A while back, WooThemes, which makes the Canvas theme I’m using and many more beautiful, highly functional WordPress themes, came out with their Express app. I found the price – $4.99 at the time I downloaded it – to be a bit steep, but I wanted to test it out as it promised to provide Tumblr-like blogging with certain themes.
Here is my first post with the app, done entirely on my iPhone 4. I took a screenshot of the app interface to test the image-type post (like Tumblr, it prompts users to choose a post type – image,
video, text, etc.).
So how did it work? You tell me. I’m in the park and won’t be back to my MacBook for a little while. You can tell me on Twitter @melanierenzulli or leave a comment below.
Update: 21 hours later
Well, that was a bit wonky.
The Express app did what it said it would – post things Tumblr-style to your WordPress-blog. Unfortunately, given the bare-bones nature of Tumblogging, the post I created with the Express app didn’t adhere to the constructs of my WordPress blog.
So I had to do some tweaking.
Here is what the post looked like on the home page. The full-size image posted on the homepage rather than being rendered as a thumbnail (as my current theme setting dictate):
If you’re starting out with a new Woothemes-equipped, Tumblr-styled WordPress blog, then you’ll be fine. But seeing this made me go in search of a settings tweak or some code so that I could either 1) keep thumbnails on the home page or 2) change my settings so that all my previous and future posts appeared with full-size images on the homepage as well as in single post.
After messing around with Canvas theme settings, including the dynamic image and Tumblog settings, I realized that I would need to get some help from a “ninja” at Woothemes. I posted this message:
I recently decided to try using my Canvas-based blog as a Tumblog. I filed my first Tumblr-style post (an image) using the Express app to try out functionality. Unfortunately, the image did not render as a thumbnail on the front page, rather it showed up full-size (width of 610?).
Is there a way to make Tumblr-style posts work like regular posts so that a thumbnail is displayed on the homepage?
Barring that, how can I set up the front page of my Canvas site so that all images show up full size on the homepage and in the single post view?
I realize that a Tumblr style blog is supposed to be more bare bones than a WordPress-based one. But it’d be great to have the quick press functionality of Tumblr combined with the usually formatting of my Canvas site.
Within a few hours, I got a response from someone at Woo tellings me I would need to change my canvas/includes/tumblog/theme-tumblog.php with this code. Important! Make a copy of the original php file before overwriting or deleting anything!
That’s a lot of tweaking one must do to use an “express” app. But, if I’m going to try to keep up with this blog again, then I need to have as many quick press options as possible.
By the way, you’ll notice that I did a post-publish “strike-through” of the word video when listing the Express app’s functions. While you can do a Tumblr-style video post of Tumblr through the Canvas dashboard, the video functionality is not yet available on the app. *Sigh*
Update to the Update: A few hours later
Well, I couldn’t get the above suggestions from the Woo ninja to work – and frankly, I’m too impatient to wait for someone else to help me while my site looks like sh*t. So, I did some more browsing in the Woo forum and found a patch that I think I can stand to stick with.
I decided to show the full blog post in the page that way I don’t have to worry about thumbnails for posts showing up on the homepage. This is also convenient if I plan to post more videos as I won’t have to find a screen image to include as a featured image.
I did this by going to the Canvas>Theme Options>General Settings>Display Options and choosing “Full Content” under the Post Content dropdown box. Previously, when I was displaying thumbnails on the homepage, I had opted to have 10 posts excerpts to display at a time. But now that I am going to display the full post, I had to reduce that number. I went to (this is in the main WordPress menu) Settings>Reading and changed “Blog pages show at most” to 3.
One great tweak that you can make when displaying the full post when you have a really long one is to utilize the “Insert More” tag which is provided in the WordPress “kitchen sink” above the post box. It will give you a “Continue Reading” link at the end of your post on the homepage, making everything look nice and clean.
God, I hope this helps somebody. I’m just one person fooling around with WordPress and I thought I’d let you see the warts-and-all process it took to make some updates.