How It Works

Mailbag: Hugo from iPads

Yes, you can totally post to a Hugo managed site via your iPad. You just need to git a little help.

So I’ve done the whole Hugo thing and it’s great and it totally works for me. That 1% itch left from Jekyll is gone. So queue the inevitable…

But what about mobile posting?!

Why on earth the planet is obsessed with posting everything from their phone, I don’t know. Things like Instagram and Twitter make it easy for us to ‘communicate’ (and I use that loosely) and post photos of our lunch. And yes, the iOS app for the iPhone means I can ‘live blog’ but, to be honest, I hate it on my iPhone.

My iPad though… I love posting from that.

And yes, yes I can post to my Hugo run site from my iPhone or iPad. Remember, I can push my new content by running a git push command. The server will build, sync, and clean up on its own. All I need to do it is a Git app on my iPad that doesn’t suck

Working Copy does not suck.

It’s an iOS app that pulls my git repository to my iPad (the whole thing, so make sure you have room). Then I can edit files, commit them, and push. Hugo on the server does the rest, just like it would from my desktop.

Working Copy is different from many other Git related apps because can hook into any git repository. I’m not using GitHub for this project. I want to do 100% self hosting, and that means no GitHub. Also no BitBucket. These tools are fine for what they are, and in fact I pay GitHub for some private repos. But I wanted my repo on my server, in part so I could do exactly what I’m doing.

The tool is incredibly simple. It’s a familiar file navigator, tap through the folders. Tap edit to edit, make changes to the post, hit done. There’s even a preview feature that mostly works. Some of my Markdown files are very weird.

If I wanted to edit in Byword, which is what I do most of my writing in for non-novel related things, I can share and go back and forth. I’d love it if the WordPress iOS app (or Calypso) did that. Write in Byword, send to other app. But even a copy/paste is simple enough. In this case, I can write in Byword and share to Working Copy. The interface takes the title of my document and let’s me pick the folder.

Once I’m done with my edits, I commit my changes. Then I can push, or not. There’s an option to commit+push, but it crashed my app. A skim of reviews showed this happened to others. The iOS interface can be a bit tetchy so having this be two steps doesn’t bother me.

I did find it odd that there was no button to push. I had to go back to the main folder, swipe-left, and press the orange push button. But that, and the weird crash, were it for annoyances.

While free to download, it’s $9.99 for unlimited deployments. It was free for 3 weeks, which I tried out over WordCamp US and found simple and perfect for my workflow.