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Blog on the go with WordPress for Android

Jack Wallen walks through how to install and use the free WordPress app for your Android tablet.

I depend upon WordPress, because it drives my main web site and numerous client web sites. Being in constant contact with these sites (and the ability to update them on the go) has become increasingly important. From my Android tablet, I can fire up the web browser and use the full blown WordPress Dashboard, but it's easier and less painful to manage sites with the Android WordPress app. With the app, you get access to a tablet-friendly Dashboard, the ability to post quick pictures and videos, and much more.

Any WordPress 3.0 or greater site can make use of this tool. And you can use this app with either an official WordPress hosted blog or a custom WordPress blog. The best part is that it's free! If you have to manage a WordPress-based blog on the go, this app might be the perfect solution for you.

Let's walk through the process of installing and managing your WordPress site with the official WordPress Android app.

Installation

To install the Android WordPress app, follow these steps:

  1. Open up the Google Play Store
  2. Search for "wordpress" (no quotes)
  3. Tap Install
  4. Tap Accept & download

Once the installation has completed, open the app drawer and tap on the newly created WordPress icon to start the app.

Usage

When you first fire up the WordPress app, the main screen (Figure A) will allow you to connect to your blog. Figure A

Here you see WordPress running on the Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab.

You have three possible choices:

  • Start a new blog on WordPress
  • Add WordPress hosted blog
  • Add a self-hosted WordPress blog
The first two entries allow you to either create a new blog or connect to your pre-existing blog on www.wordpress.com. The third entry allows you to connect to a WordPress blog that's set up on a third-party host. In my case, I'll be connecting to a third-party host (Figure B). The information I need for that is:
  • Server address
  • Username
  • Password

The server address will be the domain without the administrative login, wp-admin. For example: If your third-party hosted WordPress administrative login is http://yourhost.com/wp-admin, you would only use the http://yourhost.com for the server address.

Figure B

The Optional Settings button allows you to enter an HTTP username/password should the admin section be password protected via htaccess (or another system).

If you're connecting a blog that's hosted at wordpress.com, the only information you'll need is your WordPress.com username and password.

NOTE: You won't be prompted to enter a captcha when you log into the WordPress app, even if you have that enabled on WordPress.

Once you've successfully authenticated with your WordPress blog, the WordPress main window will appear (Figure C). Figure C

From here, you can even get a tablet-specific WordPress Dashboard.

From the main window, the only tool that will not work is the Stats tool, but only when using a third-party host. If your blog is hosted on wordpress.com, the status will function as expected.

From this point, it should be quite obvious what to do next:

  • Add a new post by tapping the New Post button
  • Add a new page by tapping the New Page button
  • View and manage all posts by tapping the Posts button
  • View and manage all pages by tapping the Pages button
  • View and manage all comments by tapping the Comments button
  • Add a picture (using the device camera) by tapping the Quick Photo button
  • Add a video (using the device camera) by tapping the Quick Video button
  • Manage the settings of the WordPress app (not your site) by tapping the Settings button
  • View your site's dashboard by tapping the Dashboard button
  • View site stats (WordPress hosted sites only) by tapping the Stats button
The post/page editor (Figure D) is not quite as robust as the standard WordPress editor, but it still makes adding new posts/pages quite simple. Figure D

If you click the Post Format drop-down, you can select from numerous types of posts (such as audio, standard, status, quote, link, and more).

For managing your WordPress blog on the go (especially when your only network connection is via your tablet), the WordPress Android app is one of the best, most efficient means to this end. Have you used the WordPress app on your Android tablet? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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