Four Paths to WordPress
There are many ways1 to get content into WordPress other than writing in the normal WP post editor. I figured I’d sketch out at least four and why you might choose one over another.
I don’t believe many people notice or use the “Press This” bookmarklet that is located under Settings>Writing or under Tools. There’s a 3 minute video below detailing where to find it and how it works below. Think of it like the bookmarklet you might use with Delicious or Diigo only with more flexibility behind it. The ability to nearly seamlessly add media from the reference page (seen at about 1:27 in the video) is the main thing I find that makes this tool particularly useful. I’m using it instead of Diigo for the Word Games site because I want to embed a mixture of media and all of it will be from external pages. Think of it as having the capabilities of Pinterest but with the additional ability to embed video and text.
This used to be a hassle but Automatic’s Jetpack plugin makes it very simple. You will need a WordPress.com account but it’s free and you’ve already given away all your information to Google or Apple anyway. You can see a tutorial on how to do that here but it’s pretty straightforward. One thing that I didn’t realize initially was that you can add categories and tags in the email using bracketed shortcodes which is pretty slick.
For example [category x,y,z] and [tags x,y,z] are done as indicated. I’ve sent html emails this way and it worked out pretty well. The links stayed etc. I was surprised. This is a really fast easy way to aggregate the useful pieces of all that junk email for a group. WordPress makes for a nice centralized repository where people can search and are unable to “lose” that email. I’d suggest adding your secret email to your address book and then naming it something you’ll remember. I chose the name of the blog.
Anything with an RSS feed can be used to post to a WordPress blog using the FeedWordPress plugin. It works a lot like any RSS aggregator you’ve used (because that’s what it is). I love this plug in.
That opens up a world of posting options and the ability to set up chains of action. For the ITRT “Might Be Of Interest” blog I have a number of RSS feeds that are part of my normal work flow yet still do some extra sharing/archiving work for me.
For instance anything in Diigo tagged “ITRT” automatically posts to that blog. The URL convention looks like this https://www.diigo.com/rss/user/Bionicteaching/itrt. If you search on your page the URL will be generated automatically- just click on the orange RSS icon in the right hand corner of the page. Additionally, I have my “Saved” items in Fever feeding in.2 I could also port stranger things in via IFTTT3 or even Yahoo Pipes4 if I were feeling the need for something fairly complex.
I left from entries for last because they break the work flows that the other three options are focused on blending into. No one enjoys filling out a form BUT it can provide standardized data and formatting which is so very, very seductive at times. If you’re using forms people need to either want to put the content in (requests, applications, submissions of some type) or are being held responsible for what they put in.
I use Gravity Forms which costs money but is well worth it. There may be others that allow you to go from a form to a post (published or draft- you decide) but that capability is a key differentiator for me. You can see Gravity Forms doing it’s job at the Elementary Principals’ Communication Site. This site allows anyone to post structured messages meant for the ES Principals but they are held in draft mode so that our ES admin team can decide what to approve, alter, or delete. It makes it really easy for them and provides a long term archive of all the content. It was built in response to Chris Corallo’s request that we get a handle on how much email, requests etc. were being sent out to ES principals. This became the way to communicate with ES principals and all posts were approved by Chris so he’d could keep tabs on the amount of work being asked of his people.
There are other ways to template within WordPress and vet the content pre-publishing but the form path allows any user to do so without the need to sign up for an account or have any idea how to write in WordPress. That makes it more attractive in a variety of situations.
1 Look! My title has a number in it! SEO GOLD!!!
2 If I decide to move to Feedly, and risk having my heart broken again, I’ll have to look for another option.
3 You can do an amazing amount of things here and it will encourage you to sign up for even more services and consider buying those plugs that let you control your appliances through the Internet.
4 I once used Pipes to cleanse a malformed RSS feed and blend in some other HCPS feeds so I could pull it all into a hacked together HCPS branded iPhone RSS widget. It worked but clearly not my area of speciality.