When it comes to updating their blogs, many users go directly to their admin section of their blog and post from there. However, there are some advantages to being able to post from your desktop or from a browser window. Writing from you desktop can (in theory) minimize distractions and improve your productivity, while some online editors have useful features that you might not find behind the scenes in your default editor in WordPress or Blogger.
All of the blog editors listed below require a (usually) simple initial setup so it knows where to post to, but after that it’s just a matter of typing your post, pressing publish and off you go.
Windows Live Writer is a free blog editor from Microsoft and it looks and feels very much like a windows application. No wait come back, it’s good!
It lets you publish to almost any blog platform and to multiple blogs. You can preview your post to see exactly what it looks like before posting. It handles photographs well, allowing you to add effects such as drop shadows and borders. You can also add tables, video and maps with ease. I use Live Writer for nearly all of my posts and find it to be excellent.
Ecto could be considered the Mac equivalent of Windows Live Writer. It costs $19.95.
Ecto has many of the same features as Live Writer and you can publish to all the usual suspects, such as WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Drupal, MovableType, SquareSpace and more. It also has support for iPhoto, iTunes, and if you’re an Amazon Affiliate, support for embedding Amazon Associates program links, allowing you to easily link to Amazon promotions and products.
Thingamablog is an open source, cross platform blog editor and RSS feed reader.
It is a desktop application that lets you work with multiple blogs and write offline (if you want to). You can edit in Visual or HTML mode and get a preview of your post before it’s published. Images can be uploaded from your computer or a URL and a nice feature is the ability to create posts using feeds.
Browser Based Applications & Plugins
ScribeFire is a free Firefox plug-in and cross-platform blog editor.
After installing the plug-in you can use the editor to write and post to multiple blogs. When you open ScribeFire in the browser, the editor takes up about half of the screen space and there is an option to open the editor in a new tab or separate window. It’s light and easy to use. You can upload images using FTP accounts, use rich text formatting, HTML editing and a live preview. You can also save your unpublished drafts as notes.
Flock is a free social media browser and blog editor.
If you feel you can handle yet another browser, you might like Flock’s built in blogging tool. It lets you blog to the main blogging platforms. You can add and edit a blog post in Visual or HTML mode, specify tags and preview the whole post before publishing. You can easily clip and copy content from the web and post it using the Web Clipboard. Just like thingameblog, there is a handy RSS Feed Reader built in.
So there you have it, five alternatives to the plain old blog editor that you might like to try.
Have you used these editors before? There are lots of other blog editors available, which ones have you come across and found useful?