Offline Blogging - Blogging Off the Cloud

I find blogging within the admin interface of my blogs to be less than pleasant some times. Actually all of the time. Most importantly, I don’t like having to be online to add or edit a post. The fact that performance is sometime spotty only makes me more disdainful of the online blogging process. Live with it, right? Well actually there are many offline blogging alternatives available for you regardless of whether you are using Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Regardless of your OS there are some basic features that most offline bloggers want. Of course you should be able to add / edit posts. You will want to also be able to publish to multiple different blogs. As well you will want to be able to publish to your blogging platform whether that be WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Blogger, MoveableType or any other service. Most of the tools I mention below are capable of supporting most of these different platforms.

I recommend that if you see one that sounds good for you, give it a try. You can always un-install it.

ScribeFire (one of it’s incarnations)

ScribeFire is a Firefox/Chrome/Opera/Safari add-on and thus can be used across OS’s and browsers. I’m pretty much a Firefox and Chrome user but I also realize there are many Safari users (especially on Macs). Lest we forget Opera also has a loyal following. I personally like this option best… and I’m typing this post using it now. Scribefire offers a similar toolset as the other offline blogging tools — multiple blogs, multiple platforms, publish and edit. I particularly like the ability to add categories to my WordPress blogs. Not all of the tools I evaluated supported this functionality. A big positive in my mind is that it is actively maintained (1.7.1 came out in the latter half of June). Not all of the tools I found are actively maintained.


Blogilo is the first offline blogging client that I found for Linux (Ubuntu in my case). It generally gets good reviews among Linux enthusiasts. You can find the basic functionality that most offline bloggers would expect, but there were a couple of annoyances. While not germain to the actual functionality, there is a glitch in the install process for Ubuntu 10.04 users (me) that fails to include sqllite in the installation. It was easy enough to fix once I found out the problem, but it started me off with a sour taste. I was able to easily connect to one of my blogs, but then found that I could not add a category from within Blogilo. Off course I can easily log in to the blog and add a category, but why should I? I was not pleased with the rendering of posts that I downloaded to edit — but think that may have been just a personal issue. Overall I think Blogilo is worth a try, and may surely fit your needs.

Windows Live Writer

It seems the defacto offline blogging tool for Windows users is Windows Live Writer (WLW).  A quick stroll amongst blog comment and forum posts about offline blogging generally leads to a huge number of posts about preferring WLW.  I must say that my experience with WLW is a little dated. When I tried it, I was just not overly impressed. I can see why it has a following (it works, it is pushed by Microsoft, it runs on Windows), but something about it just did not cut it for me. Truth be told I am somewhat of an anti-Windows person (I have a VirtualBox to run Windows only for a few software packages that I have to run in Windows), so I am positive that I let my bias lead me to not like it. The overwhelming commentary about WLW is that it is a must have tool for offline blogging. The plug-ins available for WLW are a huge draw and offer functionality to do things like adding in your Facebook photos, auto-generate tags, or even notify Twitter of your posts. Ok, so it is a good tool!

There are many offline blogging tools available. A quick search on the Internet returns several options. I encourage you to try different clients.  I’d stick to those that are actively maintained or that come with multiple recommendations. Don’t settle though.  If you blog regularly, you want a tool that will make your blogging efforts more about the content than the process.


Filed in: Blogging, Utilities

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