As I mentioned last week, I’m trying to make my iPad Air 2 actually useful in my life. Currently, it’s a rarely used content portal despite being almost as powerful as my MacBook Pro and having a fantastic app ecosystem.
Plenty of folks have talked about the beauty of being able to code on an iPad – there’s apps like Coda and Textastic that have been germinating for years in the App Store – but there’s so much more to web & software development than just writing code. You need a local development environment. You need to be able to manage changes to your code via Git or Subversion. You need to be able to show people real changes before pushing those changes to your live site or app. You need to be able to read and manipulate data. There’s plenty more I can’t even think of, since – hey now – I’m not actually a full-time developer.
That said, I manage a few sites built in self-hosted Wordpress, one of which is this site. I got tired of having to find and fix bugs with the old theme, so I wanted to see if I could simply change a theme and hack it to my liking, all via my iPad.
Why is this not so intuitive to the untrained eye?
Wordpress has an amazing theme directory of its own, which allows for direct installs to your website; plus there are thousands of premium theme repositories across the Internet which package beautiful themes in nice .zip packages, which can be extracted easily within your hosting environment for use. I’ve been doing this for years and it’s second nature at this point to launch a Wordpress site and tinker with countless themes. However, this is a bit harder to do on iOS:
- Wordpress’ iOS app has no awareness of its own theme directory;
- There’s no true in-house file management solution in iOS;
- iOS’ handling of .zip files in itself is murky at best;
- There’s no obvious way to set up a local environment of your Wordpress site on iOS to tinker with the theme before pushing it live
So, how should we deal with this?Read More