4 Alternatives To Windows Live Writer For Blogging

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windows live writer alternativeWindows Live Writer’s future is uncertain at best. Microsoft recently announced the end of the Windows Live brand, and Windows Live Writer was noticeably absent from the list of Windows Live products that would be renamed. In response to concerns, all Microsoft is saying about Windows Live Writer is it will “work great on Windows 8” – not whether development is being halted or not. With such an uncertain future, you might be wondering what alternatives are out there.

One thing that became clear to me while writing this post is how few alternatives there really are – many older blog editors have had their websites shut down and have vanished from the Internet. Windows Live Writer was (and still is) the best desktop blogging client out there. It’s a shame they seem to be moving to kill it after cornering the market.

WordPress Built-In Editor

While many of us here at MakeUseOf are Windows Live Writer fans – personally, I think the easy addition of images without going through WordPress’s upload form is a killer feature – quite a few of us think that WordPress has become good enough. If you haven’t recently tried the built-in editor in WordPress, you might be surprised just how slick it’s gotten.

windows live writer alternative

If you’re using a modern browser (not Internet Explorer 9, which doesn’t implement the file upload API), you can drag and drop images directly onto the file upload pane to quickly upload them. This saves some time, although it’s not quite as convenient as drag and dropping images directly into Windows Live Writer without accessing any dialogs.

alternative to windows live writer

The built-in editor is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, just like Windows Live Writer, so writing and formatting your posts is pretty easy. One feature that it lacks is automatic recovery of the post you’re writing if your browser crashes. For this, you’ll want to try the Lazarus extension – available for both Chrome and Firefox — which restores text if your browser crashes. You’ll also want to manually create back up copies of the posts you submit, just to be safe – when you write a post in Windows Live Writer, you get a local backup on your computer.

Zoundry Raven

Zoundry Raven seems to be one of the most popular desktop blogging clients after Windows Live Writer. It’s a pretty decent application, although it isn’t quite as slick as Windows Live Writer. As a tech blogger who works with screenshots a lot, I was disappointed that you can’t drag-and-drop image files directly onto Zoundry Raven’s editing window. You have to use the Insert Image File option and browse to the image file on your system.

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Zoundry Raven has some features Windows Live Writer doesn’t. It can be installed as a portable app, for convenient on-the-go use. It also includes a media storage wizard that allows you to upload images to a different location – including Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, ImageShack, or even a custom FTP server. For more information about Zoundry Raven, check out our in-depth review.

alternative to windows live writer

BlogDesk

BlogDesk is another decent option – in fact, Tina’s used it to write posts here. BlogDesk has a focus on simplicity and distraction-free writing. Unfortunately, this might make it a bit limited if you want to format posts with more complicated formatting. For example, I couldn’t find an easy way to format certain lines as headers without inserting the HTML by hand. BlogDesk also failed the drag-and-drop-an-image-file test. You have to use the Insert Image option here, too – although BlogDesk does provide some image-editing options, allowing you to crop and resize the image when inserting it.

For more information about BlogDesk, check out our BlogDesk walkthrough.

alternative to windows live writer

ScribeFire

ScribeFire is an extension for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. It allows you to blog right from your browser, a feature which Ryan enjoyed in his review. ScribeFire’s split-pane interface is particularly useful if you blog about things you find online – just select some text on a web page, right click, and select Blog This. You can add your take on the subject and easily send a post straight to your blog. If you want to blog more often, ScribeFire is a great way to reduce the friction.

Ryan’s also written about using ScribeFire to create blog post templates and write quick blog posts.

windows live writer alternative

Should You Switch?

The best solution may be to stick with Windows Live Writer itself for the moment. In fact, I wrote this post in Windows Live Writer – it still works fine, and Microsoft assures us that it will even work fine in Windows 8. Still, it seems like Windows Live Writer has come to the end of the road – it will likely become increasingly dated and stale from here on out. What a shame.

Don’t discount the built-in editor if you use WordPress, though – it’s surprisingly good.

How do you blog? Do you use the built-in editor, are you a Windows Live Writer fan, or do you prefer another editor?

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Comments (52)
  • Suzanne

    Great info, but I see it’s a few years old. Any new news on Live Writer’s future? Or new other options out there? :-)

  • Kirra Antrobus

    I’ve been using windows live writer for a few months, but I’m not happy with it. I always have to go back into blogger to correct paragraph formatting. If I can’t find something I like better, I suppose I’ll just post from inside blogger.

  • Peter Scargill

    I use Live Writer and like others am constantly looking around for alternatives. What amazes me is that other designers still think we have time for uploading images – the Live writer tool is definitely the way to go – and I have a plug-in given to me by a fellow in Microsoft to paste in JPEGs rather than PNG files which I use constantly in several of my blogs.

    It is frightening to think that no-one has come up with something better and even worse to think that Microsoft is no longer developing this – the interface does indeed already look a little out of date and it would have been great to see this taken forward.

    I would not use WORD as a blog writer if my life depended on it – having been overseer for corporate pages in a large organisation and having suffered constantly at the hands of imported WORD html crap..

  • leiva

    all in seo pack plugin fields have to be filled in anyways in the wordpress editor, any ideas how to fill this fields in this alt editor?

    • Chris Hoffman

      Not sure. I do some final tweaks in WordPress, even after writing in WLW.

  • Andy Vazquez

    I’m about to give a try to WordPress.com app on windows 8. It looks… simple, minimalistic even. Besides, being a native windows 8 app is great , for it can be used on both RT and Pro versions. I don’t know how my productivity will change, since it can’t be resized as a desktop app, but anyways, it’s good to know that there’s an official version of Windows Live Essentials 2012 with WLW in it.

    • Chris Hoffman

      Unfortunately, when I blog I need to see other things on the screen — often a 50/50 split between WLW and whatever I’m writing about. Wouldn’t work with these new Windows 8 apps, which just aren’t as good for productivity.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.