For those of us who used to post to LiveJournal back in the day, a client called Semagic provided the perfect non-cluttered and accessible interface. Well, it turns out that you can also use Semagic to post to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Since the question came up again yesterday, I decided to do a little research and put together this tutorial. There are some caveats, and I’ll detail those below along with instructions for configuring the client. But overall, I think this will help those who loved this client and would like a simplified, accessible way to post to WordPress.
First, the caveats
In order to use Semagic, you’re going to have to use XMLRPC. This has risks, and you definitely need to make sure you’re staying on top of WordPress updates. You have the ability to post via SSL, so if your blog is behind an SSL cert, you’ll need to take that into account. Next, the latest version of Semagic you can get is 7.9.9, which works on Windows 7, XP and 2K. It may work under windows 8, but I can’t be certain of that. Try it, but if it breaks, you keep both pieces.
No Fetching For You
Semagic will not fetch your WordPress categories on the fly. This is because XMLRPC only supports posting, and not getting. The simplest way around this is to create a category for your Semagic posts and make it the default category. Then, log into WordPress and edit the category and tags for the post and update. While we’re on the subject of fetching, Semagic will also not allow you to fetch your draft posts.
No Post Formats For You
Finally, Semagic does not support WordPress’s Post Formats feature, which is one that I’m a fan of and use extensively on my personal blog. But if you’re not using Post Formats, (by “not using,” I mean your theme does not have support for them), using Semagic is a quick and dirty way to get posts up.
Now that we’re done with all that, time for the fun.
First, you’ll need to download Semagic if you don’t already have the latest version.Once it’s downloaded, install it. Optionally, you can install other spell check dictionaries than English or Russian, so if you need to spell check in another language, get the dictionaries you need.
When you first run Semagic, you’ll get a login prompt. Go ahead and enter your WordPress username and password, but don’t log in yet. After you enter your information, press alt and then arrow down until you find “server settings.” Press enter on that. In the API box, choose “metaweblog API.” Then, enter your website’s address exactly as it appears. If it includes the www, enter that along with the domain name. If it doesn’t, don’t enter www. In either case, don’t enter the http or https.
Next, you need to set a path. Your path will be something like example.com/xmlrpc.php. If your blog is installed in a subdirectory, it will be /directory/xmlrpc.php (where directory is the name of the directory your blog is installed in).
If you haven’t already done so, make sure your username and password is correct. You’ll see these fields while editing your server settings. Then press OK, and you’ll be brought back to the login screen. Tab until you get to the login button and press that. If you want Semagic to automatically log in to your WordPress site, go ahead and check that box.
Uploading Pictures to your WordPress Media Library
To upload pictures you’ve inserted in your posts to your WordPress media library, while in the Semagic main screen, press alt and navigate to the “pictures” sub menu. Within that sub menu, choose “select server.” A new dialog will open, and in that dialog, choose “meta weblog API.” Then, press OK. This will allow Semagic to upload your pictures from your post to your WordPress Media Library, and then insert them appropriately in your post.
Semagic is not the most elegant way to add content to a WordPress blog. It does, however, provide an uncluttered interface, and will save you from having to use the built-in WordPress editor. I find the post editor easy to use, but that’s because I’ve been eating, sleeping and drinking WordPress for the last ten years. Some, however, find the editor a little too much to handle. If you’re one of those people, using Semagic to post to your WordPress blog might be a solution.
Have fun, and happy posting.