This is a simple app that I built with Apple Automator that I’ve been using to upload files to this blog. Overall, WordPress’s web page uploader works well, but it requires a browser window be open. Sometimes I just want to send a file quickly and not bother with that. One of the reasons people like my Post to WordPress plugin for Ulysses is that it avoids having to open up WordPress to save a draft post.
I’ve made a significant update to my app Post to Wordpress for Ulysses today. I’ve improved it so that there’s no need to edit the Automator app or need two parts (app & code file) for everything to work. The blog information (user name, password, URL, and SSL preference) is now stored in a separate file. Also, all the posting code is now inside the app, and the user doesn’t need to create a ~/bin folder to keep the Ruby code file in.
So this happened. The new upload to WordPress export option. Because this is a beta release, and I’m not doing a full review because feature will be added and bugs will get fixed. In the meantime, I do have a few observations. It pulled in the wrong display name (that’s from an unused locked blog) but otherwise works the same as my upload script except links open in the same window instead of a new one.
A featured image in a WordPress post is especially handy if you like to use Read More… links to keep the front page uncluttered. If there’s not a featured image, the post is just a headline and excerpt and any images that could attract a reader are buried “beneath the fold” as newspaper people like to say. Usually you can get away with just using an image from the inside the post as the feature.
Note: there is now a GitHub repository for this project. Get the latest code there, including a downloadable Automator app After sleeping on this I decided there were a few things I could do better. Having to put raw source in the document was annoying. I looked into several ways to do this, but found Ulysses had the answer. If a line of text is “marked” in Ulysses (that’s the :: notation) it gets exported as its own paragraph, but no other HTML tags are applied.
Note: I’ve updated this app, and you can find out more info in the updated article. Plus it’s even easier to install and set up. Or go directly to the GitHub repository for this project. Ulysses does a lot of things right as a writing tool. But it’s not designed to be a HTML or Markdown editor. It’s also not able to post directly to a blog. But its export friendly nature makes it easy to build helper apps.
One nice feature to have in a blog is post-by-email. It’s mostly overlooked, and even not activated by default. What I like most is that I can write in my usual app, then use email to ship it off. There are several dedicated blog postings apps available. Desk.pm and MarsEdit are the first that come to mind. I’ve not tried either, and that might change in the future. For now, I’m writing everything in Ulysses and it’s easier to keep it all together in one place.
Every blogging platform has “sharp corners.” The little edges that stick out and poke you every now and then. Sometimes the little things are the ones that catch you the most. Bump into the same sharp corner enough times, and it feels like it’s going to draw blood. Yesterday I wrote a post about how to use WordPress shortcodes. The writing part was easy enough. I documented how I built my review index page.
WordPress has a lot of “hidden gem” features. Shortcodes are one of them. Simply put, shortcodes are little snippets of text that the WordPress engine uses as instructions for embedding content. There are shortcodes to insert anything from Spotify playlists to YouTube videos. Shortcodes can also make indexing your WordPress blog easier. One feature I wanted was an index page for reviews I’ve written or will write. I started out by creating a new page, and deciding on which headings to use.