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Showing posts from 2018

"BlogSpot" Blogs Cannot Be Shared, Using "www"

We're seeing a number of reports from blog owners, claiming their blogs are now subject to security alerts - and blocked when sharing. Frequently, the reports involve blogs published to "" (not custom domains) - and using the "www" alias. Some services, such as FaceBook, are now requiring "https" for shared URLs - and the "www" alias of "" ("") can't be used, with the "https" protocol.

Adding A Favicon - 2018

One easy way to make a blog more visible is to add a favicon. A favicon makes a blog easy to find, in a typical browser window, with lots of open tabs. Adding a favicon is now just a matter of using one more dashboard wizard. Not so long ago, you would require a pair of files, hosted by a special (non Blogger) service - then you would edit the template, to add the URLs of the hosted files.

Hidden Submenu Items in The Theme Designer

The Theme Designer rocks. There are GUI adjustment / selection wizards, for dozens of theme objects, in any given blog. You can make font and color changes, using various GUI wizards - and see results, in real time. And the wizards are logically grouped, by function. If you know what objects you need to change, you can tweak your blog theme, without worrying about CSS coding. But depending upon the browser zoom level, some of the available wizards may not be immediately visible, on some "Advanced" submenus.

Domain Ownership Verification, And DNS Latency

Some blog owners are confused about how domain ownership verification works - or should work. The domain ownership verification process involves two challenges. Both accessing the registrars zone editor, and parsing the displayed content, is a challenge - for anybody but the domain owner. Or sometimes, including the domain owner. Blogger uses an intriguing technique, to verify that the blog owner, submitting a blog for domain publishing, is also the domain owner. They give the blog owner a token to add, to the domain - then verify that the token was added, before publishing the blog to the domain.

Stats "Unknown Region" And The "Audience" Map

The Stats "Audience" page is now showing a mysterious entry, in the "Pageviews by Countries" list, for some blogs. The list of the top 10 most active countries, for the "Now", "Day", "Week", and / or "Month" lists, for some blogs, includes a non country name - "Unknown Region". The "Unknown Region" entry appears to be associated with a second Stats oddity, a monochromatic "Pageviews by Countries" map. This oddity is causing some concern, in various forum discussions . Where one would hope to see a familiar Stats multi-shaded Audience map, with various countries displayed in differing shades of green or black, some blog owners are seeing a monochromatic pale green display. The monochromatic display appears to be accompanied by the mysterious "Unknown Region" entry, in the countries list. I am examining the Stats "Audience" page, for this blog - in different time range

HTTPS Migration - Managing The Traffic

Your blog depends upon traffic for its success - and similar to custom domain migration, will suffer a period of lower search related traffic, while being upgraded to HTTPS. Larger blogs get better search reputation, all other details being equal. While your blog is being reindexed, after you enable "HTTPS Redirect", you will have a blog with two different base URLs - and both URLs will reference two smaller blogs, and have lower search reputation. All posts in your blog will not be reindexed under an HTTPS URL, immediately. Some posts will remain indexed under the HTTP URL, as others are re indexed under the HTTPS URL, one by one. While being reindexed, your blog will look like two smaller blogs - and both URLs will suffer from lowered search reputation.

Responsive Themes Lack Features And Options

The exciting, new "Responsive" themes are a move forward, for Blogger. Like every move forward, though, there's always a couple steps backwards. The "Responsive" themes are not as easily customised as the earlier "Designer" and "Layout" themes - and they lack some enjoyable features.

The "Notable" Theme - Title Formatting Improvement

I published this blog to the "Notable" theme of the "Responsive" class templates, in February 2018. I never spend a lot of time tweaking and making blog formatting changes - there are so many other Blogger issues to write about. But that ugly big black box, at the top of each post page, was in my list of improvements needed. And last week, I found the motivation, and instructions, to improve the look of this blog.

The Google+ Share Counter Was Unreliable

One interesting feature of Blogger, now removed, was the Google+ Share counter. Similar to the FaceBook "Like" counter, many people used to enjoy watching the Share counter increase, for a given blog or post. I, personally, used to share my blog posts to Google+ - then watch happily, as the numbers climbed. The Share counter is no more a part of Blogger.

SMS Verification Being Replaced By 2 Step Verification

Over the years, we've seen various problem reports mentioning attempted use of SMS for identity verification, for emergency Blogger account access. It's possible that SMS based identity verification is one more service that has been replaced - by Google 2 Step Verification.

The "w i d g e t s e r v e r" Abandoned Domain Is Malicious

We've been dealing with a minor recent deluge of reports, from blog owners reporting mysterious redirection of their blogs. The original typical report, which started like any report involving a respected Internet service going out of business, was annoying - yet benign. Today, the status changed to malicious. Right now, "w i d g e t s e r v e r . c o m" is redirecting to "l i b o s t u d i o s . com" . Please enter your email address to continue. Many gadgets, long known for redirecting, are again redirecting - recently to "w i d g e t s e r v e r . c o m" - and now to "l i b o s t u d i o s . c o m". As some were diagnosed, a few owners advised that the misbehaving gadget had been installed long ago . We've seen, so far, a few old (not!) friends. M a u k i e , N e o C o u n t e r, and "S u n a n d M o o n P h a s e" can be seen, in some topics . A brief sample of forum topics involving "w i d g e t

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

For those not yet familiar with the new "Responsive" class themes, I offer my demo 4 "Responsive" blogs - one blog per exciting theme. You can see the links to the 4 demo ("Test") blogs, at the top of the sidebar. You'll also see links to 2 live blogs, for a better idea. You have to make an effort, to find the sidebar, however. The effort is necessary, to help the "Responsive" class templates replace the "Layout" / "Designer" class templates - and their special "Mobile" template.

Custom Domain Redirection, And "A" Referral Servers

One of the advantages of custom domain publishing, and the domain root to published URL redirection, used to be transparent redirection of the URLs. As Blogger blog owners become more sophisticated with their blogs, and custom home pages (aka "landing pages"), become more popular, we have blog owners with concerns about home page access and domain root redirection. We are also seeing concern with direct access to specific posts - with posts advertised, using the domain root URL. In some cases, redirection only shows the reader the blog home page, as the first view of the blog - even with a specific post being linked in the advertised URL.

"HTTPS Redirect" And Private Blogs

URL redirection is a Blogger magic trick, similar to a common sleight of hand trick in stage magic performances. The Blogger HTTPS Redirection , a recently added feature in Blogger security, may be a similar Blogger magic trick - and a possible problem. Some browsers treat websites with multiple redirects as possibly malicious. Private blogs, accessed through the Blogger / Google interstitial login , may also complicate HTTPS Redirection.

HTTPS Availability For All All Blogger Blogs

After years of waiting, this blog is now readable, using HTTPS. This blog, and others published using properly setup custom domains, now provides optional HTTPS connectivity - joining BlogSpot published blogs.

Edited Posts Will Not Produce Updated Newsfeed Content

I've written a few posts about editing post content - and discuss clearing cache after editing, to see updates. Generally, my posts reference cached posts content. Sometimes, blog owners need to clear cached feed content, in addition to / instead of clearing cached post content. There is a difference between post content, and newsfeed content - and how both are cached. Newsfeed cache is not as frequent a concern.

Publish To Your Readers In Multiple Languages

Some blog owners speak / write in multiple languages - and want to interact with their different readers, separately, in each different language. Blogger, and Google, support the need for publishing multiple blogs, each written in a different language. The "hreflang" tag, added to a blog, identifies other blogs, published to different languages, with identical or similar content.

AdSense, Blogger Blogs, And Social Network Sharing

Many people who publish blogs also have FaceBook pages - and one of the easiest ways to get traffic, to the blog, is to share the blog to a FaceBook page. Some people want money for publishing their blogs. AdSense is a very popular way to earn from publishing. AdSense produces the best results, with lots of readers to read the blog, click on the ads, and buy the products and services advertised. FaceBook, and similar social network sharing services, is not the best choice for advertising a blog that uses AdSense ads.

HTTPS Availability For Custom Domain Published Blogs

After many years of waiting, people who publish blogs using custom domains can provide HTTPS connectivity, to their readers. Right now, HTTPS Availability / Redirect can be enabled, for custom domain published blogs, using Draft Blogger.

Chrome Browser, And Elegant Disappearing Scroll Tabs

The disappearing scroll tab, in the latest Chrome browser version, is tres elegante - for some blog owners. Personally, I'm not convinced. Hover the cursor in the scroll tab area, to get the tab to pop out. If you use the Chrome browser, and the display content is longer (or wider) than one physical screen, you may not realise that.

Post Editor Displays A Bogus Error When Updating Posts

Some blog owners report a problem with editing posts, in post editor. With any changes made to a published post, an attempt to update shows another monolithic error. An error occurred while trying to save or publish your post. Please try again. But the mystery does not end there. Even seeing the error, a curious blog owner, refreshing the post as displayed, may find a surprise. Even with the mysterious error displayed, repeatedly, the changes just made may be visible in the post.

The Blogger / Google CDN, And Logout Problems

Recently, we've been seeing queries from some anxious blog owners Why should I have to sign out a total of three, four, or more times? With blogs that use a template that shows the navbar, the owner may logout, using the "Sign out" link - but the navbar may continue to suggest that they remain loggedin. This problem may start with how we connect to Blogger, as part of the mysterious Internet cloud .

Make Your Blog Searchable - Where To Start

Making a blog searchable is the first step in getting search traffic, and readers, for our blogs - when we want them visible to the public. Not all blog owners want their blogs visible to everybody. Complementing the ability to publish a blog, and have it visible only to invited readers, Blogger gives us the ability to make the blog invisible, to the search engines. If we want readers for a blog, and do not have a private reader audience in mind, we first make it visible to the search engines.

The Real Blogger Status Moves Into The Future

Earlier this year, I took a leap into the future, and upgraded this blog to use a "Responsive" class template. There are four "Responsive" templates - Contempo, Soho, Emporio, and Notable. The differences between the four include more than merely the visible design.