Windows Live Writer WYSIWYG Blog Editor Review

by Charles Truth
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Open Live Writer

In this article, I’ll provide my review on Windows Live Writer (WLW). It had a short life unfortunately. The good thing is that you can get access to “Open Live Writer” from Microsoft for free: https://openlivewriter.com/. It’s the open source fork of WLW and you can also pick it up on Github: https://github.com/OpenLiveWriter.

While this live writer review is old, you’ll get a good idea of what the new version is capable of.

Have you ever wondered how you could easily create blog posts? Isn’t WordPress’ editor good enough? Several years ago, I installed Windows Live Writer and I uninstalled it. At the time, I felt that I was WordPress power user and that the software was a great solution for beginners. Since then, I’ve changed my opinion.

In this post, I’ll go over Windows Live Writer, how you can boost productivity and why I decided to install and start using this software again.

Easy Blogging with Microsoft Windows Live Writer

What is Windows Live Writer? It’s a free software that you can download from Microsoft and it will allow you to create and edit blog posts with ease. If you’re familiar with Microsoft Office applications like Microsoft Word or Powerpoint, you’ll be very familiar with the interface that Windows Live Writer provides.

I’ve been using the HTML and Visual (WYSIWYG) editor in WordPress for years. While both of them are easy, Live Writer makes blogging easier. All I do is fire up my Windows Live Writer, pick a blog, and then start typing away.

Besides the WYSIWYG editor, you also have built in functions that you won’t find inside of WordPress. For example, I can use a standard screen capture (Windows function+prt sc) , paste it into my post, crop it, and add image effects. Pretty cool!

Setting Up Your Blog

Before you can start using Microsoft Windows Live Writer, you have to make sure that you’re blog has XML-RPC enabled. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know what XML-RPC is do get this working. Install Windows Live Writer and if it’s not able to connect to your blog, then enable it. Here’s some XML-RPC info at WordPress.org.

Windows Live Writer isn’t just for WordPress. You can use it for Blogger, WordPress.com sites, Typepad, Sharepoint, and other CMS’s that use XML-RPC.

How You Can Use Windows Live Writer to Blog Offline

I use my laptop all over the place. In the past, I couldn’t blog on my site unless I had internet access. Then I decided to create posts locally on my computer using programs like Notepad or Microsoft Word. Then I would copy and paste the content to my WordPress account when I had time.

While that process did work, Windows Live Writer makes the process easier. It gives you the choice to save drafts locally or online. Saving your blog posts locally is a good idea…especially if you want to easily keep a backup of your posts without going though all the techie database backup and restore stuff.

Since I’m able to create and edit my content offline, I don’t have to go through a bunch of steps now. The software helps me save time and helps me manage my saved blog posts in a very convenient way.

Expand Windows Live Writer with Plugins!

Most popular blogging systems allow you to boost functionality. Windows Live Writer allows you to do this as well. The first one that I added was “Insert Video”. It allows me to easily post my Youtube videos on my posts and it provides a variety of options.

The next plugin that I added was “Tag Generator”. It creates tags based on my content. Again, it’s easy to use and there are plenty of other plugins that I can choose too.

After that, I added the “Text Template” plugin that allows me to easily insert pre-created snippets of HTML code into my posts. So I can add buttons, footer content, and banners with ease.

You might be wondering…why don’t I just install plugins into WordPress that do the same thing? One thing that I learned with my first blog is that adding plugins takes memory…and the more plugins you have, the more slow, insecure, and bulky your blog can become. I’d rather add plugins to my PC than my WordPress blog.

Manage Multiple Blogs

Do you own 2 or more blogs? You can easily manage multiple blogs with Windows Live Writer. All you have to do is launch the software, choose a blog that you wish to publish to, and then start blogging away.

You don’t have to fumble with passwords, or use up time navigating through your blog just to create or edit a post. Live Writer allows you to easily manage multiple blogs through its easy to use interface.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for a way to boost your blogging productivity, check out Windows Live Writer. It took me several years to realize how powerful it really is. It has helped me blog and reduce my excuses for not blogging.

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