There are a number of options available to publish articles to your blog outside of your WordPress Write panel such as through XML-RPC via a third party blogging client or through an application such as the one available for the iPhone. However, did you know that you can also publish posts through email? It’s true! The feature has been around for quite some time. For how long I’m not sure because I was unable to track down when it became a core feature but it looks like it has been around since 1.5 or below.
For directions on how to use this unique feature, I recommend reading this comprehensive article on the Codex entitled Blog By Email. Posting by email in WordPress is limited to pretty much text only. Common HTML tags are stripped and attachments that are sent with the email will appear in their raw form in the blog post. You also can’t specify the category for which the blog post will be filed under at the time of creation as you are limited to just a default category for all email posts.
I wasn’t sure if anyone actually used this feature so when I asked my followers on Twitter if they “Have or know someone who has published a post via email in WordPress?” I was surprised to see many people say yes. There use for the feature varied but people do in fact use it.
On the WordPress hackers mailing list a few days ago, it was suggested that photo attachment support should be added to the blog by email feature. As someone in the thread replied, this type of additional support would be killer for photobloggers. As it stands, there is actually a service available to bloggers called Posterous which supports the ability to attach just about anything to a post. Last but not least, there is a bug report in the WordPress Trac that still needs a patch in order for images and attachments to be shown inline within the blog post.
With all of that in mind, my questions to you, the WordPress community are these:
- Do you or have you used the blog by email functionality in WordPress?
- Would you like to see that feature enhanced? For instance, support the ability to determine a category on the fly, attach more than just images, etc.
- Should the feature be left alone and those looking for this functionality use something like Posterous?
I’m pretty curious as to how some of you have used this feature as well as the demand for building upon this functionality.