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Digital Nomad: The Difficulties of Blogging with the WordPress App

Technical errors had resulted in three posts going live prematurely this week. If some posts seemed unfinished that’s because they were. To bloggers: beware of the Wordpress Android app.

When in stretches of fast travel I often only carry a Samsung tablet and an Alphasmart Neo as my writing and publishing devices. They are way lighter and portable than my laptop, and as I’m often just going to be taking notes and blogging on these trips anyway the full rig is not needed.

It seems like a revolutionary blogging set up. I can take notes anywhere using the Alphasmart, upload them into the WordPress app on the tablet, then publish when I find a WIFI connection. There are no bootup delays from either device,the Alphasmart has a 900 hour battery life, the tablet’s battery lasts for days, and I can also use the former as an external keyboard for the latter. This combination of devices can technically do all that I want them to do. It seems to be the perfect setup — until you actually try to use it.

This week I’ve had three posts accidentally go live on the site before they were ready.

Getting the backend of WordPress to function properly on a mobile browser is an exercise in annoyance — it just doesn’t work very well — while the official WordPress App is unintuitive and full of bugs.

There is no publish button on the WordPress app. Instead, you click a toggle down menu that’s at the bottom of the page and then select a post’s status (publish, draft, local draft, etc . . .). Then you must go to the top of the page and click the save button to make it happen. The problem is that a post’s default status is publish, so if you quickly write a draft and then click the save button it’s going to publish. Stupid. I thought this was my problem, a simple error on my part that led to two drafts being prematurely published earlier this week, but this morning I found out otherwise.

This morning I opened the site and found that a half finished post that I was working on last night went live. I went back and checked it in the WordPress app, and it was still clearly marked as being a “local draft.” This means that the post should not of even been sent over to the server, let alone published on the site. I removed the post but the damage had already been done.

I don’t understand how WordPress, a community of coders that have millions of users testing their products daily, could allow for such a sloppily made, bug filled official app to circulate for years and years. It’s free, so I can’t complain, but I’d readily pay to have an app that functions properly and doesn’t result in half finished posts going live on the site.

Anyway, if you noticed posts from me this week that seemed unfinished that’s because they were. They’ve been removed now, and will reappear once they are completed and actually ready to publish next week.

Filed under: Blogging, Digital Nomad

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3546 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Astoria, New York

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