PixelPumper is the new kid on the block for WordPress blogging software from your desktop for Mac OSX.
(Before I begin, let me just point out I had planned on using the software for a month before reviewing it but the developer has just released an update and I wanted to add my thoughts so far to the discussion.)
If you use a Mac and you blog then you know your choices are limited at best when it comes to how you get a post written and on your site. You can either use the browser based interface which can be problematic or you can use a program such as the defacto standard MarsEdit.
While MarsEdit is an excellent program, it isn’t cheap, costing $39.95. As far as software prices goes this is fairly reasonable in a world where games can cost $60 and professional applications can go for hundreds of dollars. For the not so professional blogger, though, it can be hard to justify the cost for a hobby.
The browser based interface offered by WordPress is adequate for putting up a quick post, but for anything more involved can be tedious, not to mention you have to be online to use it. There are times when this just isn’t feasible or you want to take your time and put together a more visually interesting post and for that you need something which allows you to save a draft locally on your computer. To do so you need an editor such as the above mentioned MarsEdit or PixelPumper.
Well, for one the basic version is currently being offered for free as the bugs are being worked out which makes the price hard to beat. For another, it allows you to create blog posts quickly and easily as long as you don’t need to do anything fancy such as add video or other embedded content.
As you can see, the interface is clean and straight forward, (which is good since the online help leaves a bit to be desired.)
Adding text is the same as you would in any basic word processor and you can adjust the text as needed, though I stayed with the default settings as they worked well enough for what I wanted.
If you want to add a picture to your post, this is the first place you find one of the programs little quirks. Unlike with almost all programs for OSX, PixelPumper doesn’t support Drag and Drop, which means a few extra steps are needed to get your image onto the page. First you need to download the picture you want to your computer, then click the “Add Photos” button on the toolbar. Find the folder where you downloaded the picture, choose it, then click “select” and it will be added to your post. A bit more time consuming than MarsEdit’s Drag and Drop functionality and while it might be a minor inconvenience, you will notice it.
Want to give people a link to follow? It’s pretty simple. Click the “Hyperlink” button in the toolbar, add your information and “Set Link” and your done.
Now with the basic version, you cannot embed video directly into your post. I haven’t read if this is now possible with the new “Nerd mode” or not as there really isn’t much information available yet. I found this lack to be an issue for myself, but if you don’t usually embed things into your posts, then it isn’t something to worry about.
Speaking of “Nerd mode”…
This is an in App purchase which cost $11.99 and adds HTML editing and Online Drafts. I’m just not convinced this is going to give me any additional functionality which would justify the expense.
Now, there are a few issues I have, which in and of themselves are not deal breakers but which show this is still very much beta software…
For one, the “Featured Image” is pointless right now. When I first tried it, it froze the program, the next time it simply didn’t do anything I could see. For the time being it seems best if you ignore it all together.
The second thing is a real issue as far as I’m concerned and I hope it gets fixed soon. When I linked to my WP sites, they all show up as the same blog even though all of addresses are different. What’s more, the name it found to use was of a very old blog which I deleted a long time ago and it refuses to change it to my current primary blog or any of my other blogs for that matter. I have to go and look at the settings for each to see which blog they are linked to.
Another is not being able to edit “Categories” directly. MarsEdit has the same issue and it really needs attention. It’s a pain when you accidentally add something which is already in your list and then every time you want to use it, every version is added to your post.
So, what’s my verdict?
If you need a basic program to create content for your WordPress blog and you want to be able to save local drafts so you can come back and work on it as you have time, then PixelPumper just might work for you. Just be aware it’s not for every situation or need, but for what it is intended to do, it does well enough to earn you consideration.
If nothing else, download it while it’s free and give it a test drive. You really don’t have anything to loose.