I’ve been using the WordPress platform for over a year now and am totally impressed with it’s reliability and versatility, especially considering it is free. I also love that it is open source, so there are always more industrious people than I, building more functionality into it.
For a guy still on dial-up, WordPress has an awful Achilles heal. You must be online to write and edit blog posts. And if your connection drops, then say goodbye to your last few sentences, assuming you have autosave turned on. In the past I have addressed this Achilles heal by writing in Notepad++ and then going online to format and add images. Later, and up through a few weeks ago I was using Blogdesk. Blogdesk is reliable and does a pretty good job of managing offline drafts. It also feels like the Blogdesk editor is slightly better than even the upgraded WordPress editors.
But this is where Microsoft enters the picture with Live Writer. It is part of Microsoft’s Live Spaces, which I haven’t really explored much yet, and it’s only been released for a month or so. I did install just the Live Writer editor software which is free and I didn’t have to sign into any Microsoft sites, nor register with a hotmail/passport account to do the install. Also the install and configuration was about as painless as I thought possible. I launched Live Writer, it prompted me for information about where my blog was, what type it was dealing with, and username & password. It then went off to retrieved settings and formatting from my site. I then had the most powerful blog editor that I’ve seen open in front of me.
I’ve been using this editor for only a little while now, but if a blogger ever had a reason to bow down before Bill Gates, this would be it. The editor is as powerful and easy to use as you would expect from Microsoft and it incorporates all the WordPress editing features I use and a few more that weren’t available.
- Editor views – Normal, WYSIWYG Web Layout, Web preview, HTML
- Check boxes for your post categories
- WordPress Tags are entered as “keywords”
- Good management of draft posts, also while online, you can pull back, edit and republish posts
- While editing offline, image insertion is easy, fast and with way more options.
- video upload & embed which I have yet to try
- A real working as you go spell checker
- Also while online, buttons take you directly to Dashboard & Comment management.
- Has worked seamlessly with FireFox as my default browser
And if that list weren’t enough, how about an editing undo button! If you haven’t gotten it by now, I’m impressed with Live Writer.