Sunday, August 19, 2007

Publishing Your Blog Externally

Blogger One Button Publishing is simple - you've been through the drill, I'd bet. Just choose a unique blog name, give it a title, pick a template, and you're ready to start publishing. That's because you let Blogger make a few choices for you.

The name of this blog was bloggerstatusforreal (that's the unique part). The URL, derived from the name, was http://bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.com/ (before I migrated this blog to my custom domain, "blogging.nitecruzr.net").

Simple. But what if I didn't like http://bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.com/? Maybe I would like my blog accessed as http://blog.myowndomain.net/?

The good news is - you're not stuck with http://yourblog.blogspot.com/ (or whatever you just setup). You have two choices, which will let you have a Blogger blog without the Blog*Spot URL.
Both processes have problems - daily we'll see typically half a dozen trouble reports, from folks using one or the other. Neither Custom Domain publishing, nor FTP publishing, is foolproof; and as Blogger becomes simpler to use, we will see increased use by folks less experienced with computers. Computers and the Internet are becoming less toys for geeks, and more simple appliances for universal communication.

The latter factor will make Blogger Blogs increasingly problematic. Neither Blogger Help Forums, nor Blogger Support, will become redundant in the near future.

Both Custom Domain Publishing, and FTP Publishing, have their advantages.
  • Both Custom Domain Publishing, and FTP Publishing, now give you
    • Forwarding of the current Blog*Spot URL to the non-BlogSpot URL, so you don't lose readers that continue to use the Blog*Spot URL to access the blog.
    • Retention of the current Blog*Spot URL, should you ever need to return to publishing there.

  • Custom Domain Publishing gives you
    • Ability to use Layouts templates.
    • Availability of private blogs.
    • Avoidance of known problems with FTP publishing.
    • Dynamic HTML, and the many Layouts template features that require Dynamic HTML. This includes the GUI Page Elements wizard, XML based widgets, and full featured labels.
    • Dynamic publishing, giving speedy publishing even as the blog gets larger.
    • Hosting of your blog on a Google server. This will be more important, as your blog ages.
      • Local publishing, eliminating excessive network traffic (which will be more significant, as the blog gets larger).
      • No Content Hosting charges (which will increase, as your blog gets more traffic).
    • No space limitations.
    • No Spinner of Death when publishing.
    • Simple setup, just like publishing on Blog*Spot (once you get DNS properly setup).

  • FTP Publishing gives you
    • Ability to publish on a non-Google server.
    • Ability to publish your blog on the same server as the rest of your personal domain.
    • Ability to use server side code such as PHP (on host servers that support PHP etc).
    • Avoidance of known problems with Custom Domain publishing.
    • Control over folder structure in the blog - ability to setup "mydomain.com/blog".
    • A GUI control to turn the Navbar Off - no changing template code.
    • No worries over blog outages that you can't control (subject to how good your third party server host is, when resolving its own outages, of course).


My suspicion, though, is that FTP publishing has a limited life span. From an economic and support viewpoint, it makes more sense for Blogger to concentrate its attention on Custom Domain publishing, where they control everything but the domain directory process, and can eliminate the uncertainty of supporting communications with hundreds of third party servers, complicated by geographical and network distance issues. I'm going to predict that, as Blogger gets the bugs out of Custom Domain publishing, they'll start to de emphasise support for FTP publishing.

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19 comments:

Joseph said...

Why would anyone choose FTP over custom domain right now? Does it have anything custom domains doesn't?

Chuck said...

Several miscellaneous differences that I've observed.
1) Publish on a non Google server.
2) Control over folder structure.
3) The control to turn off the Navbar.
4) Host blog on same server as rest of personal domain.
5) Don't trust custom domain publishing just yet.

Joseph said...

Re #3 "The control to turn off the Navbar", doesn't the code to remove the navbar work in both custom domain AND FTP?

Chuck said...

Joseph,

The Navbar Off control is under Template - Edit HTML, and is only available for FTP Published blogs.

None of the Custom Domain published blogs, that I control, have the Navbar Off control. I reverted one to Classic template, as a quick test, and it did not gain the Navbar Off selection.

Joseph said...

Okay, thanks.

I thought I had once edited the code in Blogger to shut off NavBar in a non-FTP blog.

Chuck said...

Well, there is editing done to shut off the Navbar in non-FTP published blogs. It's not a mod that Blogger provides, it's done by the blog owner on their own.

And I recommend against it.

bytehead said...

Hosting the blog on the same server as the rest of my personal domain is an important thing to me.

The trouble is, with all the additions to the "new" Blogger, they've pretty much left the FTP users out in the cold. I can't do hardly anything with labels, I can't control whether they show or not, and I can't do interesting things like use them to embed Technorati tags (which is what I'd really like to be able to do).

Maybe sometime, but it certainly doesn't look like it will be happening soon.

And with the publishing of labels, it appears that custom domain may become the only way to go. I'm pushing a few megabytes every time I publish now, because I have to push throw every stupid label page. And that's just stupid.

Chuck said...

Bytehead,

You can have Labels in any New Blogger blog. To use Labels to their fullest potential, though, you have to have dynamic HTML, which will only work on blogs published in Blogger.

Publishing externally, using FTP, requires static HTML. None of the shiny Layouts template features will work under static HTML, so blogs published using FTP just can't have those features.

It's not a case here simply that Blogger refuses to support these features for FTP publishing, it's that FTP publishing just isn't compatible with them. Period.

zack@melcottons.com said...

Using FTP to publish your blog increases your google ranking for your website. What's the point of creating all of this great content and not drawing people to your own website?

Stem Cell Tracker said...

So let me get this straight, if I set up my domain through Google, I can still use the free templates and whatnot offered by sites on my custom domain? And if I set it up through GoDaddy, I need to use a classic blogger template?

Thanks for the insight.

Tyler

Chuck said...

Tyler,

If you setup the blog and have the content hosted by GoDaddy, then you have to publish statically, using FTP, and then you have to use a classic template.

Stan Bush said...

Quote - Why would anyone choose FTP over custom domain right now? Does it have anything custom domains doesn't? /Quote
One thing FTP allows is the renaming of files. I published an Article...google indexed it. I had to delete the article and replace it...and now it's #1 on Google results.. but 404 error is what is returned...since it is indeed deleted.

Chuck said...

Stan,

I've heard several "reasons".
1. External hosting - content not served from Google. In some cases, an overseas server, with intended local readership.
2. Need to have a server with active server code.
3. More control over what's in the blog, including file and folder control.

Simon Feilder said...

So here's a pickle...

I just spent a long time putting together a new website via blogger: simonfeilder.blogspot.com to replace my old one at simonfeilder.com

I just found out I can't use FTP as it's not a "classic template", but all of the images and content are hosted at simonfeilder.com/images so if I change the DNS settings that content can't be found...

So, how do I get my blog to sit under my domain name while still having access to my hosting space....?

Chuck said...

Simon,

A good question, and one which should be explored - in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, or in Nitecruzr Dot Net - Blogging.

Peer support - that's how you get your questions answered.

Gordon said...

Another advantage of publishing via FTP is that the content does not reside on a Google server so any legal actions will be against the domain owner (me) or my ISP. In other words Google can't take my blog down. They could lock me out of my account but I would still have all the content safely on my own hosting account.

Games from Everywhere said...

Now that FTP is being phased out (as we speak - and just as many of you had predicted), where can I go to find out how to put my blog on my site?

Also, is there any SEO advantage in having the blog on my site in the first place if my blog has links which lead to my site and vice versa?

Chuck said...

where can I go to find out how to put my blog on my site?

Here.

is there any SEO advantage in having the blog on my site in the first place if my blog has links which lead to my site and vice versa?

Ask that question in terms of real concerns, rather than vague questions about "SEO advantage" (you should know, by now, that I don't waste time with phantom issues like SEO), and that will be worth exploring. Try to ask about definable issues though, please.

vinod kumar said...

I transferred my domain svtuition.org successfully to a new registrar
znetindia.com. But I do not know to modify my DNS Setting to work with
google apps. So, please my help on this point.