How to use the desktop version of the WordPress app for a self hosted WordPress blog – Two years ago WordPress released a desktop version of the WordPress application and I also made a simple article about desktop WordPress here, but in that article I haven’t provided a tutorial on how to use the WordPress desktop application.
The creation of this desktop version of WordPress basically aims to make it easier for you to access WordPress when you want to write and edit blog posts without being distracted by other browser tabs that generally occur when you access WordPress via best browser your favorite.
In this article, I will explain how to use this desktop WordPress application on a self-hosted WordPress blog which means it is not a free WordPress on WordPress.com.
How to use the WordPress desktop application for self-hosting WordPress
This desktop version of the WordPress application was created directly by the company behind WordPress, namely Automattic, a company founded by WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. Automattic is also the company behind JetPack and WordPress.com.
The desktop WordPress app offers a better user experience for self-hosted WordPress and is great for users looking for a distraction-free editor when creating content. However, before getting into the core discussion of this article, I will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of using the desktop version of WordPress.
Pros of WordPress Desktop
Here are the advantages of using the desktop WordPress application on your computer to manage a self-hosted WordPress site.
- Offers a great user interface for managing your WordPress website
- The app will sync your content quickly and offer a great writing experience
- Offers a clean distraction-free writing area for creating your content so you can focus on content writing
- Allows you to perform website management tasks without opening your browser such as updating plugins and answering comments.
Disadvantages of WordPress Desktop
Here are some drawbacks you need to consider before using the WordPress desktop application to manage a self-hosted WordPress site.
- The application does not work when you are offline. This means you cannot write posts, edit and save them to your computer using the desktop application.
- The application cannot load custom fields created by the plugin in the post editor. For example, if you are using a plugin All In One SEO or SEO by Yoast, then you can’t edit SEO settings in posts of the application.
- The app requires the JetPack plugin and you must have a WordPress.com account
Those are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider before deciding to install the desktop version of the WordPress application. And now let’s continue on the subject matter of this article.
Using the WordPress Desktop App for WordPress Self-Hosted
To use the WordPress desktop App, the first thing you need to do is install and activate the JetPack plugin on your WordPress site. For more details, see a complete guide on how to install plugins on WordPress.
Upon activation, you will be asked to connect JetPack to your WordPress.com account.
You need to click on the ‘Set up Jetpack’ button to continue.
You will now be taken to the WordPress.com site. If you already have a WordPress.com account, then you can login directly using your account user and password. If you don’t have a WordPress.com account, please register first by clicking the sign up button to create a new WordPress.com account.
After registering, you will be taken to the pricing page. Please scroll to the bottom of the page and click the ‘Start with free’ button to create a free WordPress.com account.
WordPress.com will now create a free account for you, and you will be redirected back to your WordPress website.
Next, you need to download and install the WordPress Desktop App on your computer. Download ⇒ WordPress Desktop.
Once the installation is complete and the desktop WordPress application is ready to use. You will see a login screen where you need to enter the WordPress.com username and password for the account you just created.
Once logged in, you will see a WordPress.com reader screen where you can browse content and follow blogs. To manage your WordPress website, please click the “My Site” tab in the top menu bar.
You will now see your website title in the left hand menu along with other website management sections. In the right column, you will see traffic reports from JetPack.
On the left sidebar, you will see a menu that is almost similar to your WordPress admin sidebar when opened through a browser, with this navigation you can edit and create custom posts, pages, and post types. You can also add a new blog post by clicking the “Write” button at the top.
The WordPress editor area for creating, and editing content on the desktop version offers a very good user experience and a clean look.
Where in the right column, you will find post settings such as status, post scheduling, categories and tags, featured image, and many more. On the left, you have a clean, spacious and distraction-free writing area with a rich text editor.
In this desktop WordPress editor you can also add photos and galleries to your articles by clicking on the ‘+ Add’ button on the editor menu. You can close the settings column by clicking on the gear or gear icon at the top.
The WordPress Desktop application also allows you to easily manage comments on your site. You can reply to comments as well as approve or delete comments while waiting for moderation.
The theme section in the application also allows you to manage themes such as viewing a list of installed themes, installing a new WordPress theme, and update WordPress themes without ever leaving the desktop WordPress app.
However, you cannot customize your theme within the application. If you click on theme customizer, it will open a customizer window on your WordPress site in a new browser tab.
The plugins section allows you to install, upload, and activate plugins directly from the application.
The app will also notify you of plugins updates or updates, and you can update them directly from the app. You are also given the option to enable automatic plugin updates.
Now, let’s take a look at the Sharing section.
Here you can link the JetPack plugin to popular social media sites and automatically share new posts on social media.
If you want to add new authors and users to WordPress, you can do so directly from the ‘People’ section of the app. In this section you will see all registered users on your site and users who follow your blog using the JetPack Follower feature.
You can click the “Add” button to invite a new user and click on an existing user account to view details and delete the account if needed.
The Settings section within the app allows you to manage WordPress settings from the app. Some of these settings are specific to app plugins and JetPack while others are WordPress settings that you usually manage in the admin area via a browser.
With the desktop WordPress application, you can also manage multiple WordPress sites at once, you can add them to the application and manage them from the same dashboard. With the condition that every new website that you add to the desktop application must have the JetPack plugin installed and connected to the same WordPress.com account that you are using in your application. After that you can simply click on the “add new site” button in the lower right corner of the app to add it.
And that’s my complete explanation of how to use the WordPress Desktop application for a self-hosted WordPress site. Hopefully this article was helpful and useful for you. Good luck 🙂