Sonia Constant from the blog Mummy Constant shares her top tips for saving time with WordPress blogs and getting started with the trusty iPad. Sonia comes from an IT support and web design background and very happy to share her knowledge and give any advice needed to help other mummies and daddies out there.
Although it’s only been a few weeks with my iPad, I have already found it to be extremely useful and it really does help with keeping on top of my blog; I certainly wouldn’t be without it now. Apps are a lot easier to use than on the iPhone and there are some apps which you cannot even get on the iPhone; it doesn’t take away the fact that a desktop is still the most productive tool – but the iPad is a close second.
The first app I downloaded on my iPad was the WordPress app; it is available from the App Store and is a free download. If you have a WordPress.com blog you can add it quite easily as it picks it up directly from their central systems, if you have a self-hosted WordPress blog then you will need to have a few more details to hand, because you need to tell the app where your blog is and how you log in. Tip: For the stats to work, you will need to have a WordPress.com account too, which I will discuss in another post in more detail.
Writing posts from the WordPress app is very easy, you can just start the app and get typing; choosing a title for your post, category and then appropriate tags. Once you have done that you can write away to your heart’s content. The great thing about using your iPad, especially as a parent of an exploring toddler and 9 months pregnant, means I can write posts whenever I get that small chance and I can be anywhere! So that half an hour in bed before I go to sleep, when I wake up, whilst little one is playing happily with his cars; it comes in very handy and is so lightweight and portable.
You can set posts to draft and pick them up where you left off at another time; you simply change the settings by pressing the button that looks like a “cog” in the bottom right hand corner of the post editing screen. You can schedule posts, in preparation for another day, which is great when you know you have a busy week ahead of you with the family or other commitments.
I downloaded an app called BeFunky from the app store; it is a free download and is a great little on-the-go photo editor. You edit the look and feel of your photos, give them frames and edit the photos too: cropping, rotate, brightness/contrast/exposure, sharpen, blur and colour to name a few. Once you have edited the photos that you want to use in your posts, you can save them to your camera roll and then switch back to your WordPress app, press the “photo” button in the bottom right hand side of the post editing screen and upload your image.
Mummy Constants Top Tip
There are not many options for editing images in the WordPress app at the moment and you cannot see the image amongst the post text, you just see a little bit of HTML code! When uploading images using the app, they are automatically put at the bottom of the post and also set to “none” align, which means they will almost always be left aligned. To edit the images you do not have to do anything too scary, and you do not need to understand the code unless you want to change a photo setting. Here is an example of the code that is put in your post:
<br /><br /><a href=”http://yourwebsite.com/imagelocation/imagename.jpg”><img src=” http://yourwebsite.com/imagelocation/imagename.jpg ” alt=”imagename.jpg” /></a>
A little tip is to highlight the image text from <br /><br />… to the final </a> and drag it to the place where you want the image to display in your post. You can cut and paste too, if that is easier. To change the alignment, so that is centred in your post, simply place your finger in the middle of the word “alignnone” which is amongst the image code and replace none with center. The image will now show up correctly!
Sonia is also on Twitter if you’d like to connect with her