Desktop Blogging Software Options
At present, I usually blog directly from my browser window, except on the rare occasions in which I will open up a Text Edit document and do my blogging from there. There are a couple of reasons for this: I write in html, and any other word processing program will mess that up, and without my browser, I cannot use my clips for the various html codes that I use constantly (certain link codes and span classes, etc. that come up in all of my posts over and over again). However, I’ve heard that using desktop blogging software can really speed up your blogging process because it makes it possible for you to blog without being reliant upon an internet connection — not to mention the benefit of being removed from the internet and all of its many distractions. I’ve been thinking about experimenting with one of these programs and have been looking around at the various options (listed below).
Ecto is a desktop blogging platform for Mac and Windows that seems to always receive good reviews. You can write and manage all of your entries, run spellcheck, create links, attachments, and various other stuff. I’m using it right now to compose this post, and the features are pretty cool — for example, once you have set up your various blogs, it will remember everything, so there is no wasting time logging into your various installs of WordPress (those of you who only have one install don’t need to worry about this, but for me this is a major time waster, believe me). It will also double check all of your code to make sure your tags are closed and there aren’t any missing
One downside to Ecto is that it is a premium program — after a two-day trial, it costs $19.95. Of course, as far as software goes, that is hardly an exorbitant price, but apparently it has not been updated in a long time and the support in recent years has been dicey. Although I like it, I’m hesitant to buy the activation code under those circumstances.
Mars Edit is another blogging platform for Mac that allows for rich and HTML text editing with file uploads, offline previews and easy file uploads. I used Mars Edit for another post, and it is quicker than Ecto, though I’m not sure its photo system is any better (at first glance, it appears to behave like other Mac programs that look only in iPhoto for pictures, for example), and I haven’t figured out a means of scheduling posts with it, which means that I’ll have to always create post templates ahead of time in WordPress and then update them in MarsEdit to avoid posting before I’m ready. At $39.95, Mars Edit is more expensive than Ecto, but they allow a 30 day trial period to get acquainted with the software, which is nice, and the support appears to be in place, given their high profile users like John Gruber from Daring Fireball.
Do any of you use a desktop blogging program? How does it work for you?