Have you been disappointed with the WordPress app and wanted more flexible ways to publish to your WordPress blog on the go? Thanks to the new Express for WordPress app and the WooTumblog plugin from WooThemes, you can now quickly publish a variety of content to your WordPress blog from your iOS device.
Express for WordPress is a new app designed to let you post anything you want to your WordPress-powered blog from your iPhone. One major problem of blogging apps is that most of us don’t want to write long, detailed posts from a cramped screen. Micro-blogging solutions such as Tumblr let you create shorter posts featuring an image, link, or quote, but WordPress sites are typically filled with longer posts. WooThemes is aiming to change that by making it easy to post simpler content to WordPress.
The first thing we were impressed with was how beautifully designed this app is. It’s filled with metal textures that make it look more like a machined product than an app. From the icon to the intro screens, you can tell the developers put a great deal of thought and effort into the design.
The app makes it easy to get started posting tumblog content to your WordPress blog, too. Express only works on WordPress sites running the new WooTumblog plugin, which you can install for free on your site with any WordPress theme. It also works directly with the tumblog themes from WooThemes. Step through the tutorial in the app to see what you need to do; it’s very easy to get your site ready.
Once your site’s ready, you can start posting content. Enter your site’s address, username, and password, then press done. If for some reason it doesn’t work, you can review the Setup Guide again to make sure you had everything setup in WordPress correctly.
Now you’re ready to start publishing to your WordPress tumblog site. You can quickly create a note, image, link, or quote post by pressing the appropriate button. On the bottom, you’ll see your recent post titles scroll by in the blue bar; tap the bar to see all of your previous posts. Express also lets you manage your draft posts and comments on your site from the bottom buttons.
Posting content is simple. Just fill in the correct fields depending on your content. For a note post, you’ll just add a title and text like you would in the WordPress app. Feel free to include HTML markup to your post if you want to include links or rich content. Link and Quote posts include an extra field for your link or quote, respectively, and adding post content is optional. For a photo post, just tap on the bottom of the screen to add the picture you want to your post.
When you’re finished, you can select to save the post as a draft or publish it to your blog. Drafts are only saved on your device, however; you can’t save a draft to your blog, or schedule a post for a later time. Saving a local draft is a great option for iPod Touch users; just save the post now and then upload it when you’re in a WiFi zone.
Once you’ve posted content, you can use Express to check back on the comments your content’s getting. Express works great for moderating comments; you can approve, edit, or mark comments as spam. Even the comment manager continues the beautiful Express app design, which reminds us of the stylish Droplr app we recently reviewed.
Pros and Cons
There were many things we liked about Express, but there are still some problems. First, it currently doesn’t support landscape mode, so typing can be difficult if you’re writing a long post. It also doesn’t let you upload a draft post to your site, so the only option is to save a draft to the device or upload and publish the post, which we found disappointing. Another thing we wished the WordPress app did better was letting you manage more of the core WordPress features from your phone. Unfortunately, though, Express doesn’t offer anything more in this regard.
The WordPress app, as well as apps for competing blog platforms, are free, so the Express app is definately at a disadvantage there. But, if you want to do more than the WordPress app will let you, this is one of the only apps that will let you do more with a WordPress blog. The good thing is, Express felt more stable in our tests than most mobile apps, and uploaded posts very quickly.
If you’ve ever wanted to publish more post types to your WordPress blog, and found the default WordPress app not sufficient for your needs, WooThemes’ Express App is a beautiful alternative that works great. We were impressed at how quickly it uploaded posts, and only wish it included more options for managing your blog on the go. Still, even like it is, it’s one of the best ways to post content to a WordPress powered blog from your iOS device.
Best of all, WooThemes and Kenobi Studios already have updates planned for the app. These include support for landscape mode, multiple accounts, and tags. This is already a great mobile blogging app, and it looks like it will only get better. You can keep an eye on the Express App Twitter account to see what new features they’re releasing over time. If you need more tools to keep your WordPress site running from your iPhone, check out our list of iPhone WordPress Essentials.