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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.