Have you noticed the message in your WordPress desktop inviting you to try the new editor? I tried it and it is very nice. It’s free and available for Windows, Mac and Linux computers and it will work on both WordPress.com and self-hosted sites that have Jetpack installed. You can download the app at WordPress. You will need a WordPress.com login to use the app and you’ll find the link to create your login at the Desktop site.
The Desktop app is especially useful if you have more than one WordPress site. I have three sites of my own and I manage several more for associations. While the mobile app made it easier to manage multiple sites, the desktop app makes it a real breeze.
It’s not just an editor either. The Reader pulls in the latest posts from every WordPress site you follow. This includes both WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress sites using Jetpack. The Reader displays an excerpt of each new post. Click the title to display the entire article. You’ll notice the very simple comments form at the bottom of the article. Since the app already knows who you are, you just add your comment. WordPress does the rest.
With the Reader you can organize the sites you follow into lists (similar to categories in Feedly). You can also “follow” a tag to display posts assigned that tag – whether you follow them or not. I’m guessing this only displays posts from sites that are either hosted at WordPress.com or have Jetpack installed, but it’s still pretty interesting.
Even if you aren’t using the desktop app, WordPress bloggers may want to start including “blog-centric” tags in each of your posts to help people using the app – or the online WordPress.com Reader – discover your blog. Note the Follow icon in the heading of this post from Kindex Your History. It appeared in my Reader when I clicked on the genealogy tag in the sidebar.
Although I do like the minimalist editor, it does take some time to get used to it. For example, the three-dot icon at the far right of the editing toolbar displays the extended tools and the link icon at the left of the title is used to edit the post’s URL. Don’t be alarmed when the options items in the left sidebar disappear. They didn’t disappear, they scroll out of sight as the post your working on gets longer. Scroll to the top of the screen and they’ll all reappear.
Remember too that this is an editor – not the administrator’s workarea. This app won’t let you tweak a theme or add a widget. It’s for reading and writing. In fact, I’m using it to introduce my society’s new writers group to the joys of blogging.
Oh, I’ve started including “genealogy”, “family history” and “digital storytelling” as tags in each new post I publish. That should make it easier for others to find my blogs in the Reader.