A Complete Guide to WordPress’ “Press This” Feature – WPMU DEV

Press This is a content sharing tool packaged with WordPress that makes it easy for you to clip text, images and videos from other websites and publish them on your blog.

As part of the WordPress 4.2 update, the Press This feature received a complete overhaul. It now enables users to easily and quickly share content through not only your desktops, but also on mobile devices.

In this Weekend WordPress Project we’re going to explore Press This in detail, have a look at the most recent changes, and explain how to install the feature on your devices.

Introducing Press This

Press This makes it fast and easy to share the content your readers will may find interesting to read. For example, you could share:

  • A quote from another blog – great for commentary pieces
  • A link to a related blog post
  • An image with a link back to its source (from Flickr, for example – but be aware of copyright laws)
  • Videos from YouTube or Vimeo
  • Tweets from Twitter
  • Pictures from Instagram

Essentially, if there is some piece of content you want to share with your readers, Press This will probably be able to share it for you. Press This even supplies the credits to whatever content you are linking to, giving you one less thing for you to worry about.

Copyright Concerns

Now that eyes have turned back to the Press This feature, concerns have arisenabout the ease with which you could commit copyright infringement, i.e. stealing other people’s stuff and passing it off as your own.

One of the project’s main contributors, Stephane Daury, replied to the comments in the article linked to above, explaining to what extent Press This is responsible for the material it scrapes:

“We also (now) make a greater effort to use values the sites have clearly defined and specified as being what they want their articles and content to be represented as when shared elsewhere, by detecting Open Graph and Twitter Cards tags, etc. This includes representations for thumbnails, embeds, etc.”

The same old advice applies: Always be vigilant when sharing someone else’s content on your site.

Improvements in Version 4.2

There were two main issues that people faced when using the old Press This feature:

  1. It was nearly impossible to use on a tablet or mobile; and
  2. Extremely fiddly to add as a bookmark, resulting in a lot of switching back and forth between pages.

Several updates were made to Press This in WordPress 4.2, most of them designed to make the tool faster, mobile-friendly and easier to use:

  • A simplified user interface
  • Improved speed
  • Responsive design
  • Mobile installation

If you’ve been wanting a simple, easy way to share content quickly, either from your desktop or from your phone to your site, this version of Press This now gives you that option.

Setting Up Press This

You can set up Press This on your desktop as well as on your mobile device. Let’s take a look at each option:

From Your Desktop

This is very easy, and can be achieved through three simple steps:

  1. Access Press This in the backend of your WordPress site by going to Tools > Available Tools.
  2. Drag the Press This bookmarklet to the bookmarks bar of your browser.
  3. When you are on a website and you want to share the content on your blog, clickPress This, and the content will display in the Press This editor.
Adding Press This to your WordPress site.
Adding Press This to your WordPress site.

As you can see in the above image,  I first highlighted the text I wanted to share in my post. I then clicked Press This in my bookmarks bar, and Press This pulled in the highlighted text and formatted it as a block quote in a new post window. It also pulled the source attribution. Too easy!

You also have the option to add your own commentary, add categories and tags, and publish it directly from Press This. If you click Save as Draft, you can open it in the WordPress editor later on — a good option when you want to add more formatting or assign a featured image, for example.

Bear in mind that the Press This bookmarklet is specific to the blog from which you installed it. Meaning that if you run a few blogs you will need a bookmark for each different blog.

From Your Mobile Device

From your device, access your WP dashboard and go to Tools > Available Tools. Click Open Press This.

The Press This interface will open. Add it to your browser’s bookmarks or add a shortcut to your device’s home screen.

When you find content you want to share, it’s just a few simple steps to get that material to your readers:

  1. Copy the URL
  2. Open Press This
  3. Paste the link into the URL field
  4. Press Scan.