Blogging With Apple Notes

So one of my first projects was to find out how iPad could support my blogging activities, preferably without spending any money or only a little.  I needed something that would work well with my self hosted WordPress site and would or could have a low distraction environment.

Most of the dedicated iPad blogging software that works with WordPress gets horrible reviews.  That includes Blogo which I had used and liked previously on Mac, until they switched to a subscription model and I dropped them like a hot potato.  Apparently other users didn’t like the change either and their revenue dropped like the same hot potato.  The developer claims they are understaffed and are working hard to recover.  Blah.  They get two stars out of five.

The others are not any better. Presssync gets 1.5 stars and then there are a bunch of others with too few reviews to even bother with.  Double blah.

Of course there is WordPress’ own editor which I already had installed on my iPad.  I had tried using that in the past with limited success (it paled in comparison to what Blogo used to be).  So I wrote a couple of posts in the WordPress app and was again underwhelmed. It appears unable to do many things from the interface like set a MORE tag, change the taxonomy of the post, or switch to the new block editor mode (although it does edit block mode posts if they are set that way via the web dashboard).  In short I could not get away from the web dashboard and was going to have to use it extensively in the blogging process.

The next natural thought was why not blog directly in the dashboard.  However, the dashboard does not scroll as you type down the page on an iPad or in a browser on any other device.  Very irritating. And there are myriad other distractions in the interface that make it less than ideal.

So what about a text editor?  No distractions, copy and paste text when writing is complete and format the post in the dashboard. 

It turns out there is no free text editor for iPad.  There used to be one, Textor, but it has apparently be taken over by Russians (or whoever) and is infested with ads and other badness.  

All of the other applications breakout into two kinds, those for blogging and those for coding.  The coding apps support syntaxes for various languages and all the other stuff you’d expect while the blogging apps support markdown.  I don’t think I need any of that (my mind may change).

What if there were an application that uses plain text, supports things like links, and saves your work in a searchable format to iCloud. Oh, wait what about Apple Notes? So I tried that and it worked fine for plain text, most of this post was written in Notes. I wrote, copied and pasted and things worked just fine.

Then I thought, can I add hypertext to a word in Notes that will transfer to WordPress. That can be done on Notes for Mac, but not on the iOS app, maybe in iPadOS 12, but not now. And a picture failed to transfer correctly either. So if I have to use two apps I guess I’ll use the WordPress app. Sigh.

Edit 6/15/19

Playing around in frustration with the WordPress app I found that by going to Me > App Settings I could set the Block editor as the default editor. A big change in usability. The app still needs to support more of the Block Editor features.