Blogger Continues to Ignore It’s Long-time Users

posted in: Blogging | 5

Google’s Blogger platform rolled out another new feature this week, one that many users of Blogger have been waiting for, and once again, one I can’t use.

See, ever since Blogger rolled out “new” templates a few years ago, the ones that support widgets, and began building all sorts of cool widgets for their users to use on their blogs, they have pretty much only worked on adding new features to those templates.

The problem is, if you, like me, use Blogger to publish to your own site through FTP, and not to Blogspot, you can’t use the new templates, and thus, all of the new features of Blogger, are not available to you. The Blogger team over at Google seems to be blissfully unaware that, long long ago, many folks actually used Blogger, and continue to use Blogger, so that they could publish static HTML blog pages to their own sites, at their own URL, with their own hosting, without the Ad bar being added to their templates.

As I think about it, the last time Blogger added a feature that we could, you know, use, was categories, or maybe comments? (Upon further review, scheduled posts were available regardless of where you are publishing within the last year) Any way, it’s been awhile. Almost all of the innovation at Blogger now seems to be around widgets, and other tools for use with Blogspot hosted accounts. Those of us who don’t have those, get nothing. I can’t help but wonder if the fact that Blogspot hosted accounts have ads on them is the reason?

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It’s almost enough to make me switch this blog to WordPress too, except I don’t have nearly the time to move 8+ years of stuff to a new platform!

Update: Seems I posted this a bit prematurely, as Rob Fahrni has pointed out that Blogger is actually going to eliminate support for using FTP to publish to your own site.  So, it appears I’m going to be spending my time moving this to WordPress or using some sort of Google hosting/redirect, which doesn’t really interest me at all.

5 Responses

  1. Louis Gray

    Mike, I see where you are coming from, but I don't see the situation as so dire. I first chose Blogger because of its FTP support, but moved off FTP for page hosting at the end of 2009 after years of having "a system" I knew worked. But, as you mention, the new platform and features were not available for FTP users, and now that I have migrated, I get all the new stuff, and it publishes instantly. 100x better, after always "Uploading to FTP". I am sure you know the process.

    Blogger should get some kudos for explaining the situation well in advance, and they have built tools to make the move relatively painless. Ask me any questions if you're curious. I was a longtime FTP Blogger user, and I continue to be a Blogger user, even after having upgraded.

  2. Doug Cornelius

    Mike –

    I moved my stuff from blogger over to a self-hosted WordPress account last year. It does not take long. The import/export feature from Blogger to WordPress is very straight forward and did not take long. (Most of the time was just waiting for the files to move.) Setting up WordPress is incredibly easy on most hosts. There is a script that installs the software and creates the databases. Literally takes five minutes.

    And WordPress has features that blow Blogger out of the water.

  3. Mike McBride

    Louis, I can see what they're trying to do, but as someone who has always hosted my own site elsewhere, I'm not really interested in moving my site to Google and living with the limitations of that, and despite Rick Klau's example of having your own site and just using a redirect to a subdomain, I like having all my website stuff in one place, and have no interest in moving the address of my blog and all of the archives after all this time. Besides, WordPress really does blow Blogger away feature wise, even with the improvements Blogger is making, so if I'm going to go to the trouble of moving, that's where I'm going to move, IMHO. 😉

    Doug, I use WordPress on my Child Abuse Survivor site, so I know I could get it setup, my fear lies in the format of the 8 plus years worth of archives. I'm not real sure I want to figure out how to get all the archived posts properly addressed to not break links to old posts. I suppose the solution to that might be to simply leave all those old Blogger HTML pages and just turn off comments, so the links would still be there, but none of the template things would get updated either, which I'm not thrilled with. On top of that, I'd have to move the site to a new server on my hosting account to get the proper Linux/MySQL setup. Again, something I've done before, but it takes time to do!

  4. Rob Fahrni

    Louis,

    It’s nice to see the transition will work. Here’s the reason I’m not moving. I currently host my weblog at http://rob.crabapples.net/ and I treat my archives as a look into the past. I don’t change their look once they’re published, I’ve made minor corrections to them like fixing typos but that’s it. If I want to move to the new Blogger model all those posts in their current form are lost because, as I understand it, they’ll be republished on the new Blogger hosted site. I also have other sub-directories off of rob.crabapples.net that would have to move, or be broken. So, if I have to make major changes like that it makes sense to move to a different system all together.

    Like Mike I don’t blame Blogger for making the changes. Blogger needs a facelift, it’s falling behind the new kids on the block like Tumblr. I also like having control over my content and the structure of the content. The new changes will break my existing setup, so I might as well switch to something that’ll let me do what I want.

  5. Mike McBride

    Rob, anyway you look at it, switching platforms is a tough decision. Something’s not going to be exactly the way you want it when you’re done, so I took the best option I could find. Since I already use WordPress on my other site, and was enjoying some of the things I could do with it, or through plugins, it was a no-brainer for me. I wasn’t going to not self-host, because that site, and some other projects are part of my hosting plan currently, I didn’t want to have sites on different hosts. I don’t care much about the static pages not being the same design, I’ve changed design many times already and took the old posts with it, and let’s face it, I’m not a designer, that’s not what this site is about. 😉

    On the other hand, I don’t want to break the links to 8 years worth of static pages, so I left them where they were.

    Good luck finding the one that fits what you want best!

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