| WordPress

BlogDesk is software you run on your desktop and lets you post to your blog. You don't need to be on the internet to create a new post, but the next time you connect to the internet, your post and all it's pictures will be uploaded. You can even post to multiple blogs.

One of the best advantages to using desktop software is that it gives your users a simple interface for creating blog posts without giving them any direct access to a login on either the front end or back end of the site.

Other advantages:

  • The ability to write posts without having to go on-line
  • The ability to save drafts
  • A nicer interface
  • Fancy formatting features
  • Features like cross-posting to multiple blogs
  • Faster uploading and addition of photos
  • The ability to keep local backup
  • Minumum effort training contributors

There are quite a few clients to choose from, including ones for MAC, PC, LInux, browser based and mobile devices. For a complete list you can visit the WordPress Codex.

The RPC in xml-rpc stands for Remote Procedure Call - and is a method devised for making changes to a web server using http. This is built in to your WordPress installation, and you don't need to add anything to WordPress to use it. You download the software and install it on your local computer.

For this tutorial we're going to use BlogDesk, which is free, open source and can be downloaded here: http://www.blogdesk.org/en/index.htm.

BlogDesk delivers an exe file and once it's downloaded, you click the file and it installs itself.

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The exe file saved to your computer. Click it to start the process.

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Click Run in the dialog box. Just follow the install wizard and launch BlogDesk

Step 1. Add your first blog

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From the File menu click Manage Blogs

Step 2. Give it a title

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This is the title used by you within BlogDesk. You can manage more than one, so you need to be able to identify each one.

Step 3. Enter the URL of your blog

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The url is the address a visitor would type to get to your blog. In this example the blog is in a subdomain called wordpress32.dashhelp.com

Step 4. Choose the appropriate version of WordPress

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Each blog platform has it's own quirks. You need to match the weblog system with the platform you are using.

Step 5. Set the endpoint

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The endpoint is the php file that has the instructions for uploading and handling files. In a WordPress blog it is always at http://yourdomain.com/xmlrpc.php

Step 5. Get the Blog-ID

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Click Get Blot-ID and the wizard will fill in the number for you.

Step 6. Choose the categories you will allow BlogDesk to access

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The Categories window wil be blank until you click Get Categories. Then it will be filled with the post categories on your blog. If you add more categories later, you can repeat this step to get them into BlogDesk.

Step 7. Test the image upload capabilities

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The white box will be empty when you get to this section of the wizard. After you click Test Upload the test image will appear in the box. If it doesn't there is a problem. If you get no error messages you are ready to start adding and editing posts from your local computer.

Step 8. Create a post

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The tools are similar to the tools in WordPress, just arranged a bit differently.

  1. Menu
  2. Title Entry
  3. Post, More, Excerpt - this is a little different. You can type the entire post in the main window under the Post tab. If you are going to use a "read more" link and an introduction, you type the introduction in the main post tab and the rest of the post in the More tab. The Excerpt tab creates an entry that will be used as an archive description or by a newsfeed.
  4. Edit Window
  5. Category LIst - This will also include all other blogs you have access to edit and their categories.
  6. Post Parameters - allow coments, pings and publishing.

Be sure to go through all the drop down menus on the menu bar. Important editing functions are located there. For example, the View menu gives you access to the code view. There is also an Extra's menu that has some features not available in WordPress.

Step 9. Prepare the post for upload to blogs and categories

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You can choose more than one blog and more than one categorie and upload them all at the same time. Here we are adding the same post to two different blogs and a different category for each one.

Step 9. Publish the post

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From the File menu click Publish Post.

The uploaded sample

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Extras - image editing

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Go to Edit> Add image or click the icon for the image editor, and insert an image file.
You will see some image editing tools, and as in the case above, a warning if the picture is too big for the blog. From here you can create thumbnails, crop, rotate and add effects to the photo.

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Here is the same image resized to medium and with the Paper tear effect added. It's not super sophisticated, but it gives even the beginner some control over the images.

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Under the Extras menu, you'll find a handy Notebook feature, Frequently Used Phrases, a Tags-Generater and Spell check. You or your authorized users, will have everything they need to create great looking posts, without logging in to your WordPress site directly.