Offline Blog Editors are bad for your site’s health – 4 reasons

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Offline Blog Editor

Lots of site owners use offline blog editors for blogging or managing the site content because it’s easier to write posts without having to go on-line or for cross-posting to multiple blogs etc. But the offline blog editors are not without any disadvantages.

Want to know which are, here are some:

1. It adds too much of HTML + CSS bloat

Most of the editors(not all) churns out lots of unwanted CSS classes, HTML tags etc. when compared to the intrinsic editor of the CMS.

And don’t forget unwanted CSS + HTML  will reduce the performance of the page and will increase your site’s load time which in turn will affect your site’s conversion.

Images speak louder than words…

Offline Blog Editor bad CSS

 

Note: The HTML/CSS generated by your editor may vary from what is shown above.

2. It ruins the semantics

In web development context, semantics refers to semantic markup, which means markup used according to its meaning and purpose.

WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) editors like MS Word concentrates too much on presentation rather than on generating valid HTML.

Editors like MS Word don’t know the difference between a H1 or H2  tag and where to use it. Good semantic markup will help you to avoid site accessibility problems and will make your future site-redesigns easier.

3. It destroys your SEO efforts

When Google bot or other search engine bots comes to your site it looks for correct semantics and keeping your semantics perfect will increase the SEO value of your site.

Learn what Official Google Webmaster Central has to say about web semantics

4. WordPress is constantly updated, but offline editors are not

One of the most popular offline blogging editors in the world is Windows Live Writer which was last updated on 18 Aug 2009. And most of them are Abandonware without any updates for long.

But the built-in WordPress editor is constantly updated and getting better and better day-by-day. Also new features are added on every WordPress release.

WordPress editor makes it easy to embed videos, images, tweets, audio, and other content into your WordPress site which may not be possible from your offline editor.

What about full fledged ones like Adobe Dreamweaver?

Yes, you can always use it and there is not any reason to avoid it.

If you are well versed with advanced tools like Adobe Dreamweaver and your work involves meddling with HTML tables, font styles etc go and use an advanced web development suite or editor.

So which is the best option ?

The recommended option for the 95% of the crowd is to stick to an editor like TinyMCE.  Alternatively, you can install add-on plugins like TinyMCE Advanced if you want more power from your editor.

For the rest of the 5%, they can choose a web development suite or hand-code your HTML/CSS if time and your skills permit it!

Although I’ve written this article from a WordPress perspective, this applies to other content management systems also. Due to time and resource constraints, I just used WordPress platform as an example.

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Meet the Author
author
Mithun John Jacob

I'm the founder of MotiveSense;My mission is to make small and medium-sized business more web savvy and also to guide them to leverage their existing resources to focus on sustainable growth rather than quick wins. Personally, I'm a lazy blogger, a reasonable developer, a rookie philosopher, a Hollywood devotee, a motoring enthusiast and a voracious technocrat.

Responses

I was using Windows Live editor for my blog writing in initial days. After few months of blogging I found that my post html is really big hell, created by Win live writer. I agree with you we should avoid them.

Reply

Thank you. I never looked before. It was a horrible surprise when I did. Never again.

Reply

Mithun,

I had used Livewriter for longer time in my career as blogger but I havent noticed that it will create some extra code.

Best part is without knowing the side effects its causing i had left it, now I back my decision.

Thank you

Reply

Congrats Swati. 🙂

I had also used Livewriter for long before dumping it.

Reply

Thanks for the information. Though I have always worked directly on WordPress still knowing what I am already doing is the right practice, makes me happy.

Reply

I don’t like Livewriter tool,very bad.thanks for your tips 🙂

Reply

well, it seems I have to take the opposite here. I agree, that some offline editors, like Windows Live Writer, contains some bugs in their html tag generator engine. But in Live Writer I’m able to amend the html code, which I did from time to time (and my observation is, that it depends on the used theme). But: From what I’ve observed, the additional CSS stuff, mentinoned above, is only inserted from from Word used as a blog editor (I have never seen this in Windows Live Writer).

Personally I’m blogging since more than 7 years, and I’m using Live Writer on a daily base. The comfort, it offers me (in combination with a few plugins) is unbeateable. Insertions of self defined code blocks, the ability to write offline for serveral of my blogs – all this weight (for me) much more as a “theoretical SEO yummy dummy”. I’m writing for people, not for SEO.

So my conclusion: The above article is helpful to keep the issues in mind. But blogging is more than a “perfect” html code. It’s content – and the presentation of your content is always a compromise between ideas, themes, layout enhancments and tools. While I know many bloggers are using WordPress frontend, I alway feel it’s a pain in the ass – and it will get even worser from version to version. But this is a personal impression, and others are using a different workflow. For my own, I won’t miss Windows Live Writer, even it contains bugs.

Reply

@gborn: You are very much right.

My article was only meant to outline/highlight the issues with the offline blog editor(s) and I agree that blogging is not about crafting the perfect HTML

Reply

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