPad app I bought quite some time, thought was quite good, but has sadly been discontinued. I always thought $9.99 was too high for a blogging tool, especially compared to the Free WordPress tool or the $2.99 Poster and $3.99 Blogsy. If you come to the party with a $9.99 price tag you better be able to back it up.

You can’t argue with free, so let’s see if "Posts" has the goods.

Posts by Pico on iTunes a WordPress and Blogger publishing tool

image

Other articles of interest:

Write errors with Google XML Sitemap Generator and WordPress

I’ve run into a problem where my Google Sitemap Generator plugin for WordPress keeps generating an error that there’s been a problem and it can’t write to either sitemap.xml or sitemap.xml.gz.

The error I get is:

"There was a problem writing your sitemap file. Make sure the file exists and is writable. Learn more
There was a problem writing your zipped sitemap file. Make sure the file exists and is writable. Learn more"

This seems to have started since I upgraded to Google XML Sitemaps 3.2.6. If I rebuild the sitemap manually, everything works fine, the file is written and I don’t get any errors. But left to it’s own devices, things don’t go so well.

I haven’t really solved the problem, but I believe I’ve managed to work around it. First, I downgraded back to Google XML Sitemaps 3.1.6. Since I have a blog running under IIS, there might be another change to make. If you go to Settings – XML Sitemap, Under the Location of your sitemap file:

I selected Custom Location and then put in the full pathname to the file such as C:\Inetpub\blog directory\wordpress\sitemap.xml

With those changes in place, the plugin seems to be working again. After a post, the sitemap.xml file is updated and I don’t get the write protection error. I’m not sure if it was one change or the other, but it’s fixed and I’m not messing with it.

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