My wife has a blog. A few weeks ago she was using Safari to write an entry when disaster struck. She logged in, typed away for about an hour, then clicked Save. Nothing was saved.
Her online blog had logged her out and Safari didn’t save what she wrote in a cache. The hour of writing was gone forever. Bad form, right? Is there a better way to write and edit your blog than a browser window?
Stop Using A Browser Window To Blog
Why do bloggers use a browser window to blog? It’s easy. You’re online, you login, you write, you save, you publish, you logout. It’s perfectly easy until something goes wrong.
Murphy’s Law applies to those who blog, too.
Whatever can go wrong, will, and usually when you least expect it, and are not prepared for the consequences.
Online blogging—blogging from within the browser window—can be dangerous. What happens when you lose a connection? What happens when your blog logs you off and you forget to save as you write?
A better way to blog is to use an editor on your Mac. Notice that I said editor and not word processor. An editor creates clean text, which blog pages like, while a word processor creates messy text, which blog pages don’t like.
Writing your blog entries on your Mac also means you have a back up of every entry should a disaster befall your blog’s database. However, a Mac editor suffers from a few major problems. Styled text, and photos, and links.
The Editor From Mars
Unless you’re deep into the arcane web languages of HTML and CSS, using a simple text editor to style text, add photos, even add links to other sites, can be a cumbersome process.
Enter MarsEdit. Think of it as desktop publishing for your blog. It’s a WYSIWYG editor that works pretty much like a word processor, but logs in to your blog site, uploads text your web pages like, including links and photos, and gives you a local back up of your work.
If you hate dealing with HTML, MarsEdit is a pleasure. If you love dealing with HTML, MarsEdit lets you play in the sandbox of your choice, still logs in and uploads your blog entries, and gives you that all important local back up of your work.
Another benefit to using MarsEdit is the simple interface. The toolbar is straightforward. New post. Delete post. Edit existing post. Refresh. Select from multiple blogs. Add Media to post.
One huge benefit is the ability to use MarsEdit to create a blog entry while you’re offline—away from an internet connection. Once you’re back online, MarsEdit will login and publish your updates.
While MarsEdit works with most popular blogging systems—WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, TypePad, and others, the MetaWeblog method doesn’t work well for all.
For example, there are minor field problems with MarsEdit when connecting to ExpressionEngine which we use on Mac360. MarsEdit comes with a built-in preview system so you can see what your entry will look like before logging in and publishing your prose.
Photos from iPhoto, Flickr, Aperture, or Lightroom can be dropped into a MarsEdit entry with ease. Think of MarsEdit as a word processor for your blog, albeit a bit expensive, considering that most blogging software (WordPress) is free to use online.