Good news Hootsuite users, you can now connect Hootsuite to your self hosted WordPress blog via the Hootsuite WordPress.org application written by Quinn Sakunaga. This application allows you to enter your credentials and connect to your WordPress blog using the XML-RPC protocol (the same way Live Writer does).
From the Hootsuite application you can now see all of your blog posts, comments and even reply to comments on your self hosted WordPress blog from within Hootsuite.
Create new blog posts that publish directly to your WordPress blog from Hootsuite, and you have the ability to even add media.
This is all good news for those of you who use Hootsuite to constantly manage your social media conversations but you may want to consider whether this option will really work for bloggers who run self hosted WordPress blogs.
If you run a plain vanilla self hosted WordPress blog and are not using any custom commenting plugins, or requiring featured images this may be a simple way to write quick posts and conversations on your blog and publish them. However if you run CommentLuv, Disqus, LiveFyre, Facebook Commenting or any augmented commenting system for your WordPress blog then Hootsuite will not be able to handle it and your responses will just be plain vanilla WordPress database comments and responses. I use Disqus so it is completely impossible to use Hootsuite to help manage conversations on my blog. Now if Hootsuite has a Disqus integration directly it would solve this problem. I did notice in the Hootsuite feedback forum that they are working on this app integration.
I found that when using the Hootsuite Application to connect to your WordPress blog it took some time to load each time you try to write a post, this is because it has to query your blog the moment you click “Write Post” it loads the categories and tag information. This tends to be the case with my blog however as sometimes it can take 10 seconds or so for Live Writer to upload posts.
Hootsuite WordPress App Improvements Needed
- Selecting Categories
Table out the categories, there is no reason to leave them displaying in one long column. If you have dozens of categories you have to scroll quite a bit just to get to tags and schedule/publish.
- No Schedule Support
With Hootsuite being able to schedule tweets you would expect that you would be able to set a schedule or date/time for the WordPress post to publish. Instead you are limited to save as draft or publish.
- No Featured Image Support
Even Live Writer doesn’t know how to tell WordPress to set an image to be the Featured Image, it would be nice if one of the XML-RPC based applications could allow you to set the featured image without having to edit your post in the WordPress Dashboard.
- Commenting Management Not Practical
If you are using an external commenting system like Livefyre, Disqus or Facebook comments for your blog then the WordPress.org app integration into Hootsuite is useless as you can only retrieve and respond to blog comments that are directly in your WordPress database. This also means you will see every SPAM comment that is still currently held for spam by Akismet or GASP as well, so unless you are constantly cleaning out your spam bucket the responding to comments is really not an ideal option. You also don’t get the CommentLuv support for your backlink either.
Again, unless you use Vanilla WordPress with no commenting plugins or changes, you don’t want to use Hootsuite to manage your WordPress comment replies.
It is a cool step and Hootsuite continues to provide integrations to many other platforms via app integration, the WordPress.org application is just one extra way to help connect Hootsuite to another platform. As mentioned it is a boon only if you run pretty vanilla WordPress blogs however, and you don’t really use any customized plugins for commenting or require featured images to be set on the homepage or else you still have to save all your posts as drafts and then set featured image later. Likewise if you use WordPress SEO or All in One SEO pack or any other plugin that requires you to configure more options in your posts then this hardly saves you much time compared to just writing the post in your WordPress dashboard.
WordPress.org Hootsuite App is a step in the right direction but still needs additional features to be a time saver for most bloggers in my opinion.