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Custom Domain Publishing, And DNS Latency

The Internet is diverse and large - and the Internet directory system, aka the DNS Infrastructure, supports the diversity and size.

When we setup a new domain, the registrar frequently advises us to wait patiently, before continuing.Congrats on your new domain! Now, we suggest that you wait 24 - 48 hours for the new domain to propagate, before trying to publish to the domain.
When we update a domain - and add or delete a single DNS address - we won't always get advice about waiting, from the registrar.

Custom Domains And HTTPS Redirection Code

As most of us know, Blogger HTTPS support does not include custom domain publishing.

The advantages offered by HTTPS access are widely advertised - and have led to envy between blog owners who publish to custom domains, and native BlogSpot blog owners proudly advertising their new HTTPS connectivity.

Long ago, we saw possibly malicious code which helps our readers avoid using country code aliases, to read our blogs from an aliased country. Recently, there was dodgy code which blocked HTTPS mode, to read a customised blog.

Now, we have custom code to force HTTPS access, for BlogSpot published blogs.

Revert A Page / Post To Draft Status

Sometimes, we need to remove a page or post from a blog - but prefer to not delete it.

There are various reasons for not wanting to delete a page / post immediately or permanently - maybe when removing a post for problem diagnosis, or to change the URL to match the publish date. Reverting to draft status is easily reversed, and has no permanent side effects.

When you want to quickly - but not permanently - remove a page or post, you can revert to draft status.

Blogger Magic - Move Content Between Blogs

Some blog owners, who publish multiple blogs with different subjects, may decide that some subjects would be better discussed in a different blog.

With various posts published in one blog, the owner may decide that those posts should be published in a different blog, to continue discussion. The question now is how to move posts, from one blog to another?

The dashboard "Export / Import" feature, which is now labeled "Import & back up", lets us copy pages and posts from one blog to another. Just copying all pages and posts, though, will create problems with duplicated content.

Act Immediately, When Invited

Some moments come fleetingly, and never again.

One such moment may be, when you receive a blog membership invitation.
The purpose of this message is to inform you that xxxxxxx has invited you to join their private blog "xxxxx xxxxx". To accept this invitation, click on the button below.or
The purpose of this message is to inform you that yyyyyyy has invited you to contribute to their blog "yyyyy yyyyy". To accept this invitation, click on the button below.Unless you know the blog owner, this may be your one chance.

Blogger Magic - Adding Label Search URLs

One of the simplest ways to make a blog useful is to add label searches.

Adding label searches, in page / post text, is not easy - unless you know how to build the URLs. Here's a label search from this blog.
http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/search/label/Blogger%20MagicAll that I want, when using that label search, is to add another reference to my "Blogger Magic" post series.

"Blogger Magic" emphasises how easy it is, to use Blogger. How easy is it, to remember that syntax - to add a label link? Maybe, a "Blogger Magic" reference, in this post?

Troubleshooting Custom Domain Issues

If you are trying to make your custom domain published blog work, see my guide Troubleshooting Your Custom Domain Problems.

If you want to know how to setup a custom domain properly, from the beginning - and avoid the need for Troubleshooting - read Setting Up DNS Addresses For Custom Domains. Avoid the most basic mistakes made - read The Simplicity Of A Custom Domain Setup.

If you just setup your custom domain - and want to minimise the effects of the URL change upon your search engine relationships - read Managing The Migration.

If you're just browsing, then read on - but get a good cup of coffee first. And welcome, to Nitecruzr Dot Net.

Troubleshooting Your Custom Domain Problems

Of the many accessories and features in Blogger, Custom Domain Publishing is possibly the most problematic.

Looking at the Labels index in this blog, I see the Custom Domains label on 363 posts (as of 2015/06/15) - which makes it one of the most heavily labeled single topics here. There are several challenges with diagnosing and resolving a custom domain problem.
It has various different causes.It leads to many different symptoms, which can easily be confused for other problems.Its symptoms can be chronic or intermittent- and may be immediate, or may take months to exhibit themselves.It may require resolution by any blog guest, by the blog owner, by Blogger Support, and / or by a third party such as the domain registrar.

"Delete permanently" Means Delete, Permanently

For a long time, blog owners have been requiring the ability to delete their blogs.

In the beginning, people would delete a blog - whether intentionally or mistakenly - then change their mind, or realise their mistake.I did not really want to delete my blog.And the inevitable question.How do I get my very important blog back? Surely, it's in your computer somewhere??But this question was not always answered, with encouragement.

The Mysterious "Destination" / "Points To" Label

Some blog owners buy domains, for publishing a Blogger blog, and ask about how to address the domain.What address do I use for "Points to"?Other owners may ask a similar question, referencing "Destination" or maybe "Target".

There is no real difference, between all 3 labels. "Destination", "Target", and "Points to" all refer to the same DNS address value.

To compound the confusion, 4 different addresses are required, when addressing a Blogger custom domain root.

Reader Zoom Level Affects Screen Space Needed

I have suggested that properly sizing the Jump Break and Title sections of each post is an important decision, when publishing a post in your blog.

Publishing this blog, using carefully sized post title and jump break sections, allows me to consistently publish posts, with maximum detail visible in main page view - and with the "Read more" link visible.

Potential readers may read a post in this blog - instead of returning to a SERP, and reading another blog. This affects a key reader retention metric, the "bounce rate".

All of that considered, sizing of the introductory post sections won't always produce predictable results.

The New Followers Gadget

The new Followers gadget is out - and is causing some confusion.

If you are Following a blog - either your own blog, or somebody else's - and you examine the Followers gadget, you will see a button labeled "UnFollow".

Long ago, "UnFollow" was a selection, in the "Options" menu.

The CAPTCHA Continues As A Challenge

This month, we are again seeing evidence of recent security changes by Microsoft. We see signs of continued frustration, in the process of publishing comments - and publishing posts, as part of the Import process.

In the process of diagnosing an apparent comment publishing problem, I ventured into the comment publishing experience, yet again.

Switch Between Your Blogger And Google+ Profiles

Long ago, when Blogger blog owners were given the option to associate their Blogger account with Google+, some would try out their new identities - then change their minds.

Some blog owners would upgrade to a dynamic, exciting Google+ profile - then regret their decision. Not everybody appreciated the features offered by Google+, as applied to a Blogger blog.

Blogger gave us the ability to revert to a Blogger profile - within 30 days. This did not help people who took over 30 days to observe problems.

Blogger Magic - Third Party Templates

There are millions of Blogger blog owners - and each owner has their own idea, how their blog should look.

Not every blog owner is willing to settle for using a Blogger supplied template. Some blog owners design their own templates - and others choose templates provided by non Blogger developers.

Some blog owners - even those with no technical background - choose third party supplied templates, and demand instructions in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger. Not every blog owner can be supported, according to their personal level of need.

Blogger Magic - Links And Colors

We see an occasional question in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue about blog links - and the captions that change colour, mysteriously.

Some blog owners seem to regard the colour changes as one more Blogger pecadillo - ignoring the fact that colour changing link captions have been part of Internet design, since the early days.

Post Editor Generates An Extra Post?

Recently, we have some blog owners observing that use of Post Editor leads to generation of an extra draft post.

If I edit this post, then save my changes, I may see an empty post when I hit "Close".

Blogger Magic - Disable The HTTPS Redirect

SSL has been an option, for BlogSpot published blogs, since late last year - and we still see occasional questions, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about its use.
When I saved my post, I saw the error messageThis page contains HTTP resources which may cause mixed content affecting security and user experience if blog is viewed over HTTPS.I clicked "Fix" - and the error message went away. Should I have to go back and "fix" all my old blog posts, this way?This blog owner will be better off, with "HTTPS Redirect" disabled.

Blogger Magic - Export From A Blogger Blog

One of the most useful skills, when maintaining and publishing a blog, is backing up the content.

As you publish a blog, it's a very good idea to periodically backup the content - comments, pages, and posts. Sometimes, backed up content may save you hours of anguish.

Adding Whitelist Entries, To Adblock Add-Ons

Ad blockers are popular Chrome add-ons, which let us manage various websites abilities to serve ads in our browsers.

Many ad blockers include a script blocker. Like NoScript in Firefox, ad blockers may interfere with various Blogger features - such as the "Don't track" script, in the dashboard.

Custom Domain Migration, And Redirection Blocking

We see occasional frustration, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, involving broken or unreliable custom domains.
I setup the Custom Domain properly, following the Google directions.

For some of my readers, my custom domain is not opening. I can see it is going in an infinite loop in the browser - and after a long time, it's throwing errors. My domain is setup, properly. Why do I have to deal with this?And we will investigate - and in many cases, we find the domain is setup properly.

Custom Domain Publishing And Private Blogs

We see an occasional report in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about custom domain publishing.
My readers can't view the blog - they get a redirection count error!
DNS analysis shows a properly setup domain. When we try to examine the blog, we see a private blog notice - or we are required to login.

But why a private blog, using a custom domain?

Dynamic Template Blogs, And Some Proxy Servers

Some Blogger blogs cannot be viewed, in some proxy servers.

Proxy servers are useful, when diagnosing connectivity and other blog display issues. They are more useful, though, when the content of the blogs being diagnosed does not contribute to the problems.

The reported discrepancy appears to start with blogs published using dynamic templates.

Blogger Custom Domains, And Publishing Spam Control

Some blog owners want to know why custom domain published blogs are subject to daily activity spam control limits. We see the occasional query, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
Does the 50 posts / day limit apply to all blogs that use the Blogger platform - or only for these hosted on BlogSpot?With Blogger, all blogs are subject to a daily publishing activity limit - pages and posts, combined.

Dynamic Templates And The Navbar

If your blog is published to a dynamic template, neither you or your readers will have a navbar, when your blog is being viewed.

The navbar, found on blogs which use a non dynamic template - when selected by the blog owner - has a number of reader friendly icons and links.

Dynamic templates have a "menu bar" 1/5 of the way down the page - which provides a combination of the Pages gadget, and limited navbar functions. At the far right end of the menu bar, you'll see 2 tiny icons - when you are properly logged in as the blog owner.New post, the "pencil" icon.Home, the "home" icon.

Recovering From A Corrupt Template - The Next Step

There are three possible dashboard wizards, used to recover a blog with a corrupt template aka "500 Internal Server Error".
The Template Designer page.The Template page.The Template Editor ("Edit HTML") page.With most blogs, one of the three can eventually be used, to install a clean, new template - and recover a blog that's offline because of the broken template.

Some blogs, unfortunately, cannot be recovered this way.

Inaccessible Comments, On Some Popular Posts

Viewing comments, on some popular blogs, one may get the idea that not as many comments are being published, as are immediately visible.

With a large comment complement, comments are paginated - with some comments hidden behind a link, captioned "Load more". The "Load more" link is JavaScript based - and there is a problem.

The "Load more" link does not always work, on all blogs.

Blogger Magic - Resequence Pages Buttons / Links

Some blog owners add pages - dynamic and static - to their blog, then discover that the Pages gadget lists them in the wrong sequence.

We see an occasional question, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
My pages are poorly organised. How do I change the sequence?This is not a difficult problem, to correct.

Blogger And iOS Mobile Computer Support

People frequently observe significant differences between products from Apple / Google / Microsoft.

Since all three corporations are separate (and highly competitive), they have their own corporate philosophies and development timelines. Despite all of that, Blogger tries to make their product supportable, across all corporate lines.

Unfortunately, the Blogger service is not always consistently usable, with all browsers - or mobile computer / smart phone apps.

Custom Domain Setup, And The Blogger Instructions

Custom domain setups continue to confuse blog owners - and lead sometimes to frustration, expressed in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
When I am trying to set up a custom domain for my new blog, I'm not getting the 2nd CNAME Record, but the settings get saved.In some cases, the domain may be operational - and other times, the domain will be broken, and no corrective instruction is provided.

AdSense, And Blogger, Require Quality Content

We see questions about content requirement, in both AdSense Help Forum: Blogger / Host Partners, and in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.My blog was just deleted, as a spam host! I Don't publish spam!andWhy can't I get my Earnings button activated? My blog is over a year old, and contains hundreds of posts!!Neither blog owner publishes a blog which contains blatant unwanted commercial content - or hacking or porn. But neither blog is suited for hosting AdSense ads, either.

Blogger Magic - Followers / Reading List Visibility

When we use Blogger Following, we create a link to our profile, from each blog that we Follow.

That's the primary purpose of Following - to see, and to be seen. We also create links from our Followers profile, to each Followed blog. That's the purpose of having a profile - to describe ourselves, by the blogs that interest us.

Everybody does not want other people knowing about every blog that we Follow, though. To let us Follow blogs without being seen, we can Follow anonymously - or hide a blog, from our profile on other blogs.

Is There A Purpose To Referer Spam?

We've been experiencing - and discussing - referer spam, since 2011.

We still see unaware blog owners, asking in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
When I checked my stats for my blog, and looked at traffic sources, I noticed a link from a different country - and it just seems weird that Russian readers would then go to a US site.
When we explain that they're probably seeing another referer spam attack - and that clicking on the links is not always a good idea, we get a variety of responses. Some want to know if there is a purpose, to this noise.

Blogger Magic - Updating Labels

Not all blog owners know the best ways to update labels, with the posts in their blog.

We see occasional signs of confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
How do I add a label, to many posts at once?and
How do I correct the spelling of my label, already added?and
How do I remove all of the labels, from one of my posts?These owners are not aware how to use the dashboard Posts page - and Post Editor - to add, delete, and edit labels.

Microsoft Windows Security Updates, May 2016

If you use a computer that runs Microsoft Windows, you may have been affected by Microsoft supplied updates, distributed 3 weeks ago.

May 10 was the day termed "Patch Tuesday" - the day when Microsoft releases important security related patches, to its various Internet updated products. During the 3 weeks after May 10, we've seen a significant number of security related discussions, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

It appears that Microsoft updates, for May 2016, affect use of Blogger.

HTTPS Redirect And Post Editor HTTPS Warnings

Last month, as part of the SSL rollout, Blogger added a page / post / template editor feature - that not everybody understands.

A blog with "HTTPS Redirect" enabled will provide SSL access, for every reader - both those who intentionally use HTTPS, and those who normally use classic "HTTP". Those who normally use "HTTP" will find themselves redirected to "HTTPS" - no choice.

When you use page editor, post editor, or template editor, on a blog which offers "HTTPS" to everybody, you may see an alarming alert.

Blogger Magic - Maintain Reading List Brevity

When you Follow a blog, the blog feed is added, as a subscription, to your dashboard Reading List.

This lets you read the blog content, conveniently, using the newsfeed. Separately from the Reading List, you can choose whether to have your personal Followers icon displayed, in the icon cloud on the blog display.

Besides maintaining anonymity in Following, you can hide any number of blogs, in the Reading List index, to make the index manageable.

Blogger Magic - Make A Private Or Team Blog

Some blog owners like to restrict access to their blog - and others want to have multiple people able to publish, or maybe to administer their blog.

A few even want multiple administrators, and restricted access. Both private and team blogs involve use of the Permissions wizard, and the membership invitation / acceptance process.

Making either a private or a team blog starts from the Permissions wizard. Just keep the multiple functions, and the different links, in mind.

The Featured Post Gadget, With Multiple Posts

The "Featured Post" gadget is a useful tool, for spotlighting individual posts.

One of the limitations of the gadget is that it, like many (though not all) Blogger supplied gadgets, allows only one copy on the blog, at any time. The gadget is, after all, called "Featured Post" - not "Featured Posts". Blogger does not give us the ability to feature multiple posts, simultaneously.

Given a little imagination, we can make the gadget work, for multiple posts. We can't feature multiple posts, simultaneously - but we can alternate featured posts, sequentially.

Blogger Magic - Comment Moderation Settings

If you publish a blog, and want your readers to comment, you need to decide whether to moderate comments.

Comment moderation, applied properly, help you to keep abusive and spam comments off your blog. If you want to publish a blog, and have real people commenting, you need to keep spam comments off the blog. People won't comment, if they have to compete with spam.

If you want to publish a blog, and allow Blogger Hosted comments, you really should moderate. If you don't moderate, prepare to remove spam comments after they are published. Remember that Google+ Hosted comments are moderated by the community.

Blogger Magic - Using "Add a Gadget"

One of the most useful features of Blogger is the ability to add many different accessories, to a blog.

There are accessories, for every blog - and for every owner preference. The "Add a Gadget" wizard, in the Blogger dashboard, is the best procedure for adding accessories, to customise a blog reliably.

Using "Add a Gadget" is a simple process. It will be most useful, in the long term, if used cautiously, however.

Diagnosing Geographical Location / IP Address

We see various problems reported, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, which may involve geographical or network relationships.
Why can't I regain access to my blog, that I stopped publishing 5 years ago?and
Why can't I see my blog?and
Why does my dashboard show up in a language that I can't read?With questions like these, it helps to know how and where the owner and / or readers of the blog get Internet service.

Not All Plugins And Third Party Code Support SSL

With Blogger now providing (optional) HTTPS, on all blogs, we're seeing a few anxious reports in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
I'm getting an error, on one of my plugins.This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.What can I do?The answer won't be encouraging.
Don't enable "HTTPS Redirect", on your blog.

Share Posts, From Private Blogs, By Email

Owners of private blogs have, periodically, lamented the lack of options for distribution of comments and posts. We've seen a few queries, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
How do I let my readers subscribe to my private blog?There's no good answer, to please everybody, here.

You can't use EMail, FeedBurner, or Reading List, for sharing private blog content. FeedBurner requires the blog comments / posts newsfeeds - and private blogs don't produce newsfeeds.

FaceBook Popularity, And URL Changes

Not every blog owner understands the effect of a Blogger URL change, in FaceBook - and the resulting popularity of the blog.
I am planning on changing my blog name and redirecting my blogger blog to a custom domain. Why would that affect my Facebook followers?A Blogger URL change won't affect your FaceBook Followers directly. Your existing Followers can continue to Follow your blog, under the BlogSpot URL - and under the custom domain URL - as it is Liked, and shared, in FaceBook.

The Likes count affects the possibility of a share, of a post in your blog, to attract new Followers.

Don't Always Blame Blogger, With Your Blog Down!

Some of my favourite problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, are about inconsistent blog online status.
It was fine yesterday. Why is it down, now?and
I see the blog, just fine! Why are some of my readers complaining?and
I can access it, using my phone! Why is Blogger down, on my home computer?and
The registrar tells me everything is OK!Whenever I see the latter report, I know exactly where to start.

Effectively Testing Reader Access To Your Blog

People reporting a problem with blog access / performance, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, will be frequently advised to diagnose their problems using affinity / differential testing.

Some diagnostic advice starts with simple instructions to "clear cache, cookies, and sessions". Some people, alternately, advise "use a different browser" - and test as a reader. These different strategies, seemingly redundant, will frequently lead to different results.

Social Sharing Popularity, And URL Changes

As both custom domain publishing, and social sharing networks, become normal with many blogs, we see anguish when blog owners change the URLs of their blogs, without planning for the effects of the change.
What happened to my Likes?This blog owner - and many others - do not realise that FaceBook counts Likes, based on the URL, not the blog.

FaceBook Likes, and Google+ +1s, are counted by URL - and are not controlled by DNS redirection, or simple name changes. If you rename your blog, you get a new URL with a new popularity counter, in FaceBook and Google+.

Changing Your Custom Domain - The Next Chapter

We see some blog owners deciding to change their custom domain URLs - and discovering an unexpected limitation, in re indexing the blog, under the new URL
I received email from Google, advising that my previous domain is pulling up a number of 404 errors. I've noticed that these are for individual blog posts.When you change one custom domain to another, you may not see the domain re indexed, transparently.

Dynamic Templates, And Improved "Follow by Email"

We see some concern about providing email subscriptions, from blog owners in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

How do I provide email subscriptions for my blog? Neither Follow by Email or Subscription Links works, for email!
The blog in question is using a dynamic template. In some cases, even "Subscription Links" does not provide a "Subscribe by Email" option - and it appears that the blog owner is really out of luck.

Blogger Magic - Backup The Template

It's always wise to backup the blog contents - and the template.

If you are publishing a blog, you may occasionally make a mistake. Being able to recover from a mistake, using backed up content, is always a good idea.

Blogger provides a dashboard wizard to backup the blog template - and a complementary wizard, to backup blog content - comments, pages, and posts.

Blogger Magic - Using Sitemaps To Diagnose Problems

Knowing how to read, and follow, sitemap entries is a useful skill in diagnosing many Blogger problems.

The Blogger generated sitemaps, which apply to each blog, index both pages and posts. This blog, like every other blog, has two sitemaps, automatically generated.

"sitemap.xml" (posts) roughly duplicates the "Archives" gadget - but has advantages, over the gadget. "sitemap-pages.xml" (static pages) is not redundant, to any Blogger accessory.

Atom Vs RSS - Choose One, Using FeedBurner

Occasionally, we see a blog owner in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, asking about newsfeed formats.
Which is better, for my readers - Atom or RSS? How do I choose, what to provide, in my blog?The competing newsfeed formats - Atom and RSS - have been a part of Internet life, for many years. Both formats have their devotees - and this is why there are two formats.

Both formats have their own advantages - and disadvantages.

Wording The Blog Title And URL - Same or Unique?

Some blog owners setup a new blog - and want to know if the blog title and URL may - or (alternately) should - be the same.

There is no policy for Blogger, about blog title and URL - either that the "words" in each can, or cannot, be the same. Some SEO experts suggest benefits from having relevant words, in the URL - and some blog owners confuse this advice, as suggesting having identical titles and URLs.

Be wary of advice that references websites, in discussions about blogs. There are subtle, but real, differences between dynamic blogs, and static websites. Rules that may be important for websites may not be relevant, for blogs.

Export / Import, And Page / Post Publishing Limits

Not all blog owners understand the connection between page / post import, and spam limitation.

We see the occasional question, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about page / post import, and daily publishing limits.
Why I can not import content, to my blogs?Note that "Automatically publish" is selected, in the blog discussed here.

Blogger Magic - Supporting A BlogSpot URL Change

Blog owners are always changing the URLs of their blogs - then asking why Blogger does not provide automatic redirection, to the new URL.

We see the occasional query, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
How do I redirect my readers, to my new URL?And this is a need that will likely go unfulfilled.

If Blogger provided automated redirection, spammers would abuse it, as part of a spam publishing strategy.

Verify BlogSpot And Domain URLs

Whenever dealing with any problem with a blog, you should verify the URLs involved.

Some of the most baffling problems, with blog connectivity, identity, or ownership, can start from simple typographical errors. This possibility will involve both native "blogspot.com" and custom domain URLs.

The Publishing wizard window, in the Blogger dashboard Settings - Basic page, is essential for identifying errors. Whether you paste or type a URL into the registrar's zone editor, the Publishing wizard, or the browser address window, you can make a mistake. Checking the Publishing wizard is as important as examining a Dig log extract - or as viewing an HTTP trace.

HTTPS Availability For All "blogspot.com" Blogs

The rollout of SSL, for "blogspot.com" published blogs, continues.

All "blogspot.com" published blogs will now offer HTTPS connectivity, to the reader. The choice, offered to the blog owner, is now whether to force every reader to use SSL - and the dashboard option is now labeled "HTTPS Redirect".

The DNS TTL Setting Is Chosen By The Registrar

Some blog owners, publishing their blog to a custom domain, wonder about the mysterious TTL setting for the domain.
What is "3600"? Why do I see "7200" in my Dig log?and
Why do I have to wait 8 hours, after changing my DNS addresses?DNS latency (aka "TTL") is not understood, by many blog owners. A mistake in setting TTL can cause anger and frustration.

FeedBurner Feed Redirection, And "BrowserFriendly"

Some blog owners and readers ask about blog feed displays, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
I clicked on this text at the bottom of the blog page:
Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)and I got a screen full of gibberish.This is a known oddity, in Chrome.

Private Blogs Limit Other Blog Features

Private blogs affect other Blogger features - and the combination of results are inconsistent.

With dynamic templates, the private blog selection causes an inoperable display. Conversely, with Google+ Comments, enabling Google+ Comments disables the private blog (designated reader) selection - and vice versa, in the various Blogger dashboard pages.

The two interactions - and differing mutual exclusiveness - contribute to some interesting diagnostic sessions, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

Blogger Magic - Enabling Exceptions, In Chrome

Some blog owners and readers prefer to ignore recommendations in Chrome - and block cookies and / or scripts.

Blocking cookies can cause problems with many Blogger features - and blocking scripts will cause problems with both Blogger and with Google, and with various other websites.

If you want to use Blogger and Google effectively, you need to allow cookies to be installed, and to allow scripts to be run, on your computer.

Now, You See It - Now, You Don't

Some blog owners create a post, with content that should be visible, only when required.

The post contains a question - accompanied by the answer to the question. The question should be viewed, without the answer being visible, to make the reader think about the answer. This is called, by many, a "spoiler".

Not everybody knows how to construct a spoiler. Some blogs use JavaScript - painful to construct, and maybe not effective for every reader. Security conscious blog readers may block scripts from Blogger blogs - and either your spoiler is visible, immediately - or never becomes visible.

Neither of the latter scenarios make the post a lot of fun to read.

Avoid Use Of FeedBurner "Password Protector"

Some Google products contain features that have limited usefulness, when applied to Blogger blogs.

FeedBurner has a feature, "Password Protector", which may be useful, to newsfeed readers that support HTTP authentication. Within FeedBurner, we have the "Email Subscriptions" service - which does not support feed authentication.
Your readers will be required to use newsreader or aggregator software that supports authentication to view your feed.Some Google, and non Google, services will have a problem, with a FeedBurner protected feed.

Buyer Beware - Don't Buy Pre Published Blogs

Don't develop a blog, that's simply designed to host AdSense ads - and avoid pre published blogs, in general.

Blogs and websites that are blatantly designed as ad hosts are classified as "MFA" ("Made For Ads") - and are never accepted as AdSense hosts. AdSense, and Blogger, want blogs with quality content - informative, interesting, and unique.

Legitimate and useful blogs start with content that is important to the blog owner.

Blogger Magic - Check / Edit FeedBurner Feed Details

Whenever you have a problem with FeedBurner - or need to change details, the "Edit Feed Details" wizard is an essential tool.

It's a very simple display - just 3 data elements - but it's a pretty useful 3 elements, if you use FeedBurner with your blog..

The FeedBurner "Edit Feed Details" wizard is an essential tool, when researching a FeedBurner problem.

Confusion About Blogger / Google Support Policies

We're seeing confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about unfairly limited Blogger / Google support policies.
Why can I not Follow my favourite blog, without using a Google account?and
Why must I upgrade my computer, to be able to use Chrome?Some blog owners and readers take the support policy limits personally, as if Blogger / Google is punishing them - or their readers - for not using the right account to login, or not upgrading their software.

Blogger Magic - The Custom Domain Root Redirect

When you setup a custom domain, for a Blogger blog, the DNS addresses are the most important issue.

A close second in importance, to righteous DNS addressing, is redirecting the domain root to the published URL. We see frequent problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
Why does my domain only work, with the "www" in the address?The domain root provides a backup to the published URL, in many domain setups. If the domain root is not redirected, and DNS for the "www" or other published alias is down, the domain is down.

Would Be Followers Being Blocked By Blog Owners

This month, we have a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about problems Following some blogs.
Why am I being blocked, from Following?Some would be Followers are taking this personally. Please, don''t do that.

Blogger Magic - Using An HTTP Trace

An HTTP trace is a very useful tool, for diagnosing and documenting connectivity issues, and many other blog problems.

I use the Rex Swain HTTP Viewer, for this purpose. HTTP Viewer lets you package a given display, in the URL, so you can give simple instructions (accompanied by an unavoidably complicated link):
Click on the link:
http://www.rexswain.com/cgi-bin/httpview.cgi?url=http://klarfamilylife.blogspot.com&uag=Mozilla/5.0+(X11%3B+CrOS+armv7l+7834.70.0)+AppleWebKit/537.36+(KHTML,+like+Gecko)+Chrome/49.0.2623.112+Safari/537.36&ref=http://www.rexswain.com/httpview.html&aen=&req=GET&ver=1.1&fmt=AUTOAnd when the link is clicked, the necessary HTTP trace is displayed. There is no need to provide instructions how to actually enter the necessary values, on the HTTP Viewer home page, to generate the necessary display.

Blogger Provides A Mixed Content Detection Tool

In the process of publishing my earlier post "Blogger Magic - Add An HTML Gadget", I discovered the latest feature in the Blogger SSL upgrade.

Page / Post Editor now scans page / post content, and warns us when there are links still using "http" protocol. This will help us avoid publishing pages and posts which will generate "Mixed Content" warnings, when pages and posts are displayed using SSL.

Blogger Magic - Enabling Scripts, In Your Browser

Similar to the need to properly filter cookies in the browser, we have the need to properly filter scripts.

Cookies and scripts are completely different elements - but proper filtering of each is essential, to making many Blogger features operate properly.

If you have a problem with Blogger - either accessing / using the dashboard, or using / viewing a blog - one of the simplest things to check, complementing cookie filter settings, is the browser script filter settings.

Post Data Cannot Be Moved Above The Post Body

Blog owners have been requesting the ability to position various post content items above the post body, for years.

We've seen reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about problems moving Comments, Labels, Share Bar, and others.

Several years, "Arrange Items" was upgraded to allow Labels to be moved above the post body. That option was provided briefly - then removed later.

Editing An Old Post? Beware Missing "</li>" Tags!

I recently updated an old post, to add a link to a newly published post - and experienced panic.

Adding a link to an old post, Deleted / Locked Blogs Have Several Causes, I discovered an oddity which caused extreme heartburn for several hours. Maybe you have experienced this, also.

Editing my post, and adding a simple single sentence, with embedded link, at the end of the post, I refreshed the display (always test your changes - no matter how minor!), and watched as the paragraphing scrambled itself.

Blogger Magic - Set Main Page Size

One of the most visible changes, to the blog display, involves properly setting main page size.

You change the posts count using "Show at most" on the dashboard Settings - "Posts, comments and sharing" page - or "Number of posts on main page" in the "Configure Blog Posts" wizard. Both let you set the main page display limit.

You can limit main page size by days with posts, or by total post count.

Google+ Sharing, and Search Reputation

Some blog owners use FaceBook or Google+, and share blog posts - and ask what effect sharing and +1 / Like has, on search reputation.
What is the purpose of getting +1's?The search engines most likely have no special processing, for social action like +1s and Likes - but indexing of content will include social shared content, and notifications of +1s and Likes, from FaceBook and Google+.

A blog post, shared or given a +1, will become part of a Google+ stream - similar to a Blogger blog comment, that is Google+ hosted. The search engines index Google+ stream posts, as they index blogs. There will be similar action from FaceBook content.

Blogger Magic - Reading A Dig Log

Whether you're setting up or troubleshooting a custom domain, knowing how to read a Dig log is a useful skill.

There are hundreds of registrars, serving the Internet community, each with their own dashboard. Blog owners, setting up their domains for their Blogger blogs, must deal with the syntax and terminology used by each different dashboard.

A Dig log lets the blog owner identify the DNS addresses for the domain, using a consistent display.

A Healthcare Blog Is Not A Suitable AdSense Host

Some blog owners publish blogs, with subjects completely unsuitable for AdSense ads - which would produce legal liability if endorsed by AdSense / Google.

One completely unsuitable subject, for AdSense, is healthcare and medical advice.

Blogger Magic - Changing The Blog Title

Some blog owners start a blog - then discover that they gave the blog the wrong name.

Unlike changing the Blog Name (Address), changing the Blog Name (Title) is not complicated.

Blogger Magic - Enabling Cookies, In Your Browser

The Blogger dashboard, and blog displays, is less of a pair of websites - and more of an application with code that runs on our computers.

The Blogger code on our computers requires cookies and scripts, which are installed as we use the various Blogger dashboard pages. The cookies and scripts are susceptible to interference, from overly restrictive layered security.

If you have a problem with Blogger - either accessing / using the dashboard, or using / viewing a blog - one of the simplest things to check, complementing script filter settings, is the browser cookie filter settings.

A Domain Root, With Blogger And Non Blogger Hosts

Some blog owners publish a domain, and try to combine a Blogger blog, and a non Blogger website, in the domain root.

They publish one host to the domain root - and the other to the "www" alias.

This combination may be supported by the non Blogger host - but Blogger blog reliability will suffer. And the readers may become confused, when they click to view the blog, and get the website - or vice versa.

There is a special relationship between the domain root and "www" alias. Blogger takes advantage of this relationship, to provide improved reliability for a blog, when published to a custom domain.

Music Is Personal - And Player Choice Will Be, Also

Some blog owners decide to include music, to accessorise their blogs - and the first thing they ask for is instructions.
Please give me step by step instructions, to add music.They don't consider that adding music, for any blog, will be their personal choice - and a music player will be personal too.

Blogger Magic - FeedBurner Email For Your Blog

Some people who will enjoy your blog may prefer to follow it using their email.

It's not difficult to setup email delivery of the comments or posts - from various source selections. FeedBurner offers a wide assortment of delivery options, for the many sources.

Blogger offers the "Subscribe by Email" gadget and service, which delivers the posts newsfeed. That's one feed possibility - and you can have many more, with very little work.

Search Engine Reputation, And Vanity Domains

One hot Internet topic, these days, involves specialised ("vanity") domains.

The hot names seem to change, by the week. This week, enom is hyping ".family", ".live", ".rocks", and ".social". Other registrars may have other recommendations.

The blog Address (Name) is a key blog identity element, in a well designed blog. It's visible both to people, and to search engine crawlers.

The requirement that addresses must be unique is a supposed benefit of vanity top level domains - but vanity TLDs, alone, will not provide blog uniqueness. There will always be competition for some names, in any useful Top Level Domain.

The "About Me" Gadget, And Google+

Some blog owners are accustomed to editing their Blogger profiles, from time to time.

Publishing a blog that presents oneself to ones readers, openly, is important to some blog owners. The Blogger profile becomes a blog component that is edited, periodically, to keep the blog reader friendly.

The Blogger profile editor produces content which is displayed in the "About Me" gadget, for single owner blogs. Multiple owner blogs, complementarily, display "About Us" - which provides a different display.

Are Meta Keywords Useful, In Blogger Blog Posts?

Some blog owners do not completely understand the concept of meta description, vs meta keywords - and how blog search reputation can be affected.

We see occasional questions, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
I know how to enter meta info on each blog post under the Search Description field - but do I have to put all permutations of a subject in the Search Description?Here, we see the possibility of unintended "keyword stuffing", and degraded search engine reputation.

Blogger Magic - Add An HTML Gadget

Many popular accessories start with raw HTML / JavaScript code, from different third party services.

One of the advantages of publishing a Blogger blog is the abundance of available accessories. With Blogger being in the top 3 of Internet publishing platforms, every third party service wants customers who publish using Blogger.

There are plenty of abusive or malicious accessories, that should not be installed, even when offered - and there are ways to best install the accessories, that can be safely installed.

A Computer / Tech Blog Is Not A Good AdSense Host

Some blog owners do not understand why ads do not display, on their blogs.

We see a frequent complaint, in AdSense Help Forum: Blogger, YouTube, Partner sites.

I installed ads to my blog - but the ads are not showing. It has been several months already - and I have received no feedback, from AdSense.
Too frequently, the blogs in question turn out to be computer / tech blogs - many offering free downloads of various commercial products.

Disable AdSense Gadgets, On Static Pages

One problem with AdSense, that some blog owners have reported, is that AdSense ads are not permitted on pages with very little AdSense relevant content.

Unfortunately for some blog owners, the responsibility for preventing this is left to the blog owner.

Blogs with static pages, and AdSense gadgets in the sidebar, are a problem here. Static pages with little blog relevant content - such as label indexes, expanded owner profiles, special gadgets like Followers displays - cause problems with the AdSense ad classifier - and can cause blogs to lose ads.

Add A Fixed Location "Subscribe" Button To Your Blog

To encourage email subscriptions, and other social connections, some blog owners provide gadget toolbars, with useful links.

Some blog owners would like to position their gadgets in fixed screen positions.
I want to have a subscribe button hover at the top of the page, while people read my blog.This blog has a hovering AddThis toolbar, which provides selected social sharing options. And, it has a hovering "Top of Page" button.

CloudFlare, Custom Domain Publishing, And HTTPS

A few blog owners, who publish blogs published to custom domains, are becoming impatient, waiting for Blogger Engineering to finish the Blogger upgrade to support HTTPS / SSL.
If I get a domain through Google Domains, will I be able to get HTTPS?Unfortunately, no. HTTPS / SSL is simply not available, to blogs published to custom domains.

Using A Killfile, To Filter Blogger Comments

We periodically see hopeful - yet naive - requests from blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, asking about comment moderation improvement.

How do I add a disruptive commenter to a killfile list - and never see his/her nonsense ever again, without moderating every comment, being published?
This would be a popular feature - if it could be provided, in any way that would achieve results.

Hosted AdSense Accounts, And Blogger

Some Blogger blog owners are confused by the ability to use AdSense, with various Google and non Google services.

I monetized my YouTube videos - but when I try to sign up for AdSense, it says I need a website. So I went to Blogger to make one - but it says that I now have to buy a domain. How do I start?
The blog owner has an AdSense account - but it's Hosted by YouTube. And you can't use a YouTube Hosted AdSense account, with native Blogger.

Google Does Not Want Details Of All Offensive Blogs

Some people are victims of a offensive blog, want the offensive content removed - and find the Blogger Help: Report inappropriate content and the Google Help: Removing Content From Google forms inadequate.

How do I supply details of a blog which includes harassment or bullying content? I need to show the offense.
Some Blogger / Google forms, which are intended to feed Google Legal, simply allow us to state the URL of an offensive blog. There is not place to state exactly why a blog may be offensive, for all form selections.

There will be some cases where we may have to take action, ourselves - and start with court action.

Diagnosing AdSense Account Problems

AdSense uses various techniques to protect their content quality - and when they take action, they don't always give you a lot of clues about their actions, or warnings before taking action.

Both AdSense and Blogger use fuzzy analysis to classify unacceptable content and practices. Neither AdSense or Blogger can publish definitive policy advice, each time they classify or suspend an account.

Dynamic Templates, And "Follow by Email"

We see occasional concern about providing email subscriptions, from blog owners in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

How do I provide email subscriptions for my blog? Follow by Email does not work!
The blog in question is using a dynamic template - and it appears that the blog owner is out of luck.

Custom Domain Publishing, And World Culture

People who speak (read / write) languages, that do not use Roman character sets, need to publish in their native language - and the Internet now supports that need.

Some registrars will register domains which use non Roman character sets, in the URL. Not all Internet services will accept non Roman characters, however.

My favourite online DNS diagnostic services, DigWebInterface, and intoDNS, and Rex Swain's HTTP Viewer, only use ASCII. One cannot use non ASCII ("non Roman") characters, with either service.

Recovering From A Corrupt Template - Persistence

Of the many Blogger Mysteries that confound blog owners and readers, none are more obscure than the many bX codes.

Some problems, reported in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, start so innocently.
As I edited the Template HTML, I saved my changes - and the bX error suddenly appeared.Each different bX code refers to a different problem, with Blogger in general. Of the bX codes that refer to template corruption, each different bX code may refer to a different template corruption problem.

You Cannot Fit Your Entire Blog Onto The Main Page

Some blog owners would like their readers to view the entire blog in one page.

A small blog, with very limited size, can theoretically fit on one page. If you intend to publish a blog with any future, and page rank, you will have to publish content periodically - and the size of the blog will increase, steadily.

And eventually, thanks in part to main page limitation by auto pagination, older posts in your blog will be forced into archive pages.

Commenting Requires Login, To Suppress Spam

Some blog owners don't understand the need to identify themselves, when commenting on our blogs.

We see an occasional question, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about comment authentication.
Why, if I've selected "Anyone - including Anonymous Users" under comment settings, for "Who can Comment?", do my visitors complain of having to login?This blog owner, like many others, does not understand the Blogger spam mitigation policy, in Blogger Comments.

Add A FaceBook Gadget With FaceBook SDK Code

Some blog owners can't get their new FaceBook gadgets to work, on their blogs.

We see the occasional report, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

The blog won't accept the code that Facebook Developer generated for me.
Adding HTML gadgets - and HTML gadgets using FaceBook code - can be frustrating. But, it's possible.