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WordPress gets a Mac app alongside completely rebuilt, open-source


Today online publishing platform WordPress, which powers approximately 25% of websites on the Internet (this site included), is getting a major redesign with a completely rebuilt and the introduction of a new Mac app. We’ve been getting a taste of the improvements incrementally over the last year, but today is the company’s official launch.

I’ve been using the app for a few days leading up to the launch and, for what it is, I quite enjoyed the experience, which essentially mirrors what you get from the new My enthusiasm, however, is keeping in mind that the app essentially feels like the web app in a wrapper, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing once you see how the web app experience has improved with the revamp.

animation-128-noditherBoth the new and Mac app can be used for publishing to sites hosted by WordPress, self-hosted blogs using the open-source WordPress platform, and WordPress VIP customers (like us).

The company gave us some background on the rebuilt and Mac app experience, which is also going open-source today with the launch, noting that the redesign “shifts from being primarily PHP-driven to primarily JavaScript- and API-driven”:

These products were all powered by a project internally codenamed Calypso, and Automattic is now releasing the code open source on GitHub under the GPL v2 license. More than 140 people worked for the past 18 months on Calypso, which shifts from being primarily PHP-driven to primarily JavaScript- and API-driven.

WordPress has more on specifics of the behind-the-scenes changes for developers and open-source contributors on its website here.

And here’s a closer look at the Mac app in action:

You get a similar publishing experience to what you’d get on the web through, which is overall a vastly improved experience if you’re coming from using the latest release of WordPress on your self-hosted blog. The interface itself is a cleaner version of what WordPress has been slowly rolling out on the web in recent months, with access to all of WordPress’s main publishing and sharing features, a Reader mode for distraction free viewing, site stats, notifications, and settings. WordPress notes that users can use the Jetpack plugin to sync their site with the Mac app.

And while I was hoping to see more of a full-fledged Mac app than a mirror of the web app, it’s definitely the fastest and most streamlined WordPress experience so far. You’ll still get the benefit of using the app without a browser (although some features pull you out to a browser, for example, to view your website homepage or admin panel), and that means OS X features like full-screen app mode, system notification badges on the app’s icon in your dock, and navigating the app with OS X key commands, but that’s about it.

But you might not find everything you’re used to exactly like it is on the latest release of WordPress you have installed. Some features aren’t accessible yet like configuring and managing plug-ins. You can download the WordPress for Mac app now (direct link).

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  1. PhilBoogie - 7 years ago


  2. Mimus Polyglottos - 7 years ago

    Just to clarify, it looks like this app and the admin overhaul are only for sites hosted at, right? Not a WordPress site (using the standard download from that’s hosted elsewhere.

    • jasonbraun215 - 7 years ago

      Sure, but you should be using Jetpack, it will add this functionality to self-hosted sites, and they will show up in your dashboard – I have all my sites that way so I can see them all at the same time and do maintenance – just like it does now.

  3. - 7 years ago

    What’s the point of this when you can just log in to the Admin Dashboard anyway?

    • Bob Ralian - 7 years ago

      The app gives you notifications that tie into your system, it caches some of your account data for faster loading, and gives the opportunity for better offline support (though that’s not realized yet). But you can certainly use the web dashboard instead.

  4. gkbrown - 7 years ago

    Until they offer an actual native app (ideally with Markdown support), I’ll pass. I don’t like “hybrid” apps.

    • GJ K Nilsen (@GJNilsen) - 7 years ago

      Exactly. They dont nail the proper user experience. It takes the worst from the web, and mate it with.. hmm.. nothing good at least. The (cr)app does not even work properly with self hosted sites, they have to be managed with Jetpack. By the way, its just Calypso with a new name.

  5. donnie86dc - 7 years ago

    Just for information… the app is not on the App Store. When will it be released?

    • PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

      The link to the .dmg is in the article.

      • donnie86dc - 7 years ago

        Oh, I see only now. I went through the entire text by I did not notice the link!
        Sorry for my bad English, congrats for your blog and thank you for your help.


  6. KhanzaDa Asmar Khan - 7 years ago

    Soon desktop application is going to be available for Windows and Linux as well.???

  7. freerange5 - 7 years ago

    So 9to5Mac, why do your u keep such a ridiculously large banner at the top of your site? Just make it disappear as soon as you start scrolling! Please fix as you are robbing us of valuable screen space!

    • freerange5 - 7 years ago

      Further clarification – in the above comment I was referring to the mobile experience on an iPhone – your header takes up an absolutely ridiculous amount of room on mobile devices. Please fix it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. jimamsden - 7 years ago

    No spell check! No image paste and management! Seems like this app has a ways to go to make it easier and faster to develop blog posts.

  9. zant7 - 7 years ago

    I’d like to ask how much is the price to host via wordpess, and what about ads


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.