Friday, April 08, 2005

Blogger Can Save Your Lost Posts!

In a great move that is very appreciated, Blogger has upgraded their post-editing page with a nifty "recover post" link (see screenshot).

I used this feature last night to rescue a post I worked on for 5 minutes. I pushed POST, and it dissapeared! Clicking "Recover Post" magically brought it back. Phew!

Blogger is quick to say "This feature is not guaranteed to work every time you lose a post, but it's always worth a shot."

Beyond that, you can read more about Blogger's Recover Post feature.

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Thursday, April 07, 2005


One of the coolest blog helper-apps of all time, Feedburner allows you to take your Blogger Atom formatted XML feed and convert it to Feedburner's flexible format, which automatically switches to the best feed format for your site visitor's feed reader.

Once you convert your feed, be sure you funnel all your feed traffic through it, and also check out these cool publicity tools.


Feed Your Feeds Through Feedburner

If you're using Feedburner to publish your feed or to transform your Blogger Atom xml feed into RSS versions 1.0 or 2.0, or to podcast, then be sure all your feed traffic gets piped through feedburner.

Use this simple code hack in your Blogger Template to drive any autodiscovery traffic to your feedburner feed:

Step One: Find the following code at the top of your Blogger Template...
  <$BlogMetaData$>

Step Two: Wrap the code with the following information from your feed...
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Blogger Template Tricks" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/BloggerTemplateTricks" />
  <$BlogMetaData$>
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Blogger Template Tricks" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/BloggerTemplateTricks" />


This ensures that if any newsreaders or search engines scan your blog for an XML feed, it will catch your Feedburner feed, not your plain-vanilla Atom.xml feed.

Of course, replace my feed information with your own, from feedburner.



Personalize the link for the comments on your blog by using this simple hack by Blogger Templates.



Blogger makes Web updates easy. At a minimum, all you have to do is write a post and click "publish" to see your page updated. When you submit a post to Blogger, it gets saved to our database and this is where Blogger tags come in. Blogger tags tell our blog publishing program which information to fetch from database and put on the page. "Please put the title here, the post right underneath, and then the date and time go here and here. Thank you." It's all very polite.


Expandable Post Summaries

Zhen posts a good tutorial on how to have only portions of your blog posts show on the main page.

With this trick, you can choose to display an arbitrary amount of text from the beginning of each post, as a teaser for the whole thing. Then users who want to read the rest of the post can click a link to see the full text. This is handy if you have lots of long articles all on one page. Note that you'll need to have post pages enabled in order to make this feature work.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Losing Weight? Show the world on your blog

3 Fat Chicks have a cool weight loss tracker you can post in your blog, email signature, forum posting or just about anywhere else you can put a signature.

Check out the tracker and get your own.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

RSS Feeds in Blogger

Syndicating your blog is like having hubcaps on your car--you don't have to have them, but everyone who sees you will laugh out loud at you think you should spend some more time in Blogger School before venturing out in public.

While some good primers on syndication exist on the web, it may be enough for you to know that its a cool way for people to have your blog follow them around the web through what is called "feeds". A feed is like an electronic ticker-tape of your blog's content that people can plug into a variety of other web applications.

For example, they might plug your blog into their MyYahoo page, or their MSN page, and then they'll see your bold movie critiques or your newest dandelion photos every time they go online.

Others might even link to your blog posts on their own websites, along with comments like: "look how cool this guy is!"

However, if Syndication is like hubcaps on your car, allowing people to syndicate your content with their choice of format is like the steering wheel.

Currently, Blogger only outputs feeds in Atom format. However there are others. RSS 2.0 being the most commonly desired.

If only there was a way to reformat your Atom feeds into RSS or other formats... hmmm.


Monday, April 04, 2005

Hack: Google from your site

Point-N-Click has a page where you can copy some code to allow you to Google Search from your own website (or allow your visitors to search on their own).

Click here to get the code for this hack.

Notes:

  • If you adjust the number in the size="25" attribute of the <input type="text"... tag, then it will make the text box smaller (less width). The maxlength attribute should stay where it is. Having these two set differently allows you to type a lot of text into a small textbox.
  • See the Point-N-Click homepage to see how this has also been reworked into the small right-hand column of the site.


Next Post Hack

Movable Type & other templates allow you to have a link bar across the top and bottom of link posts with links to the previous item and the next item in your blog, by title.

You can do this in Blogger now, too. While hacking the Kubrick template for Point-N-Click, Michael Heilemann included this very cool hack.

Code:
<itempage><div align="center">« <a href="<$BlogURL$>">Home</a> <BloggerPreviousItems> | <a href="<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>">Next: <$BlogPreviousItemTitle$></a> »</div><div style="display:none"></BloggerPreviousItems></div></itempage>


Notes:

  • This line of code must be outside the Blogger tags. If you have to, close the Blogger tag (</Blogger&rt;), paste the code in, then reopen the Blogger tag.
  • Right now, this will only show up on Post Pages, the pages of your individual items. To show on all pages, remove the <itempage> and </itempage> tags.
  • It seems the best place for this is at the top of the posts on the page. In most Blogger templates, just before the Blogger tag is opened the first time is usually great!


Stats Hack: Show your page stats

Use this hack, combined with StatCounter's free website stats application to graphically show your page stats on a website of your choice. See an example on this page.

Using this hack?
Please leave a comment to this post with your website URL

To use:
Copy the following code to your website, editing the first two variables (see comments in the code for details.
Note: Please keep the web friendly--if you use this hack, link back to this post!

Click the "Read More" link, below, to see the code:
<script language="JavaScript">
<!--
//++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ STATS HACK +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
//
// written by Robert Merrill
// http://point-n-click.blogspot.com/2005/01/statshack-show-your-page-stats.html
//
// This code is provided free of charge and without support, warranty, and liability
// Please keep reference intact, pointing users to http://point-n-click.blogspot.com/2005/01/statshack-show-your-page-stats.html
//
// To scroll users to the graph on your page, use the code: <a href="#seeStats">See page statistics</a>
//
//++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ STATS HACK +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
//Step One: What is your STATCOUNTER Project ID Number? Default is '513981', the ProjectID for http://point-n-click.blogspot.com
scProjectId = 513981

//Step Two: How many DAYS of stats do you want to show? Default is 15
scNumDays = 15

//Step Three: Sit back and watch your stats graph appear on the page
ed = new Date();
bd = new Date(ed.getFullYear(),ed.getMonth(),ed.getDate()-scNumDays)
bdStr = bd.getFullYear() + '-' + (bd.getMonth()+ 1) + '-' + bd.getDate();
edStr = ed.getFullYear() + '-' + (ed.getMonth()+ 1) + '-' + ed.getDate();
document.write('<a name="seeStats"></a><span class="siteStatisticsGraph">Our statistics for the last ' + scNumDays + ' days:<br>')
document.write('<a href="http://my.statcounter.com/project/standard/stats.php?project_id=' + scProjectId + '&guest=1">')
document.write('<img border="0" src="http://my.statcounter.com/project/standard/graph_daily_summary.php?hide_page_loads=0&project_id=' + scProjectId + '&startDate=' + bdStr + '&endDate=' + edStr + '&guest=1">')
document.write('</a><br> StatsHack provided by <a href="http://point-n-click.blogspot.com/2005/01/statshack-show-your-page-stats.html">Point-N-Click</a></span>')
//++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ END STATS HACK +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
//-->
</script>

Code conversion powered by SimpleCode


Sunday, April 03, 2005

Got Hacks?

If you'd like to join us here and post hacks along with us, I can add you as a writer to our blog. Just show me whatcha got. Post a comment here...


Template Tricks

This blog is for all the sweet Blogger template tricks, hacks and hints I've found over time since I began using Blogger. I'll share some smart linking ideas, javascript, html, and more.

Please post a comment to the Wishlist if you are looking for something specific.

And, please remember that this is linkware... it won't cost you anything but a few kilobytes. Just link back to this site, templatetricks.blogspot.com if you use any of these ideas. It's only fair. Besides, if you link to me, I will link to you! And, if your site is interesting to me, I will add you to my newsgator and then the whole world will know about you.


Wishlist

Wanna know something? Post a comment here and we'll all laugh at you see what we can do about it.


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