I’m writing this review in the new blog editor, Blogo. There’s a lot to like about Blogo. It has one of the easiest to use interfaces I’ve seen, and I’ve reviewed a lot of programs. For a blogger looking to move from website based editing it has a lot to offer.
Blogo looks a bit like a new Adobe program. The interface is done in shades of gray. Buttons all have a soft gradient look that makes them seem like they have texture. While the buttons are not labeled, they do have descriptive pop-ups that appear when you mouse over a button. Since the functions of most buttons are immediately obvious and there are few of them, the lack of labels is not a problem.
The basics are all included. You get about the same editing functions that you’d find in Blogger or a basic WordPress editing window. And everything makes sense. I’ve seen few applications that are as immediately obvious and easy to use. There is also a pretty inclusive manual for the program available through the Help menu.
Adding an image is as easy as dropping it onto a drop box in the main editing window. If you want it to link to a full sized image, there’s a checkbox for that. You can also crop an image right in the program. Blogo adds an image thumbnail by default. I couldn’t find the ability to change the default thumbnail size in the preferences but you can change both a thumbnail size and the larger image size manually but changing the pixel dimensions. That’s not a drag a handle and resize operation but it’s straightforward. You can add multiple images to each blog entry and align them left, right or centered in their own paragraphs.
There doesn’t seem to be an option to add alternate text to an image and the editing display drops a placeholder into the page for each image. To see the actual image you need to click on the placeholder icon and look in the image edit frame. Still, working with images in Blogo is pretty straightforward if you can live without the accessibility and SEO advantages of alternate text and image descriptions.
One little extra that I appreciate is a display that counts words and characters in a post as you type. Have a two hundred word limit? End after the word two in the previous sentence. It’s also straightforward to assign categories and keywords to a post, though you have to do so one category at a time.
Another nice extra is the ability to assign custom templates to blogs that make the previews actually look like your eventual post page. Excellent.
Blogo makes it easy to connect to most blogging programs and allows for multiple accounts. An obvious dropdown menu makes it easy to post to different blogs. Want to edit a prior post? There’s a slide out drawer that makes the last 10 entries one click away from editing.
Blogo is a pretty good version one program. Its design is extremely well thought out and easy to use. It does lack a few features that I’m not willing to live without. The inability to add alternate text to an image is one. Another is the lack of find or search and replace in the editor. That’s really not excusable in a modern program.
I also find the rich text editing features too limiting. Specifically I want to see the inclusion of headings in editing menu. That is another SEO friendly option that I consider essential. I also find that the HTML that Blogo writes is a bit verbose. Every paragraph tag gets written with style”clear: both;”. If you have a site built with floating elements, as this one is, that can ruin the layout. I had to drop the text into BBEdit to remove the offending inline styles.
, which is not necessary or always desired. Combined with the lack of search and replace, that makes the extra markup unavoidable. That’s probably a trivial consideration for the average blogger but not something I appreciate.
Blogo is an easy to use program that I would recommend to non-pro bloggers looking to use a desktop application for blogging. It covers the basics well and has a brilliant, easy to use interface. The lack of advanced features won’t lure me away from my current program, Ecto.
Ease of use: 5