If over the recent holidays, you had the passing thought “How can I update my blog while I’m away?” be sure to continue reading. If you’ll have a laptop and wireless where you’re going, you’re all set but what about on the road or even off-road? If you’d like to update your WordPress blog from your smartphone, then you really should have the WordPress Mobile Admin plugin developed by Rich Gubby of Mobile Web Junkie. There’s also another plugin that can automatically adapt your blog to a more mobile friendly CSS if it’s being visited by a smartphone.
Interacting with the default WordPress Admin Panel on a smartphone or trying to publish an article can be a very trying event depending on the complexity of your post and the intelligence of your smartphone. Fortunately, the WordPress Mobile Admin plugin uses some alternate styling to make the Admin side of things a lot more usable. Mobile browsers have advanced in such a way that many times when a website redirects me to their mobile version, I immediately start looking for the “Desktop” version so I can have the normal, full functionality site. Unfortunately, the WordPress Admin Panel isn’t one of those sites and it has cost me lots of work on posts when content was deleted through faulty navigation.
The WordPress Mobile Admin plugin doesn’t have a lot of configurable settings, it’s a plugin you just activate and use. You’ll only notice it’s in use if you visit your WordPress Admin side with a mobile phone, otherwise it remains completely out of your way so you can blog like you always do from your desktop, but when you need it from your phone, it’s there immediately.
The Dashboard is rearranged and simplified to ease navigation. You have options to view Posts, Pages, Comments, and a summary on the Dashboard.
You can view Posts and filter the list to Published or Draft articles. From there you can view, edit, or delete the post.
Editing or composing a post is very straight-forward. You can also apply tags and categories to a post. Once you’re done working with a Draft, you can change the status to Published and save it to make your post live to the world.
Most of the complaints I still have about working with the admin side of WordPress from my phone stem from weird browser-related quirks that seem to be getting smoothed out with each update.
A Wapple Architect dev key is required for both the Mobile Admin and Wapple Architect plugin which you can get for free by signing up at wapple.net.
Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin
The Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin is another plugin for WordPress by the same developer. Instead of redesigning the WordPress Admin side, it will apply some CSS to the public side of your blog to make your site more mobile-friendly. The Wapple Architect is highly configurable and allows you to very specifically set what you want to appear on the mobile version of your web page, allowing to create the exact user experience you want. You can read the install guide and FAQ at Mobile Web Junkie for more info.
Part of the configuration for Wapple Architect is that you can specify the CSS used to display your page using the provided template.
You can also use several pre-configured CSS options, like this Brushed Metal option.
I was able to talk with the developer of these plugins for a little bit when I encountered a bug in a much earlier version. He’s a great guy and was very helpful in resolving the issue. Many updates later, WordPress Mobile Admin and Wapple Architect just seem to be getting better and better. Check them out for yourself if they’ll help you blog on the go or reach the mobile crowd with your site.