All my WordPress work is primarily done through the Chrome browser on my windows PC. Then one fine day, I decided to give the WordPress mobile app a try. So I started using it on my iPhone and iPad to manage beyond nothing .com’s content. That includes writing, editing, uploading media, and that’s about it. This article is about my experience with the WordPress mobile App all the fun little issues I had with it.
What does (can) the wordpress app do?
The WordPress mobile app is developed by Automattic, the same company behind WordPress.com and the open-source WordPress software. And that blasted Jetpack Plugin. The app is designed to allow WordPress website owners and bloggers to manage and update their websites from their mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
Key features of the WordPress mobile app typically include:
Content Creation: Create and edit blog posts and pages directly from the app. The app provides a text editor with formatting options, allowing users to write and format their content on the go.
Media Management: Upload and manage media files such as images and videos, directly from their mobile devices. The media can then be inserted into posts from the library.
Site Management: Monitor and manage comments on their posts and pages, respond to comments, and moderate user-generated content.
Statistics: There are some built-in statistics and analytics tools, allowing users to track their website’s performance, including traffic data and visitor insights.
Notifications: Users can receive notifications about site activities, including comments, likes, and new followers.
Offline Editing: Some versions of the app offer the ability to draft and edit content offline, which can be useful when users have limited or no internet connectivity.
Push Notifications: Users can receive push notifications for important events and updates related to their WordPress websites.
The WordPress mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices and is free to download and use. It aims to provide website owners and bloggers with a convenient way to manage their websites and publish content while on the go. However, the app is not all that convenient.
Reviewing the wordpress app. Is it any good?
In this section Ill go over what I liked about the app and what I did not like. At the end of this post I’ll give some suggestions on how it can be better.
Setting up the WordPress app on your phone or tablet is as straightforward as doing anything else with WordPress. The bottom line is that it works and your website gets integrated within seconds with a simple log in with your WordPress admin credentials. You can also add multiple websites to the same app and switch between them conveniently.
Yes. The UI is clean and intuitive. I really just wanted to be able to access my posts and get into the block editor. That all works well. I also like how your published, draft, and scheduled posts are organized under different tabs. Plus I really enjoy the dark theme it uses with the black background.
While the app can be used for creating content (typing out posts), I don’t find this as convenient as typing with a physical keyboard and mouse. This is especially true when you are working with the block editor and the formating options regularly needed are found after multiple selections. The mouse on the browser is way easier, but the app gets the job done when you don’t have a computer. When you start getting into more specific tasks like captioning photos and adding hyperlinks, the app become less fun to work with.
I also enjoy the ability to insert media such as photos to your posts. This again comes with the cumbersome process of inserting the image block, but it does get the job done.
The real inconvenience here is doing this with a touchscreen mobile device, which can glitch out and get laggy, especially when your post gets extra long. My workaround with this is writing in a different app like notes and copy-pasting content into the block editor on the app.
All that said, it works. However, I also found that editing your wordpress site through the chrome browser on a mobile device is often more convenient. The wordpress mobile site gives you all the options as in the desktop version and the size of everything is not bad. Working through the browser, even on your mobile device also allows for other functionalities that the app does not provide, such as plugins and writing code. We will get to that later.
Being able to schedule and publish posts directly from the app is also convenient, although I found that the post settings are somewhat limited compared to the wordpress mobile site.
Real-Time Site Management
The wordpress app has the ability to view and moderate comments, track your website’s traffic through built-in statistics, and receive notifications for important site events. Because beyond nothing .com has really limited engagement, these tools are irrelevant for me. You CAN use them though, which is nice. Some of these extra functionalities do however require you to have Jetpack, which I determined in this article is unneccessary.
My favorite feature of this app is the ability to upload media to the library directly from my phone. This removes the need to load pictures to my computer first and has a simpler layout than the media uploader on the mobile site. These uploads do however require having a good internet connection, and I have had many failed uploads and duplications with it. Overall good though.
It can be a little cumbersome when managing large media libraries and adding captions and alt text to images on the app. Those tasks I save for when I am working on the desktop version of wordpress.
Modifying Image Properties
You can view image properties such as title, description, and alt text from the media library in the app. However, you cannot edit them in the app. The fields are locked unlike how they are in the browser version of WordPress.
Plugin and Widgets Support
For the longest time. plugin support has been a major limitation of the app. Recent updates have however given us the ability to add, remove, activate/deactivate, and remove plugins. This is a huge improvement from the previous versions. However, using the plugins’ functions is still not possible in the app environment. That includes the plugin settings and its generated widgets we insert in the block editor such as forms and shortcodes.
I am okay with this as working with plugins is a bit more serious work and should be done on a computer anyways. If you are desperate, there is always the mobile version of the site.
Managing Tags and Categories
You can add new tags and categories for your posts. The option to do this is hidden behind the post settings of every single post you make. However, you cannot edit or delete tags and categories you have already created. Back to the browser.
Performance and Reliability
The app generally performs well and is reliable for most content writing related tasks. However, very large or complex pages do experience lag or cause crashes. The specs of your device may also be a limiting factor here, so we shouldnt blame everything on the app.
The WordPress app is a handy tool for a specific purpose
The WordPress mobile app has come a long way in terms of functionality in recent years. Although a bit tedious, it is a valuable tool for website owners and bloggers who want to manage their sites while on the move.
It is important to realize that it is good for only for the most basic content management tasks such as quick editing and adding pictures. As of now, it cannot and should not be used for coding, editing your theme, working with plugins, or really anything more advanced.
If you need more functionality in a mobile situation, it is better to use the mobile dashboard in the browser. Otherwise, try getting access to a proper computer.