Confusion Over The New Blogger Dashboard Pages Wizards

A week ago, Blogger redesigned the dashboard wizards, that are used to setup and maintain pages.

The most visible change involved a complete redesign of the Pages wizard. Now, mirroring the look and feel of the Posts wizard, the Pages wizard has a pages index / menu - with layout, button / link set, and similar features resembling the Posts wizard.

To make the new Pages wizard design fit in, the Pages wizard now only indexes and maintains "static" pages. Conversely, "dynamic" pages are maintained using the Layout "Pages" gadget.
  • Archive retrievals.
  • External links.
  • Label searches.
Additionally, all other Pages functions have been relocated, and are also provided under the Pages gadget, in the Layout wizard.

This redesign did not go unnoticed, among the blog owners.

Both the Pages wizard, and the Layout Pages gadget, have been significantly redesigned.

The redesign has caused significant confusion, being expressed in various conversations.
  • Some blog owners do not understand why their newly created "static" pages are not, automatically, added to the PageList.
  • Some blog owners are unaware how to create and maintain "dynamic" pages.
  • Some blog owners are unsure how to resequence the various pages, as displayed.
  • Some blog owners are unhappy because they cannot edit or hide "dynamic" pages.

The original Pages wizard was used to setup and maintain both dynamic pages ("archive retrievals", "external links", or "label searches"), and static pages (articles, which resembled posts). Dynamic pages were selected as "web address", and static pages as "blank page", under the "Create page" portion of the original wizard - and this led to occasional confusion, with people not realising the differences between dynamic and static pages.

The original Pages wizard, with each new static page, automatically added a new entry to the Pages index (aka "PageList"). This was a problem for some blog owners, who intentionally setup static pages to be hidden - and who had to edit the PageList, each time they created a new page, and remove the new page from the PageList.

The new Pages wizard simply adds a new static page to the blog. After a new static page is added, you have to use "Configure Page List", and select the new page to display - if you want the new static page listed.

The new Pages wizard is only used to setup and maintain static pages. Dynamic pages are now setup and maintained from the Layout Pages gadget. The gadget lacks two key features, with respect to dynamic pages.
  • It is not possible to edit a dynamic page - you must delete the page in question (by clicking on the "X"), then add it, with new values, again.
  • It is not possible to hide a dynamic page - you must now delete the page in question.
Both of these omissions - accompanied by the confusion over dynamic vs static pages, and relocation of dynamic pages to the Pages gadget - are causing significant confusion.

Accompanying the confusion over dynamic pages setup and maintenance, we also see misunderstanding about the ability to hide pages, and to resequence the display of the pages. Both of these functions - formerly part of the Pages wizard - are now found under the Pages gadget. And as noted, it is not possible to edit or hide a dynamic page. Dynamic pages can only be deleted.

Finally, these changes may create still more opportunity for problems with dynamic templates, with Pages indexed in the template header bar.

You may find alternate description about this change, in Blogger Buzz: Making it easier to manage pages on your blog, and Blogger Help: Create a new page on your blog.

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