Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2009

Moving Your Custom Domain To A Different Host?

Occasionally, we see queries from blog owners, considering moving their custom domain published blogs to new hosts. I bought my domain through Blogger, and now I need to move it to my own hosting. Can someone please advise me. I know that I need to change the name servers somewhere. Here we have a somewhat vague question, that can have several results. You need to be aware of three essential services , that are involved in any blog or website. Be aware of the differences between Domain Registration, DNS Hosting, and Content Hosting, and decide what, specifically, you need to do. Keep the custom domain published Blogger blog, and add a new blog or website to the domain . Keep the custom domain published blog, but host the domain with a different registrar. Move DNS and registration only. Move the blog from Blogger to another host. Move content, DNS, and registration. Move the domain, to host DNS using a third party service . Consider these alternatives carefully, they may affect

Using An HTML Template With Layouts Blogger

Up to now, I've written about Blogger blogs, and Classic vs Layouts templates, as if classic and layouts templates are two separate worlds. Classic = HTML = old school. Layouts = XML = new and shiny. Sometimes, you might want to blur the distinction between the two. Maybe you got a shiny HTML design for your blog, or you want to combine your blog with your web site . And, you want to use Layouts accessories, comments, and posts, written in XML . Is it possible to have the best of both worlds? Use a Layouts Blogger blog, and base the template around HTML code? The answer is, yes. And, it's not all that difficult to do so.

Blogging - The Directory and URL Structure

A blog, by tradition, is an online journal. We write the posts, and when we enable post titles, we choose the post titles. When we enable post pages and post titles, the URLs of the posts are a function of the dates, and the titles, of the posts. We can choose the titles of the posts, but the Blogger post editor chooses the URLs. This is a key component in the Blogger Infrastructure . The static page editor ("Edit Pages") uses the same engine as the Post Editor, and Static Pages (aka "Pages") use a similar basic URL structure.

Blogger Accounts, And Blog Membership Invitations

When you accept membership in an existing blog, you are receiving an invitation, from the blog owner, as added to the Permissions list for the blog. The blog owner uses your known email address when sending you the invitation. You have the opportunity to use an existing Google account - or create a new account - based upon any email address that you have (or may not have ). The email address (Google account) that you use, when accepting the invitation, may or may not equal the email address where you received the invitation.

No, You Can't Access That Private Blog

Your blog is for you to share - at your discretion - with the world, with your friends, or with one special friend. You make this choice using the Settings - Permissions wizard. If you restrict access to your blog , simply so you can actively meter your readers, you can setup alternate access procedures , and let strangers request access. If you don't want strangers accessing your blog, and you have planned access restriction properly , you can block public access to your blog. Period.

You Can Have A Custom Domain Without Using The "Buy A Domain" Wizard

Based upon my observations of questions posted in the Blogger Help Forums, maybe 95% of the folks publishing their Blogger blogs to a non BlogSpot URL, as a the Google Custom Domain , use the Blogger " Buy A Domain For Your Blog " wizard. Why not? It's quick, easy, and linear. Once you choose an available domain, all that you have to do is input payment details ($10 USD for a year). The real work, of setting up the domain in the registrar's DNS servers, is all done for you, by the wizard. Take 10 minutes - and I am conservative here - and you can have a non BlogSpot URL that your readers can use, to view your blog. But there are times when the "Buy A Domain" wizard won't suffice. Maybe you need a domain in a Top Level Domain group, that's not provided by the wizard. Or maybe you don't like eNom and GoDaddy as registrars - or you already have a registrar for other purposes, and you want to continue to use that registrar. No problem, you ca

Blogger Profile Surfing - A Focused Replacement For "Next Blog"

Besides surfing blogs using Following , which will let you identify other bloggers with possibly common interests (hoping that anybody who Follows your blog would be somewhat interested in what also interests you), we have the possibility of surfing blogger profiles using profile keywords. When you edit your Blogger profile , you can specify keywords which correspond to specific things that interest you. Having done that, those keywords become links, to profiles of other bloggers who have specified those same keywords. Be sure to check the spelling - you'll be able to test it immediately. >> Top

Diagnosing Problems With Blogger Comments

One monolithic complaint, frequently seen in Blogger Help Forum , is My readers can't comment on my blog. This complaint, as with many like it, could benefit from some structured diagnostic practice . Start by observing the complaint level that's currently endemic in the forums. Sometimes, Blogger will cause their own problems (yes, this is known to happen), and you'll see a flood of complaints. Here, it is helpful to be familiar with the normal complaint level .

Email Isn't Necessary, In Following

When you publish a blog, you want to make it easy for your readers to keep up with your publishings. Some bloggers are confused about why people Follow their blog, and think that their Followers need the same treatment as their readers in general. We see an occasional query in Blogger Help Forum How do I email my Followers, to let them see my latest post?

The "Magical" Custom Domain Reset Form Has Its Limitations

I'm sure that you know bloggers like my Mom. Mom can blog, but she requires a lot of coaching. Between the technical skill levels which my mom has, and that of you (or me), come a lot of people. Some bloggers will create beautiful blogs (way better than this one), but publish them to BlogSpot only. Other bloggers will want more, and some will setup a Google custom domain .

Post Editor Problems, In The Singapore Region, Continue

Nearly a month after the problem was first reported , we are still getting reports of the improperly loading post editor sessions from bloggers in Singapore. This problem, apparently being related to your Internet service, can't be seen by Blogger, or by anybody but you (and your neighbours). If you don't report your problem, don't expect for it to go away. And possibly, you should be reporting the problem to your ISP too. And please, when reporting the problem at this end (either in Blogger Help Forum , or comments here), state explicitly whether you are in Singapore or the vicinity , and whether your ISP is SingNet . If there is no tab pair for "Compose" / "Edit HTML", check to ensure that Compose mode is enabled for your account. (Update 2009/09/05): It appears that this problem is still with us . >> Top

Forms Entry In Blogger

Occasionally in Blogger Help Forum , we see questions about using a Blogger blog for forms entry. How do I let my readers submit information, like their email addresses? Forms entry, which is found in some content management systems, is yet one more feature that isn't offered , with Blogger blogs.

Your Blog, And Download Accelerator Services

As many web sites continually enrich their content, more bandwidth is needed by everybody who surfs the Net. As more bandwidth is needed, every Internet service is in constant competition with every other service, to provide more bandwidth. Many ISPs, in an effort to wring every MegaByte / second of performance from their network, so they can make their customers happy, provide what they call "Download Accelerator" service. Download Accelerators use several strategies, depending upon the ISP. Some compress the content, and require you to install an extra network component on your computer, so your computer can expand the content for viewing. Others strip detail from pictures (making a 300K picture into a 30K picture, for instance). And still others cache contents of popular web sites in a special cache on your computer, and on servers in their server farm. Each of these strategies will have varying effect in your browsing experience. If a download accelerator is an optiona

Heads Up, Bloggers! Yesterday Was Patch Tuesday!

In the jungle, when the big ape speaks, everybody listens. In the computer jungle, Microsoft is the big ape. Yesterday, the big ape burped. Yesterday was the second Tuesday of the month , aka "Patch Tuesday". And Microsoft issued a patch array that was described by one Microsoft MVP as "brutal". If you (or your readers) suddenly start seeing problems using Blogger, or accessing blogs, you might want to carefully consider what changes were recently made to your computer (your readers computers). It's possible that patches being made available this week , in many cases automatically (and without concern by the computer owner), may cause interesting problems. All problems are not caused by Blogger . Really. >> Top

Confusion About The Designated Reader Limit In Private Blogs

Many bloggers are confused by the limit of up to 100 (actually, up to 99) readers in a blog. Questions like Is it possible to have more then 100 readers on your blog? - Does that 100 readers include those who subscribe to your RSS feed? are seen regularly in Blogger Help Forum. The limit here starts with the limit of up to 100 designated members of a blog . Designated members include Administrators. Authors Readers (for a private blog) With a public blog, your readers (non designated) are unlimited. There, you can have up to 100 administrators and authors. With a private blog, you have at least 1 administrator (and possibly more administrators and authors), so you can simply have up to 99 designated readers. Only with a public blog can you have a newsfeed, and Following. Private blogs don't have newsfeeds, so using Following on a private blog is a waste of time. That's true for both Following using Google Friend Connect , and for Following using a FeedBurner E

Ambiguity In URL Availability

This week, we have various bloggers report that they are initially informed that a given URL is available, but the "Create a blog" wizard later shows that the same URL is not available. Whenever I try to register, after Blogger suggests "The name xxxxxxx is available to register!", I get the message "Sorry, this blog address is not available". This seems coincidental, coming after the recent occurrence of people being told that their blogs had been locked for being splogs, then told not when trying to request review. Now, you see it ("available"). Now, you don't. And it was this same way yesterday, when I identified this URL . Are you seeing this confusion? What URL are you trying to use or to register? Was this ever registered to you? Did you ever get a spam warning for this URL? You use the "Create a blog" wizard, which gives you your new blog if and only if the URL is available. If "Create a blog" (aka "Name your

Following Lets Strangers Become Friends, Through Public Blogs

Occasionally, we see signs of confusion shown by people trying to Follow their friends blogs. I'm trying to Follow my friends blog, but I only see "You have followed this URL, but we couldn't find a feed for it." or My friends tell me that my feed isn't updating. I made it private last week. Both of these statements come from people who aren't aware of the implications of the limitation that private blogs do not have newsfeeds . A blog that requires an invitation, to be viewed, requires that people become acquainted before the blog can be viewed. If your blog is private, a prospective viewer has to email you and ask for permission, before he can view your blog. Somebody surfing the Following community of one of your designated readers, and happening upon your private blog, simply sees the well known advice It doesn't look like you have permission to view this blog. Following lets strangers become acquainted with each other, by surfing to blogs that are

Anonymously Posted Comments Can't Be Deleted

One of the reasons why we identify ourselves, when we post comments on somebody else's blog, is so we can use our own blogs to authenticate or strengthen our comments. A second may be to generate relevant links to our blogs , as part of making our own blogs part of the blogosphere. A third, and possibly overlooked, reason would be to have the option to remove a comment, in the future. Should we wish to post without authenticating, ie anonymously, the third option isn't available. A comment posted anonymously might be posted by anybody, not just us. Anonymously posted comments, or comments posted using OpenID, can only be deleted by the blog owner. And how many blog owners will be anxious to remove any comment posted anonymously, as requested by any one blogger? I posted that comment, can you remove it for me? Take my word for it, I posted it! Yeah right. If you want the option of changing your mind, post under an authenticated identity . And be consistent - always u

Changing Designated Reader List From "Only people I choose" Doesn't Work

The ability to designate readers for a given blog is a popular setting. Either "Only blog authors", or "Only people I choose" can be used to restrict readership to a limited, more appreciative audience, for any blog that's published to either BlogSpot or to a custom domain . Some bloggers, recently, are finding difficulty in making their blogs public ("Anybody"), after having had the blog published as "Only people I choose". They can use the Settings - Permissions wizard, and supposedly make the change to "Anybody", but the public still can't view the blog. The owner of "" states that the Permissions wizard is set to "Anybody". The URL suggests that we might have a "content warning" interstitial that's applicable here. If your blog is having this problem, please provide some details, to help Blogger see a possible pattern. What is the URL of the blog? Does th

Anonymising Yourself In Spite Of Your Blogs

This week, we have a question asked, in Blogger Help Forum , which has been on my mind, in various formats, for some time Does anyone know what Google does with it's residual copies of blogs after deletion? What's in the search engines may stay there forever. There is more than Google Search (really, there is), and the various search engines feed on each other . Replacing content with a stub may remove cached content selectively . Fuzzing / smokescreening your data may get rid of your personal data, or may make it less visible at least. You can't get rid of everything that says something "bad" about you . People have opinions, you will always have some enemies, and your enemies will always have something bad to say about you . Even Mother Teresa probably had somebody who said bad stuff about her. Look at social scrapbooking, like Yahoo Glue . Something added to a Glue page, true or not, will be indexed by the search engines. Even if a Glue page is scrubbed, th

With Following, Bloggers Follow Blogs Relevant To Their Interests

This blog is The Real Blogger Status , and it focuses on Blogger blogging. Look at the Following community for this blog, and you'll see all sorts of bloggers, with all sorts of interests - stated explicitly and implicitly. Looking now, I see (for instance) gardening, greeting cards, and rap music. And, I see a few Followers who are Following other blogs about blogging. The vast majority of the bloggers who Follow this blog do so because they are interested in developing and maintaining their Blogger blogs, and this blog - hopefully - provides them insight. Occasionally, someone interested in Blogger blogging- and Following a blog that's published by someone else who's Following my blog - will surf the Following community of that blog, happen upon this blog, and decide to Follow this blog. Generally, that will be because the new Follower is also interested in Blogger blogging. In other words, I will gain a Follower who's interested in Blogger blogging, because this

FTP Publishing - August 2009

This week, we are seeing the return of the well known FTP Publishing symptom Publishing your blog is taking longer than expected. To continue waiting for it to finish, click here. There are several threads in Blogger Help Forum , reporting this problem with various amounts of detail. If you are suffering from this problem, please provide details of your experience, to help Blogger Support get a start diagnosing the problem. The blog BlogSpot URL (if applicable). The blog domain URL. The name of the server hosting company, or URL of the host server. The Blogger FTP server setting value. as part of your problem report. If you're able, work with the server support staff, and examine the server activity and firewall logs , and see what is seen from the server perspective too. (Update 8/4 6:30): One blogger has found a possible workaround by adjusting the value of the "FTP Path" setting , relative to the "Blog URL" setting. With the trailing slash in the Blog URL a

Blogger, Email, And Google Accounts

One of the most common problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum , comes from people who can't sign in to their Blogger accounts , and manage their blogs. Frequently, this is because some can't remember their account name or password - or are confused by the Google multi account login . Sometimes, this is because they have an account name that they can't change - because they don't understand the connection between the email address and the account name. And occasionally, this confusion leads to worse problems, such as unintended creation of an additional account - or even creation of a duplicate blog . A Blogger account is simply a Google account, used to access or to manage blogs. A Blogger account can be setup intentionally - or on the fly, when you create a blog, or when you accept membership in someone else's blog .