Bye-bye Windows Live Writer, Hello WordPress Editor! After 7 Years…

I’m a huge fan of Windows Live Writer and it  has been my favorite blog publishing tool since 2007. In fact, all my blog posts over the past 7 years on this blog were written using Windows Live Writer except this one. This is the first ever blog post of mine written by using ONLY default WordPress Visual/Text Editor.

Windows Live Writer vs. WordPress Editor

The user interface of Windows Live Writer is the primary reason I (and probably everyone else) loved it. Why? Because it’s literally a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. When we add our WordPress (or Blogger.com) account to Live Writer it will analyze our blog’s content and will then download the blog theme (including the stylesheet) so that we can write as if we’re writing using the front-end of the blog.

Recently, I decided to give a try to the default WordPress Visual & Text Editor once again and now I totally love it. If I remember it right, a few years back I tried to blog using WordPress interface but there were so many formatting issues which made me not wanting to try it again. For example, I had to deal with paragraph formatting issues many a times whenever I switched from Visual Editor to Text Editor. But now it’s all changed and is perfect.

And the best thing is that we can now copy-paste texts from other word processors like Microsoft Word, Evernote, Google Docs, etc. without worrying about formatting issues because WordPress now automatically strips out all the unwanted codes.

Windows Live Writer vs. WordPress Visual/Text Editor

After using Windows Live Writer loyally for over 7 years, I’ve now switched to WordPress Editor. Here’s  a comparison of Windows Live Writer and WordPress Visual/Text Editor, and my reasons for doing so.

Windows Live Writer Pros

Windows Live Writer

  • Windows Live Writer is a a desktop blog-publishing tool. It means that you can write Drafts even when you’re offline.
  • When you publish a blog post using Live Writer, you automatically get a local backup copy of all your published blog posts since blog posts are saved locally as well.
  • Adding a link is super easy because when you click the “Hyperlink” button in Live Writer it automatically copies the URL from the clipboard. You can even no-follow a link without editing the source code.
  • You can easily add images by copy-pasting from clipboard or from your computer.
  • You can also add videos from your computer or a web service like YouTube by simply clicking the “Video” button and then entering the web address.
  • The Word Count feature on Windows Live Writer shows the total word count of the current blog post in real-time. And if you want to count the number of words and characters of a paragraph then simply select the paragraph and click the “Word Count” button.
  • With Windows Live Writer, you can manage all your blogs (WordPress.org, Blogger.com, WordPress.com, Typepad, etc.)  in one place.
  • Since Live Writer downloads the actual theme from the web server it displays the styling of your heading tags (H1 – H6) and custom body classes.
  • When you’re done with writing, you can preview the blog post instantly within Live Writer and see how it would look like when you actually publish.
  • If you happen to link to the same website again and again from multiple blog posts then you can use the “Automatic Linking” feature in Live Writer. It’s a real time saver!
  • When you compose a blog post using Live Writer you get enough writing space since it’s a desktop application.
  • It’s got a built-in image editor. So you can add picture effects, watermarks, and adjust contrast without leaving the application.

Windows Live Writer Cons

  • Microsoft stopped the development of Windows Live Writer back in 2012 (not officially). It’s still the 2012 version.
  • When we copy texts from Microsoft Word (or another word process app) there are formatting issues, although you can avoid that to some extent by using its “Paste special” feature.
  • Again, when we switch from “Edit” mode to “Source” mode or vice versa some custom codes could be stripped out.
  • We’re not allowed to use a custom file name for an image when when we copy-paste an image from the clipboard.
  • Windows Live Writer is prone to crashing though it’s improved a lot now. We may lose data if the PC has crashed in between.
  • As you probably know, Yoast SEO is a plugin that we can’t live without. If we want to give a custom Title to a blog post then we still have to edit the blog post using the WordPress Editor because Live Writer doesn’t support Yoast SEO Plugin.
  • Windows Live Writer is a desktop application for Windows PCs only.
  • You’re going to miss Live Writer when you switch to a Mac or maybe when Microsoft discontinues its development officially.
  • The “Spelling” suggestion feature on Windows Live Writer is poor.
  • Inserting images is easy but image management is not efficient. For example, when you make adjustment to an image it results in duplicate images and wastage of disk space and bandwidth.
  • A “Find and Replace” feature is missing.

WordPress Editor Pros

WordPress Visual Editor

  •  The best thing about the WordPress Editor is its Visual Editor. It’s so powerful now.
  • And the next best thing about the Visual Editor is its enhanced image editing feature.
  • WordPress Editor is a browser based tool so we can make use of Google Chrome’s powerful Spell-checker.
  • It’s also crash-proof. Thanks to Auto Save featurethe changes that we make are automatically saved every 2 minutes. Also see, Post Revisions.
  • If you love WordPress Editor then you’re also going to love its beautifully crafted apps for mobile devices (Read: Top 5 Premium WordPress Apps For iPhone & iPad).
  • You can upload images to a blog post in bulk. Click the “Add Media” button in WordPress Editor, select and upload all the image files that you want to use in a blog post. Now you can insert any of those images in a blog post when you need it.
  • You can also specify custom image or link CSS classes by using the advanced settings of an image.
  • Control + Shift + V shortcut works! I’m a huge fan of Google Chrome’s Paste as plain text feature. We can easily copy-paste excerpts from anywhere on the web and copy-paste to WordPress without worrying about formatting.
  • It’s easier to find and replace text in WordPress Editor as we can use browser extensions for that. In most cases, Control + F is all you need.
  • Access “Media Library”. When we write blog posts frequently it’s more likely that we end up using the same images again and again so when we use WordPress Editor we get immediate access to our “Media Library” in one-click.
  • Everything in one place – SEO, Author, Featured Images, Scripts, etc. When you write a new blog post using the WordPress Editor, you’ll save a lot of time as you don’t need any other application like Windows Live Writer, Microsoft Word, etc.
  • You can increase your productivity further by using browser extensions and functions.

Read: Top 25 Google Chrome Productivity Extensions For Bloggers

WordPress Editor Cons

  • Writing experience is not as great as in Windows Live Writer. When we write using WordPress Editor it gives the feeling of a Notepad. I know some people might  like this, but I personally prefer a richer writing experience.
  • Writing space is limited unless you’re writing in the Distraction Free Writing mode (see Screenshot here) .
  • You can’t copy-paste images from the clipboard but there’s a plugin for that.
  • Adding links is not as easy as in Live Writer because it need more “clicks”.
  • Some popular formatting options like Font Family, Font Sizes, etc. are missing in the Visual Editor but there’s a hack for that.
  • You have to enter the Text Editor (or source code) view to no-follow a link.
  • Again, you have to enter the Text Editor view to add videos unless you’re using a plugin like Jetpack for that.

Yes, the number of pros and cons for WordPress Editor is less Windows Live Writer’s  but it’s obviously because I have only recently started using the WordPress Visual Editor. :)

Conclusion

The good thing about WordPress Editor is that there’s a plugin for almost anything. Yes, anything! So if you’re missing a feature in WordPress Editor then you can search for the same on the WordPress Plugins Directory. If you’re unable to find it then you can ask on the Support forum and someone will assist you.

The only problem is that… if you install the bad plugins then it can impact the performance of the blog. Make sure that you’ve read good news about a plugin before trying the same.

  • Shweta Dave

    No views on blogger. I too face a lot of problems on para formatting on blogger. One question, when you moved from one to the other what about the already published content. How does that move?

    • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

      Hi Shweta,

      The last time I used blogger was back in 2004-05 so I’m not sure about the formatting issues. But I think most of the formatting issues occur when we paste content from Microsoft Word or other editors. Or let me know if you have problem when you use the Blogger.com interface as well.

      Regarding your query, no it’s not like that. Moving from one editor to another means I stopped using Windows Live Writer. Nothing happens to old blog posts as they’re all hosted by the server. The only problem is when there are such formatting issues on old blog posts.

      For example, check out http://www.yummyoyummy.com/. It belongs to my sister and it was a BlogSpot blog at first. I moved her blog to WordPress and there was a lot of formatting issues. She used Windows Live Writer to publish and used Microsoft Word to write blog posts. So all her blog posts had formatting issues. It was all showing in “Verdana” font and was not using the font defined by the template.

      Recently we changed the theme of that blog again and resolved the issue by using a CSS hack.

      Let me know if you have a query regarding this.