Ulysses meets WordPress

A while ago I wrote a post about why I write in Markdown and I mentioned the app Ulysses for Mac, iPad and iPhone.

In that article, I said that it was not worth for me to purchase it because it was expensive. After all, I simply write on my blog, and paying 44.99 € for it was too much.

Well, today I changed my mind.

Why I Purchased Ulysses

On the 3rd August 2016, Ulysses has been updated to the version 2.6 which introduces some cool features.

The best of them, and the one that made me change my mind and purchase it, is the integration with WordPress.

Ulysses supported Medium already, but not WordPress yet. With the 2.6 they added the complete support for WordPress. Not only you can write your posts directly from Ulysses, like I’m doing now, and publish it on your self-hosted WordPress blog or on WordPress.com, you can also add the featured image, categories and tags!

I think it’s amazing, and I wanted to test it. If you think it’s cool, you should download their demo and try it out.

Set Up Ulysses for WordPress

Once you installed Ulysses, go to Ulysses > Preferences > Accounts and click Add Account….

Choose WordPress.com from the dropdown if you want to connect it to your WordPress.com blog, or Custom WordPress if you want to use your self-hosted WordPress blog.

After that, complete the form with your site information, URL, username and password:

And click on Log In. Once you log in, you will see your blog in the list on the left (you can connect multiple blogs), and your data the right:

Now you are ready to publish directly from Ulysses.

Publish Your First Post from Ulysses

Open the Markdown editor and create a new post. Once you are ready to publish, click on the post with the right mouse button and then choose Quick Export….

You will see a modal box, on the top left there’s a dropdown. Click on it and choose Publishing:

Choose the blog where you want to publish it and click Publish…. It won’t publish it immediately, so do not worry.

From the new screen, you can edit the data of your post. Click on Show Details on the bottom left to change the title, choose the categories and tags, add a featured image, and more.

When you are ready to publish the post, click on Publish and you will be redirected to your WordPress site to read the article again!

Easy, no?

One cool thing to note is that if you add images to your post in Ulysses, they will be automagically uploaded in your site as well!

Not Everything Is Perfect Though

Yeah, that’s right, not everything is perfect, yet.

One of the things that I didn’t like is that I’m not able to use shortcodes properly because Ulysses thinks that I want to create a link, because the link in Markdown is created with [Title](http://url.com), so as soon as I start typing a [ it triggers the link edit mode and breaks my shortcode.

Maybe there’s an option to remove it, I don’t know yet, but if I found something I’ll make sure to update this post!

Also, you can’t update posts as far as I know. If you try to publish it again, it will create a new post instead of updating the existing one. Am I missing something?

Another thing that is missing is the integration with plugins. I know I’m asking a lot, but I hope that the developers will consider to support at least the most popular plugins used by bloggers, like Yoast SEO.

One last thing, not really a bad point, it uses XML-RPC to publish to your site. If you disabled it for any reasons, it won’t work.

I’ll Keep Using It

In the end, I like this new feature and I think that I’ll keep using Ulysses to write on my blog, even if I’ll still need to go to the Dashboard to finalize the post before to publish it.

Happy blogging!

Updates from Ulysses’ Support Team

I wrote to their support asking for help with the issues mentioned above. I have to say that they were quite fast and helpful in replying! Kudos to their support team.

  1. Regarding shortcodes, you can avoid creating links by putting a backslash in front of the first square bracket. So if you want to use a shortcode just write it like this: \[shortcode]Your content\[/shortcode].
  2. There was a problem with the <!--more--> tag because Ulysses converts the double dashes in smart dashes. To avoid this, you can use raw source tags when writing the article. So wrap your More tag in tildes, like this: ~<!--more-->~ or disable the Smart Dashes in Edit > Substitutions.
  3. Updating post is a confirmed issue. At the moment there’s no way to do it. They added this in their feature requests list, but there’s no ETA yet on when it will be implemented.

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3 responses to “Ulysses meets WordPress”

  1. Thank you for posting your experience. I’d had these exact same issues with Ulysses and ultimately concluded it’s just not quite there with the WordPress integration. Your update with the response from the support team was useful. The Desktop WordPress app and the Google Docs to WordPress will be my go-to until Ulysses supports ‘update published post’ ability.

  2. I’m loving the WordPress integration at all, but occasionally run in to problems submitting my posts, which I think may be related to Yoast as well.

    You said that you have an issue with the plugin – does it result in Ulysses sometimes throwing an error when you try to publish to WordPress? For me this happens quite regularly.

    1. Hey Jayphen,
      Not really. My posts get published properly! I’d suggest you to contact their support, they are very responsive!

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