Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Use Google Docs to Publish to WordPress

I never really liked the UI provided by WordPress to enter blog posts. Version 2 added an HTML editor, but there is still no auto-save and no way to insert an image in one-step*.

So I set myself to try Google Docs as a blogging tool. Under the publish tab, you will find a Post to blog button. The first time you use it, you will be asked to enter some straightforward information about your blog. You will need to select what API you want to use (Blogger, MetaWeblog, or MovableType). WordPress supports all these API, and the UI suggests MovableType as the most feature-rich. So at first, this is the one I selected. If you do the same and then notice that titles are not getting through, just switch MetaWeblog. I have seen other people report the same issue; using the MetaWeblog API just seems to do the trick.

After you post to your blog from Google Docs, the post will show right away as published in the WordPress administration UI, but it won't show up until a few hours later on your blog. Others have seen the same problem, and some are saying this is related to an issue with timezones.

This is real the only issue I encountered when using Google Docs to publish to WordPress. Some will even consider this a feature: "after you sent a post you still have a few hours to fix any issue with the blog before it becomes visible to the world; isn't that great?!"

* While editing a post, I would like to be able to quickly add an image that I have on my hard drive. This should be a one-step operation: select the picture and you are done, instead of upload the picture somewhere, and then insert the picture by URL.