Editing your posts online is the traditional way to blog, and my preferred method as well- if my Internet connection is stable, and I already have a backup of what I’m posting. And that’s a very big “if”, as anyone who’s ever written a long, well-crafted post online, and lost it because of a browser or connection glitch knows only too well. Which is why offline blogging editors are so popular- especially among professional bloggers who post regularly on multiple blogs.
But which one to choose? Here are my picks for the best offline blogging editors available today (and, yay, most of them are free!)
Scribefire (Firefox Add-on)
I’m starting with Scribefire because if you use Firefox as your primary browser, this one’s an add-on to look at. And don’t let the word “add-on” fool you- Scribefire is as powerful, if not more so, as most of these standalone editors. Professional bloggers, in particular, who spend most of their time in the browser anyway, should find this useful. The advantage of being built into Firefox, of course, can also be a disadvantage- it isn’t a standalone application, and to use it you have to fire up Firefox- so it might not a good choice if you’re looking for something “offline”. That said, I do like Scribefire a lot, especially the option to immediately share links on various Social Networking sites (Digg, Facebook, StumbleUpon, etc.)
Qumana (Windows, Mac and Linux)
This one’s been around for a while, and as you can see from the screenshot above, its user interface is simple to use with goodies such as both WYSIWYG and Source editing, Technorati tagging, and support for images. What Qumana’s done, however- and you can either love or hate this- is provide a built-in advertising option, called Adgenta (previously Q-Ads), which allows you to insert customizable ads in your blog posts, from which you earn money. Qumana is nice and robust- and free.
If you’re on a Mac, please try out Blogo, which I’m sort of in love with right now. It sports a beautiful interface, but more importantly, it works wonderfully. Posting a regular text entry is lightning fast, and adding everything from images to embedded videos to widgets is a breeze. And if you use Twitter (and who doesn’t, these days?) Blogo can update your status for your whenever you post on your blog. You can try out this nifty little app for 21 days, or buy it for $25.
Windows Live Writer (Windows)
It isn’t often that I recommend a Windows product, but this one is a winner. Windows Live Writer is free and chock-full of features such as great categorization, plug-ins for Twitter, Digg and Flickr, and- perhaps my favorite thing about this program- the ability to see your blog posts as they would appear on your blog live. It also offers powerful image manipulation, allowing you to crop, tilt and place borders on your photos before you post.
Finally, Mac users should definitely take a look at MarsEdit, which is Daring Fireball’s offline blogging editor of choice- and it’s easy to see why. This app may not sport a GUI as sexy as Blogo’s, but it more than makes up for that in features. It integrates with the most popular text editors such as BBEdit and TextMate, allows you to access Flickr right from within it (so you can select photos from your Flickr library for posting), and even lets you set up macros, so you can create your own easily-insertable snippets. There’s a free 30-day trial, after which MarsEdit costs $29.95.
Do you use an offline blogging editor?