Poster for WordPress

Poster for WordPress is a slick blogging app. It has just enough unique features to make it worth paying for over using the free official version.

For this post I wanted to touch just on some of the unexpected details (and offer a few complaints) rather than write up a full review or overview of the app.

Upon launching Poster, one needs to add a blog or two (it handles both .org and .com WordPress blogs). After choosing self-hosted or .com WordPress, you’ll see an icon and button to launch the 1Password app (I assume only if you have it installed). This is genius, and it sets the stage that this app was developed by a like-minded nerd. A good thing. You’ll find more well thought out touches throughout the app.

My favorite so far is the HTML toolbar. There’s also a Markdown toolbar option, but I’ve yet to jump on that bandwagon. The HTML toolbar resides right above the standard keyboard, and works very intelligently. Highlight a word, tap the link icon, and all the proper code is added in the right places, along with some highlighted placeholder text ready for a URL to be pasted in.

WordPress app Poster screenshot

Granted, the official app offers up similar functionality.

I also like the generic open and close code brackets. Perfect for adding custom code like the

<pre>

tags for code snippets. To be fair, the official app offers up an actual code button to do this.

Another clever feature is the option to start a new post using a text file from Dropbox. You can set a default directory to browse from, choose a text file for the post, pull it into Poster and finish up from there. While I’ve not tested it, I’m assuming it will fully support Markdown formatted text files, meaning you can edit your posts in your favorite Markdown editor, save to Dropbox (where else?), and then pull in a fully formatted post. Very smart.

Inserting images isn’t as well done. Instead of using the iOS “Insert…” contextual menu, one needs to hide the keyboard and tap the photo icon. This places the code at the bottom of the post as well. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s a bit counter-intuitive. I tend to write and then go back and add images. Poster basically forces you to do it as they are needed in the text, if you want to avoid a bunch of copy/paste time wasting. The app claims one can add images anywhere in a post, but that seems to only apply if you use the code bar link method, which doesn’t prompt you for an image from your device. Not as handy. That said, adding and tweaking settings for images is handled well. Poster offers up the ability to edit photo details that the official app does not, like the title and alt text tags as well as size tags and alignment. Sure, you could code these but that’s a bit of a pain.

One strange omission is the lack of support for the (severely underused) <!--more--> tag. Not only is there no way to insert it without typing (or by using a Text Expander Touch shortcut), when previewing a page it shows up in the text. It seems to work fine once the post is published though. It’s just an odd oversight for such a well-polished app.

I also find it a bit odd that the post title is hidden in the post settings screen instead of at the top of the post.

There’s a lot of other nice additions that you won’t find in the official WordPress iOS app, such as support for Custom Fields and other advanced features such as editing a post’s excerpt or slug, or setting a post as sticky. Check out the full list on the developer’s site.

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4 thoughts on “Poster for WordPress

  1. Great post. But, here are a few things stopping me from using Poster. My foremost problem also has me not using the WordPress app itself – and it simply boils down to the fact I’m using plugins to manage my SEO (excerpts, titles etc) and am unable to edit those fields through an app. Secondly – yes, poster does pack in quite a handful of features that the WordPress app itself lacks but, in the long run is quite sub par compared to whipping open a laptop and editing a post. I know that you like many are looking for a viable mobile blogging app however, from what I can see – and used – there hasn’t been one developed.

    It’s almost like trying to find a worthwhile FTP client iOS app.

    1. I agree, if you’re tweaking via plugins this app isn’t going to do anything for you. My biz blog relies heavily on the same kinds of stuff you’re doing, and I can’t use Poster for those reasons. I’m not even aware of any desktop apps (for OS X at least) that do what you mention with 3rd party plugins. Hell, even the official WordPress app doesn’t support Jetpack stuff.

      I mostly wanted Poster for this blog, where I’m no too concerned about SEO. Poster does support custom fields, maybe I should try it out with one of my self-hosted .org blogs. Perhaps it does do what we are looking for. Honestly I didn’t even try since I prefer a tag cloud picker for those posts, and no app I know of offers that. The Poster dev even said he tried it and didn’t like it, so it’s not going to get added.

      1. Thanks for the great reply George, you made a great point about not worrying about SEO for this blog. I’m in the same boat or my personal blog as it’s a free WordPress site. I’ve found though most themes (offered for free) don’t include the use of custom fields however, if I can find I sure as hell see the use of Poster and would most likely use it.

        The only drawback i really see now is the lack of the WP reader – which has me find great blogs like this ;)

        Cheers,

        Jesse

      2. Not only does Poster not include the Reader feature, you made me aware of yet another feature Poster doesn’t do: site admin. There’s no way to moderate or reply to comments. Nor to check stats and see Likes and Follows. But for an app named “Poster”, that seems obvious now :)

        One thought on SEO: my previous comment that I don’t do any for this blog is untrue — regardless of the post method, I always aim for descriptive titles and slugs and aim for posts with the right words in the body and tags for the topic I am writing on. As well as link titles and linking to relevant content within my own blog. I guess all that is just second nature now. But plugins are nice for ensuring all the details are handled (I use the Yoast SEO plugin on my art blog).

        Poster makes it very easy to edit alt tags for images which is another feature that interested me. I also like how it implements the URL Scheme and x-callback-URL features for automating and integrating with other iOS apps like Drafts and Launch Center Pro.

        Thanks for the comments and the discussion!

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