Go Live With Poster

I read a statistic once that said that WordPress powers over 22% of all new websites, worldwide. Wow. That’s a staggering amount of data, and yet the platform that many bloggers know and love is still going strong after years in the business. I’ve been using it on my personal site for years, and we use it here at AppStorm, too. It’s about as solid as you can get.

Problem is, the WordPress app for the iPad has historically not been very good, turning off quite a few users. But now, we have Poster, an app that promises to make the process of writing and publishing blog posts to your WordPress site much easier. Does it hold up, or is it just another flash in the pan? Let’s discover together.

History Plays a Role

When the iPad first came out, I yearned to post to my website via the device because it was so much more convenient — I take it everywhere, why not blog on it too? When the official WordPress app came out, I was ecstatic. Finally! But v1.0 sucked, and so did quite a few variations afterwards. It’s gotten much better since then, but once bitten, as they say.

Setup is about as easy as it gets.

Setup is about as easy as it gets.

Even if the official app was perfect, there are certain things it’s just not likely to ever have — Markdown support, for example. Since writing in Markdown is so popular nowadays (I’m doing it right now), lots of people want a WordPress editor that supports the format. Poster fills that void.

The Setup

When you first fire up Poster, you setup your blog via two options: WordPress.com hosted, or WordPress.org — Self hosted. I’ve always used the latter, so I went forward with that process. It’s all pretty straightforward: login, URL, password, etc. I entered in all my info, and away I went, no problems at all.

How It Works

Now for Poster to be successful, it needs to be able to do everything that you can do on your WordPress site. That means writing posts, inserting images, scheduling and everything else you can do live. The only real exceptions that I can think of are managing plug-ins, because really, this is about posting to your site, not handling all the fancy back-end stuff. At least that’s how I see it.

There is plenty of management that you can do, but it's all focused on posts, not back end.

There is plenty of management that you can do, but it’s all focused on posts, not back end.

To test it out, I made up a new blog post on my personal site using Poster, and did everything I needed to do. I typed the content using Markdown, entered a little bit of info here and there, then added a picture. When all was said and done, it went live with no problems, and looked perfect.

Writing in Markdown works like a charm.

Writing in Markdown works like a charm.

All this is well and good, but what if you’re managing multiple blogs? Turns out you can do that too. To try it out, I tested it on my wife’s personal website; the catch is that you have to enable Remote Publishing XML-RPC, something I had already done on my personal site, but not yet on hers. Once that was done via the web, I was good to go.

The Extras

Two things are important to me getting things done: Markdown and TextExpander. We’ve already touched on Markdown lots of different times, but let’s take a moment to discuss TextExpander. Although it can be used for multiple things, I use it as a spell checker, for entering code, shortcuts — all sorts of stuff. Since Poster supports TextExpander, that means I can write exactly like I can on my Mac, and just as efficiently.

Changing a blog icon for the app is easy.

Changing a blog icon for the app is easy.

In addition, you can customize your blog’s icon, which comes in particularly handy if you have multiple sites. Inserting pictures can be done via the iPad’s library, or by taking a picture on the spot. You can also tweet out or email posts, which is a great way to promote your blog. But the big one here is Dropbox support.

Adding images can be done via the camera or the Photo Library

Adding images can be done via the camera or the Photo Library

By connecting Poster to your Dropbox account, you’ve got a ton of additional options that open up. Let’s say you write something down on your iPhone to post later, and you save it into your Dropbox folder. You can then upload that text file into Poster and make it a new post right on the spot. By integrating this into a Simplenote system, you’re able to write wherever and post however you want. Talk about flexibility!

Final Thoughts

Whenever I finish a review, I ask myself two pretty basic questions: how long will I use this app, and does it provide a service that I need? For Poster, I think it’s a long-term relationship. It’s easy to use, works the way I do and gets the job done. I don’t know if it will always be my go-to app for WordPress posts, but having it is better than having nothing at all.

Don’t think that I’m downplaying the app here, because that’s not my intention. Poster is by far the best WordPress app I’ve used, and I’ve tried quite a few. Is it perfect? I think that it will get there pretty quickly, because there’s not much left to do. And when I had a problem during testing (which turned out to be an out-of-date version of the app), the developer got back to me within two hours. He cares about his product, and that tells me that it’ll be kept in service for a long time.

So here’s what it all comes down to: should you buy Poster? If you’re a WordPress user, definitely.


Summary

Get busy posting to your WordPress site with a simple and intuitive app that makes the process as easy as it's going to get on the iPad.

10
  • Adam Teece

    Has anyone done any comparisons with Blogsy? I am looking at getting one of these apps.

    • http://jackwhiting.co.uk Jack Whiting

      I’d like to know this too. Getting an iPad next week and interested as I use WordPress for my personal website. If you do make a comparison would be nice to hear your thoughts.

  • http://karmamole.com Omar Kamel

    Better than Blogsy or Posts? How does it compare to those?

  • Tony

    Ditto for comparison to Blogsy. Bought that recently and not impressed.

  • http://bikeracksforgaragehq.com Thomas Bruhl

    Bought this app after reading the review and I have to say that I love it. It does exactly what it should and it does it well. My only grief (not caused by the app) is that I can’t use Markdown on my site as it clashes with the ECommerce plugin I use. It would be great if I could for a text the traditional way through WYSIWYG editor in Poster buti also understand that you can’t have everything :)

    Overall, a great app!

    • http://bikeracksforgaragehq.com Thomas Bruhl

      Correction: I discovered that if you select “Convert Text to HTML” option in your blog setup in Poster, the app will automatically convert your markdown into HTML before publishing. Therefore, if you can’t use Markdown due to a plugin conflict, like me, this option still allows you to write in the markup language but post in HTML.

      Genius!

      Poster really rocks!

  • Ed Greenwood

    I have recently bought Blogsy and I must say I like it. I haven’t used it extensively but I have wordpress and joomla sites so its perfect for me. The support is excellent as well…

  • Georgian

    Hi Kevin,
    I’ve a simple question for you about Poster for iPad.
    I love how this app display the articles. So, I would like to use this app as a text editor.
    Internet connection is required to use this app?

    • http://www.whippsindustries.com Kevin Whipps

      Just tested it, and no, you don’t need an Internet connection to use the app. However, you do need a WordPress account to use it to begin with, so I’m not sure how effective it would be as a pure text editor. Byword, however, is an excellent app that’s very similar and may be what you’re looking for.

  • Georgian

    Thanks for help, Kevin! Byword is what I’m looking for. :)

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