September 5, 2014

Blogger's great features

Long ago, we ran a series on the less known but useful features of Blogger, one of the most popular blogging platforms. In the meantime, Blogger has changed a lot. We find that many blogger friends on this platform have not explored all the features of this excellent blogging platform or have not kept pace with its upgrades. So this post.

Before focusing on some superb features, two things:

One, do not blindly apply all types of features only because they look fancy. Use them after analysing their value to your blog and ensuring that these won't hurt your blog's design, navigation, readability and reputation. For example, fancy fonts do not go well with a serious blog.

Two, before coming to special features (which we'd discuss in subsequent posts), let's list some basic features for the sake of new bloggers or those who have not explored these since opening the blog years ago.

  • Blogger is maintained by Google, and the blogger account is automatically connected to all your other web properties within Google family, such as Picasa, Google Plus and G Mail.
  • All Google accounts are connected with a single profile, that is Google Plus. What it means is that when any of your Google accounts is associated with your web identity (e.g. when you comment on others' blogs with your Google account), your identity is hyperlinked to your Google Plus profile (e.g. you can click here to know IndianTopBlogs' identity.)
  • You can open a large number of blogs with a single Blogger account. All blogs' URLs, by default, have the following suffix:
  • These blogs can assume country suffix in those countries where Google has a server. So, might take you to in India.
  • When you create one or more blogs, all these blogs are visible through a dashboard. When you click on a particular blog's name, you are taken to that blog's dashboard. Here, you have a column on the left side with menus for different actions.
  • Blogger is a very versatile platform and it keeps adding new features now and then. Its 'settings' menu is really fantastic: It allows you to change the title of the blog, describe it in detail, give writing permission to other people, make the blog invisible to people except a select group, link the blog to another URL, decide how many posts can be seen on a screen, display comments in different ways, and what not.
  • A blog's look and feel can be changed in numerous ways through 'Layout' and 'Template' menus. 'Layout' is for placement of different elements such as posts, widgets and different sections in the blog. It lets you add a large number of widgets on the blog, including third-party codes. You can add a favicon to the blog's title and a menu bar under the title.
  • 'Template' allows resizing of the blog itself and its columns; colouring text, links and different areas of the blog; putting a background etc. An html editor is also available here, which allows detailed editing of the blog's features; but this is for advanced users who have knowledge of .html. Common bloggers should not use this feature. If you are keen to try it out, do so after taking a backup of the blog so that if something goes wrong, backup can be used to restore the blog.
  • Blogger publishes posts as individual .html pages. Each of these can contains text, images, audio and audio-visual content. Posts are automatically given URL in this fashion: <blog name> / <year> / <month> / <post name> .html   (e.g.
  • You can have a large number of posts in a blog. 
  • Blogger also allows upto ten standalone pages with a different type of URL pattern: <blog name>/ p / <page name>.html e.g.
  • All posts and pages can be edited in the post editor the way you edit a document in a text processor like Word. (Go to 'posts' and then 'edit' a post. The post editor will open. Click on 'Compose' if it is not clicked by default.)
  • You can also edit the .html of the post in the text editor itself (Click on 'HTML' instead of 'Compose'.) to add features that are not possible through the rich text editing. 
  • You can schedule posts for publishing them at a later date and time.
  • You can even change the URL of the post, though only the <post name> part.
  • You can monetise the blog (=make money from the blog) through Google's own AdSense or by adding advertisements from others.
  • You can also analyse the blog's popularity, who is linking to it, who is sending traffic to the blog and so on using Blogger's inbuilt features. You can put Google Analytics to further analyse the blog's performance. 
  • Blogger also allows importing an existing blog to a Blogger blog; exporting the Blogger blog elsewhere; and back up of the blog.

The list of what all is available on this excellent free platform is exhaustive. We'll stop here and would soon come with detailed advice about some great features that bloggers often ignore.