Can you run a website from an iPad Pro?

Can you run a website and a YouTube channel from an iPad Pro? Yes. Just.

Back when I first started travelling, the iPad2 was the top of the range gadget to have. Whilst it was good enough for writing trip reports, social media and web browsing, anything more was a bit of a push. Even publishing trip reports to wasn’t possible.

iPad 2
I still have the iPad2 – although it’s almost unusable.

In late 2013 I upgraded to the latest iPad Air. Whilst it was a little more capable than my previous iPad 2, any sort of creativity was still limited.

Therefore in 2014, I ditched the iPad completely and went for a MacBook Air. Being a full blown computer, I could do virtually anything I wanted with it. Trip reports, editing photos, making YouTube videos were all possible. It was also handy for loading movies and TV series on to for watching on flights. The 128GB hard drive was far superior to the 16GB offered on the iPad.

End of the Road for the iPad

As such, my iPad was rendered more or less obsolete, and I traded it in for the latest iPhone not too long later.

At the end of 2016, I upgraded the MacBook Air to the 12 inch MacBook. This was the perfect laptop for travelling in my opinion. Light, small and compact, it could easily fit into even the smallest of bags. Admittedly it did struggle with processing 4K videos in iMovie, but it was possible. The retina screen was also a big upgrade over the MacBook Air too. It was pretty much perfect for my needs.

In the meantime, a number of iPad’s were released, but I didn’t pay all that much attention to them. I didn’t need to really.

Back to the Tablet Life

By pure chance, in late 2018 I was given an unwanted iPad 5. I wouldn’t have gone out and bought it, but as it was a freebie I figured I’d take a look at what it could do. I figured the best way to test it out was to leave the MacBook at home and go with just the iPad on a trip. One thing that stood out to me was the fact you could download TV Shows and Movies from Netflix and Amazon Prime to the iPad. This wasn’t possible with MacOS.

By this point, I wasn’t publishing written trip reports. The YouTube videos could wait until I got back. And the added portability of the iPad was something that I had totally overlooked. Therefore, for the shorter trips it was the tablet all the way. For the longer trips, the MacBook still went in the bag, but it was only used in the hotel once I’d reached my destination.

Lets Go Pro

When the iPad Pro was released, I was intrigued. It was billed as being a laptop replacement. But could the software cope? As I found myself using the iPad 5 more frequently, I took a closer look at the iPad Pro. Following my failed trip to Singapore in May, as I didn’t have to pay for a hotel, food or really anything else, I took the plunge and used the money I saved there for the latest offering from Apple.

Initially I wasn’t too sure about the size. The footprint was a little bigger than the MacBook it was potentially replacing.

Size comparison
12inch MacBook on top of the 12.9inch iPad Pro

Although it was also far slimmer.

iPad Pro MacBook comparison

As time went on, I found I was using the MacBook less and less. Sure, the bigger form factor took a bit of getting used to, but it’s got to the point now where the iPad5 I was using a year ago seems small.

I couldn’t help but think that I wasn’t using the device to its full potential though. One of the first apps that I downloaded to the Pro was iMovie. I had used the program pretty much from the start of my YouTube channel on the Mac. However, the iOS version was very basic in comparison.

Discovering LumaFusion

One app that was getting a lot of positive reviews from iPad creators was LumaFusion. Shortly before departing on my trip in September, the program was on sale – although at £19.99, this was still a little on the pricey side for what is essentially a mobile app.

After having a couple of test runs with LumaFusion, I was very impressed. Whilst creating videos was a little more complex, the results were far more pleasing. And the speed at which the iPad Pro could render the videos absolutely blew me away. It could process 4K videos in far less time than my 27inch iMac.

Decision made. This would be how I made my YouTube videos from now on.

The First Uploaded Video Made With LumaFusion

The minor downside of doing it this way is that a good internet connection is needed. With making videos on the iMac, I was able to plug my phone in and import directly into iMovie. With the iPad, I’m reliant on everything being uploaded to the iCloud Photo Library in order to access them on the iPad. There could be a way to directly import the video clips, but I am yet to discover it.

What About WordPress?

The final part of the puzzle is using the iPad to update this website. WordPress do offer an app, which isn’t too bad. However, I generally don’t use it.

It was (and in my opinion, still is) far easier to use a full blown computer to update this site. With the introduction of iPadOS in September 2019, it has become easier to run WordPress Admin natively in Safari. But it’s still a little clunky in areas. Uploading pictures to posts can take a few attempts. And an Apple Pencil is definitely recommended for more precise placement.

Personally miss a physical keyboard when typing. Yes, Apple do offer a Keyboard case, but I’ve seen nothing but poor reviews. Plus it costs £200. No thanks. One solution I have considered is to take the keyboard from my iMac when I travel.

Hopefully when the next version of iPadOS is released, likely in September 2020, a few of the bugs will be ironed out.

Either way, the iPad Pro has now mostly replaced the MacBook. And it has replaced the iMac for video creation too. I’m impressed.


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