Aug 27, 2012

Tip: Understanding the Atom/RSS feeds created by Blogger

If you've heard of RSS feeds, you probably know that they're a way for your site's fans to keep up to date with your site by "subscribing" to your feeds. If they have a feed reader, any time you publish a new post, they'll see it in their reader's dashboard. You might also know that you can use those feeds to automate publishing to 3rd party services such as Facebook (using RSS Graffiti), transform your feed using Feedburner, and lots of other neat functionality. But you can also turn around and integrate those feeds back into your site, creating cool slideshows, custom sections of content, and much more (for an example check out Pinch Gallery's featured section on their homepage and their news section in the left).

But before we go into creating cool functionalities for your blog it's best to understand the types of feeds that Blogger provides for you.

Aug 24, 2012

Question: Picasa, Blogger, photos, load time and optimization

Diana Studer, a photographer in South Africa, asks via her blog post questions about how she should be saving her photographs, what compression techniques and sizes she should be using, and how that will affect the loading of her web pages and the photographs within it. Her goal is to get the highest quality images saved and into her blog, but her fear is that these larger file size images will be detrimental to the load time of her pages and perhaps discourage her viewers from sticking around.

I told her: "your page loaded quickly, including the images, and this blog post partially explains why."

Aug 15, 2012

Tip: Making the comment link more intuitive for Blogger

We came across a comment on Google+ this morning that had us scratching our heads, mainly because we never noticed this odd behavior in Blogger, but once noticed, it really is strangely wrong.

Basically it boils down to all "index" pages in a Blogger site, that when a page has multiple posts on it, in the footer of each post it says something like "5 comments" or "no comments", but never a link that says "leave a comment". Sure, the "5 comments" or "no comments" are links to the comment form, but in terms of usability, the poster is completely correct in saying that's very weird behavior.

So we took it upon ourselves to write a fix!

Aug 14, 2012

10 reasons recommending Blogger over Wordpress for most websites

We get asked this question all the time: "Why do you use Blogger instead of Wordpress?" Sure, Wordpress gives you pretty much unlimited freedom to do anything you'd like with your site, there are thousands of plugins, you can self-host, and with server-side code (PHP) and a database (MySQL), the sky is the limit.

But we see that as the problem. Unlimited potential often means unlimited potential to get lost, screw something up, or fail to secure something. And to be blunt, the vast majority of Wordpress sites don't need to be done in Wordpress, but they're paying for hosting, hopefully spending time with security patches, and worried about their site's uptime because they believe it's necessary.

For most of them it's not necessary. Your site could have been in Blogger and you wouldn't have those problems.

Aug 7, 2012

Featured Blogger Site: Concentrics Restaurants

The homepage of Concentrics Restaurants

Concentrics Restaurants in Atlanta, GA creates and operates amazing restaurants. The site is built in Blogger utilizing additional Google products, designed by BoyBurnsBarn LLC, and developed by Confluent Forms LLC.

Aug 2, 2012

Opinion: Focus on your blog, don't promote the social media services

A few weeks ago we posted an article on our corporate blog entitled "Forget Facebook; keep your fans to yourself!". The gist of the article is that by focusing too much on growing your Facebook fan presence at the expense of focusing on your own website and blog, that you're inserting an intermediary into your communications with your customers, fans, and supporters while doing so believing that you're in fact extending your outreach. This is becoming more of an issue as Facebook starts charging you to show your content to those same fans.

Our advice: grow your blog and website instead with the same content that you'd be posting to Facebook and connect with those same customers, fans and supporters directly through your site.

It's time to take a look at your Blog

Aug 1, 2012

Featured Blogger Site: Pinch Gallery

Pinch Gallery in Northampton, MA is a vibrant, eclectic artisan gallery with a focus on art for the home and art to wear. The site is built entirely in Blogger, designed by BoyBurnsBarn LLC, and developed by Confluent Forms LLC.