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It's The Holiday Season Again, And It's Time To Decorate Our Blogs

The Winter Holiday season is approaching, and this week we're seeing queries by some blog owners, getting ready.
Why do my readers see a search display - instead of my blog?
and
How do I make it snow on my blog?
and a few owners, and visitors
Why does my browser freeze or lag when viewing this blog?
Many blog owners, who publish craft, family, and personal themed blogs, just have to make their blogs reflect their holiday wishes for their readers. Only later, they may re think their decision.

Some of us in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken remember this season last year, though not fondly. Many blog owners, having previously decorated their blogs with Falling Leaves (Thanksgiving), Falling Snow (Christmas), and later Falling Hearts (Valentines Day), found themselves spending time in the forum, asking why nobody could see their blogs. The answer that they found was that their blogs, previously decorated with the Falling Leaves / Snow / Hearts animations, were redirecting their readers to websites which were not relevant to their readers interests or needs.

The owners of computers poorly protected against malicious software installation, when redirected from their friends holiday decorated blogs to the hijackers websites, found themselves later consulting their local computer guru. The gurus spent time (not always without expense) removing some unwanted software, installed by the hijackers websites.

The charming thing about the hijacks is that the Falling Leaves / Snow / Hearts gadgets, when installed, did not immediately redirect the various visitors to the malicious websites. This detail appeared to indicate very devious planning by the hijackers, who had waited, patiently, while thousands of blog owners had installed their trickery, before activating the hijack.

This caused some confusion in the forums. A normal part of problem diagnosis - which many of those of you, who have requested help here, may recognise - is the brief and very simple question
What changes have you made to the blog, recently?
Most blog owners, naturally, answered
Nothing interesting.
Later, when a malicious Falling Leaves / Snow / Heart accessory was identified, with the stern advice
Get rid of that!
The answer would be
I installed that 6 months ago! Surely, that's not the problem??!!

Only after large numbers of people had reported problems with their blogs, and we found the Falling Leaves / Snow / Heart accessory on the problem blogs, did we advise everybody
Remove all Falling Leaves / Snow / Heart accessories, from your blogs, immediately.

Besides the blatant blog hijack threat, there's another issue for you to consider. The animation - falling hearts / leaves / snow - requires intense processor activity. If people stop visiting your blog, because their browsers freeze up, you'll need to revisit your decorative decision.

So, as this years holiday season starts, we'll advise everybody to beware of any animated accessory, such as (but not limited to) Falling Leaves / Snow / Hearts. Install any third party accessory with care and discrimination. And remember everything installed, for a long time afterwards.

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