Apps can be a valuable enrichment for working more effectively on a tablet or smartphone. If you work with WordPress on your computer, you can use the direct login via the browser. So why not on mobile?
Where WordPress works superbly on the computer in the browser, it performed on the smart phone and the tablet only reluctantly all services. The operation via touchscreen in the editor always provided for mistakethe fluent writing didn’t really work out and the Integration into the mobile operating system left a lot to be desired. For a smoother workflow, it was clear: An app was needed.
Anyone who uses the WordPress app (available for iOS and Android) must understand that there are two websites in the WordPress universe:
- WordPress.com installations: WordPress.com is a platform that allows running a WordPress installation. You get a website under the subdomain wordpress.com free of charge, but you can also use your own top-level domain (for a fee).
- Standalone WordPress installations: If the WordPress environment is at Mittwald or another hoster, it is usually a standalone installation.
The WordPress app is powered by Automattic, the company of WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. Even though WordPress itself is free software, Automattic offers a wide range of paid services related to the CMS with WordPress.com. The connection to the WordPress app is therefore simpler if it is a WordPress.com installation. However, WordPress.com installations are also limited in their range of functions compared to the stand-alone installation.
A note in advance: In the screenshots you can see the app on the iPad. It may look a little different on your device.
Installing the WordPress app is no different than installing apps on your mobile device.
After downloading, open the app. As mentioned, the WordPress app comes from Automattic and thus the company behind WordPress.com. You need a WordPress.com account to log in. This can be created free of charge via the app.
Do not worry: Even if you have a standalone WordPress installation, you can maintain it later in the app. However, the basis remains the WordPress.com account.
If you already have a WordPress.com account (this is mandatory if you’ve ever powered your website with the popular Jetpack plugin), simply enter your associated email address and let the “magic link” in for authentication send to the app. You can open this directly via your mobile device in the app and use it to establish the actual connection.
The connection to the actual account is established. If Jetpack has not yet been used on any website, the connections to the WordPress pages are also missing. These connections then need to be created.
The app differentiates between the two types mentioned above (WordPress.com or a stand-alone installation). Instructions in the application will help you with the configuration.
The connection is established. But why bother now? The WordPress app offers a mobile-friendly environment. This is divided into the following areas:
- My sites: Probably the most important area for most users. Statistics, activities and comments can be tracked here, and new subpages and articles can be created. Some settings can also be maintained. If you are looking for the complete range of functions of the WordPress admin environment, an external link will take you to the mobile device’s browser.
- Readers: WordPress allows subscribing from websites that also work with WordPress. New or saved posts would appear in the “Reader”.
- Write: Without long clicks through the “”My Sites”” functions, you can start writing an article directly with a tap on “Write”. This can be published directly or saved as a draft.
- I: This area includes settings and information about the user.
- Notifications: New comments, likes and followers are summarized here.
An advantage that you otherwise do not have with the conventional use of WordPress in the browser is the parallel administration of several websites – that makes the WordPress app exciting for agencies and freelancers. There is no need for a separate login to each administration interface, only one-time authorization. From then on, the functions mentioned can theoretically be applied to any registered WordPress page. Unfortunately, this only works to a limited extent.
One challenge is that strong connection of the app to the “Jetpack” service. Since the developers of the app also created Jetpack, it’s only logical that a lot of shortcuts were sought here. The “Stats” tab only works with the corresponding function in Jetpack. Well-known and common services such as Google Analytics are not supported.
Another challenge is special configurations. The WordPress app can work great with WordPress installations as long as they don’t have requirements such as themes with inline editing, affiliate plugins and more. These functions do not appear in the app and therefore cannot be configured or integrated. This is especially problematic where entire pages are built with a theme like Divi (the theme has a page builder) or a plugin like WPBakery Page Builder (a page builder plugin, formerly Visual Composer).
However, relatively “clean” installations that are limited to the native WordPress functions should be easy to maintain with the WordPress app.
One of the basic functions of WordPress is of course editing and publishing content. As mentioned, this only works suboptimal via the browser on mobile devices. Anyone who wants to write on a tablet or even a smartphone is therefore longing for a better solution.
The WordPress app struggles where it goes beyond the native capabilities of the CMS. If you have an installation that gets by with the basic functions of WordPress, maintaining content should be quite possible. You will find a tidy editor with various formatting options, which allows concentrated work.
The following applies, of course: As usual with tablets and smartphones, long writing on the touchscreen is unfavorable. A Bluetooth keyboard can create the comfort you are used to from a desktop PC. The virtual keyboard should of course be sufficient for small designs.
At first glance, the logic is clear: there is an app for a service that you use frequently, so the app definitely makes sense. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case with WordPress. the mobile application robs the CMS of many functions and makes them in the application only manageable and controllable to a limited extent. The lack of control options could make the app superfluous for agencies and freelancers, who often maintain the site on a more technical level.
The situation is different for editors who run WordPress with the native functions. Here you can install it on the tablet ideal for writing on the train, in a café or in a coworking space be. It is annoying that some functions, e.g. B. the statistics, can only be used with the Jetpack service. However, with a view towards the GDPR, this is questionable for use in Germany.
The WordPress app is a clean and clearly programmed app that can be used to centrally maintain multiple websites. However, there are some hurdles that could deter freelancers and agencies. What remains is to look individually where and how the mobile WordPress application can enrich everyday life.
Have you already tested the app or do you use it in your everyday work? Then tell us about it here. We are excited!