Sunday, January 14, 2007

To Switch Or Not To Switch?

Now that Blogger has come out of the beta period for the "new and improved" version of their site/operation I need to figure out whether to switch or not. One assumes that the switch will have to come at some point, regardless of my wishes on the matter. Have any of you who read here and use blogger made the switch? I'd really like to know if anyone has run into serious unresolved issues with the change. Losing links and having to redo even the few add-ons I have are truly unappealing to me. So...any ideas, comments or suggestions? Advantages? Disadvantages?

Given the limited amount of information Blogger gives in their "See What's New" tour I don't see huge advantages that outweigh the potential risk of losing things and the aggravation of repairing them. If I have a blog with a custom template (I am associated with one that does have a custom template) am I going to have issues that will require mental health duct tape? Inquiring minds really, really want to know.

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B.W. Richardson said...

So far I haven't gained any advantages to switching. For example, I actually preferred the old way of changing the template, where you made your changes and then had to republish - seems to me that gave you one last chance to say "Doh! What was I thinking?" before actually pulling the trigger.

But it seems to be a Douglas Adams switch - "mostly harmless" - which makes me suspicious. Some of the features make it more convenient, but it doesn't seem like a major difference. I wasn't in a big hurry to change, and now that I have changed, I wouldn't recommend anyone be in a big hurry. If you're happy with the old Blogger, stay there until they won't let you anymore.

OK, here's a disadvantage - I copied and saved the above musing just in case something went wrong with this posting. I forgot to sign in with my new Google identity (which you must use to sign in under New Blogger) - so it threw me to a sign-in screen, which took me to the Blogger Dashboard instead of back here. Yeesh!

lewlew said...

I switched to beta when I received the infamous "invitation." I sincerely disliked it-- I found it difficult to navigate if you wanted to switch to one of their new templates. I lost all my links on my blogroll, and had trouble navigating the new system to put them back in. I reverted to a saved version of my old blogger blog, but was stuck in beta blogger hell.

I decided to switch to wordpress, and I really like it. A big bitch, however-- if you've already switched to beta, then wordpress has no import software for beta blogger. I've been stuck moving my blog by hand.

If you're contemplating moving, I'd check out your potential new homes before even considering updating to beta.

Kirsten said...

- the labels (kind of)

-can't figure out how to publish via FTP without keeping my username and password in the settings info
- every freakin' time I try to republish the whole blog I get a page of errors about five screens long only it doesn't tell me what the errors are for or what to do about them

I'm thinking of switching over to something else, but really don't have time at the moment. I'm hoping WordPress will have transition software sometime in the near future so I can just do that.

Gospazha said...

I'm very happy with the switch, and haven't had any migration problems, even with my custom template. It publishes MUCH faster, and I love the addition of categories.

So far, my only complaint is that the RSS feed automatically publishes by "last edit" date, rather than "original post" date. Any old entries that get modified will come to the top of the RSS feed, even if all you wanted to do was correct a misspelling. But there have been plenty of complaints on that, so it might get fixed.

T.J. Van Wyk said...

I have switched to new Blogger. 2 of my 3 blogs still use custom templates ("old" style), so no switch there. The third uses the new built-in "layout editor." It is kind of nice to be able to edit the template with dragging and dropping (no need to manually pore over code, really - the only time I need to deal with code for that blog is when copy/pasting script snippets for stat counters and such), but manual editing isn't that big of a deal anyway.

I haven't been using the new "labels" system on any of my blogs basically because I don't feel the need; I use technorati tags, so i suppose anybody who wants any of my posts on a particular topic can search through those.

Other than that, it's been pretty irrelevant other than for one thing: I've had problems joining a group blog still in "old" Blogger. From what I read, I'm not alone.

If you're concerned about losing your template, you shouldn't by switching. But you may wish to backup your template first (paste it into wordpad or something). I backed up first, but had no problems with my template upon switching.

The only other thing is that I find the instant publishing to be great.

Oh, and one more con: from what I understand, Blogger's default templates still manage to royally piss off the w3c validator. That might matter to some people. (I'm actually a bit surprised that the blogger folks wouldn't try to come up with w3c-valid premade templates; on the other hand, and fail the validation last time I checked.)

Anyway, sorry to ramble.

In short, I wouldn't really consider it a priority. I'm not too impressed.

B.W. Richardson said...

Don't do it!!! I started a new blog page over the weekend, and I can't for the life of me figure out how to import my button to the "Imaginary Bomb" podcasts - the best I can do is a text link that says "The Imaginary Bomb button." Merely copy-and-pasting the html gets me an angry red error message.

Wordpress, eh? "Yak Attack" looks terrific in its new environs. Hmm...

Michael said...

Well, my guess is that I'll be remaining with the old Blogger till I'm forced to move to the new one or until, or if I decide to do something with a domain of my own and some serious blogging software. Hmmm...we're planning on a new system around March or April, so I figure that may give me more than enough time to research it and figure the whole thing out. I do like Bloggers simplicity and would like to stick with something similarly easy to use. I'd especially hate to run into problems migrating older content to a new site. Ah, the's always something, isn't it?

Sunni said...

Yes, it is always something. But I think that Blogger is such a big platform that almost any good software you choose would have a utility to make migrating fairly easy.

But if you’re like me and don’t know a lot of that fancy PHP stuff, I know a freedom-loving code monkey who’d be really good at helping you work through the decision-making, and the moving.

William said...

I switched after it looked like they were going to force me.

Nothing's improved, but then, nothing's really changed. I guess some of the smaller bugs are gone.

I too was worried the switch would completely fuck up my script, and there was one mild hiccup but it ws easy to root out and fix and it finally allowed me to have individual pages for my posts. Pretty much the only effect of the change was an endless stream of prompts trying to get me to swap my code to one of their new templates. It lasted a week before Blogger gave up.