To create content to publish on your WordPress blog, you can either write it directly in the editor of a live blog, write it in a text editor such as Notepad and paste it into WordPress afterward or you can use an offline app or editor. Editing offline has a couple of benefits that I’m going to share shortly before pointing you towards the top offline apps for editing content.
Advantages Of Using Offline Apps
The biggest advantage of an offline editing app is that it is slightly faster than the online editor. Typically, an offline app sits on your device rather than a web server so you don’t have to deal with HTTP requests. In most instances, dedicated offline editing apps are also faster than traditional text processing software such as MS Word.
The second benefit is that with an offline app, you have a backup copy of your post on the hard drive (and can easily create an another copy). You need not go through the hassle of creating an editor account on the live blog. Obviously, once your post is online, it is safe so losing your local backup may not hurt that much.
Also, with a blogging app, you get all the basic editing settings and features you’re already familiar with from the live WordPress editor. Top offline editors provide settings for assigning categories and tags, inserting pictures, videos, and tables, assigning attributes, and inserting links, among others.
And of course, you don’t always need an active Internet connection to write a post. Whether you’re in a remote location with intermittent wireless coverage or you’re traveling, an offline editor lets you blog away and make the most of your time offline.
Then you can upload your post to the live blog with a click of the mouse once you establish an Internet connection.
Top Offline blogging Tools To Consider
When it comes to offline blogging apps, PC-based apps are clearly in the lead thanks to Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer. There are only a handful of apps that really come close to this piece of software. Perhaps what’s surprising about Windows Live Writer is the fact that it is absolutely free to download, a rarity from Microsoft. It’s clearly the most convenient offline blogging tool and here are some of the features that make it standout:
- Supports multiple blogging platforms besides WordPress
- Comes with a WYSIWYG editor for easy editing
- Has a built-in image editor
- Has a post scheduling feature
- Extensible features through plugins
- Ability to add categories and tags
- Post draft and backup features
- Spell checker
In essence, Windows Live Writer feels like the natural offline version of the WordPress editor. To use Windows Live Writer, you need to first download the latest version of the software from the Windows downloads page. Like most Windows apps, you need Microsoft.NET Framework 3 installed on your machine in order to install and use the offline editor.
Previously, you’d have to enable XML-RPC and the Atom Publishing Protocol manually underwriting settings in your dashboard as they were disabled by default. However, since WordPress version 3.5 and later, these settings are enabled by default.
The major downside with this tool is that it only works with Windows-based environments by default. Mac and Linux need a virtual box and a Windows license before they’re able to use it, which is a bit of a hassle for some people.
Desk For Mac
If Mac users feel left out by Windows Live Writer, Desk is the perfect answer. This premium app was designed specifically for Mac writers who work on the go and don’t want to be bothered with logging into their blog.
Desk comes with pretty much every editing feature you have inside your WordPress editor and like Windows Live Writer, it supports multiple blogging platforms including Tumblr, Typepad, BlogSpot, and much more.
You can get it for less than $20 with a discount but standard price is $29 from the Mac App store.
If you’re looking for a formidable rival for Windows Live Writer, BlogDesk might be the app for you. The Windows-based app is free of charge and is optimized for the top blogging platforms including WordPress and ExpressionEngine.
BlogDesk might not offer all the bells and whistles that come with Windows Live Writer but that’s because the focus is on content and productivity.
MarsEdit is a premium desktop editing app for Mac and while it’s somewhat steeply priced at $39.50, there is a free 30-day trial you can take advantage of to test out the various features before digging into your pockets to commit the payment. With that said, MarsEdit offers an impressive set of features including rich and HTML text editing, integration with a host of editors that support the ODBEditor suite, and wide compatibility with blogging platforms, among others.
There are plenty more apps for Windows and Mac but Windows users clearly have the upper hand when it comes to free options. Over to you now. Please share your experiences with offline editors and if you have a particular editor you’d recommend!