Welcome to The Real Blogger Status - Beta. Please note the warnings (as of 6/13: 0 active), and the alerts (as of 1/10/2007: 5 active).

Please be aware of the naming variances in this blog. You will find various references to "Classic" / "Old Template 2006" Blogger, and to "Beta" / "New Template 2006" Blogger.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Error 405

The complete error message, from reading a number of threads in Google Blogger Help, appears to be

HTTP method POST is not supported by this URL Error 405

What is the meaning of this message? Is this a peer error to the old friend (not)
We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.

Here's a sampling of reports. Some threads suffer from subject drift, some involve Blogger Employee, some may have just died. Who knows? I don't see it listed in Beta Known Issues, but it seems to come and go.

If I omitted to list your favourite thread, please accept my apologies, and please let me know.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Spacing Changes In Blogger Beta

(Note 11/25): The below content is informational only. The problem in question is not demonstrated, because of the workaround currently in place.

A new post starts out with wide vertical spacing. Look at what we have here, from line to line. Nice and wide vertical spacing. Clean and easy to read. The perfect look for a blog, right?

Now, let's throw in a quote.

And now, look at the vertical spacing. With enough lines in here, you can see a change in post layout. The vertical spacing becomes much tighter. This looks sloppy. I've also seen this happen when you include <ol> and <ul> post elements. It appears to happen with any indentation element.

But let's try a test, per advice outlined below.

Look at my other posts, for instance. Enough! I Want To Go Back! and Beta Blogs: My 3 Week Evaluation both exhibit this behaviour.

Other folks who have observed this.

(Edit 11/24):See Spacing Changes In Blogger Beta - 3 for an update, and now you cannot (hopefully) even see the problem.

(Edit 10/17): From Problem with the line space of the posts., we find possible hope:
As a temporary fix for current posts, I (accidentally) found that if
you add <span style="line-height: 1.4;"> before each blockquote, and </span> after the blockquote, then the line spacing goes back to normal after the quote, as it is supposed to.

So I will test this in Spacing Changes In Blogger Beta - 2, and we will see how it works out.

Monday, September 18, 2006

ReferenceError: log is not defined

This is a Firefox error. In Internet Explorer, you'll get the equivalent

[object Error] undefined.

You see this when you're in main page view, looking at Older Posts (or maybe Newer Posts).

The improved main page view, in Blogger Beta, rocks. Being able to page forward and backwards, and view all posts in the blog from main page view, is great. But here is a problem - you can see maybe 2 pages of main page view, before this pops up.

And it only applies to main page view. From article view, I used the Older Posts link, repeatedly, and viewed all the way back to the first post.

Are you here because you have this problem yourself? Have you reported it to Blogger Help? If you just answered "Yes" and "No", then you are part of the problem.

Here are other folks who have reported the problem, and who probably need to report it now to Blogger Help.

And Ramani, of HackOSphere, mentions a friend who reported this, incidentally.

The error window, in Firefox

The error window, in Internet Explorer

Note that neither error window offers any interaction. Copy and Paste is not offered. I have to close this window to get my browser back. When I do, the main page view is blank. Only by reloading main page view, starting with the latest post, can I continue.

And yes, I did report this, and I replied to the botmail.

(Edit 9/27): This appears to be fixed, though again in silence.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Enough! I Want To Go Back!

New Blogger, while a great improvement over Classic Blogger, is a little rough around the edges. We've all learned that over the past few months.

Some folks have had enough.

  • Maybe they can't take the problems or suspense.
  • Maybe the promised features just aren't there.
  • Maybe there are incompatibilities with some essential tweaks.
  • Maybe the selections of third party templates, for New (Layouts) Blogger, aren't inspiring enough.

Well, if you can't work with the New Blogger template, you can use a Classic template.
  • Select Template.
  • Select Edit HTML.
  • Select Revert to Classic Template.

This will give you an old template, with the unfortunate limitations.
  • You'll lose any tweaks that you made to the New template.
  • You won't have new features like GUI template editing, or page elements.
  • You'll still use your Google account for authentication, so you'll have a Classic blog (template) that only New Blogger (Google) accounts can leave comments on. This may confuse the viewers.

Having reverted successfully, try moving forward again by starting over with a Layouts template, but setup a test blog, and test your custom settings there. Just as Old Blogger didn't remain very long, I'll bet Classic templates won't be supported forever.

If you decide to do this, will you please let us know at Google Blogger Help what your experiences are with this? Maybe there are other issues that I'm not thinking of right now. Your experiences, if documented, might save somebody else some grief, and that's what the forums, and this blog, were created for.

>> Top

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Beta Evaluation

Today is September 16. I made my first post in this blog on August 16, so this is my one month evaluation.

The Good

  • Labels.
  • Archives, to replace Previous Posts.
  • The Page Layout editor / GUI Template.
  • The improvedTemplate editor.
  • Private blogs, requiring authentication.
  • The improved Main Page view.
  • The improved Edit Posts screen.
  • Various minor tweaks.
    • The Edit Posts screen lets you page forward and backwards, when there are more posts then will fit on the maximum requested posts screen.
    • The post editor actually highlighted an error, in addition to saying that I had made one.
    • Instant publishing - no spinner of death.

The Bad

The Ugly

The Good

If I was to pick one feature which would keep me in a Beta Blog, it would be Labels. The ability to associate posts by keyword, dynamically, is useful. Just that. But take that ability, and generate a custom main page view, of all posts with that keyword. Way more than useful. Very user friendly.

The old 10 Previous Posts list is no more, it's been integrated with the archives.

The Page Layout (aka Page Elements) Editor
The ability to customise 75% (my guess) of all blog features, using a GUI process, is a big relief. The template editor is not very user friendly. But defining commonly used features in a GUI process, and letting us change their characteristics, goes a long way towards making the template editor unnecessary.

Just moving elements within the page is a major improvement. Want a link list at the top of the sidebar? Grab it, drag it, and drop it. Want to change colours and / or fonts? We now have a standardised setting process for that. No more "Why did that change size?").

The slightly improved Template editor.
The template editing process, while substantially like the old, helps you to save and restore your current template, using a GUI process. This will encourage each of us to save our templates more readily, which will reduce stress level when editing templates, which may reduce mistakes. I know that it will for me. Plus we can make smaller changes, leading to more understanding of what we are doing, and possibly less mistakes.

And a possibility for endless activity - template HTML now supports Javascript. I am just getting in to this - but there is real potential for pushing into new territory.

Using a Google account / password to authenticate ourselves allows blogs to be made private for viewing, as well as for adminstration. And it integrates well with the menu of blogs (ie "dashboard") under our control.

The Improved Main Page View
Under Classic Blogs, you could have 2 views - main page, and article. You could have an article view of any specific post, but you could have a sequential ("main page") view of only the latest 10 (or whatever number the blog owner determined) posts. If the articles of interest weren't in that latest x number, it was time to look by post name. Oh yes, there was no post name list (excepting of course the 10 previous posts). Good luck finding a post by title!

Now, your main page view is unlimited. The limitation simply affects how many in a single view - when you get to the end of the page, just hit "Newer" or "Older". And integrating Label search results into main page view makes it great.

The Vastly Improved Edit Posts Screen
Start with the first improvement that I saw weeks ago. When you peruse the Edit Posts list, if you decide upon a limit of 50 posts, that's now just 50 posts on the first screen. More than 50 posts? Hit "Older" ("Newer").

And it gets better. All posts are listed, with their Labels. Want a comprehensive list, by post, of all labels used? Here it is.

And in another column is a master list of all labels. If you click on one, the list of posts shows all posts for that label. And each post listing all labels for that post. Want a labels cross-reference? Here it is.

And we have ability to select listed posts, and then to add or remove a selected label. Need to change one label for another? Here's a list to do this from, quite painlessly.

And a minor (but not very much so) item. For each post with Comments, you get a link to view the comments for that post.

Various Minor Tweaks
A nice experience here. I actually went to Publish a post, and was told that I was missing an opening "<a>" (unbalanced "</a>"). The difference here was that it highlighted the offending "</a>"!

The spinner of death is no more. When you Publish a post, or edit the template, your changes save instantly. No more waiting. YAY!

The Bad



Publishing To External Servers

Post Summaries

There's No Going Back, Folks!

Not all features are available to blogs that are published externally (aka FTP blogs).

>> Top

Please Help Translate This

The latest post in Beta Known Issues:

Today we pushed a new version of Blogger beta that contains a significant number of bug fixes, most of them concerning issues that users reported to us. It would be too much detail to list all the specifics here but we hope they will improve your beta experience. We're continuing to work on the other issues that are listed on this blog, and if you find new ones please let us know.

I'm taking a stab here. Comments are invited.
We made a bunch of changes - we aren't sure what, nor are we sure if they will fix anything. If you see any problems, let us know, and we will continue to ignore you. We'll make more changes later, and won't tell you about them either.

Well, the BKI blog mentions the Page Element adding problem as fixed. Earlier, the “We’re sorry but we’re unable to complete your request” errors were fixed on Labor Day (but possibly not completely). Anything else anybody can see as fixed?
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This looks like more of the silence. We are now seeing Beta Known Issues getting the same treatment as Blogger Status.
Welcome to K-Mart. How may I ignore you today?

Leaving Comments On Other Peoples Blogs

There are several issues about Commenting on blogs. In general, they involve authentication.

If your blog allows open commenting, ie with no authentication (Who Can Comment? set to Anyone), there will be no problem with comments. Unfortunately, this is spam friendly.

To restrict spam postings, you set authentication to Blog Members or at least Registered Users. Both of those settings require authentication, using the standard Blogger account name / password (for Classic blogs), or Google account name / password (for Beta blogs).

It appears that

  1. The two authentication processes aren't compatible.
  2. Google gave no thought to the two being used together.
So now, they're trying to repair their mistakes.

Blogger has identified two issues - Classic users attempting to comment on Beta blogs, and Beta users attempting to comment on Classic blogs. Both issues are supposedly resolved.


>> Top

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

MultiStyle Label Lists

This lets you decide how you want to list the Topics (aka Labels). You select the Style that pleases you, not the blog owner. So, how does it work?

Select Hide Style to hide everything except the MultiStyle Labels Menu Bar. Hide Style is the default in this blog; other blogs may vary.

Select List Style for the familiar long list, alphabetised, with post counts.

Select Menu Style for a pop up list, alphabetised, with post counts.

Select Zoom Style for a long list, alphabetised, using larger fonts to identify topics with higher post counts.

(Question): This rocks! So, Chuck, how do I get this into my blog? For the answer, see Cumulus Blogs: Adding CumulusTopics Code Into Your Blog

Template Editing

Along with Labels, the Beta template editing ability is probably the neatest feature in Blogger Beta. The GUI Page Layout editor is totally kewl.

Not too many folks realise though that you can edit page elements from other than Page Layout editor mode. When we're logged in as an administrator, we can make changes to the individual page elements, just as we can edit posts. Similar to the "Edit Posts" pencil at the bottom of each post, you'll find the "Edit" widget at the bottom right of every page element.

And here's some confusion.

How in the world do I get rid of the cute little dragonflies that seem to be a part of the template that I have?? I do not know enough about the HTML to find them or what they might be called.

Well, I've been studying the HTML / XML, but I don't know the name myself. It does sort of look like a dragonfly, though. It's just another thing that got put, into Blogger Beta, without a name. Another violation of one of my principles
Everything gets a name.

Fortunately, named or not named, it's only visible to you, in a specific situation. And, once you explain that to folks, the general philosophy is
I can live with that, as long as the readers aren't seeing it.

And they're not seeing them. Only you can see them, in a specific situation.
  • When you are logged in to the blog as an administrator.
  • When the blog has Quick Editing enabled.

There are 3 ways to prevent the dragonflies from displaying.
  1. Log out from your account.
  2. Disable Quick Editing.
  3. Edit your template.
    1. Backup your template.
    2. Select "Expand Widget Templates".
    3. Find, and replace, all instances of
      <b:include name='quickedit'/>
      changing each to
      <!-- <b:include name='quickedit'/> -->
    4. Save Template changes.

(Note): You may find it necessary to clear browser cache, after doing the above, to make sure the dragonflies will be gone.

Beta Enhancements

No product will ever be released with all of the possible features immediately included. Any product ever treated that way will never be released, becuase the vendor will keep adding and deleting features.

So we shouldn't be surprised that Blogger Beta has problems. And it has design limitations, and other issues. And there are other features which, in our own personal opinion, should have been included.

The Post Published Screen
When you edit a post, and you hit Publish, you are taken, immediately, to the Post Published screen. Yes! No more spinner of death (among other terms used). But having done that, you click on "View Blog", and go back to main page view. How about a link to "View Post"? That would make it so much easier to test what we just wrote.

Or have you never finished a (you thought) bang up job, published, and waited for the raves to pour in? And looked at the first rave, which said

Dude, that sucks. Why did you do that?

So you look at what you had done, maybe from another browser, and find that you had made a mistake.

Always test after making changes. Check each link, for instance. Preferably in each browser. And testing, in general, would be more instinctively done, if we had a link on the Post Published screen, that went straight to the post just finished. At least, for me.

Making Comments On My Own Blog
Sometimes, I moderate and publish a comment that warrants a response. Since most comments are made anonymously, it's easiest to post another comment.

But getting thru the comment entry form (and the obnoxiously small comment form is another subject), having done that, I am left with a Captcha. Why do I have to fill out a Captcha, if I am logged in to my own blog?


To put it simply, this feature rocks.

Here's a dynamic search for all posts about Beta Problems (label "beta problems"), in this blog. Why dynamic? Because it's evaluated each time that you click on the link (possibly within limits of your cache).

And instead of an ugly search hit list, where you get snippets of useful information, that you have to hunt for (ever try finding an article title, or the URL, in a typical search hit entry?), you get a customised main page view of your blog, with all of your customised amenities and layout, showing only the posts relevant to the label selected. Very user friendly.

And look at the end of this post. See the labels listed? Click on any one. Yep - another dynamic search - on that label. Keyword cross referencing.

To add them, just type any keywords, as desired, into the box at the bottom of the post edit window. They aren't case sensitive, so just lower case, comma delimited, as many as relevant for any post. And as you type, you'll get a popup menu of already entered labels, so you can pick ones already in use when possible. No misspelled labels. When you feel the need to change any, just add, change, or delete words, in the list, in each relevant post.

There's even a selection to the right of the Labels box, called "Show all". That opens a cloud display, showing all labels defined, for all of the posts in that blog. Just click on each relevant label, and it gets added to the list for that post. What could be easier?

Start using labels early, while your blog is young. It's easy to type in 2 or 3 keywords, into the labels field, whenever you add or update a post. When you have a couple dozen posts, and have to add the labels then, it won't be quite so much fun. I speak from experience here.

When you have labels defined for your posts, you have numerous options for referencing them.

  • Already there for you - the labels menu at the end of each post.
  • In the sidebar, or at the bottom, you can add a Page Element, listing the labels in your blog. You can, of course, rename the list - mine are called "Topics aka MultiStyle Labels". Or you can forget about the plain one style label list, and go straight to MultiStyle Labels.
  • You can have a feed for each label.
  • You can even have a link, in the post. Look here for other posts about How Do I Use Various Beta Features, as an example.

Now, for the next step in the evolution of The Real Blogger Status - Beta, check out MultiStyle Label Lists, courtesy of HackOSphere and CumulusBlogs.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Limit In Blogger Beta?

How many HTML / Javascript page elements can you have? My bud Roberto asked me about this last night.

I keep getting "unable to complete your request" when trying to add another widget.

And I tried myself, and I saw the same error. I used the Add widget, selected "HTML / Javascript", and there it was - our old friend (not)
We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.

Well, nobody can say that Roberto's Retreat 2 - Beta isn't pushing the limit. I advised him to think of his viewers, and limit the complexity.

But as we explore the amenities of Beta Blogs, I'll be surprised if we don't run into limits like this occasionally.

(Edit 9/9 21:00): I see that there is actually a Known Issues entry for this problem, from 9/8. Maybe the BKI blog will actually be useful.

(Edit 9/11): In Google Blogger Help - Customising Templates: Is the number of HTML/JavaScript widgets limited?, we see a suggestion for a workaround.
Cool, the Text elements accept HTML and JavaScript so I can still carry on adding stuff with codes

So, forget about HTML / Javascript, and let's see how well you can customise a Text element.

(Edit 9/13): In Known Beta Issues, this problem is reported as fixed.

Beta Blogs: My 3 Week Evaluation

So today in Google Blogger Help - Customizing Templates: Will we all have to switch to Beta Layout?, we see the question on the mind of many:

...do you think Blogger will forse us all to switch to layouts?

I personally think we will all eventually want to switch. Blogger Beta is so much better than Blogger Classic, for those who publish to Blog*Spot anyway. Whenever I edit The Real Blogger Status, or PChuck's Network, I feel like I'm working in a 2 dimensional world, where editing The Real Blogger Status - Beta is 3 dimensional.

If you don't though, you will have the ability to edit the HTML directly ("raw HTML edit"). Maybe it would be good to see if that will work, though.

So it's time to evaluate what we have, and to decide where to go from here. My gut feel is
  • Eventually, everybody will want to switch, or
  • Nobody will care, or
  • We will all be better off switching.

Having said that, I intend to keep The Real Blogger Status - Classic as a Classic blog, until it's the last known Classic blog. So we will see.

And I think that a more robust evaluation is certainly in order.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Photo Uploading Problems In Beta Blogs

I recently upgraded the appearance of this blog - just slightly - by cleaning up the header. What you see above is a graphic. I did this a couple days ago, with no problems.

The following day, I decided to write about my work. So I wrote text, and composed it, and made Customising The Header #2. Then I added some pictures, showing the blog header appearance, as I progressed with the project. Or I should say tried to add pictures.

I could select a picture, and hit the Upload button. And the spinner would run for a few seconds, but nothing would upload. Even clearing cookies, which I tried twice, and verified that I was using a different Blogger server, brought no relief. Nor did uploading to a blank post, tried in both "Edit HTML" and "Compose" modes. Nor using Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Meanwhile, simultaneous improvements to PChuck's Network, which is a Classic blog, proceeded nicely. Pictures were a useful addition to my Network Connections wizards instructions.

So, I guess Beta blog picture uploading is broken. I'm not alone anyway.

(Edit 9/7 17:40): A very interesting forum thread involving Blogger Employee AND Jehovah himself, Pete Hopkins, Google Blogger Help - Publishing Trouble: Why can't I upload a pix? is a start. Watch this post (or the thread).

(Edit 9/8 17:00): A post in Blogger Beta Known Issues: Some users are unable to upload images suggests clearing cache. This seems to work, though not always on the first try.

(Edit 9/13): The procedure of clearing cache appears to be effective against cases where the upload appears to be successful, yet clicking on Done takes you back to a post editor where no code is inserted. Now we seem to have a new symptom - no Done button appears. Clearing cache appears to have a mixed effect here. This problem is still open in Blogger Beta Known Issues: Some users are unable to upload images, though some links there may be misleading.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Customising The Header #2

Replacing the boring text title in your blog is easy enough. Making it look really pretty is easy - when you know how.

Removing the header element in a Beta blog is not too hard. Replacing the template entry, or adding a new header page element, isn't terribly difficult. But some templates require just a bit more work. if you want to do a good job.

I started out with a plain text header, the default for Minima, in a pair of ugly boxes.

I replaced the default blog header with an HTML page element.

<a href="http://bloggerstatusforrealbeta.blogspot.com/index.html"><img border="0" src="http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger2/560/527000594325287/
<p align="center">What Blogger won't tell you.</p>

The graphic content is nicer, but still the ugly boxes.

I then had to edit the template HTML.

I found the code for the Blog Title.
<div id="header">
<a name="Top"></a>
<h1 id="blog-title">
<ItemPage><a href="<$BlogURL$>"></ItemPage>
<p id="description"><$BlogDescription$></p>

That shows that I have 3 containers - "blog-title", "description", and "header" - to examine. Two containers = "blog-title" and "description" - are peers, and together make one box. That one box is enclosed by "header", which is the second box. And there are the 2 ugly boxes.

The rules, for each container, are in the Header section of the blog header code.

/* Header
----------------------------------------------- */
@media all {
#header {
margin:0 auto 10px;
border:1px solid #ccc;
@media handheld {
#header {
#blog-title {
margin:5px 5px 0;
padding:20px 20px .25em;
border:1px solid #eee;
border-width:1px 1px 0;
#blog-title a {
#blog-title a:hover {
#description {
margin:0 5px 5px;
padding:0 20px 20px;
border:1px solid #eee;
border-width:0 1px 1px;
font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif;

There are a total of 5 relevant rules, in my case.
border:1px solid #ccc;
border:1px solid #eee;
border-width:1px 1px 0;
border:1px solid #eee;
border-width:0 1px 1px;

I changed all "1px" to "0px".

/* Header
----------------------------------------------- */
@media all {
#header {
margin:0 auto 10px;
border:0px solid #ccc;
@media handheld {
#header {
#blog-title {
margin:5px 5px 0;
padding:20px 20px .25em;
border:0px solid #eee;
border-width:0px 0px 0;
#blog-title a {
#blog-title a:hover {
#description {
margin:0 5px 5px;
padding:0 20px 20px;
border:0px solid #eee;
border-width:0 0px 0px;
font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif;

And no more ugly boxes.

Want more ideas? How about using background images (aka wallpaper)?

Known Beta Issues - Being Acknowleged

So this morning, I see a comment in my RBS Classic The Problem Here Is Not The Problems, It's The Silence.

...just the day after I read this very post about their silence, I found this - http://knownissues.blogspot.com/ ...A known issues page, made up by the staff. Available through the beta logon/dashboard page.

This is an improvement. It shows some effort, anyway. Let's see if it's maintained properly.

(Edit 9/13): The BKI blog, upon examination, appears to be robust both in depth (number of issues being tracked), and in breadth (blog layout). The blog has, in its sidebar, direct links to 3 key problem resolution resources.All in all, a significant improvement, and complementary to the improvements in Blogger Beta itself.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Customising The Header In A Beta Blog

Earlier, I wrote about how to Restore The Main Page Link To The Title, in a Beta blog. That was a hack, and a messy one at that. Blogger fixed that little omission, so it's no longer necessary. The blog title is now clickable, and links back to main page view - in a blog with default setup - just as it did for a Classic blog.

But it's still boring text - a title, followed by a description.

So some will ask

How do I customise my blog header? How do I (for instance) replace the boring text title with a picture?

You can make this change as you would in a Classic blog, if you wish to edit the template HTML. Personally, I use the GUI Page Layout editor.

Go into Template - Page Elements. Edit the Blog Header element.

You have several choices here, with the Blog Header.
  1. Put code into the Blog Title field. You could put both a link and an image into there
    <a href="http://bloggerstatusforrealbeta.blogspot.com/index.html">
    <img border="0" src="http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger2/

    except for one major problem. It just won't fit.
  2. You could put the code into the Blog Description, except for another limitation. You can't have a blank Blog Title field. If you put your header code into Blog Description, what can you put into Blog Title that doesn't look tacky?
  3. I prefer to get rid of the Blog Header altogether, and replace it with a straight HTML page element.
  4. You could remove the Blog Header, and replace it with a background image.
See my article The Real Blogger Status: What's In The Header or How Do I Keep My Blog Searchable? for more discussion about this issue.

If you're lucky, you can just remove the Header page element.

If not, you won't be able to remove it, immediately.

If you see the second image - ie no "Remove Page Element" button, go to Edit HTML. Find the section of code

<div id='header-wrapper'>
<b:section class='header' id='header' maxwidgets='1' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='Header1' locked='true' title='The Real Blogger Status Beta (Header)' type='Header'/>

and change "locked='true'" to "locked='false'".

<div id='header-wrapper'>
<b:section class='header' id='header' maxwidgets='1' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='Header1' locked='false' title='The Real Blogger Status Beta (Header)' type='Header'/>

Then Save Template. Go back to Page Elements.

Now you can just remove the Header page element.

Now, just add a Page Element - HTML. Put whatever code you wish, in the body of the element.

<a href="http://bloggerstatusforrealbeta.blogspot.com/index.html"><img border="0" src="http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger2/560/527000594325287/
<p align="center">What Blogger won't tell you.</p>

The added element will be in the sidebar, or the footer (wherever you created it), so grab it, drag it, and drop it into place atop the blog, where the Header element used to be.

Positioning the new header will require some experimentation; when you move the new element over the area where the header should be, it may drop centered on top of the post column. When it does this, move it ever so gently upwards a couple pixels or so, until it positions properly. When it is properly positioned, release it, and it will fall into place, properly positioned and sized.

Save the changes to the Layout.

Now add or update the meta tags, in the blog header. This gives you an attractive entry in a search hit list.

And finish the job properly - remove the ugly boxes, that are placed around the header by most default templates.

(Edit): In case you're wondering, making the header itself was easy, and involved no expensive software.
  • I used Microsoft Word to make the characters.
  • I did a Print Screen (Alt-Print Screen) to copy the image to the clipboard.
  • I pasted the image into Paint.
  • I saved the image as a .bmp file.
  • I used Irfanview (freeware) to trim the image, resize it, and make it into a .gif with a transparent background.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Backup Your Template - Beta

As I told you earlier, in Backup Your Template (Classic), you should always keep a copy of your template local to your computer, just as you should always keep a complete copy of your blog itself. That advice hasn't changed for Beta version blogs; if anything, it's more necessary.

The good news is - Blogger now recognises that need. The Template Editor ("Edit Template HTML") now includes a pair of scripts to save and restore the template, as needed. It's a bit more user friendly than starting Notepad each time. If you have a blog published on Blog*Spot (no externally FTP published blogs), and you're using a Layouts template, go to Template - Edit HTML. Point the template save / restore wizard into the right folder, select a file / file name, and hit Open.

Select Download Full Template to Save the template. Hit Browse to select a file to Restore the template from, then Upload to do the restore. What could be easier?

Before you make any changes to your template, back it up. If you decide that you don't like your changes, instead of spending time fixing each change, just restore from backup. Short term result - simple, on the fly changes. Long term result - more progress in making changes, and a more pleasing blog for your readers.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Admit The Errors

YouTube can admit their errors.

Why can't Blogger?