A First Test of SteemPress; Thoughts on Combining WordPress and Steem

in blogging •  15 days ago

So, as you may have guessed from the title, this is my first test of the SteemPress plugin for WordPress.

 
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SteemPress header from the WordPress plugin page

 

Why SteemPress?

Earlier today, SteemPress announced it was now the proud recipient of a nice hefty delegation with which to encourage its users! Never one to turn down the opportunity for an extra scrap of Steem Power, I decided to give it a try! Believe it or not, I'm not quite the scavenging vulture that comes across in that statement. Truth be told, I love trying out as many new implementations of the Steem blockchain as I can get my hands on, particular those that blend in with my normal creative endeavors. I'd been meaning to try out SteemPress for some time now, and let's just say today's article gave that little extra nudge. For those who are unsure what SteemPress is, and don't want to click the link above, here's a paste in of a quick description found there.
If you are not already familiar with SteemPress, it is a WordPress plugin co-founded by @howo and @fredrikaa that allows posts made on any WordPress blogs to be automatically converted and posted to the Steem blockchain. Beyond making it convenient to share content published on a website also to steemit.com without the need of added editing, we also provide many added features. These include post scheduling, SEO protection and much more. To download the plugin, or for more information, see the link below: https://wordpress.org/plugins/steempress/#description
So as you can see it's a pretty handy tool, and one with massive potential given the widespread use of the WordPress content management system across the web!  

Why WordPress?

Over the past several months I've been every so slowly rebuilding my "website empire." Admittedly, it was never that amazing in the past, but for a brief while I didn't have any sites up at all. Right now I have barely anything up, just a lot of placeholder work in progress. The last site iterations were built using Adobe Muse. Some time ago I decided to move away from it and favor WordPress based sites instead, as I had already begun to see the burgeoning Steem support and interaction that I knew wouldn't come to Adobe Muse widgets, and I'm all about that Steem! My decision was a fortunate one as not long after Adobe announced their intention to discontinue the Adobe Muse product, so I'd have been orphaned from my current site builder of choice in the coming months regardless.   So I'm back in the land of WordPress and enjoying it so far. One of the things I discovered was that many of the problems I had with WordPress in the past, and greatly disliked it for... were most likely not it's fault, but rather the result of poor hosting! I'd been using web host FatCow, and the server responsiveness, database errors, etc, were abysmal. Since I've set up on SiteGround instead, the interface is screaming fast and smooth and I've had no problems. I'm also excited that it again gives me access to the Comic Easel plugin, which is one of the most ubiquitous ways for webcomic artists to publish and organize their stories online.  

Why SteemPress and WordPress?

As I mentioned, I've been working to rebuild my personal websites. Doing that means I've started to copy over the writings that I posted directly to Steemit.com, reformat them, etc. Going forward, if I wanted to keep that dual approach it would mean the same. Write at one place or the other, copy over, reformat, etc. If I can write in one spot and publish to both effortlessly, that's a huge win. I see my personal site built on WordPress as a fully customizable Steemit page. What it takes many people a while to realize, is that Steem is not Steemit. Steem is so much more. Steemit is only one small website leveraging the Steem blockchain. With tools like SteemPress and the other project I'm massively excited about, Finally Comments, I could create a little Steem based world for myself and my few fans, without any of us ever having to leave my personal site. Of course I want to leave my site to meet all the other awesome folks on Steem, but nevertheless, the point stands. With WordPress and the few tools already existing, anyone can create a fully featured customizable Steem utilizing webpage.  

What's This Finally Comments You Speak Of?


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FinallyComments header from finallycomments.com

  Finally Comments is a project by @sambillingham that allows you to generate code to embed Steem based comments anywhere on the web, much like a Disqus or Facebook comments plugin. While it's usable now with some simple cut and paste, a WordPress plugin has already been announced as an in development priority. If you follow the link that I believe this SteemPress article will generate (remember, I'm testing it for the first time, wish me luck!) back to my personal site, you'll see after a couple minutes that I've set up a Finally Comments section below the blog post. So... not only have I cross posted my article to Steem, I've then brought back the best parts of Steem to my own site with site with just a few clicks. Users can vote, comment and interact in all the ways they would on Steemit direct from a personal site instead!
  Ok, enough for one night. I hope this test goes well. I'm anxious to see how this formats over to Steemit! I also hope I've inspired some of you with a little more knowledge on how easy it can be to Steem the Web! Please excuse the sorry state of any websites of mine you may stumble across right now. I promise I'll whip them into shape soon!  

-Bryan "the Imp" Imhoff



Posted from my blog with SteemPress : http://bryanimhoff.com/2018/06/05/a-first-test-of-steempress-thoughts-on-combining-wordpress-and-steem/
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Overall it worked pretty well! I edited a couple things - mainly it seems SteemPress duplicated the first image in the post and placed it at the very top, perhaps as some sort of "featured image", but the double up was just unnecessary. A few centerings of text didn't carry over, but for the most part it translated very well! Let me know what you all think!

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Thank you for trying out SteemPress and also leaving your thoughts! For any cases you may discover where the conversion does not work completely please get in touch with @howo on our Discord server or on steem.chat. We're always on the lookout for new corner-cases to address so that we improve our product :)

In the meantime, I hope editing whatever details we fail to convert is still a lower effort than copying, pasting and editing from scratch.

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Thanks for all your hard work! The minor edits were inconsequential and easy. After posting I saw in some of your older release notes about how featured images are auto added to the top of the post. I’d suggest that maybe being a toggle option in the future, as many WP themes utilize the featured image slot in ways that don’t show it directly in the post, leading to a repeated image. It was easy to alter and is just a very minor back burner tweak if possible!

Hey Bryan. Thanks for the continued support of Finally. Your use case in combination with SteemPress is one of the ways I imagine people using the project! Awesome to see this in action.

I'm still over here working on Finally, planning to have a new website up later today. My aim is to have the wordpress plugin work together with steempress in the future so there will be no manual copy/pasta and no delay between posting going live and comments being live. Still a lot of work to do but it's an exciting posbility.

Awesome. I was just about to start up a new project on Steemit but was lamenting the way content can so easily disappear without ever being seen. Was planning to have a complicated network of links between Steemit posts to create the illusion of a single navigable site, but instead I'll just make a new wordpress site on a subdomain. I'm glad you posted this when you did.

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I haven’t tested out if SteemPress is capable of pulling over a Comic Easel plugin generated post. That’ll be next up! But Finally Comments is a must! I think it’s best to have your individual comic posts on Steemit and then direct folks back to a personal site for the archives & better navigation. It’ll also give a second round of possible monetization if you use any banner ads or such.

Here’s an example of dropping the comments section from one of my pages into the page of a (horrifically unstyled) WordPress site.
http://seercomic.com/comic/round-one-page-19/

Glad the info got you thinking and a bit excited. Keep it up! I love Java!

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I'm trying out Steempress in my old blog right now. One thing I discovered is that if you have an old post that you want to up to Steemit, you can just change the status to Draft, then re-Publish it. Here's an old blog post I just re-upped (https://steemit.com/character/@sidekickmatt/strengthenyourcore-0h4ks7z7ts)

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I knew others had mentioned uploading their archives, but I hadn’t figured it out yet. Good tip! Pretty much all my stuff needs to go in reverse, from Steem back to my WP site!

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NOTE This is semi-important. When you set up the Steempress plug-in you also set the default tags for your post when it gets sent to steemit, but when I hit the publish button it actually was posted on steemit using the tags that were assigned to the post in wordpress rather than the steempress defaults. This is important since you can't change the first tag later. Pretty sure this is a feature not a bug, since the tags on the individual post should take precedence over the defaults, but as it happens since this was an old blog post I had forgotten that there even were tags. Just a reminder to make sure your tags are in order before hitting publish.

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Thanks! I noticed that too. I believe there is a checkbox option to have those default tags take precedence if you want, but I’m away from my computer & will have to double check.
I just recall I’d left SteemPress as a default tag, unchecked the box, thinking it would still append it as tag #5 if I only used 4 tags, but it completely overwrote it with the post tags instead. I just added it with an edit.
Important pointer you make in regards to the first tag not being alterable!

Wow is very interesting indeed would help enough to increase my SP in addition to my post! Thanks for the information so useful

Thanks for sharing this information, just last night in one of Discord's chat rooms they were talking about SteemPress, but I really did not understand much, they only talked about a vote of more than 5 sbd if you used the tool, now thanks to your publication I am already clear the usefulness of this new tool.

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You’re welcome, glad it helped you visualize the tool! More than 30% of all websites in the world use WordPress! So projects like this and Finally Comments could be huge in spreading Steem to millions more people.

Each part of this deal need the other.
This will be the greatest partenership ever.
Thanks sharing this.