An Important Update

Dear Followers Of This Blog ...

If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now . During the past...

Friday, May 06, 2016

Verify BlogSpot And Domain URLs, Carefully

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

Some of the most baffling problems, with blog connectivity or identity, 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. When people paste or type a URL into the registrar's zone editor, the Publishing wizard, or the browser address window - and report a problem, checking the Publishing wizard is as important as examining a Dig log extract - or as viewing an HTTP trace.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

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".

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

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.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

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.

Monday, May 02, 2016

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.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

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.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

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.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

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.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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.

Monday, April 25, 2016

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.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

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.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

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.

Friday, April 22, 2016

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=AUTO
And 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.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

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.