Best Free Blog Editor – Windows Live Writer
Today’s Download of the day is the windows Live writer. If you are the non-geek-type go here
To see a step by step guide to installing windows live writer and configuring it for WordPress and posting from it. I am only going to highlight only the best features of windows live writer and why Windows live writer is the best offline blog editor that I have seen so far in fact I believe it has no competition. If you are a serious blogger you would most probably be using offline blog editors like Performancing extension for Firefox, Qumana, wbloggar etc. There are several reasons to choose a offline editor like Windows live writer over the internal editors of WordPress, Blogger, MSN Spaces etc. Lets face it web based editing is always slower and it such a pain to insert links, pictures, files and Tags. Some reasons why you should be using a offline blog editor like Windows live writer over the default inbuilt editor are:
- Easier, Faster editing, modification of your posts and Drafts.
- Support for Multiple Blogs and cross posting.
- Offline Editing. (i.e. you can edit your post when your not logged onto the Internet)
- More flexibility i.e. insertion of similies, Technorati tags, Google maps, Youtube videos, Odeo etc.
- Easier trackbacks Management.
- More Support for other Pinging services other than Pingomatic. (If you want your blog posts listed blog search engines)
- Support for Extra plugins that insert specific functionality/tags. Example Currently Listening to Coldplay – Northern Lights, Support for direct Dragging and dropping From flickr Images and pictures inside the interface, upload pictures, files etc.
Plugins: This is the most important reason why windows live is the best blog editor is apart from providing the basic functionality of various blog editors it supports a large number of plugins. Just like you love Firefox because you can integrate so many things into it which enhance your browser experience. Below I have listed some of the best plugins that can help you improve your blogging experience. Some places where you can get these plugins are the official Windows live plugin page and the unofficial windows live plugins site where there are a larger variety of plugins.
- Insert Tags: This comes by default in Windows live writer. you can insert any kind of tags, the most commonly used tags that you would use would be the technorati tags.
- Insert Map: Another default plugin with which you can insert maps using windows live Virtual earth.
- Flickr4Writer: allows you to directly put pictures from your flickr account.
- Insert Spaces Emoticon: if you want better looking animated Emoticons use this plugin.
- box2livewriter: Upload Files to y0ur box.net account (Note: you need a Box.net account)and directly put a link to the file on your blog. (Box.net is useful it is like flickr but more powerful).
- EmbedVideo Plugin insert youtube and Google videos with ease.
- Currently Listening this adds what song your listening to supports both itunes and windows media player.
- Insert Current Mood Add-In This is a simple add-in to Windows Live Writer that allows you to add your current mood to your blog entry.
Web layout and Web Preview: This the best feature of Windows live writer it lets you preview the post. i.e. how the post will look like once it posted on your blog. In WordPress blog editor you have to save the file as a draft to view the preview and it is slow depending on your Internet connection. Windows live write can show you an instant preview of the post even before posting it.
For geeks who are curious on how it is able to achieve this here is the explanation. When you configure windows live writer initially it downloads all the CSS styling from your blog and applys it to the post, so that you get a instant preview of the post even before you post it online. This is important if you want to get your alignment etc right before you post to your blog. In case you change your theme you can ask windows live writer to update the styling
Multiple Blogs: You can switch between multiple Blog accounts with just a click.
Trackbacks(pings) and Post Properties Editing: Windows live makes it very easy for you to paste trackbacks links and editing the time stamp, enable/disable comments. If you don’t know what trackbacks are look here. Its a way of letting another blog know that you have written about them or a particular post. Editing Time/Date of your post is useful if you want to update a old post with some new information. By default the feature is minimized just click the bottom status bar where it says “Properties and Trackbacks”. It will slide out to show you options to put in trackbacks and edit the time stamps. As you can see I am have put the links so I can trackback(Ping) to the tutorials that I mentioned in the beginning of the article.
Ping Various Blog Search Services: Pinging is a way of notifying blog search engines that you have updated your blog so that they can index it in their search results, this is important is you want your articles listed in search engines. Although most good blogs ping various blog search engine by using pingomatic or pingoat. you can add additional pinging services manually.
Update: Added a Video Tutorial From http://www.masternewmedia.org