Configuring Windows Live Writer for Live Community Server

Windows Live Writer is a brand new blogging tool from Microsoft.  It’s easily configured for use with a number of blog applications, including Community Server. uses the Express edition of Community Server, and this post will help you configure Windows Live Writer for use with  The steps below will only need to be completed once.

  1. Download Windows Live Writer from  Save the file somwehere you can find it again.
  2. When the download completes, find the Writer.msi file and double-click to start the installation.
  3. When installation has completed, you’ll be able to start the program from the Start menu.
  4. When you start the program, you’ll see the welcome screen below.  Click Next to continue.

  5. You need to choose “Another weblog service”, and click Next.

  6. Enter the information for your blog.  Your URL should be similar to below.  Remeber that the subdirectory for your blog is “blogs” (plural), not “blog” (singular).

  7. Live Writer will analyze your blog to try and determine some features of your blog.

  8. Live Writer will need to be configured for Community Server by selecting it from the drop down list.

  9. You need to change <hostname> to, as seen below.

  10. Live Writer will again scan your blog.

  11. If your configuration information is correct, Live Writer will display your blog information.  Click Finish and Live Writer will start.

  12. Live Writer’s interface is a simple rich text editor, similar to Word but far more basic.  You can easily choose categories, add photos, enter and format text.

  13. Community Server doesn’t support direct uploadingof photos into galleries, so you’ll first have to upload images to your photo gallery and then add them to your blog by using Insert >> Picture from Web.  Then, enter the URL of the image from your photo gallery.

  14. As you edit your post, you’ll be able to see the formatting, and choose options for formatting images in your post.

  15. Just to the right of the Save Draft button is the preview button.  One cool option is the ability to see your post exactly as it would look without publishing it by choosing Web Preview.  You cannot edit your post in this mode; you’ll have to change back to Normal mode to resume editing.

  16. Inserting a hyperlink is easy.  Highlight the text you want to turn into a hyperlink and click the globe and chain icon on the toolbar.  Enter the URL’s information, including its relation.  Setting the Rel to “tag” adds the link to your site’s tagcloud, and signals sites such as Technorati to add the link text to their tagcloud.  Setting Rel to “nofollow” means that Google and other search engines should ignore this link.

  17. When you’re done, click the Publish button to add the post to your blog.

There are a lot more features than covered here.  For instance, you can open old posts to edit them, then publish the edited post (which will correct the version online).  You can save drafts and edit them later.  You can also configure several blogs, if you have more than one.

Even though Community Server doesn’t support direct upload of images, Live Writer can upload photos to an FTP folder on your site.  The configuration for every website will be different, so we’re not going to go through that here.  This makes adding images very easy, but your readers won’t find the images in your photo gallery.  You’ll also have to add a watermark manually to all images, where the Community Server photo gallery will add the watermark automatically.

<semi-correction 8/16/2006>

The Metablog API, used by Community Server (as well as most blogging platforms) doesn’t support image upload.  Community Server does have an API for directly uploading images into galleries, which is used by Chiwi’s CS Gallery Manager.  If you have a lot of images and want them in your galleries, this app might be a great help.  With any luck, someone will add a plug-in for WLW which will support CS galleries.

If you’re using Chiwi’s app, the address you need is http://<siteurl>/photos/galleryservice.asmx.  Remember to replace <siteurl> with your site’s URL.

3 thoughts on “Configuring Windows Live Writer for Live Community Server”

  1. One comment regarding uploading images: while CS doesn’t support this directly, you can have Live Writer perform the uploading for you. I don’t know where the options actually are, but it will offer to configure FTP support the first time you try to publish a post that contains images to be uploaded. This is much more convenient than doing things by hand for every post.

  2. You’re right Justin that you’re not prompted to setup Image Publishing the first time you create your account. However when you choose Weblog > Edit Weblog Settings from the menubar you’ll see the options on the second panel of the wizard. I’m not sure if I like how WLW creates separate directories for each post but I’ll live with it for now.

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