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Showing posts from July, 2015

Jump Break Is Visible Only In An Index Page

Some blog owners are unsure what a Jump Break looks like, when applied to their blogs.

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, we see the confusion.Where's the Jump Break?orI added a Jump Break to several posts, but it never shows up!When asked for a screen print of what they're seeing, they may provide a image of the post, in the Post Editor Preview window - or possibly, the published post, but in post page view.

Account Recovery Is No Good With Legacy Accounts

Supported legacy account migration ended in 2012 - after many years of repeated warnings.

Blogger Engineering ended support based on unresolvable technical issues - and not without considerable deliberation.For a number of technical and operational reasons, we’ve decided to finally end our support for migrating legacy accounts and blogs after December 5, 2011.There were many technical details involved with "legacy" account migration, which prevented a more aggressive migration strategy.

Blogger Engineering having gone with a more permissive migration (migrate when you feel the need), this leaves a few Blogger "legacy" account owners unable to migrate.

All Blogs With Readers May Not Get Comments

Not every blog, that gets readers - or pageview counts - is going to get comments.

We see the disappointment, periodically, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.I have received over 2,000 page views, but only close friends comment. Is there a setting or something that makes sense as to why I'm not receiving comments?And yes, there are various settings, which may restrict your readers abilities to comment - but that may not be the only possible problem.

The Stats "Don't track ..." Option Is Still Unreliable

The Stats "Don't track ..." option continues to draw complaints.

Various blog owners have recently complained, anew, that the previously reported low level problem is now affecting their blogs. The two problems, though having a common primary symptom, appear to have different victim populations. The previous problem seemed to primarily affect custom domain published blogs, this problem may be BlogSpot only. This problem, according to a majority of the blog owners reporting, appears to have started during the last two to three weeks.It may be wise, therefore, to treat this as a new problem.

Add A Custom Redirect, If You Change A Post URL

When you rename a blog, the most that you can do, to keep the old URL useful, is to setup a stub post, with a clickable link to the new URL. Yo! The blog is now at xxxxxxx.blogspot.com!!Blogger forbids gateway blogs, and similar blog to blog redirections.

When you rename a post, you can setup a custom redirect - and automatically redirect your readers to the post, under its new URL. You should take advantage of this option, if you change a post URL.

The Review / Restore Cycle Is A Learning Process

As Blogger continues to detect and remove more abusive blogs proactively, we're seeing a gradual shift from blatantly abusive blogs, to blogs that, 5 years ago, would not have been righteously considered to be a problem.

The decrease in abusiveness has several results. It's harder and harder to casually decide if a given blog needs to be reviewed - and if it's likely to be restored. Blogs which are marginally - instead of blatantly - abusive are more likely to be subject to repeated classification and review. The owners become less patient with reviews, as they endure each successive review.
Which ever the possibilities for a given blog, when review is requested, this will require changes in the final review process.

Wrapping Text Around A Photo

One of the neatest ways to combine photos (images, pictures) and text is to display a photo in the middle of the text.

It takes very little work to make text "flow" around a photo, or to wrap the text around the photo.

Photo Quality Is Sometimes Degraded By Hosting

We see occasional signs of concern, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about photo quality in Blogger.I take high quality pictures with my camera - and when I edit them, using various platforms, they still have the same quality. But the second I upload them to my Blogger post, the quality gets really bad.This is a very civilised comment, not all are so objective.

Photo quality has been a concern, for years. There are so many ways photos can be degraded, once they hit the Internet.

Blog Owners Can't Always Re Publish Deleted Posts

Even after being able to find a deleted post in cache, and retrieve the BlogID / PostID, some blog owners may find themselves unable to restore a deleted post.

Until Blogger gives us an actual recycle bin / trash can for deleted pages and posts, some deleted pages and posts just may not be re publishable. It appears that all deleted content is not retained consistently, similar to the legendary "90 days" for deleted blogs.

Account / Blog Recovery Standards Should Be Tighter

As account / blog hijack activity remains non zero, Blogger Engineers should continue to tighten down the account / blog recovery process.

Some unhappy ex blog owners (or would be blog thieves?) insist that Blogger recovery standards are too strict, and need to be eased back, a bit. My suspicion is that, as long as thieves are able to steal blogs, with impunity, Blogger recovery standards are too lenient - not overly strict.

Be Safe - Save Posts As Draft, Before You Delete!

One of the easiest disasters, that you can make with a Blogger blog, is to delete a post.

Every week, we see the anguish, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.I deleted my post, by mistake. How do I get it back?It's so easy to just hit "Yes", instinctively, after you hit "Delete" - and once it's done, you're done.

Unlike many computer processes, Blogger has no recycle bin / trash can, for deleted pages or posts. Hit delete, then "Yes" - and it's gone, Jim. But maybe, not.

Blogger Magic - Adding A Pages Index

One of the most versatile ways to organise a blog is by using a Pages index.

Long ago, the only possibility, for indexing a blog attractively, was a horizontal table, with manually added links. We called it a horizontal menu bar. Alternately, a vertical linklist might be used.

Then Blogger added static pages - and later, the Pages index gadget.

The Popular Posts Gadget Is Broken

This month, we have numerous reports of problems with the Popular Posts gadget, and its size being out of control.

Some blog owners cannot get their gadgets to display as many as entries are selected - while others have more entries displayed, then are selected. And some report differing success with displaying "Last 7 days", or "Last 30 days", as opposed to "All time".

One forum helper has suggested a CSS tweak, which may help in some cases - but not consistently.

Possible Resolution For The bX-w7tr63 Error

One of the more irritating Blogger problem codes is seen a lot by people who use some versions of Internet Explorer (and oddly, by some users of Chrome and Firefox).I keep getting this, any ideas??Whoops, that's an error! (bX-w7tr63)Recently, we see the suggestion, that there is an end in sight.

Customise The "Robots.Txt" File, For Your Blog

The file "Robots.Txt", used to manage search engine access to your blog, is found in the blog root folder.

You can't edit "Robot.Txt" directly - but you can upload a new file. Long ago, you would use Webmaster Tools - which is now called Search Console.

Now, we can update "robots.txt" directly, using the Blogger dashboard "Custom robots.txt" wizard, in Settings - "Search preferences".

Plan Before Starting Blogger Account Control Recovery

Too many would be blog owners (blog thieves?) complain how unhelpful Blogger is - and even, that Blogger is fraudulently denying them access to their Blogger account, and their blogs.

They fail to acknowledge that Blogger / Google has a responsibility to millions of blog owners, who remember their login details - and who do not want thieves stealing their blogs.

If you need assistance recovering control of your account and your blog(s), you need to help Blogger to help you. Prepare to provide proof that you are (should be) the account owner.

Blogger Magic - Make A Static Main Page

Some blog owners want to publish posts, and display a static main page - and want to view blog content, in one or more tabbed pages.

It's not difficult to create the tabbed pages. The difficulty would come, long ago, when setting up the main page. We had several workarounds for making a static main page - none of them equally easy to use, effective, and elegant.

Then, Blogger created Custom Redirects - and gave us static main pages, that are easy to use, effective, and elegant.

Authors Cannot Use The Stats "Don't track ..." Option

Just as with a single owner blog, one would not want to count owner activity in Stats - with a team blog, one may not want to count team activity.

Authors, like Administrators, need to use the option "Don't track my pageviews", to avoid Stats recording their activity as a visitor. Unfortunately, the "Don't track ..." setting wizard is part of the Stats dashboard page - and is accessible only to blog administrators.

You Cannot Index Label Searches, Productively

The subject of indexing of label searches comes up, from time to time, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.I want the label content to appear, in search engine hit lists.Some blog owners cannot understand what gets indexed, by the search engines.

Label searches are not unique content - and should not be indexed. Posts are content - and posts are best indexed, as post pages - directly from the automatically generated sitemap.

The Infamous "bX" Codes Are Simply Diagnostic Tools

One subject of mystery, in Blogger lore, concerns the infamous "bX" codes.

One forum personality, long ago, compiled a blog listing several hundred known codes, and their supposed "diagnoses" - and would later use the blog as a reference, when advising how to solve a given "bX problem". That same person showed complete lack of understanding, in a single sentence.It's disheartening to see that the bx error code problems are still existing.The "bX" codes are not problems - they are simply symptoms of problems, identified using a canonical code structure.

Scribfire Is Another Victim Of The OAuth Upgrade

It appears that Scribfire is one more third party product, that needs upgrading to use OAuth 2.0 authentication.

We have a report in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.I use Scribefire to post to my blogs. It works fine with WordPress, but I have not been able to set it up with my Blogger Blog.And later,I have already enabled the "Less secure apps" option. Still no go.This blog owner is patiently trying to diagnose a problem, over which neither he nor we have any control.

The Many Followers Features Have Their Own Counts

We see regular signs of confusion, about the various Followers communities, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.My blog still shows 0 Followers. I know this is not correct - because I am one, at a different email address, and so are friends and family.This blog owner does not understand the differences between the communities, and following options.

Please, NEVER Share Your Domain Account!

Along with access to your Blogger dashboard, access to your domain dashboard is a sensitive issue.

The domain dashboard, also known as the "zone editor", provides control of the domain, as the Blogger dashboard provides control of the blog. The EPP Code, which allows domain ownership transfer, is generally retrieved using the zone editor.

And, there are other zone editor features that you, the blog and domain owner, do not want being misused by another person.

We tell blog owners to never give someone else use of your Blogger account - and this same advice is equally essential for your domain account. This is part of your relationship with your registrar - and it is your property, alone.

Push The Limits, Add Content, See More Problems

Some blog owners keep coming back, requesting review, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.My blog has been deleted and restored, repeatedly. Last time, after Blogger unblocked my blog, I received this email....Upon further review we have determined that your blog was mistakenly marked as a TOS violator by our automated system and, as such, we have reinstated your blog...That was just last month. This month, the same thing, my blog is gone again.This blog owner is failing to read the handwriting on the wall.

Unfortunately, to have any future, a blog requires continual new material.

Blogger Magic - Republishing A Custom Domain, 2015

Sometimes, you have to re publish your blog, to the domain.

Maybe, you want to change the BlogSpot or domain URL, or change the blog - or maybe the previous publishing did not complete, properly. If the blog is currently published to a non BlogSpot URL, you can't just publish it, again. You have to start by publishing the blog back to a BlogSpot URL, before you can again publish the blog to a non BlogSpot URL.

Given the right planning, and understanding of the tasks involved, you can do all of this in a couple minutes - less time than it will probably take you to read these instructions.

Blogger Magic - Make A Selected Posts Main Page

Some blog owners want to publish posts, and have a dynamic main page - but want to restrict specific posts to a tabbed page.

Having created a tabbed page with specific posts, the next question would beBut how do I keep those posts off my main page?And long ago, there was no good answer for this question.

Then, Blogger gave us the Custom Redirects feature.

Blogger Magic - Reset The Post Template, 2015

In 2010, we learned about the mysterious Post Template - and the problems that can be caused, when it is corrupt or out of date.

We developed magical ways of correcting the problems.Revert the widget templates.Reset the post template.Add or tweak specific template code.
It's now 2015, and Blogger Engineering has rewritten the Template Editor, and given us new possibilities for correcting problems with the post template - and other gadgets.

Web Based Businesses Need Multiple Email Accounts

Someone publishing a blog, that supports a web based business, may use email to communicate with the customers - and possibly, to distribute the product.

With a Blogger blog involved, use of email, to communicate with people who you don't know, creates a security risk. A blog, supporting a web based product, may look more interesting to hackers. If it's worth publishing by the owner, it's worth stealing. If the owner uses email, to communicate with customers or distribute the product, some owners may casually use their Blogger account email - and make their Blogger account vulnerable to brute force account hacking. Some owners may even include password hints, in the blog content - making the hackers job easier. At minimum, a successfully stolen blog may be worth a ransom demand, since the blog likely has commercial value.What enterprising hacker wouldn't invest a few extra dollars to buy a product, to learn an email address and possibly a Blogger account name?

A Deleted Post Affects The Popular Posts Display

Some blog owners report various discrepancies, and oddities, with Stats and its various components.

A few owners find that the Popular Posts gadget, that supposedly will display any selected number (1 - 10) of the most popular posts for a blog during a given time period, is sometimes short the number selected.

With only 6 posts displayed out of 8 posts selected, it is possible that the desired 8 posts may be displayed - if 10 posts are selected, and the display is refreshed. On the other hand, with only 9 posts displayed out of 10 posts selected, it's not possible to increase the selection to 11, to compensate for the "missing" post.

You Cannot Control Title Colors, Easily

Some people are particular about the colors used, in their blogs.

They may spend hours - or days - choosing the right shade of gray, to complement the text in the posts. Later, they look at the blog, and discover a glaring discrepancy.Why are the post titles so nasty looking? The titles clash with the posts!These owners may just be discovering the reality of Blogger blogs, and the ever changing title colors.

Recovering Admin Console Desktop Access

The Google Admin Console (formerly known as "Google Apps" desktop) is an essential tool, for many Blogger custom domain publishers.

Any blog owner, who purchased a domain from Google before the introduction of Google Domains, may need access to the Admin Console. It's used to change payment or renewal details, to change domain settings - or possibly, to transfer control of the domain outside Blogger / Google.