Trendsetters, let me share something with you. There are two loves in my education technology life at the moment. WordPress and the iPad. I think the three of us together would make a lovely couple, of sorts.
But, there is a problem. Worpdress does not play nice with the iPad. Or, perhaps the other way around.
The WordPress app on the iPad is okay if you are running a straightforward WordPress site with no bells and whistles. However if you wish to take full advantage of a particular theme and perform a batch upload of images then the relationship comes to an abrupt end.
My main problems are as follows:
- The batch upload of images to WordPress via the Apple iPad
- The batch resizing of images destined for WordPress via the Apple iPad
- The setting of a theme-based feature image as opposed to the standard WordPress feature image via the Apple iPad
- Editing the post while on an iPad
Problem #1: Batch upload of images to WordPress
So, problem one. Batch upload of images. What to do? How to upload a batch of images up to WordPress from an iPad when the Safari browser on the iPad simply borks at such an idea because the iPad is app driven and not file driven? I checked out some FTP apps but none of them would do the job and then, staring me right in the face was the solution. GoodReader.
This app GoodReader has got to be one of the best value for money apps on the iPad. It does an amazing amount of great things, including syncing with DropBox (rendering the DropBox app totally and utterly superfluous) but it also allows me to ftp a bunch of digital photographs (or any files for that matter) to the server of my choice. You beauty! Not only that, you can also sync the target folder or directory on the server with its corresponding folder within GoodReader on the iPad if you wish. That is excellent.
WordPress uploads folder on the server visible in GoodReader
Sync parameters window in Good Reader
Server that hosts my WordPress site as well as server link to my DropBox account
Images being uploaded to the WordPress server via GoodReader on the iPad
Images created on iPad now visible on the WordPress server
Note. I am using a Content Delivery Network that I set up to host my image files on a separate server for faster download. I am yet to fully configure that CDN for this set up so I am simply adding the images to the top level of the uploads folder so that I know the CDN will find them.
Problem #2: Batch resizing of images in WordPress while working on the iPad
So, I had a way to batch upload images to the server hosting my WordPress installation. But then there is the issue of batch resizing the images. Now, as some of you may know, that, when you normally upload an image to WordPress via a conventional browser on a computer, it goes through a crunching process where the original image is resized and saved to the various image dimensions predetermined by your good self in the Media settings window of the WordPress control panel.
Now, GoodReader, allows me upload the images I need for WordPress into the uploads folder within the wp-content folder. But how to resize all those images to meet the needs of my theme? Normally, WordPress would perform that task during a conventional upload via a browser on a Mac or PC. But not using Safari on the iPad. I could resize them one by one on the iPad with PS Express or PhotoPal but that would take forever. No way, José.
I looked for a WordPress plug-in that would do the job. I found one. Not exactly what I had in mind but it fits my needs exactly. Add From Server. This is a handy plug-in. After you have installed and activated this little baby it performs wonders on your behalf. It adds an additional tab to the media upload window in WordPress. This tab allows you to navigate the server that hosts your WordPress installation, select the images and add them to your media folder. As the images are added to your media folder they are crunched and resized according to your media settings specifications. Jolly good, my dear.
Add From Server plugin
Access to images on server via the Media upload window
Problem #3: The setting of a theme-based feature image as opposed to the standard WordPress feature image via the Apple iPad
Well, once I had uploaded the images I was able to select the absolute URL address of the image via its editing window and paste that into the relevant theme field within the post editing window.
Problem #4. Editing the post while on an iPad
This is still a painful issue on the iPad. If I use the WordPress app then I do not have ready access to a range of editing and style tools. However, if I use the Safari app to access WordPress then I am presented with the absolutely ridiculous issue of no scroll bars in the editing field. I cannot scroll from the top to the bottom of the post. That is frustrating. I like to compose my posts and then add the images and headings afterwards. I cannot do so using the Safari app.
Editing window in the Safari browser. No scroll bars.
So, this is my clunky solution while composing and editing the post…
I write the initial post, as I am doing now, using the WordPress app. On occasion I have actually dictated the post using Dragon Dictation. I copy and paste the text into the WordPress app. I then save the draft. I flick over to the Safari app. I then add all the images that I require at the top of the post as I am not able to scroll down and place the embedded images as I wish. I also create one title and format it as I desire. Once that is done I save the draft and I flick across to the WordPress app, open up that latest draft and finalise my editing of the post by cutting and pasting the code for each relevant image. I then add the titles using the style I set up using the Safari app.
This is all rather messy. Essentially, the batch upload of images is fine if you wish to insert a gallery of photographs into a WordPress post. You will need:
- PhotoPal app to fine tune any images with a rotate or crop for example
- GoodReader app for the batch upload of the images to a server
- Add From Server plug-in to import the images into your Media folder
With reference to the convoluted story above I guess a more efficient method for a post with just image or two would be to do as follows:
- Edit the images in Photopal and save them to the Photos app.
- Compose the post using Dragon Dictation and the WordPress app. No styling unless you hard code the bullets and the styling, etc.
- Add the images to the post using the WordPress app.
- Save the draft.
- Flick over to the Safari app and open the draft.
- Copy and paste the absolute URL of the main image into the theme’s feature image field
- Add your tags and categories if you have not already done so in the WordPress app.
- Add any other data to fields for plugins such as Wordbooker for Facebook
Image processing window in PhotoPal
Created on an iPad.