WP or LW

Which is best Live writer or the WordPress online editor ?

This is not an easy question, so lets start with what they are.

Windows Live writer

LWThis is an application that runs on your PC. It is a free add on to windows.  You can download it from the Microsoft site and install it on your own PC. Once installed you need to set up your account and then you can edit pages just like normal documents.

The process of editing is very simple. simply select the blog you want to edit and then open the page or post you need to change. You make your changes just like any other Windows editor. most of the usual formatting options are to be found in the menu bar across the top of the page. For example, you can select text and apply a style to it such as “Heading 2” SO writing good quality HTML is no problem.   Adding links is really simple. highlight the text  or picture that you want to be the link and hit the link icon in the top bar. When you are complete just hit the publish button.

Occasionally I use the source tab at the bottom of the page to see what is being done in the background, but if you don’t have any detailed HTML experience then this is not something you will ever need to do.

There are a few Plug-ins  you might want. Ive added Horizontal Line and the table plug-in to my install and I find these useful. If there are others let me know.

The main negative I find with this editor is that the table plug-in is limited and the flexibility to make detailed style changes is not as good as other html editors or the online package in WordPress. However this is rarely limiting my ability to write these pages.

Overall,  It handles links and pictures well and is the editor of choice for me when I’m creating new pages and want to combine a mix of pictures and text in a way that will look good and format well without having to think about the details.

WordPress Online editor

WP This is really an online html editor embedded inside the WordPress framework. The standard editor supplied with WordPress is fairly limited and has usually been replaced with one called TinyMCE Advanced.  This is a very powerful editor. In the advanced mode, it has good table editing capability, handles links in a very advanced way and offers lots of options for skilled authors to write excellent pages.  Again for anyone familiar with word the operation is much as one would expect, except its on-line.

Advantages of this editor are that its online so immediately available from anywhere, it is very flexible and the html mode allows exact management of the format of the page. However the disadvantages are almost the same in that it is on-line so it is dependant on your link speed, it is also very powerful and offers many more options that most people want or care about. If you are an HTML expert then its likely that you will use this at some point, if you just want to edit the odd page occasionally and dont really want to think about the code behind the page you may not see any advantages in this one.

There is one annoying feature that you will need to know about. If it comes up with loads of weird text  – you’re likely in the HTML mode and you need to select the visual mode to see what your pages look like.  It seems to select HTML mode occasionally without any reason.

I almost always use this editor for quick fixes to the pages or small updates as it is genuinely faster and better for that purpose.

So which should I use?

Well the simple answer is both. If you just want to write and edit simple pages, most of what you need is included in the Windows live writer, but for quick changes its always quicker to pop in and click edit page and make the change direct on the WordPress site.  I use both and think that most people I am aiming this page at will do the same.   I wrote this page in Livewriter but I know if I need to update it Ill do that online.