Thursday, April 09, 2009

Blogger Blues


A bit of housekeeping today.

Forensics and Faith is now over four years old. That's a lot of readers and posts. This is the good news. Bad news--because F&F is so ancient in the blogging world, its template was created under the old Blogger. And because of that, I can't do certain cool things here, like put a follower button in the sidebar. Follower button is a new Blogger thing.

So just switch over, you say. Not that simple. Blogger warns that when you switch over, you'll likely lose much of your template formatting. Translation: I shall end up with a complete mess with no knowledge of how to fix it, and shall resort to kicking many a cabinet.

So, smart, savvy BGs--what say you? Any Blogger Busters out there who know how to do the switcharoo? What's your cost for the project? How long would it take? Also, anyone else out there switched over a long-running blog? What troubles did you run into? Was it worth it?

All thoughts appreciated. Including those from wordpress users, who no doubt will try to woo me over to their side. What's in it for me if I cross that Rubicon?

15 comments:

Karen said...

I made the switch a while ago after five years of blogging. But I don't think I have as many "bells and whistles" going on my blog as you do. I do love the new format and it is easier to add things. I didn't lose any posts which was my main concern.

Richard Mabry said...

Brandilyn,
Funny you should bring this up. As the three people who follow my blog just learned, I've just switched to one of the new templates in order to add sidebar tabs that allow following, signing up to get the blog as an RSS feed in various forms, and leaving an email address in order to receive my newsletter. I did it by fits and starts over about a week, and only pulled out half my remaining hair. The only thing I had to rebuild was my list of links to other web sites and blogs, but the resulting template is so easy to modify that I think the effort was worth it. Further, you can save your old template before switching--they encourage you to do this--and go back to it if you change your mind.

Patricia Hickman said...

I switched without a problem. But I'd feel terrible if you lost your posts. But it was pretty simple for me.

Deborah said...

i JUST recently switched to the new blogger last month. man! let me tell you how much easier everything is! i'd been doing everything by HTML code to add stuff to my sidebar. what? all you have to do know is pick a widget and it does it for you? my old blog design was old blogger template so i had to get a new one. i paid around $70 for my new design. there are a lot of good designers out there for reasonable prices who will help you out.

Kathy C. said...

I just saved all my extra stuff as word documents and then put it all back in. I have to save off my side stuff every time I want to change backgrounds. I'm not sure there is an easy way.

Mary DeMuth said...

Have www.tekemestudios.com create a blogskin for you (not expensive)... They did My Family Secrets and Wannabepublished for me. Great folks!

PatriciaW said...

I changed after a couple of years with no problems, but I don't have the archives that you do.

There are some Blogger experts on the ACFW loop. Bonnie Calhoun is one.

Pam Meyers said...

Yes. Contact Bonnie Calhoun. She's a certified Blogger techie. Perfect person to ask. If you don't know her email write me privately and I'll send it.

Cindy Thomson said...

This might be a good time to do it because they've probably got the bugs worked out. A while back we over at Favorite PASTimes were forced to switch. They made group blogs switch and as a result we were locked out of our blog for about 2 weeks (maybe it was longer; I've tried to forget!). We had to start a new one and use it temporarily. It was terrible!

There are some things that Blogger still doesn't do well, or I haven't figured out yet, but overall things are good now.

Cindy
PASTimes Historical Fiction Blog

Steve Laube said...

It was great seeing you amidst the redwoods!

Thomas Umstattd is a genius when it comes to this kind of stuff.
www.UmstattdMedia.com - (He was at Mt. Hermon and taught a night owl on this stuff.) He would want to convert you to WordPress since it is a more powerful foundation for blogging. Reasonable pricing too. I'm having him work on redoing our agency's entire web site.

lynnrush said...

I'm on wordpress and like it. It's not as flexible as blogger, though. But, they just got the "twitter updates" function, so they do flex a little....

You'll find something, and it'll be great:-)

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

I recently switched my template to not only the new blogger, but upgraded so would have a link bar across the top. In the process I lost all my widgets and links. Posts remained, thank goodness. Even though I had backed up my old template, I couldn't find it and couldn't go back. Fortunately I had bookmarked every single link beforehand, which saved me.

I took me a few days to get everything situated and how I wanted it. Be prepared to rework your blog.

By the way. I can't stand wordpress. Blogger is much more user friendly.

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Thanks so much, all of you, for your comments and help. Some solid pieces of information to work with.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

LOL...did I hear my name? Hey Brandilyn, you can change over, if you really want to with probably very little difficulty.

You will not lose any posts. Posting and Archives are one of our internatl functions and have nothing to do with the template you choose.

The Follow button is also a function that will be added to the Navbar shortly, so people can click it to "Follow" even if the blog does not have the gadget. But I know having the gadget with faces is cool.

The Twitter buttons can be added directly to the template from Twitter's own code.

Now on to your template. This look could easily be repeated by using a plain white two column left sidebar Minima template and just adding your unique color elements and header text to that one.

I would save a copy of this template first on your own computer so that you always have it as a backup, and that will also give you a copy of your sidebar elements to transfer to gadgets.

It's all good! ...and easy :-) If they need help you know where I am!

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Bonnie, thanks so much for all your info!