Performancing released a new Firefox extension today that lets the user blog directly from Firefox using their simple to use editor. I gave it a try and it is excellent. The extension supports Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, Live Journal, and Movable Type. It also appears that you can get it working for other services too. When enabling the extension, an editor will show up at the bottom splitting the browser in half. This is great because you can view websites, use tabs, and maintain your usual Firefox functionality all while the editor is open below. To get an idea of what is possible, take a look at the screenshot below (click to enlarge).

Getting started is simple. Install the extension, restart Firefox, open the extension and select the “Launch Account Wizard” button on the right under the “Blogs” tab. Select your blogging service and go through the steps. Once your blog has been successfully added, the blog will show up under the Blogs tab. You will also see that you categories and past blog posts are listed under the “Categs.” and “History” tabs. You will also see one last tab on the right called, Notes. You can use the notes area to obviously save notes, but also to save drafts of a post that you are working on.

On the left side is the editor itself. You can write in either a normal WYSIWYG editor or HTML format by selecting the “A” or “<A>” tabs at the top. When you finish writing, they also give a simple preview view that shows your posts title and content (No formatting, just default News Time Roman size 12). All of the normal WordPress functionality when writing remains. Buttons for bold, italic, underline, quote, link, image, etc.. When you finish writing, just click on the publish button and that’s it. Nice and simple, just how I like it. Another thing that I liked was that when you view the history of posts, selecting one will bring it up in the editor and then add a button, “Publish as Edit” next to the publish button that will allow you to edit the post instead of posting it as a new post.

Another feature that I just noticed is that you are not restricted to having the editor show up split screened on Firefox on the bottom. You can have it show on the top instead by going in the Settings area. Also, you can open up the editor in a new tab or window making it a full screen editor by right clicking on the icon for the extension and selecting the method.

I did have one small problem with the extension and a few minor suggestions as well. First, the editing of posts didn’t seem to work all that great for me. Content would edit perfectly fine, but in my test post I had an image left aligned and set it to a random category. When I edited the post, I aligned the image center, added the text, “Testing edit,” and selected a different category for the post. I clicked on the “Publish as Edit” button and it saved the post. When I went to check it, the image was not aligned center but the “Testing edit” text was there. I also noticed that the categories did not change. I went back to the post in the extension and the HTML and CSS for the centering of the image was gone, text was there, and the categories weren’t set. So, I guess there is still some issues with the editing of posts. Now for some of my personal suggestions/opinions. the phrase, “Publish as Edit” is a little confusing and I feel “Edit Post” makes more sense and follows the terminology of WordPress as well. Also, I would like to have the HTML view show in a smaller type and maybe in a font like Courier New. Maybe allow us to set a font? Another text related suggestion is that when previewing a post, links get some formatting, like an underline. Right now, linked text is the same font with no underline, so it is hard to see where the links are. No biggy, but I personally like to see where the links are. Lastly, I was working on a post and then wanted to check back on a note that I saved. Not thinking, I just clicked on the note to view the contents and then realized that I just overwrote my post I was working on. I would it that if you start writing, you can’t view a note or a post in the history without either saving what you are working on as a note or publish it. This way, nothing will be lost accidently. That about sums it up. Everything else worked great and Performancing for Firefox is definitely a very useful tool for blogging.

View the Performancing for Firefox extension. (via ProBlogger)

Update: Looks like the editing problems I am experiencing are restrictions by WordPress itself, but the categories still didn’t seem to edit. Performancing has more on Editing with WordPress.


12 Comments on “Blog from Firefox with Performancing for Firefox”

  1. Carpe Diem » Fire Fox? Blog ?? “Performancing” says:

    [...] under Uncategorized Blog ?? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???. Blog from Firefox with Performancing for Firefox » Solution Watch [...]

  2. Heiko says:

    Very nice Extension, but it doesn’t support ISO-8859-1 Encoding ;O(

  3. Ben Dyer says:

    Wow, this is an awesome plug in, it works really well and I for one intend to use it!

    Google also have a nice firefox plugin that allows you to read blog entries for a particular page, thats very handy.

  4. Matt Dempsey says:

    Isn’t this kinda what flock does? If so, Flock must be getting a bit worried, if this amazing already popular browser is now already capable of one of their main features.

  5. Brian Benzinger says:

    @Heiko – Yeah. Unfortunately it still lacks a few features like the encoding support and pinging.

    @Ben Dyer – This really is a great tool and I find the Comments plugin offered by Google very handy too! Thanks for comment, bud!

    @Matt Dempsey – Yes, it is very similar to the editor of Flock. The only difference really is that Flock’s has the Flickr bar and pinging. But, from what I have been seeing with the new version of the Blog Editor, it is going to blow this out of the water, especially when it comes to using imagery in posts.

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

  6. Easton Ellsworth says:

    Thanks for the extensive comments on this new Firefox blogging plugin. I look forward to trying it out and hopefully reviewing it at my blog!

  7. Brian Benzinger says:

    @Easton – Great to hear you found the review helpful. I’ll look forward to your review. Thanks!

  8. genbeta says:

    Performancing, plugin para escribir entradas desde Firefox

    Performancing es un editor de entradas de sistemas de bitácoras, que realiza la misma labor que programas como w.bloggar o qumana, pero que en esta ocasión la realizaremos desde Firefox 1.5. Soporta dos modos de edición de textos, WYSIWYG y formato …

  9. Markus Merz says:

    Great review. Also the little glitches are a worth reading.

    What I like a lot is the possibility to do spell checking by ‘Spell as you type’ with Spellbound.

    Some things have changed until today (2.2.06)
    * Version 1.1 is available. PFF 1.1 adds “Internet Marketing” features (pinging, post link to del.icio.us with the Technorati tags, Technorati tags can be added automatically, support for trackback URIs) – very helpful!

    * There is a well developing community at performancing.com. You can have your own blog there and off course you are able to post to the forums with PFF :-)

    Last not least, today they opened a beta forum for everybody to participate i testing new versions. So the whole performancing thing is really moving forward – in a really sympathetic way.

    As a resume I would say that the PFF extension is one of the most straight forward tools for a blogger to help her/him with the blogging workflow.

  10. Blog Statistics with Performancing Metrics » Solution Watch says:

    [...] Performancing has been on a roll lately. First, a blogging tool for Firefox and now, Performancing Metrics has been launched, a service for tracking blog statistics. We now have Measure Map (Review), BlogBeat (Review), and Performancing Metrics offering easy solutions to blog analytics. They all offer similar statistics with a few extras here and there, but I think the key is in presenting the data. Performancing has a unique method of presenting the data where specific statistics are assigned to three main categories (Visitors, Activity, and Marketing) and also consists of multiple containers with sliders to narrow down on date ranges. But what got me excited was the fact that you can track multiple blogs under one account! Performancing has also stated in their launch writeup, “In a couple of weeks, we’ll be able to show you the aggregate data for your entire network also.” I don’t own multiple blogs myself, but I am sure other can definitely see the benefit of tracking multiple blogs under one service. Now, lets take a look at what Metrics has to offer. I don’t have too much data on Metrics yet, but enough to show a visual of the service for you. One last note: Metrics is free and includes blog support for WordPress, MovableType, Drupal, TypePad, and Blogger. It is also said to work for any basic website, but includes more functionality for supported blogs. [...]

  11. stevnewb says:

    Anti Firefox Virus

    I need some feedback from other Firefox users on the Comcast access to internet.

    I’ve picked up some kind of disabling virus which prevent Firefox from reaching ANY servers, and I don’t know how to get rid of it.

    HELLLLLLP!

    stevnewb

  12. Internet Website Design says:

    Their latest plugin allows you to rank users by comments and posts – pretty cool

    Their latest plugins are here-

    http://plugins.performancing.com/