Wordpress

WordPress Are You Listening? Fix Your iOS Experience.

I just spent 30 or so minutes composing a post using the WordPress App for iOS on my iPad. As I was wrapping up I began to insert images into the post only to have about half of them fail. Apparently the latest update to the app has broken the insert image feature. If you select more than two, it will fail to upload all of them to the WordPress servers. Along with this, the app no longer posts to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

I have been a WordPress user for six years now, and for the most part a huge fan. When working correctly it is a powerful content management tool, that is far more robust than Blogger, or SquareSpace in my opinion. Note that I said “When working correctly”. WordPress if you are listening, you need to take note of the following constructive criticism.

About a week ago WordPress updated its desktop authoring environment with a new simplified editor. As the screen takes what seems like days to load yu are greeted with the juvenile “Beep, beep, boop” phrase. If and when the page finally loads, there are far fewer options than the old editor, a confusing UI, and a slightly cleaner look. WordPress must know that they have issues, because in the upper right corner of the screen they have a link that takes you back to the classic editing environment, which I have done every day since they rolled out the new set up.  This isn’t such a big deal for me, well not a big deal until they get rid of the classic editor and force us to use the new one. At that point I’ll probably drop WordPress and move on. Yes that is how much I dislike it.

I chose WordPress because it was billed as a professional tool. Because 6 years ago and earlier it had recieved so much good press and reviews from people y that used it daily, and because even businesses were using it do to the robust tool set and depth of professional themes. The latest update feels like they have rolled it back to amature hour. I get ease of use. I get clean simple design. I get streamlined UI. What I don’t get, is “Beep, beep, boop” and the removal or hiding of tool sets.

Now lets talk iOS.

WordPress for the iPad is a joke. There is no other way to say it. It’s horrible. The app is so bad that with each new update they break something new. In the latest version they broke image uploads, social media hooks, spell check, categories, and more. They failed to fix the ability to embed video from Vimeo, or YouTube.  With each update the iOS app has remained unstable, buggy, and feature broken. With each update WordPress says it has done “Bug Fixes”, but with each apparent fix, they have introduced even more.

WordPress in Safari, or Chrome on iOS is no better. The pages do not load correctly, even when you “Request Desktop Site” in Chrome. The editor simply doesn’t load correctly. Simple things like scrolling, and selecting don’t work. Embedding images and video is difficult, and the overall experience is just goofed. Even simple acts like selecting a line of text don’t work well. It’s so bad that if I have to use my iPad, i now have a multi-step workflow that involves drafts, and multiple apps.

The first step is to write all the text out in the Pages and copy the text.

Step two, go to the WordPress app, create a new post and paste.

Step three, save the draft.

Step four go to Safari and open the draft.

Step five embed video and save the draft.

Step six, go back to WordPress, open the draft, embed any images one at a time.

Step seven, select the image tag, cut, go to the insert point I want the image to appear and paste. (Yes the iOS app doesn’t embed images at the place where your cursor is. It embeds everything at the bottom of the post. Another fix needed) Save the draft.

Step eight. Launch Chrome, and spell check. Save the draft.

Step nine launch Safari, open the draft, and publish.

WordPress are you listening. This is an excercise in frustration. You need to step it up and fix your product. Fix it, test it, and then roll it out. Right now it feels like your dev team is just throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks.

Happy Anniversary To Modular 4.

I just realized that this marks the four year anniversary of this blog which started out as an experiment that was only going to live for 1 year. It’s a little hard to believe that I’ve been doing this on a daily basis for this long. With 2068 posts made over the last 1460 days, I’m averaging about 1.86 posts a day. Now that isn’t exactly accurate since I’ve missed days over the last 4 years, and have on a regular basis posted more than twice a day. Well here’s to another 4. Now if this thing would just make some money.

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Modular 4 KC, WordPress 2010 in Review.

Last year, I had a goal to post at least one new thing a day on my blog. I hit that goal and on some days I was able to surpass it. This morning while checking email, I got an email from the folks at WordPress telling me how my blog fared over the last 365 days. The numbers are below. What I think is really fun, are the things that were my top posts for 2010, especially since the biggest hits came for things I posted in December of 2009.

Thanks to everyone that visited my blog and look for more over the coming year.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 78,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 450 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 631 posts.

The busiest day of the year was December 7th with 1890 views. The most popular post that day was Alfred Preis Architect, USS Arizona Memorial.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, twitter.com, google.com, en.wordpress.com, and Google Reader.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for mercedes logo, office design, uss arizona memorial, uss arizona, and max huber.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Alfred Preis Architect, USS Arizona Memorial December 2009

2

Some of the Best in Design for 2009 December 2009
1 comment

3

Design Friday. iPad Cases for Your Shiny New Toy. April 2010
1 comment

4

Porsche Racing Posters, and Max Huber January 2010

5

Mercedes-Benz Social Media Plans for the A-Class. April 2010
1 comment

WordPress For the iPad

So I downloaded and installed WordPress for the new iPad. This is sort of a test post since I’m evaluating a couple of things. I’m curious about how easy this is to use with the iPad’s bigger virtual keyboard, and I’m curious about how good this app is on the iPad. The phone version gave me mixed results, and since the iPad is an experiment in laptop replacement this app could see some heavy use in the next year.

First off, typing is a pain in the ass. It’s doable, but slow. This isn’t WordPresses fault, it is the iPad virtual keypad. It’s just big enough that typing fast is not easy to do, so I think this means I’ll be buying a bluetooth keyboard to go with the iPad. iOS’s auto-correct type feature and realtime spell check is actually a real plus on this device, and helps with the somewhat awkward virtual keyboard.

The WordPress app seems solid, and the larger screen of the iPad helps in composing and seeing what you are doing. The app is a stripped down version of what you get on your desktop, in a browser, but that seems OK. I probably won’t use this as a daily blog editor, but it will work just fine when I am traveling, or away from my iMac.

Working with images is a pain. There is no WYSIWYG going on here. You select your photos and WordPress will insert them at the bottom of the post. Even in preview mode you don’t get to see them. And there is no way to resize, insert inline, position them, or dynamically resize them once they have been chosen. (the images below are test inserts, and have no relation to this post, except to point out how sucky image handling is)

One other thing that is rather limiting, is the lack of styles. You can’t select a piece of type and change the color, or style. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it would be a nice thing for WordPress to add in the future. I don’t use this in every post, but it comes in handy when you want to highlight a quote, or divide your posts into sections.

France, 2010

So, we are on our way to France, but right now I’m sitting in a sushi bar at the Atlanta airport drinking an Old Fashioned. We came here because the word on the street was that they have electrical outlets here. They do not, but that doesn’t surprise me since I haven’t been able to find a single wall outlet in this airport in both terminal A and E. Oh well, the bourbon is tasty, and I’m on vacation.

WordPress and Trip Journal for the iPhone.

In three days, mother nature willing, I’m traveling to France for a much-needed vacation. While I’m there I’ll be updating the blog via my iPhone courtesy of two iPhone applications. WordPress for iPhone, and Trip Journal.

WordPress is pretty straight forward. You put in your account info, link to your blog and post. The application allows you to insert images, geo-tag your location, moderate comments, add categories, tags, and resize photos. Depending on your WordPress theme you can also preview your posts. My current theme is not supported in the preview mode, but this isn’t a big deal for me since I am going to use the app for quick updates during the trip. Single images with a quick blurb. The app is free and easy to use. I have noticed that it can be a bit buggy and tends to crash on occasion, but it’s not bad for a free blog editor, and it hooks directly into WordPress which is a big plus. The app is fast, even on the 3G network as opposed to WiFi. So look for posts starting Friday.

The wordpress UI for iPhone.

In addition to WordPress, I going to use another app to log my vacation and that app is Trip Journal. Trip Journal costs $1.99 and from what I can tell so far, it’s worth the cost.  The application has a great graphical interface, that is a visual representation of a classic trip binder. You can create new trip, or continue to update ones you have already created. Like WordPress, Trip Journal geo-tags your locations, allows you to insert photos, write notes, and track your path as you travel. In addition, it also allows you to Tweet your location, publish your trip to Facebook, and upload images and waypoint data to services like Flickr, Google Earth, Picassa, and Twitter.

The nice looking Trip Journal UI

So look for posts to the blog, Facebook, and Twitter from the trip. And… I keep flip-flopping on buying an iPad before the trip. If I do, I’ll be using it to post and I’ll have a review of how well that goes as well.