Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Viewing Your Blog Content, In Text Only

One of the most useful skills to have, when diagnosing a problem with your blog, is looking at the page source code.

Every browser has this alternative, called "Page Source" or "Source", and generally accessed from the "View" menu. I'll instruct you to View - Page Source for such basic tasks as
Sometimes, even this basic task is impossible. If the blog is hijacked, maybe because of broken / malicious third party code, you're going to need to examine the source code too - but you may not be able to see anything useful, because the blog content is immediately redirected, outside your blog. Fortunately, that's not an insurmountable problem.

If you are viewing the blog in your browser, use "View - Source" or equivalent. When it's dangerous, inconvenient, or impossible to view the blog in your browser, use an HTTP text proxy.

Use View - Source
Every browser, on the Internet, lets you view the source code, for the page currently being viewed. Depending upon the browser, source code listings are available in different ways.

For most browsers, you'll have a menu at the top. One of the menu entries should be "View" - and when you click on "View", the sub menu entries should include "Page Source" or "Source".

Besides the menu, try a key click combination. Chrome uses "Control - U".

Finally, most browsers provide a context menu, available from the "mouse" right click button. The context menu, when displayed, may also include "Page Source" or "Source".

Use A Text Proxy
There are many text proxies on the Internet, and it's good to have 2 or 3 available. The two that I use, right now, are Lingo4You HTTP Web-Sniffer and Rex Swain's HTTP Viewer. Neither is complicated to use.
  • For Lingo4You, you
    1. Paste or type the URL that interests you into the "HTTP(S)-URL:" box.
    2. Change nothing in the options.
    3. Hit Enter, or the Submit button.
    4. Watch while the screen is refreshed.
    5. Note that Web-Sniffer will display one page / redirection step, during the retrieval process. If a redirection is relevant, you'll see a clickable link in the "HTTP Response Header" section, above "Content".
    6. View blog content, in the "Content" box, at the bottom.
  • For Rex Swain, you
    1. Paste or type the URL that interests you into the "URL" box. Note that Rex Swain requires the "http://" prefix with the URL, and will not do "https".
    2. Change nothing in the options.
    3. Hit Enter, or the Submit button.
    4. Watch while the screen is refreshed.
    5. Note that Rex Swain will display the entire sequence encountered, during the retrieval process, including all redirections.
    6. View blog content, in the Content section at the bottom of the page.

With the blog content in text, you can do things like extract gadget editing URLs, to avoid having to load the blog or dashboard in emergency situations.

Occasionally the different capability of one proxy, such as those described above, may make a difference between solving a problem, and scratching your head. And sometimes, one proxy may go offline for a while. So having multiple choices never hurts.

If you know of any similar products (free is best), and wish to share, I will gladly add any useful tools to this list.

Know The Alternatives
Know, and understand, the alternatives. Sometimes, choosing the right one will be more convient - other times, more safe. Understand the differences.

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4 comments:

Dale said...

Hello, I have the bloggroll problem. I delieted all of my known widgets and the problem is still there. I took a look at my template and this is what I found.

Now these are the heading within this includable:
1.ShowBlogThisButton
2.blogThisMsg
3.ShowTwitterButton
4.ShowFacebookButton
5.ShowOrkutButton
6.ShowBuzzButton
7.ShowDummy
None of these includables did I allow into my template. I would like to errase these to see if this will fix the problem.
Input please, Thank you. Dale
http://thetrumanreport.blogspot.com

Chuck said...

Dale,

The problem gadget, HTML3, is right there, in your blog. Please try using my improved diagnostic instructions, and let me know which portion of the instructions need still more clarification.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2011/09/blogger-blogs-redirecting-to_07.html

Dale said...

Hey Chuck,
Thank you for the help. It took me some time to figure out how to erase the HTML 3, but I got it. My blog works fine now.
Dale

Haura Malina said...

I have tried remove some gadget through page element but still it redirect to ripway.com

Help me please..... :(