Backed by the latest web technologies, this interface is still quite new to many WordPress users although it has already been adopted or tried by some people who’d like to explore new functionality. To help more readers decide whether to have a try, we’d like to present the pros of cons of Calypso, and then show how to use it.
Pros and Cons of Using Calypso
Calypso is currently available in the form of a standalone desktop app instead of a standard update of the WordPress core. The interface is built with some great features that are quite beneficial for WordPress users, especially those managing multiple sites at the same time. Below are the key features.
- Being open source – Calypso comes with an open source license so you don’t need to worry about the license or usage cost.
- Multi-site support – The management of multiple WordPress sites in a single interface is a highlight. You can even manage all your WordPress.com sites and self-hosted WordPress sites together.
- Website stats – Calypso makes it easy to view the statistics of all your WordPress sites, such as the visitors, search terms, page views, etc.
- Responsive design – With Calypso, you can manage your WordPress sites in a simple interface from any device.
With these features, it should be more convenient and efficient for you to manage content with Calypso. However, as the interface is still on its early stage, it can only be used to run WordPress.com sites and Jetpack-enabled self-hosted sites. This means if you want to connect your self-hosted sites with Calypso, you must enable the Jetpack plugin on your site.
Having discussed the upsides and downsides of using Calypso, we now would like to show the steps of getting started with it. Note that we will only take the self-hosted WordPress sites as an example, since adding and managing WordPress.com sites is super easy. Besides, self-hosted sites are more favored by techies.
Use Calypso to Manage WordPress Sites
Before you can start with Calypso, there are three things that you have to complete, which are listed in below.
- Install the Calypso desktop app – You can just go to this official page and download the app by clicking on the download button.
- Install Jetpack plugin on all the sites that you want to add to Calypso – Here is the complete WordPress plugin installation guide that you may need.
- Open a free WordPress.com account which the Jetpack plugin relies on.
Connect your WordPress sites to Calypso desktop app
After completing all the tasks mentioned above, find the “Jetpack” menu item in your WordPress dashboard, and then click on the “Connect Jetpack” button. If you haven’t already created a WordPress.com account, you can also create one now.
After logging into your account, you will be asked to approve Jetpack to connect your site with the account. Just click “Approve”.
After the authorization succeeds, open the Calypso desktop app, and sign in your WordPress.com account that is associated with your WordPress site.
When you are logged in, open the “My Sites” tab, and you will see your WordPress site is listed there with some menus like stats, publish settings, personalization options, etc.
Now you have added a site to Calypso successfully. You can then follow the same steps to add more sites to the interface. To view all your sites or to switch from one site to another, click on “Switch Site”, and you will get a list.
Manage your sites in Calypso
Calypso provides many features for managing WordPress sites, so you can complete almost all the basic tasks there. Below are some.
- Add new drafts, view the existing drafts and publish posts/pages.
- Change the theme, or customize the current theme as you can do in the admin area of your WordPress site.
- Create and customize menus.
- View your users, edit the user role and other information, delete users, and add new users.
- View, add, activate, deactivate and update plugins. You can also enable or disable auto-updates for any plugin.
- Connect your site with popular social networks like Facebook, G+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for easy post sharing.
- Configure the website settings. The configuration options are almost same as the default WordPress dashboard.
All the features are presented in a straightforward way, so you can easily manage your site as long as you are familiar with WordPress.
For example, Calypso provides a simple post editor which also comes with a visual editor and an HTML editor, so you can still choose the one you like.
After editing the post, you can choose a category and tag for it, set the featured image, customize the permalink, write an excerpt, configure the comment settings, allow pingbacks, and even select the social networks that you would like to share the post. Depending on your plan, you may also want to select a specific user as the author of the post. Calypso makes all these things easy-to-handle.
In short, Calypso is quite a good helper for those who want a simpler way to manage one or more WordPress sites.