Hatch Green Chile Calabacitas Empanadas -
It’s August and that means one thing here at Fete & Feast: it’s Hatch Chile Month! Over the last several years Hatch Chiles have become something of a celebrated vegetable here in…
Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of August 1, 2011 -
I have a week off. An honest to goodness week off. I can’t remember the last time I had one of these. I’ve certainly had vacations here and there over the years, but I was always attached to…
Lemon Lime icebox pie lookin’ good by the window.
Farmers Market Inspirations: Figs Stuffed with Blue Cheese and Walnut Cream -
[Jump right to the recipe: Figs Stuffed with Blue Cheese and Walnut Cream]
We’ve all watched awards show where the famous celebrity laments that they can’t properly thank everyone who…
Farmers Market Inspirations: Spicy Corn and Tomato Salad -
Shopping at the farmers market in the middle of summer is hard. Really hard.
It’s not that iI have too much summer fun planned. Or that it’s hot. Well okay, it is hot, but that’s not…
The Austin Food Community: Coming Together to Benefit Daniel -
When people ask me what my favorite place in Austin is, expecting I’m sure to get a restaurant or artisan shop recommendation, I always reply with the same answer:
The Austin Food community…
Three weeks ago, just before a much anticipated summer vacation, my shiny new iPad 2 arrived. Armed with my Nikon D90 DSLR and the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, I was more than ready to leave my clunky laptop at home and travel light (from a technology perspective anyway). I of course fully intended to blog during my vacation. I was visiting the Pacific Northwest after all and had planned several blog-worthy food excursions. This should be easy-peasy from my iPad right?
I had expected selecting the right tools for editing photos on my iPad to be somewhat of a hurdle (it wasn’t, BTW), but was totally blindsided when I realized that creating a Wordpress blog post wasn’t as smooth of process as I was accustomed to. It’s down right clunky and annoying in fact. How-tos on this topic are surprisingly few and far between, so after a little research and a great deal of experimentation, I concocted a usable process. Hopefully other Wordpress bloggers with iPads can learn from my floundering and get blogging faster.
The Crux of the Problem: Image Upload and a Bad App
As I started to dig into just how I’d have to modify my blogging style when working from an iPad I discovered there are two key issues that create unexpected complications:
Okay so, the Wordpress web interface in Safari is pretty good but doesn’t allow image upload. The Wordpress iPad app is awful. Now what?
I ended up with a two-step process that takes advantage of the best of both Wordpress tool options:
I’ve detailed this process with screen shots at the end of the post. Hop on down there for a visual guide.
Generally I don’t draft my post text in the Wordpress app just because I like to format as I go along, but you could also draft the basic text in the app and finish with the better Web-based formatting tools.
I’ll admit it’s a little wonky to use two tools but not nearly as wonky as hand-crafting markup in the Wordpress app or uploading image files to an FTP server to reference from the web application, one of which would be necessary if I wanted to move to a singular tool to create a post with images in it from the iPad. I’m also not wiling to buy a third party app like Blogsy because I’ve already invested enough in apps and tools for blogging. I can live with my two-step process, at least until Wordpress gets their act together and makes their iPad app the quality tool it should be.
Once you decide how you want to solve the image upload issues, there aren’t big barriers to blogging from the iPad, only annoyances that make creating long or complex posts more difficult than they are worth. My top three irritants are:
For now, I’m limiting my iPad blogging to shorter content (500 words or less generally) and am avoiding recipe posts because of the hRecipe XML code I have to manually tweak for them. Managing markup on the iPad is tedious and error-prone and so I’ll save that work for a more robust interface.
What about Tumlr posts like this one? Images are an issue for Tumblr too (surprise, surprise) and I haven’t yet found a solution for writing a Tumblr text post with multiple images. I’ll report back when I do.
My Two-Tool Process, Illustrated
For those new to the Wordpress iPad app and web interface, I captured the activities I go through in each tool as I created my latest food blog post covering my foodie adventures in Boston.
Note: these steps assume you already have images ready for use in your post and the they are tucked away safely in your iPad Photo Library.
Attaching Pictures to a Draft Post in the Wordpress App
To get started on your draft, launch the Wordpress iPad app and create a new post. Give it a title and click on the photo icon in the bottom right corner.
Select the Add Photo from Library option and select the image you’d like from your collection.
The app will ask you what size you’d like the image to be. I found it difficult to manipulate images from either the Wordpress app or Safari web interface, so I’d recommend specifying the size you need for the image now.
Small, medium, and large were arbitrary for me and I know I need my images to be no bigger than 500 pixels wide for my blog theme, so I use the custom setting to control the size.
Click OK and the app will attach your image to the post.
Lather, rinse, repeat to add as many photos as you need for your post. You’ll add text around them later in the Wordpress web interface.
Before you move on to creating the text for your post, be sure you set it to save as draft in the Settings (accessible from the wheel icon at the bottom left of the post screen) instead of to publish which is the default behavior.
You can do all of the activities in the Wordpress app without being connected to the Internet. The draft post and images will synch with your blog the next time you connect. I tested this from a cruise ship with no connectivity just to be sure. You’ll need a live connection however to work with the Web interface and finish the process.
Finishing the Post
Now it’s time to switch over to the Wordpress web interface to finish the post. When you log into your blog you should see your draft post ready and waiting for you to edit at will.
As part of my post creation I like to go in and modify the image names to make them more userful than the system generated names assigned by the Wordpress app. Click the image icon at the top of the Wordpress post editor and click the Gallery tab to get to your post images to edit each one’s attributes. Don’t forget to set the alternate text at the very least to make your content accessible. You can also set one of your photos as the featured image at this time if your blog theme uses featured images.
As I mentioned earlier, the Wordpress interface in Safari isn’t as full-featured as you’ll find in other browsers, so you still have HTML to contend with, but there are tools that make it easier.
Once you’ve tweaked your text and settings to your heart’s content, you’re ready to publish!
Do you have tips and tricks for blogging from the iPad? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of May 1, 2011 -
It’s Sunday afternoon and we’ve almost survived the week intact. My run this morning was fantastic. I set a new personal record for this race, knocking almost two minutes off of last year’s…
Austin Food & Wine Event Spotlight: Somms Under Fire -
What’s better than wine and food professionals putting their expertise to work? Why putting it to work under pressure of course!
In the tradition of Iron Chef and Chopped, the Keeper…
Austin Food & Wine Event Spotlight: Grand Wine and Food Affair -
Food and wine in Austin are heating up in a big way! This year’s Hill Country Wine and Food Festival was one of the best in years, the new Austin Food Blogger Alliance just kicked off our …