In this first tutorial, we’ll show you how to setup Windows Live Writer – a free program from Microsoft for creating, editing and managing blog posts on your WordPress based site.
Windows Live Writer is a desktop tool that allows you to easily post blog entries, edit and manage old ones, and also manage comments on your blog. The great thing about this tool is that it supports a number of open source blogging environments such as WordPress. Windows Live Writer comes packed with some very useful features such as a fully equipped WYSIWYG blog editor and an offline mode. The offline mode is extremely useful as it allows you to write blog posts even when you don’t have connectivity to the Internet. You can sync Windows Live Writer with your blog when you get connected and upload your posts. Let’s look at how to get Writer setup and running so that you can use it to write blog entries to your WordPress blog.
Download Windows Live Writer
The first step to get started with Windows Live Writer is to install it. Writer is part of Windows Live Essentials, a pack of offering from Microsoft which includes photo and movie software, instant messaging, e‑mail, blogging, and other stuff. You can get all of it if you like, or just Writer. Head over to the Windows Live Essentials website and hit the download button. After you download the installer execute it. You will asked a few questions and then asked if you want to install all the software in the pack, such as the toolbar and messenger… Select your options and then click OK.
- Before we go ahead and configure Writer we need to make sure of one setting in the WordPress blog. Log into WordPress with administrator privileges and navigate to Settings -> Writing. Under the Writing section you will see Remote Publishing. Here make sure that the XML-RPC option is checked.
- With the installation done we can proceed to setting up Writer. Launch the application from the Start menu. Go to Start -> All Programs -> Windows Live -> Windows Live Writer and launch it.
- You will be presented with the setup screen. Add your WordPress blog here. If you are not presented with the Add Blog pane go to Blogs -> Add blog account in the menu. On the first page choose the Other blog service option and click Next.
- In the next window enter the web address of your blog, and the username and password of the user that you’ll be composing and publishing your posts as. You might want to check the Remember my password option here. Click Next.
- Writer will now start checking to make sure it can log in correctly into your WordPress setup. It will then ask you if it can make a temporary post to your blog to test if all is working well. Click Yes to proceed with that. This attempt enables Writer to figure out what theme settings you have setup on your blog. don’t worry, Writer will remove its temporary post immediately.
- Your setup should now be done. You can now begin blogging. You will be presented by a page that looks like the screenshot below. Start by entering your post title and some text.
- The Writer editor has three modes – Edit, Preview, and Source. In the Edit mode you can write your blog in WYSIWYG mode, in the Preview mode you can see what the post will look like on your blog, and the source mode is the HTML source code version of you post.
- To insert images into your post go to Insert -> Picture and select a picture. You can resize the image or figure out its placement.
Publishing Blog Posts
Once you are done writing your blog post you’ll want to publish it to your blog. To do that, click the Publish button at the top left of the Writer window pane. If you have setup Writer to save your password it will publish the post automatically, if not it will ask for your password.
There you go. That’s how you can blog from your Windows desktop or laptop. I’ll be back with some more tips on blogging with Writer soon.