Sep 28, 2012

Tip: Updated way to remove the Blogger Navbar

It's been a while since we took a look at the Blogger navbar, mainly because we simply got in the habit of using CSS to remove it! It turns out that at some time in the past few months the Blogger engineers provided a simple way for everyone to remove that bar... but without any fanfare, most experts had no idea they'd changed anything.

While this is super-simple, for consistency, we're going to show you how to do it.

Sep 27, 2012

Hangout on Air: Custom Picasa Album Slideshows in Blogger

How did we manage to present such a potentially complex topic in under 15 minutes?! Yesterday's Hangout on Air discussed using slideshows in your blog/website, the different ways that our company has created them to fit the needs of the project and client, and a tutorial on code we've shared to implement a customizable slideshow into your own site using Picasa and JQuery.

Sep 26, 2012

Create a custom Picasa slideshow in Blogger

In creating a website within Blogger, one of our first real challenges was developing a way to provide a slideshow within the website that was fully customized to the needs of the design, but also could be managed by the site owners without needing to know HTML. The "embed slideshow" provided by Picasa didn't cut it for a number of reasons (limited customization, auto-start issues, didn't loop, was Flash, etc.), the widgets that people had created were also as problematic and both provided too many features that we didn't want while also not providing the features we did want.

We embarked on the quest to create the perfect slideshow, the slideshow that could be easily customized, but still contained easy to use management functionality so it could be handled by a non-technologist.

Sep 24, 2012

Featured Blogger site: Renew Pilates

The homepage of Renew Pilates

Renew Pilates in Easthampton, MA provides private, semi-private and small group pilates instruction tailored to meet the individual needs of their students through comprehensive body assessments and personalized programs. The site is built in Blogger utilizing additional Google products, and developed by Confluent Forms LLC.

Sep 11, 2012

Tip: Adding interactive captions to your Blogger images on hover

For a long time I've been disappointed with the way most content management systems provide image captions in their WYSIWYG editors. Many, including Blogger, create an old-school table wrapped around the image, put the image in the first table row, then add the caption text into the second table row. You might have the most HTML 5, up to date website, and then suddenly you're stuck using tables like it's 1998.

We believe we've created a method that is both slick and interactive, as well as quite possibly increasing your search engine performance and making your images Section 508 accessible! It involves using your image's ALT text, some JQuery, and hovering over the image (optional), and we think it's pretty cool.

Sep 10, 2012

Tip: How to upload a new template for your Blogger site

We've been providing some Blogger templates for people to download and add to their sites for free, but it seems that we assumed a critical piece of information: instructions for how to install them!

Sep 7, 2012

Blogger Template: Sartorial 2 and Sartorial 3 (free!)

In the spirit of sharing, we've decided to open up our Sartorial 2 and Sartorial 3 templates for free download!

Unlike most templates that you download from the web, these make full usage of the Template customization tool in Blogger giving you the feedom to change the design to match the needs of your individual site and style.

Sep 6, 2012

Hangout on Air: Understanding RSS feeds for Blogger

Yesterday's Hangout on Air was a doozy! In under 30 minutes we discussed RSS feeds, the feeds provided by Blogger, how to manipulate them, and how to re-integrate them into your website in new and interesting ways.

Sep 5, 2012

Hangout on Air: Blogging for Your Business

I'm sorry to be delinquent in posting this Hangout on Air (especially as we did one today which we'll be posting shortly). This was our first Hangout on Air and discussed the topic of blogging for your business, using Blogger as the platform for a social media strategy based on establishing your expertise, bringing fresh content to your audience(s), and even providing incredible search engine rankings as a result.

Sep 4, 2012

Tip: Using JQuery to process and include Blogger RSS feeds into your site

In our last post we discussed the types of RSS feeds that your Blogger site automatically creates for you, and how to use the URL string to change the types of content returned in the feed. Examples of this are getting a set number of the most recent posts, the most recent posts having a specified label, posts having multiple labels, comments, etc.

Using this information it is possible to re-integrate subsets of information from the feeds back into your site using Javascript/JQuery to process the feed and insert it into your pages.