This post is to review the high and low points of BlogJet. Before I get started, I want to make sure that everyone understands that I fully intended on composing this blog post with BlogJet, but unfortunately the limitations of the application prohibited me from going through the process of easily composing an article/review for BlogJet. I simply couldn’t waste so much time dealing with BlogJet composing an article and going through all the gyrations.
In my techie reviews, I like to dig into the applications and look at the functions, and use the options that are available in the new versions. The reviews are intended as an inside look to the products. Most websites are comfortable regurgitating the marketing information over and over.
Hopefully after reading this post, you’ll be more educated about BlogJet 3 and be able to make a more informed decision about in investing in the software.
This morning, I received an email that indicated that a popular blogging software, BlogJet, had been issued a major update. Listing updates to features such as spellchecker, ribbon GUI, Flickr, post statuses, custom fields, auto drafts and WYSIWYG updates.
The installation went very smooth.
Here’s some screenshots from the installation:
Screenshots of default preferences:
I realize that the developers did go through a lot of trouble to make some improvements to the application and I would like to take a moment to point out some improvements and some bonuses that I think the application excels at.
- Fast and Compact
The base installation of BlogJet is only around 13 MB; that’s a fast download and it’s easy to install.
- Opens Quick
BlogJet opens up very quickly. BlogJet definitely opens up faster than Windows Live Writer, which has a history of performance issues.
- New blog wizard
Adding a blog with BlogJet, is very easy; especially with WordPress. Not only does BlogJet offer the ability to use the default API for storing images, but it also supports Flickr and FTP; a true bonus.
- Ribbon GUI
I do want to mention that BlogJet developers have spent some time working on the rent ribbon GUI. BlogJet does have the bulk of general options for editing in the toolbar. And a lot of the options can be added to the Quick Access Toolbar.
- Pulling existing posts/articles
Being able to quickly look up an existing post, the performance, seems to be outstanding. BlogJet was able to connect to my WordPress blog and download the first couple of blog posts almost instantly, with images and text. Being able to switch between the individual posts was instantaneous. Being able to jump through posts one by one was literally effortless.
- Post/Article Research
I found the search feature, for blog posts containing a word or phrase, to be highly useful. I really like using it. It helped me find like articles with similar subjects. Incidentally, having an off-line blog editor that can do this on an automatic basis would be very useful to people while there composing articles.
- Auto excerpt
During the composition phase of using BlogJet, I really enjoyed the option to automatically generate an excerpt with the WordPress blog service. This is something that I think that BlogJet should focus on more in other areas such as auto tag generation.
- Auto replace
I really like the feature that BlogJet has for auto replace. For instance, if you have a particular product, service or unique name/phrase that you need to have specially formatted, or if you want to utilize short keys for specific phrases, BlogJet has you covered. BlogJet allows you to specify a short key, word [no spaces] and have that automatically converted to the proper format. I think this is a very intuitive feature for a blog editor to have.
- No HELP file
There’s no help file with BlogJet and unfortunately the knowledge base that the BlogJet website offers is less than useful. I was really expecting some sort of community forum for discussion, but I didn’t see anything like that. The only way to get support from BlogJet seems to be through direct email contact.
If you have an application like BlogJet and you are a low personnel development shop, support may be an issue, but having a community forum for common people to answer ask questions is a good idea, because typically they’ll get faster responses from other users. I mention this because I initially had problems with understanding the overall functionality of the application.
- No width adjustment on composition area
I liked the layout of the composition window, it reminds me of the older version of Windows Live Writer, but at the same time the problem with [seemingly all] off-line blog editors is not so much having the WYSIWYG interface, the biggest issue is being able to change the width of the composition area; close enough to where it matches the width of your existing blog.
Being able to adjust the width of the composition area really gives the authors the ability to guesstimate what the post is going to look like, and where they might need to make some adjustments in their presentation. BlogJet seems to have something like that, by the use of some XML files, but again, there’s no help file, there’s no support forum and there’s no clear way to understand how to make adjustments there. BlogJet needs to work on adding additional features and settings to adjust those XML files without having users go in manually.
- No FIND function
BlogJet also does not have a Find function [CTRL-F] in the composition phase. Windows Live Writer is truly guilty of not having a Find And Replace option, but Windows Live Writer does have a Find option. BlogJet has no listing, nor function, for doing a Find in the text of the composition. As a baseline text editor BlogJet must have this function; this would have be fixed as soon as possible.
- No MORE tag
I also noticed that BlogJet does not have an option to insert the MORE tag when composing articles. There’s no menu or toolbar option that allows the author to insert an indicator where the post should be broken up for the READ MORE once it’s published. Again, a baseline off-line blog editor should have the ability to insert this common tag.
- Copy/cut and paste images
I was very surprised to find that BlogJet does not support the functionality of doing copy and paste of images into the application, during the composition phase. One of the most convenient functions and off-line blog application can offer is the ability to copy and paste images directly into the composition. The only option that BlogJet offers is the ability to link to a web image, file image or a Flickr image.
BlogJet really needs to focus on being able to copy and paste images into the application, either as a PNG or a JPEG image, and to be able to tag those images appropriately [SEO] so the authors get the most benefit from including images and their blog post.
- No FONT SIZE option
Another big issue for me was that BlogJet does not have a font size option/selection for the composition phase. It only offers a drop-down box for headers 1 through 6. This doesn’t help the authors. Blog authors should be able to easily select the font size of the text they’re working with, not have to edit the source code to change the font size.
And the program still has a few bugs to work out, because I found one as soon as I opened the application. For instance, if you open BlogJet and don’t do anything, and then you click on the option to ‘view on the web‘, the application will crash.
Another point was detecting the problem with the more tag. Normally, with a off-line blog editor the more tag will be represented by a horizontal line that goes across the screen [composition area], but I found with BlogJet that the more tag, or indicator, won’t show up in the composition phase unless you switch from Rich text to code and then back again. See from the examples below.
Overall, I think the BlogJet does have the potential to be a very good off-line blog editor. Essentially, it has a very good feel with the user interface, and there’s a lot of good features in place, but the application does need some refining. My biggest problem with BlogJet is that while there are some off-line blog editors that are free, BlogJet charges users for their application. And if I was a customer of BlogJet the types of shortcomings that I listed would not be acceptable.
The problems with BlogJet listed above won’t be too hard to remedy and I honestly I look forward to seeing another release of BlogJet in the future. With a few tweaks, this application, if you’re a true blogger, will be well worth paying for.
BlogJet – Offline blog editor
Larry Henry Jr.
…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12