Wanted: Real remote blogging support for Joomla

Wanted: Real remote blogging support for JoomlaFor years, people have been asking for real remote blogging support for Joomla.

Remote blogging, or remote publishing, is when you use a desktop software package (Windows Live Writer) or plug-in (like ScribeFire for Firefox) to create and edit your posts.

When you're done, you add the post to the Joomla web site directly, without even logging in to the Joomla administrator.

There are several benefits to using remote publishing:

  • You can create and edit your posts while offline (I often find myself on a train without internet access)
  • You can publish your post directly to the blog, images and all
  • The software will upload all images at once, saving a lot of time compared to doing them one by one
  • You can preview your post in the software
  • Easier to edit posts over time (no time-out or browser crashes)
  • Writers without Joomla knowledge can contribute content easily

Of course, this can be used for more than blogging. Every person who needs to publish articles to Joomla on a regular basis should have the possibility to post from a remote application. Even Google Docs supports this kind of publishing. It's about time Joomla got some decent, built-in support for remote publishing as well.

The goal is simple


So, what I want to do is quite simple, actually. I would like to use a desktop program to create, edit and polish my posts or articles. When I'm done, I want to be able to click "Publish" and have the software publish the complete post to my blog, set to go live at the correct time and in the correct category.

There has been some ways of doing this in the past, by using the MetaWebLog API XML-RPC and RSD (Real Simple Discovery) plug-ins for Joomla. However, these scripts are hacks or just partly working solutions. And they even need to be altered to work with different software. Just take a look at this method for getting MarsEdit to work with Joomla. And it doesn't even work anymore (I promised you, I tried!).

As you can see in part from the above mentioned post, there are several challenges involved when trying to use a remote blogging app with Joomla:

  • The intro text divider is misinterpreted (which means the blogging software will cut your post after the intro text...)
  • Images are not easily uploaded
  • The publishing state is not carried over to Joomla
  • It's not possible to add meta description and keywords

In short, the task of posting remotely to Joomla is a complex one at best. Some Joomla components have some remote blogging support (like the otherwise excellent EasyBlog), but even that is not working 100%. I hear it's working well with Windows Live Writer, but I tested both ScribeFire and MarsEdit with EasyBlog, and both had issues (no image upload, post cut at read more divider etc).

Remote blogging with Joomla 1.6 and later versions

In Joomla 1.6, the support for XML-RPC was removed completely. Read this post for more information and a work-around. Work-arounds are OK, but they are not a solution for beginners or people not interested in hacking their way into blogging heaven. After all, Joomla is used mostly by people who don't want to know how to hack anything. They just want to get their content onto the web for the world to enjoy.

Limiting access to Joomla

It would make the job of training content contributors so much easier. In the case of a person who just wants to add content, I could just install the software on his computer and teach him to post there. No need to explain how to navigate Joomla or even give them access to Joomla at all. In many cases, you're better off not giving the user access to anything ;)

Also, I could use this myself a lot more efficiently than I can today. I'm actually writing this post in MarsEdit for Mac OS X, but it's not a fluid experience to publish the post. I still have to log in to Joomla, add the images, set the publishing time correctly, add meta tags etc.

Why shouldn't Joomla users have this as well?

Joomla PLT - please consider adding support for remote blogging / publishing in a future version of Joomla. It would increase the usability of Joomla enormously!

Why not add a Joomla specific protocol like WordPress and other services have? There should be no reason the different blog software packages shouldn't support Joomla out of the box like they do with Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr and more.

Read 6267 times Originally published on Thursday, 14 July 2011 13:30
Last modified on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:05
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