If you’ve ever used the WordPress editor to post a blog entry, you know what a pain it can be to use. Like any web based editor, it has its own little quirks, and if you use it insider various browsers, they bring their own quirks to the party. Is there a better way? I’ve found one solution that’s not quite ready for prime time, but it’s got great potential. Let’s take a look at PixelPumper, a native Mac OS X WordPress Blogging App, available in the Mac App Store.
PixelPumper connects to your WordPress website, allowing you to save a local draft of a post, or publish one directly. (Very important for your own sanity, notice it saves a local draft of the post. Drafts save only to your Mac’s hard drive, only published posts are actually saved to your website.) You can also retrieve old posts from your site to edit them. Using the editor, you can insert images & hyperlinks, set bulleted and numbered lists, set text styling, set blockquotes, add tags, set categories, and choose a featured image for your post via drag and drop.
The first time Pixelpumper is started up, it will walk you thru a few of the high points of the app, and then walk you through entering the information for the WordPress blog you want to begin adding and editing posts for. After you enter that information, and it’s been verified by the app, you can begin adding or editing posts on your blog.
To begin a new draft, simply click the “New Post” icon in the upper left hand corner of the PixelPumper app window. (All main actions are represented by large and easy to read icons running along the top of the app window.) Then give your blog post a name by clicking in the field that reads, “Untitled Blog Post Name,” then click below that to begin entering your post.
The editor is simple to use and quite responsive. Insertion of images is simple, click the “Add Photos” button, select your photo, and adjust the size and alignment, and your image is ready to go. Adding a featured mage for your post is equally easy, simply drag and drop your image onto the featured image target area on the right side of the area, or click the target area, and select the image the old fashioned way. Oddly enough, the developers didn’t allow the drag and drop method for adding photos inside the body of the post itself. That might be something to consider for a future update.
Once your post is just the way you want it, you can click the “Publish Now” icon, and your post will be saved to your blog. You can also schedule your post to “go live” at a later time by using the scheduling function before publishing.
While I like what I’ve seen of PixelPumper so far, I feel it still has a ways to go before it would lure me out of my familiar web based WordPress editor.
The lack of an “Undo” for many actions is a definite drawback. I accidentally hit the blockquotes button and then was unable to undo the action. Frustrating.
While the local save feature may come in handy if you don’t have a handy internet connection, saving the draft to the website, if an Internet connection is available would be a nice feature. A workaround is to simply set a future date for publishing, and then pressing the publish button, You can then go to the site and set the post to draft, but this really seems like an unnecessary step.
Other issues such as lack of drag and drop for adding photos in to the body of your post, the apparent lack of an embedding feature, the inability to work with the OS X spellchecker, and no HTML/Visual Editor view are definite drawbacks.
The developer has said they are aware of the bugs that have been reported by early users, and that they are addressing them. While they revise the app, it’s available free in the Mac App Store. I recommend downloading the app while it is free, as it is a good first effort, and the developers are encouraging users to contact them with bug reports.
I won’t be using PixelPumper as my everyday WordPress editor quite yet, but I will be keeping an eye on future updates to see how the application develops over time.
Price: Currently FREE – It will be $11.99 once all the initial bugs are worked out. – Available now in the Mac App Store [DIRECT LINK]
- Clean, easy to use interface.
- Setup is easy, and quick.
- Controls are easy to figure out and use.
- The local saving of drafts is nice if no Internet connection is available.
- The ability to use the app for multiple websites is handy.
- Inability to save a draft directly to your website without jumping through some hoops.
- Image sizing is in preset increments, no variable adjustment available.
- Doesn’t use the built-in OS X spellcheck. Spellcheck is my friend!
- Lack of a comprehensive Undo function.