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Showing posts from March, 2010

Renaming Your Blog - Planning The Change Properly

Your blog depends upon traffic for its success. Anything that affects the traffic to your blog, such as a change in the URL, affects the success of your blog. If you republish your blog to a different BlogSpot URL, as with migration to a custom domain , you will not lose any content. Both comments, posts, the template, and all custom settings, will stay with the blog. And if you plan the republishing effort, you can minimise the loss of traffic.

Spell Check And Video Upload Now Available In New Post Editor

One point of contention , repeatedly echoed in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , is Bring back spell checker! and Where is the video upload icon in new post editor? I've been explaining these omissions for a while, and sometimes feel like Sisyphus as I do so. Well recently, I learned that this may be history sometime soon. If you are able to use Draft (Blue) Blogger , you can now enjoy both spell check and video upload, and new post editor , together. Just remember that the Draft features are only seen if you use the dashboard. If you use the "New Post" link in the navbar, you will get the features of Production (Orange) Blogger - either classic post editor with old photo capabilities, or new post editor without spell check / video upload. >> Top

Blogger Blogs Redirecting To "" / "freegadget-xde"

As yet another chapter in the tale of the hijacked Blogger blogs , today we have reports of blogs redirecting to "" and "freegadget-xde". For those newly experiencing this persistent assault upon our blogs, see the FAQ My Blog Has Been Hijacked - What Do I Do? for diagnosis and removal techniques. Note that you'll probably need to use the "Edit HTML" wizard, and delete the offending code , for expedient removal. >> Top

Blogger / Blog*Spot Connectivity In MidWest USA

A few bloggers in the MidWest USA region - apparently AT&T DSL customers - are reporting inability to access Blogger, Blog*Spot, and in some cases, various Google services. We have a Problem Rollup question in Blogger Help Forum, where the epidemiology of the problem is being explored. For right now, if you are affected by this outage, please use a proxy server to access all Blog*Spot blogs. And read BHG Resources: My Blog Is Gone , or [FAQ] I Can't See My Blog. What Should I Do? for insight into diagnosing this problem. (Update 10:00 3/28): This problem has been resolved. >> Top

Including Content From Other Websites In Your Posts

I use excerpts of articles from other websites, in a few of my posts - when the other websites provide more in depth description of the issue being discussed. I use some websites, such as WikiPedia , more than others. It's good practice to at least link back to the originating website, when copying or quoting any significant amount of unique content. There are so few restrictions, in general, what content we may include in our blogs - so it makes sense to be polite when we include content from other websites. In most cases, and to keep my posts relatively short, I prefer to simply quote a brief, relevant snippet of content, and link back to the originating website.

Static Pages In A Renamed Blog

It's possible that Blogger takes the term "static", as in " Static Pages ", very seriously. I've been hearing rumours of odd URLs in blogs that are renamed - ie, published under a new URL - where static pages are present. Today, I setup a brief experiment. You may see the result of my experiment, in my test blog "Nitecruzr Test Pages In Renamed Blog". The blog started out as " ". You are welcome to click on that link, if you wish. It won't get you anywhere, though.

Blog Hijackings - The Worst May Be Over

Blogger Support took control of the blog hijacking problem yesterday . Today, I did a search in "Add a Gadget", and found encouraging results. I believe that they are now trying to disable the installed gadgets - so if you see a blank space on your blog, that's possibly why. (Update 2010/11/25): And to celebrate Thanksgiving Day 2010, we see a report of yet another hijack attempt . >> Top

Blogger Blogs Redirecting To ""

In a disturbing repeat of problems experienced earlier this month , we have reports of blogs redirecting again, this time to "". For those of you experiencing this assault upon your blog, see the FAQ My Blog Has Been Hijacked - What Do I Do? for current diagnosis and removal techniques. Note that the gadgets noted this week, as earlier, appear to resist removal, so you'll probably need to use "Edit HTML", and delete the offending code . (Update 2010/03/23): Blogger Support has taken ownership of the problem . Our team is working to sort out these affected gadgets from our side, and hope to have this fix out shortly. >> Top

The "Buy a domain for your blog" Wizard Is Broken

Sometimes, you have to tell people something twice, before they will listen to you. This month, the "Buy A Domain" wizard has that problem. As always, start from Settings - Publishing, and select "Switch to: • Custom Domain ". If you were buying "", for " What address would you like your blog to have? " you should simply enter "mydomain", select ".net", then hit "Check Availability". This month, if you do that, you will see There was an error processing this form. Please try again. URL should end in a valid domain extension, such as .com or .net. In this case, you must enter "", then select ".net". The ".net" bit is validated, too. If you enter "", then select ".net", you'll get the same error. Strange, but true. >> Top

Auto Pagination And Shared Network Resources

Many of you who publish blogs have home computers, connected to the Internet. If you don't live alone, you probably share the use of your computer, or your Internet access. Even those who live alone may share resources occasionally. It's possible that, if you own your computer and provide your Internet access, you recognise two truths about computer and Internet use: Network resources have a cost . Neither your computer, nor your Internet service, is free. You (or somebody) had to buy your computer, at one time. Somebody pays your ISP a monthly fee, so you can surf the Internet. Network resources are shared . You may have a problem downloading the latest blockbuster movie, while your roommate is listening to his / her favourite Internet radio station. You may notice that it takes 2 - 3 times as long to download a movie in the evening, as it does very late at night. If your household shares a computer (I believe this is still not uncommon), you may have to wait to us

Auto Pagination And Broken Links To Archive And Main Pages

Among the many odd circumstances connected with the controversial Auto Pagination feature that was introduced a month ago , we see reports by a few bloggers of broken inlinks, caused by segmentation of archive and main pages. Most reports specifically mention broken SERP entries, which link to content that's now found in an archive or main page segment that's reached by one or more clicks of "Older Posts". The new and currently un indexed segments have URLs which differ from the SERP entries. This effect is similar to a problem which I wrote about some time ago, which affect SERPs linking to main page content . Both the archive pages and the main page in a blog are more likely to be indexed by the search engines, because there is more content on these pages, and some content has already been indexed. Some posts, lacking inlinks completely, and depending upon the publishing frequency, may never be indexed except as archive or main page content.

Static Pages And The Pages Index

As more people are adding static pages to their blogs, the questions about the possibilities have started coming. How do I add a label search to my pages index? or How do I add a post to my labels index? or even How do I add a link to another blog as a page index entry? And right now, you can't do any of these things, to a standard pages index. A Pages Index gadget indexes the static pages in your blog. Period. But as I've written before, a pages index is nothing more than a linklist (in the sidebar), or a horizontal menu bar (under the blog header), with the links to the pages enumerated in the linklist or menu bar. A linklist is easy enough to make - that's just a simple gadget, in "Page Elements" . A horizontal menu bar isn't all that much harder to make. Just find the Pages List for the blog, and for each page, extract the page title, and the page URL. Each page title combined with the page URL becomes one clickable link in the linklist or

Static Pages And Comments

After long waiting, Blogger added a static pages option to our blogs. And even as blogger are busy adding static pages to their blogs, they are learning what static pages are - and what they are not . And as we note what static pages are not, we have to note that one feature which they appear to provide - comments - may not work for everybody. Some bloggers have observed that comments do not work on their static pages. Comments are a complex product, and are sensitive to many settings - both in the blog, and on the client computers. Right now, we're just starting to look at this deficiency. Help us out here, if you are able. First (guess what is first?) what is the URL of the blog with the noted problem? Does the blog use Embedded, Popup, or Separate Page comments? Is the problem observed on the computer of the blog owner, on the computers of the readers, or all computers? If the problem is inconsistently observed on multiple computers, what operating system and browser is in

What Pages Are - And What Pages Are Not

For years - almost as long as Layout Blogger has been out - bloggers have wanted the option to create static pages - pages that do not change - as part of their blogs. We've suggested a workaround, created from backdated posts , with some success. In January 2010, Blogger gave us true static pages for our blogs . Even as people started adding static pages to their blogs, the confusion about what those pages are, and what we can do with them , surfaced. How do I add a date to a page? How do I link to a page using a label? How do I publish multiple posts on a page? A static page consists of a title, and a single article. The article is created using a wizard extremely similar to the posts editor - but a wizard without an option to set a date, labels, or jump break.

Setting Up A Custom Domain

Having written my referential guide Troubleshooting Your Custom Domain Problems , I have seen more than a few questions in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken that are solved by use of the guide. Maybe you can avoid use of that guide, if you plan ahead of time .

What's The BlogID Of My Blog?

This blog is (for those of you not familiar with it) "The Real Blogger Status". The URL (name) of this blog is currently "", and it was previously "". Subject to the details involved in the renaming process , I am entitled to rename this blog anytime that I wish, and the name (URL) can change, anytime I do so.

Blogger Magic - Securing My Pictures From Being Copied

Every week, we see the naive query How do I prevent my pictures from being copied? and this, I regret to say, is a magic trick that has yet to be perfected. Others ask Why does Google let people publish blogs with pictures stolen from other blogs? and here, we have to note that Google has no interest in controlling blog content, beyond the limits of their own TOS regulations .

Blogger Magic - Detecting The Blog Feed

Ever see a magician take a pack of playing cards, shuffle the deck, wave his wand over the deck, and make the Ace of Spades rise into the air? Pretty mysterious. How about I wave my wand over my blog, and make the blog feed URL rise into your browser? You've seen a BlogList wizard - you add a blog to your bloglist. Just type in the blog URL, and it pops up the feed. How did it do that?

Blogger Blogs - Know The Options

Remember buying an American manufactured car in the 1980's? If you want Option a, you have to buy OptionPack 1. You cannot get Option b with OptionPack 1, Option b is only available with Option c and OptionPack 2. OptionPacks 1 and 2 cannot be ordered together. Option d is only available with Extended OptionPack 2, and cannot be ordered with Options b or c. Some bloggers are starting to feel confused about Blogger and their options, reminiscing how I felt in the 1980s. Right now, we have the following options, all ordered separately. Classic vs Layout template . Your blog is configured for a Classic (HTML) template using Layout - "Edit HTML" - "Revert". Your blog is configured for a Layout (XML) template using Template - "Customize Design". Your blog requires a Layout template, to have Gadgets, "Older Posts" / "Newer Posts" links (this distinction was removed in April 2010 ), Dynamic Label indexes, and Static Pages. Your blo

Private And Team Blog Membership Invitations Are Subject To Abuse

When you invite a designated reader to your private blog, or invite a member to your private or team blog, you use the Settings - Permissions wizard to send an email to the prospective member or reader. You select the email address to send the invitation to, based upon the known address of your prospective member or reader. The prospective member / reader, upon receiving the email, is free to send it on, to any other email address that he or she uses, and to accept the membership by using any Blogger account - current, or setup at the time of accepting the invitation.

In A Custom Domain Setup, You Have Your Job - And The Registrar Staff Has Their Job

Setting up a custom domain for your Blogger blog is pretty simple, when you follow the rules . All that you need are "A" and "CNAME" referrals, redirecting to Google servers . Some bloggers, when troubleshooting a custom domain problem , get confused, or frustrated, and try tweaking additional settings. Such attempts won't help, and will only make their job, and the registrars job , harder. In specific cases, you may make changes to "MX" records . But "MX" record changes won't solve any problems with your custom domain. You may end up setting up a "TXT" record - if you must prove domain ownership . If you are setting up your own DNS server, you may change or create "NS" records using your registrar's CPANEL utility. If you're using registrar supplied DNS hosting , the "NS" records are the responsibility of the registrar. You have no need to create or change "PTR", "SOA", or simi

Diagnosing Problems With Custom Domains: An Alternative Dig Tool

As I wrote earlier , when I'm diagnosing a problem with a custom domain - and occasionally, with other blog and network problems - my most frequently used tool is a Kloth online Dig . With Dig being an important diagnostic procedure, it's a good idea to have more than one Dig utility available. The Kloth server may be down. The Kloth server may not offer the right options. It's good practice to occasionally (and sometimes, intentionally) cross check results against another server. For many Dig investigations, I like to use a second online Dig service - WhoIs, provided by All-NetTools . The All-NetTools WhoIs Dig actually provides more than a standard Dig. A WhoIs Dig, for a domain, provides much valuable information about the domain / registrar relationship. Here, for instance, we can see an All-NetTools WhoIs Dig for this domain, . REGISTRY WHOIS FOR NITECRUZR.NET Domain Name: Registrar: GODADD

The New Blogger Template Designer Is Here

After months of waiting, Blogger today released their new template library. Instead of a static library, though, they chose to provide an array of combinable choices . Multiple, exciting styles. A huge library of theme organised backgrounds, each with an associated colour palette. A selection of layouts, with symmetrical combinations of 2, 3, and 4 columns with and without split sidebars in both left and right variations Adjustable column widths. An updated Fonts and Colors GUI interface , with selections for new template objects like Pages Index gadgets. From the dashboard or navbar , select "Design". From " Page Elements ", then select "Template Designer" - and check out the possibilities. What we have, now, is an almost infinite variety of possibilities , which should keep many bloggers happily occupied for days. If the Template Designer for your blog lacks options, you can even add some wizards to the Designer menu . As with every new

The Layout Template "Edit HTML" Wizard And "Expand Widget Templates"

Sometimes, when we're working on a problem that requires editing the HTML in a layout template, we need to understand the need to expand (or not expand) the widget templates. This month, for instance, we have hundreds of blogs containing malicious code , unknowingly installed by the blog owners. The malicious code must be removed, but the installed code aggressively prevents use of the "Page Elements" wizard , and the "Remove" button. Note: The selection to "Expand Widget Templates" has been replaced, by folded lines of code , which are now expanded selectively. When the "Page Elements" wizard can't be used to remove code, you have to use the "Edit HTML" wizard , and remove the individual gadget entries, one by one. Here's what the unexpanded line entry for one problem gadget looks like <div class='widget Gadget' id='Gadget1' /> That's easy enough to find - and to delete. Here's what

Loss Of Comments After Publishing Blog To A New URL

Recently, we've started to see a number of reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken of comments being lost after a blog is newly published to a Google Custom Domain - or in some cases, to a different Blog*Spot URL. Like many problems involving comments, custom domain problems, and / or URL changes in general, this problem warrants further investigation. To start with, there are a few questions which are relevant, which may help us diagnose where the problem originates. Blogger Support suggests two useful details . The exact URL of a post on your old blog which has comments. The exact URL of a post on your new blog which is missing comments. Where are the comments being lost - can you find them still inventoried in " Edit Posts ", for instance? Were the comments moderated, or unmoderated? When were the comments posted (by the blog readers)? When were they approved (if moderated) by you? Is the blog owned (and moderated) by you only, or is it a team eff

Editing The Blog Template

The template is like the skeleton of your body - you can't see it (easily), but the success of the blog depends upon its being there, and being structured properly. If you're going to have a blog, and publish it effectively, eventually the dashboard Layout and the Template Designer pages won't do enough for you. You're going to want to get to the details, underneath the GUI processes.

Some Hijack Malware Is Being Claimed To Be Blogger Provided

As the ongoing investigations into the nature of the latest malware based blog hijacks continues, some victims are claiming that the malware that they installed, unwittingly, was possibly part of a Blogger provided gadget , installed using the Blogger "Add a Gadget" wizard in " Page Elements ". If you find this as you clean your blog , will you please report your finding here. Please state, in a comment below, as completely as possible The title of the offending gadget. The author of the offending gadget - this detail is very useful, as many popular gadgets are provided by multiple authors! Any specific selections or settings that you made, when installing the gadget. What you find, and what you provide here, will be passed on to Blogger Support, at all possible speed, for their verification. All responsible bloggers thank you, for your honest contributions. >> Top

Identifying And Removing HTML / JavaScript / XML Based Malware From Your Blog

Occasionally, in the recently discovered social engineering blog attacks that involve shiny blog accessories, we've seen reports of aggressively protected malware, that's being installed on some blogs. When a misbehaving HTML gadget is the source of the problem, it's sometimes possible to click on the "Quick Edit" icon for the gadget, and click "Remove". Alternatively, go to " Page Elements ", and click on the "Edit" link for the gadget in question. This does not always work so simply, however.

Blogger Blogs Redirecting To " "

This week, we are seeing a few reports from anxious bloggers that their blogs are redirecting to mysterious URLs containing the domain "". This is somewhat reminiscent of the " /" hijacks seen during January 2010, and to the "" hijacks seen during February 2010.

Auto Pagination, And Blogs Vs Static Web Sites

Some bloggers seem to treat dynamic Blogger blogs like static web sites. They design their blogs so specific blog posts are consistently presented as part of the main page view. They overlook the basic design of blogs, where the main page simply contains the most currently published posts. This attitude is merely eccentric, except in cases like the current controversy about Auto Pagination . I have chosen to display 12 posts, because mine is a listing of twelve exact posts which i update daily. I now have only nine of the posts showing regardless of how many - 12 or 50 or 500 - that I preset to display. I need them all to show, because I daily print out this entire list in an MS Word booklet format - and without having the entire blog display, I can no longer do this. This is merely one example of the bloggers who are having trouble accepting the reality of Auto Pagination , and the consequently segmented archives, labels, and / or main page displays.

Help Me! I Can't Access My Blogger Account To Publish My Blog!

Every week, we see the anguished cry of blog owners, who don't have access to maintain, or publish to, their blogs. Help me! My email address changed last month, and now I can't sign in to my blog! But, if you look at the fine print, you see the full story Help Me! I never bothered to remember my password - I used the Forgot Password wizard to reset my password every time I wanted to sign in to my Blogger account. My email address changed last month, I can't get the email from the Forgot Password wizard, and now I can't sign in to my blog! As I have repeatedly advised folks, Blogger lets us maintain our blogs anonymously , and promises anonymous access and ownership for eternity . There is no magic token attached to our blogs, that let us conveniently email Blogger and ask for a second back door access to our accounts.

Blogs Composed Using Microsoft Word Causing Problems With Auto Pagination

Besides the somewhat predictable cases of blogs with lots of text and / or pictures, comes a third possibility for problems with Auto Pagination - excessively complex HTML. We've noted before that Microsoft Word generates a lot of complex and mysterious HTML - and some large blogs, which contain a lot of articles composed under Microsoft Word, appear to be suffering from segmentation - possibly without justification . My blog was BIG, and no one ever, not once, complained it was slow loading. It's (almost) unbelievable how long Google is taking to flick the switch and restore things to how they were pre auto-pagination. and the reply It appears that you have done a lot of copy-pasting from MS Word into your blog, and unfortunately doing so will add a very large amount of unseen (but still 'heavy') HTML tags to your post.

Auto Pagination Is Not Optional

The Mercedes brand automobile is a marvel of efficiency, engineering, and safety (so I've heard). It's designed for comfort, and for speed. If you drive one in Germany, where it is designed and built, you can even enjoy its comfort at speed - whatever speed you desire - perfectly legally. Get on the Autobahn , get in the fast lane, and use your headlight flashers when you approach someone from the rear. Keep an eye in the mirror, for someone using their flashers at you - and be prepared to move over, when someone uses their flashers. In this country, Mercedes owners (and other drivers) have to obey the speed laws, just as everybody else does. Try telling the policeman My car is safe at 90 MPH. I'll pay extra fuel tax, and use the premium lanes - and I can go 90 MPH, because I want to go 90 MPH . and see what response you get.