In the world of blogging most people use online editors such as those provided by MovableType, Blogger and WordPress. Some however, prefer desktop editors because they are faster without having to load all of the elements required for a web page — which an online blog editor is after all. WordPress.com has just announced a feature that may render the speed issue moot; support for Gears.

Gears is a browser extension that allows you to create local version of files used on webpages. Developed by Google, it was originally created to allow for some of Google online applications, such as Google Reader, to work when users are not connected to the Internet.

WordPress however is using it to store highly used admin area files to speed up its online blogging experience. The idea is if you don’t have to reach out across the Internet each time to pull some some editor icons or graphics, it will be a much faster experience.

To use this feature, simply click on the “Turbo” button in the upper right corner of your admin area. If you do not yet have the Gears plug-in installed, it will tell you how to do that. Currently, to use Gears you must be using either Firefox 2 or 3 or Internet Explorer 6 or 7. Support for Apple’s Safari browser is coming.

It’s important to note that this is currently only for WordPress.com users, it is not supported for hosted versions of WordPress just yet. WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg tells us that the functionality has been in development for weeks for hosted WordPress blogs and will be in the next WordPress.org release, 2.6.


[photo: flickr/sarah jane]