November 22, 2014

Blogger features: search, language, feed and contact form

This is the last post in this series on Blogger's great features. The complete list of these posts is given at the end of this post. This has been updated in Feb 2016.


Create a customized search engine for your website


Have you seen a simple search box in the right column of IndianTopBlogs.com? You can easily put similar or a more complex search gadget (=widget) on your Blogger blog. In addition, you can customize this gadget to search only your website, linked sites or the entire www. You can make the search gadget here. You can put this gadget on any website or blog if that platform allows you to place an html gadget on the blog.


Want to have blogging tools and tips in your own language?


On the top right hand of your Blogger dashboard, there is an option to change language from the standard English. If you change that to Arabic, Bangla, Hindi or Russian, you will then get tools, tips etc in the language that you selected. However, if you want to write posts or pages in a particular language, you will have to change the language in the editor for that post/page.


Adding feed on your blog and taking it elsewhere


Feed in internet terms refers to updated information coming from web-sources, e.g. post updates from blogs, and news headlines from a news portal. 

If you want to automatically list 'latest posts' from your blog on that blog itself, you have a gadget for that. However, if you want to take your blog's feed elsewhere or bring another blog/ website's feed to your blog, paste the feed URL in a widget that allows linking (on Blogger, you have 'Feed' and 'Html' gadgets for that).  

The URL of a Blogger blog's feed has the following structure:

For feed of blog posts (It will give list of latest posts):
http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss
e.g. http://indian-blog-list.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

For feed of comments (It will give list of latest comments):
http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/default?alt=rss
e.g. http://indian-blog-list.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/default?alt=rss


Why not have an instant contact form on the blog?


Blogger has a gadget for putting a contact form on the blog. This gadget has a text box where visitors can leave their identity and message, and you get the messages in your email!

Some third-party contact forms are reported to steal your identity for their purposes, so we advise you to use Blogger's inbuilt contact form. At present, it comes as the top gadget when you go to 'Layout', click on 'Add a Gadget' and then on 'More Gadgets'.

In February 2016, we at IndianTopBlogs stopped receiving comments on posts and pages; the contact form is coming handy to receive instant comments.

All posts in this series:
1. An introduction to common features of Blogger platform 
2. Some Blogger features explained
3. Labels, widgets, themes and blog permissions
4. Export, import and back up your blog
5. Blog's html, and money making from Blogger blog