BlogEasy: Simple Blogging Right Out of Your Mac

As a blogger, I’m always anticipating new apps that could take on a fresh approach to desktop blogging. Desktop blogging apps for the Mac are merely by the handful, leaving users with just a couple of blogging apps that can create and publish posts with ease. We’ve got MarsEdit 3, MacJournal, and Ecto as top recommendations, but the fact is we haven’t seen anything new in this sector of the app market for quite a while.

You can imagine my excitement then when I came across BlogEasy, a minimal desktop blogging app that publishes to WordPress blogs. Will this app finally break the silence and provide bloggers with something new and innovative to play with? Let’s find out.


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Blogging Made Easy

BlogEasy is a minimal blog client for the Mac built around a simple, straightforward approach to blogging. With a small set of core features and a clean native user interface, you have all you need to get your WordPress blog/s rolling.

BlogEasy’s minimalist concept incorporates the blogging experience as well, giving you two formatting options: write in HTML or in Markdown. As we all know, Markdown is a formatting syntax that enables plain text to be converted automatically to HTML when published. This allows you to focus entirely on writing and publishing your blog post.

BlogEasy only publishes to the WordPress platform, so those with blogs on other content management systems and services may want to look elsewhere for a desktop blogging client. This typically limits BlogEasy’s reach, but considering that there are over a million WordPress blogs running each day, there is a market out there that will show interest in this app.

How BlogEasy Works

Launching BlogEasy opens up the main overview where you have a set of functions on the top menu, your list of blogs on the left panel, the blog post details and the text editor on the right.

blogeasy dashboard

The BlogEasy dashboard

Opening up the app’s preferences, you can only add a new blog to BlogEasy or edit your existing blog’s settings. There are no other options available, such as changing font styles or working on the backend of your WordPress blog.

To add a blog, you can do so by opening Preferences or clicking on the plus sign found on the left panel of the app. This opens up a window where you input your blog’s details: blog URL, username, and password. Click “Save” and BlogEasy will pull your blog’s name and add it to its list of active blogs.

adding blog on blogeasy

Add a WordPress blog on BlogEasy

Depending on your blogging method, you can either fill up your blog’s details first then write, or vice versa. Blog post details include the title, category, tags, date to publish, and an excerpt of the post.

To write a post, simply click on the text editor and start typing. Take note though of the active format being used. You can publish in either plain HTML or Markdown, so choose your specific format by clicking on the options above the Compose window.

Once you’ve finished, direct your attention to the main menu bar. You have a number of options available, such as Manage Blogs (simply another way to open up the Preferences), options to add/delete/save as local draft/preview an entry, or to publish the final draft to your blog. Local drafts are stored, and you can go back to them whenever you decide to.

Previewing an entry allows you to see what your content looks like when published on the web. If you enclosed a phrase in bold tags (<strong></strong>), that phrase will appear bolded in the preview pane. It works the same way when writing and formatting content on Markdown mode.

blogeasy markdown and preview

Previewing a blog post written in Markdown

At its current version, you can copy the generated HTML from the preview window, paste the text, and continue writing in HTML. If you’re sure that your blog post is ready for the world to see, click on the black quill icon to publish it on your blog. Unfortunately, there is no Preview on Blog feature available, so you will have to switch to your browser and head over to your blog to see the result.

WordPress Only

Completing all of these steps, the entire writing/publishing experience was easy, pretty quick, and straight to the point. BlogEasy really stood by its name as a minimal desktop blogging app, offering users all that they need to write, edit, preview, and post to their WordPress blog/s.

blogeasy preview  on blog

The final post on my blog.

With that said, I wonder if BlogEasy aims to expand itself by extending its compatibility to other micro/blogging platforms (e.g. Blogger or Tumblr), or will it brand itself as a WordPress-only desktop client. If the developer wishes to see it expand while maintaining its simplicity, I would hope that performance won’t falter when publishing to a CMS or blogging service other than WordPress. This may lead to double or triple the work, but the app’s user reach would definitely stretch farther.

If, however, development is headed towards the latter route, this would be an entirely new concept altogether. I would then expect features that would allow me to further configure my WordPress blog’s settings, such as managing and responding to comments, working on the backend of the site, adding in users, and the like. If not all, then at least the basic admin functionalities that WordPress bloggers would usually busy themselves with.

Improvements

Focusing on the app itself, there are areas for improvement that I hope to see in future versions. For instance, it would help to save time if there were at least basic HTML options to use when writing/formatting on HTML mode; otherwise, there really isn’t much of a difference if I choose to write in plain text.

On creating content, I hope to see an option to edit the post’s permalink, since I would usually cut the number of words short before publishing. I would also like to see a Preview on Blog functionality that could show me what the post looks like on the blog (prior to publishing) and that could take me to the actual post afterwards.

For users who would add WordPress blogs with existing content, BlogEasy does not pull up these older blog posts, and so there is no way to revise and republish these posts on the app. All the content you create on BlogEasy are treated as local drafts, so once you publish them, they are gone from the list for good.

Other things I would like to see updated would be an enhanced UI that can compel and encourage you to write without sacrificing its simplicity. I have yet to encounter a blog text editor—desktop or web—that could make blogging as intuitive and beautiful as writing with apps like Byword or iA Writer.

A Great Start

Overall, I think BlogEasy is off to a great start as the next blog editor for the Mac. If you’d like to give it a try before buying a license at $9.99, head over to the official website to download a free trial.

As a blogger, would you use BlogEasy as your desktop blogging client? What other features would you like to see in future versions? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Summary

A minimal Mac OS X blog client that creates and publishes to WordPress blogs. You can save and edit local drafts, write in either plain HTML or Markdown, and preview content as generated HTML.

8
  • Sigilist

    Overall, and having worked on multiple platforms/OSes… Mac/OSX is colletively the bottom of the barrel when it comes to blogware; not contest. And in an age of WYSIWYG and a vast array of wordprocessor based interfaces for all needs–including some web based interfaces (which are clunky and limited)–why is this the case for the Mac world? There is nothing that can be done with basic “markdown” that can’t be done (and then some) with WYSIWYG.

    The whole purpose of a localized blog post authoring system is to not have to be online to do your work. More so, one can take one’s time in crafting an article’s content. Why ever waste time with any level of notation / code (and markdown is shorthand *code*)? Why waste time with yet another program leaning this way? And I didn’t notice if the program can save an article in process, let alone keeps a list of recently authored articles to reopen.

    An 8 for this utility? Are you kidding me?

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef Gonzaga

      BlogEasy is still a work in progress, considering that it’s still at version 1.x. However, I see it as a promising app that may turn things around for Mac users in search of a blog client that’s easy to use and that can get the job done.

      I agree that a desktop blogging app’s primary purpose is to allow the user to write blog posts offline and with ease. Saving an article in progress and opening previously published articles (I mentioned this earlier in the review) are important features you can suggest to the developer. I’m sure he’d be willing to address your concerns about the app as well.

  • http://rickcolosimo.com Rick Colosimo

    I have been using MarsEdit to move drafts out of my task mgmt system where they often collect and stay off of the online-required Drafts folder in WP.

    What would make this review much better for me, and many of the ones you write, is a comparison to other software, turning standalone reviews into a running wrap-up piece. Since you mentioned MarsEdit at the top of the piece, you *know* that your readers are thinking about it. How is this better or worse, and ultimately, is it worth $8 for me to get those advantages over any current installation? I.e., what’s your recommendation both on the purchase vs. the null hypothesis (WP’s draft folder) and the switch vs. each major option?

    Do that, and sharing this review actually helps people. Readers don’t want a data point; we live in a world of 3d shapes, changing over times.

  • http://techtoll.in Kamal

    I am new to Mac. I will appreciate the way Blog Easy provides ease to publish content.

    Thanks a lot for the recommendations.

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