GLOBAL – WordPress is the world’s biggest and – many would say – best content management system for websites. Many of the sites you read on a daily basis are based on the system – including this one.
Easy for beginners but almost infinitely customisable, WordPress has a lot of fans. And a lot of those fans want to be able to edit their blogs using their smartphone. Happily, there are apps for both Nokia Lumia and the Nokia N9 (and also Symbian, of course –find out more here).
To be honest, until our phones evolve pop-out full size keyboards and project 14-inch holographic screens, you aren’t likely to be writing major blog posts using your smartphone. It’s great, though, for a couple of particular uses:
- You’ve just posted something, left the house and realised it contains a mistake. Dive into your smartphone app and correct it before anyone sees it!
- You’re at a live event and you just want to put up a photo and a caption, for the bragging rights.
- Your blog is more of a tumblog, where quick single-sentence quotes or posts are often the norm.
- You moderate the comments on your blog and you need to let some through – or block something – while you’re out and about.
So let’s get started. First on the Nokia Lumia.
WordPress by Automattic
Developed by the people who made the original computer software, the Windows Phone version of the system looks smart. It takes good advantage of the Metro UI, dividing the available functions into five screens as you swipe to the right.
The first is Actions. Here you can choose to add a post, moderate comments, add a page or get into your blog settings. The second screen is Comments, allowing you to moderate on the move. The third is a list of your recent posts and the fourth is a list of your pages. The last allows you to see your blog’s current stats.
The editing options are a little basic at present. The posts appear in HTML rather than WYSIWYG format and while there are buttons for basic formatting, links and inserting a picture from your gallery, you’ll have to remember the code for more advanced features.
I’m not sure that’s such a big deal. As I said, blogging on the move is most likely to be about short posts, corrections and moderation. In many respects, I’d rather have a clean UI with all the basic functions than a cluttered one that allows me to build tables and so forth.
Although, that said, the Nokia N9 option seems to strike a good compromise…
Cutepress for Nokia N9
On the Nokia N9, Cutepress is the best bet for mobile blogging. It’s actually a QML version of the Symbian software we reviewed last year – and so also involves Automattic’s support, though this new version was released by ShowStopper. This is again a well-written and designed app which is suited to the likely scenarios involved in blogging on the move.
There’s a bit more functionality here. As well as the basics, you can edit the time stamp, add a password to posts, and insert a video from your phone. Perhaps most importantly, there is a visual cue to show which posts are published and which are in draft status. But the increased functionality comes with losses both in terms of aesthetics and usability.
It’s hard to choose between the two apps. Fortunately, in the real world, no-one really has to, because you’re extremely unlikely to be in my lucky situation of having both phones in your pockets. Suffice to say that both platforms are well-served, and also that the apps are both under active development and so are likely to mature in design and functionality as time goes by.