Posting to WordPress from Drafts 5

The simpler a process the better; the fewer components involved the less there is to go wrong. If it’s self contained there are no relied upon third party services to disappear.

I love using Ulysses because it posts directly to WordPress and, as much as I love Drafts, having to rely on Workflow to get text to the blog is always a little frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, it works perfectly and the power of Workflow is amazing. Still, there is always the possibility of it going away since Apple’s acquisition.

Drafts 5 (currently in beta) will bring so much power of its own with advanced scripting support and I’m excited for where it will let us go. If that includes direct posting to the blog then even better.

So I started looking at what was possible and whether I could get an action working that allowed me to post straight from Drafts without relying on anything else.

The good news is I did it! I created something that did exactly what I wanted. The bad news, however, is that it’s not exactly a viable solution due to security when not used over https.

Here’s how

I’m not familiar with OAuth, tokens and all that so authentication was the first issue. The WordPress REST API seemed like a good place to start as it supports basic authentication as well as OAuth but it needs to be enabled.

Fortunately, there is a plugin which can do this for us: Basic Authentication handler.

Once installed and activated the plugin allows basic authentication by sending a base64 encoded version of your WordPress username and password. As this can be easily intercepted and decoded it should never be used over a non-secure connection. I would also recommend using a non-admin account.

Using the Postman app to send some tests to the API is a good way to test; it lets you see the raw queries and results so is an easy way to see the base64 encoded string needed to authenticate.

The API request header will therefore be as below:

"headers": {
  'Authorization': 'Basic QWxhZGRpbjpvcGVuIHNlc2FtZQ='

(That is, of course, just an example base64 string.)

The root point of the API is http(s)://site.address/wp-json but we want to work with posts so the endpoint for our request becomes: http(s)://site.address/wp-json/wp/v2/posts.

Then we need to define the actual request itself and the post data we will be passing. Creating the request is as follows:

var http = HTTP.create();
var response = http.request({
  "url": endpoint,
  "method": "POST",
  "encoding": "form",

so we just require the post data itself. We could just send the post title and content meaning the post would be created in accordance with the site defaults but we can send more arguments as part of the request to have greater control such as post status, format, comment status, etc. The full list of arguments and their possible values can be found in the API reference documentation.

Here’s an example:

"data": {
  "title": draft.title,
  "content": draft.content,
  "status": "draft",
  "format": "status",
  "comment_status": "open"

Once it’s all put together posting to WordPress is easy and doesn’t require any other apps or third party services.

If you are running the Drafts 5 beta you can import the action template to post a status (with no title) by tapping this link on the device where Drafts 5 is installed.

If you were to be posting a full post with a title you would need to add something like the following to separate the title from the full content of the draft and then change the content data to the new variable:  

var post_body = draft.content.replace("# "+draft.title, "");

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# Not sure if this is just broken or a comment on the current state of man ?

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog