Thoughts and brain dumps

Thoughts and brain dumps

By Andy Hawthorne. Words, photos, code and running…

23 Dec 2019

Blogging from anywhere

Reading time: 3 minute(s) - 600 words

I’m writing this post via my iPad - not a big deal, right? Maybe not. But what about from my phone? Can that be done?

The first thing I should clear up is: why would you?

Does anyone really write blog posts from their mobile devices?

Well, I do. And I wouldn’t like it if it wasn’t possible. You never know when a post idea is going to strike.

It is true that capturing the idea is easy. There are gazillion apps to do that with. But what about writing the post?

It’s not as easy as you might think.

The platform

The first thing to consider is: what blogging framework/platform are you using?

WordPress has a mobile app. But using it can be a bit of a faff. It does work, though. And there are ways to get a successful post out there.

What about if you normally deploy via Git source management?

Ah, that’s where it gets trickier.

Here’s what has to happen:

  1. Access your repos via your iPad - which means generating an SSH key somehow
  2. Being able to clone your repo
  3. Being able to pull and push like you would normally

That is all possible via an app called Working Copy available for iOS. I’m not sure if there is an Android equivalent.

Working Copy tells you what you need. GitHub and GitLab will require an API key, for example. Working Copy knows that and gives you hints about what to do.

Once you are connecting to your repo, you clone into Working Copy, then you can start adding content.

I’m assuming you are using a static site generator like Hugo or something similar.

Working Copy

The practicalities

All that typing on an iPad keyboard? That sounds hard…

I don’t find it that difficult. But I do also use a Bluetooth keyboard. It makes life more comfortable - and you dodge the typos.

Adding images to a post can be problematic. I don’t use images that often. So I could argue that I don’t have to worry about that. But for completeness it’s reasonable to see what’s involved.

First, you need an image (doh). Stick it in your post where you want it to appear. Then, add and commit. Like you would from your laptop. The process is the same.

You could call the image from S3 - it depends on the blogging engine you are using. I’m using Hugo so I have a static directory that I add media files to.

The writing

So, I can blog from anywhere there’s WiFi and with either my phone or iPad. Brill. I’m counting that as a result.

If you are still sceptical as to why (I am) then it comes down to this: there are times when I can’t be bothered to sit with a laptop on my knee. But I still want to write.

It’s one of the reasons I purchased an iPad. That means being able to blog directly from it justifies the purchase decision.

Also, to borrow a phrase from the Jekyll project, it means I can Blog Like a Hacker which is cool.

Finally…

Blogging from anywhere is possible (sort of). It assumes you have an internet connection. And it assumes you use a setup that makes it possible to publish to your blog.

But it is possible with those caveats in place. And I for one think that’s great.

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