Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Things I would like to see in Blogger

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When I started my blog two months ago a few of my fellow bloggers advised me to go with Wordpress. But I had already started the blog and didn't want to go through the troubles of exporting everything to another platform, so I stuck with Blogger. I'm not of the opinion that Blogger is bad or inferior to WordPress. I have started to like Blogger and though it's a great blogging platform and the most popular too, there are some features that I wish Blogger had. Today I'm going to pen down my wish list.

1. Related Posts: The first thing that I miss in Blogger is the related post section. Wordpress has this wonderful feature which displays, at the end of each post, a list of earlier posts that has some relation with the present post. This is a great way to increase page views of your blog and makes visitors read more articles on your blog. Readers are often interested in reading posts and articles on the same topic or similar posts. The related posts section is a handy feature for blog readers and owners alike. It gives more exposure to your blog articles. There is some hack available but I wasn't able to get it working.

2. Increase 5 recent post limitation: A very stupid limitation. Only 5 posts?? This is ridiculously small. We want visitors to see our posts. The more the better. The limit should be increased to at least 15. Another hack is available that I couldn't make it to work. I don't need hacks, damnit!! I want to be able to do it without having to mess with my template.

3. Comment box: This is a Wordpress feature that I love - a comment box right on the page itself. It's easier for readers to leave comments. Readers are more willing to write something when they see an inviting comment box ready to go.

4. Pages: Another wonderful Wordpress feature. Whoever thought of it is a genius!! For those who don't know, Pages allow you to have non-blog static pages on your blog, making it not only a blogging platform but a website package too. Imagine having a website and a blog under the same domain. I would love to have this feature in Blogger.

5. Option to disable Autosave: While autosave is great feature to have but sometimes it becomes a nuisance, particularly when we type and retype things unable to decide which word to use, which para to leave. How many times have you saved a document and then wished the earlier version was better? Though Word has the option to retrieve previous versions but with Blogger we can't afford to make changes because there is no undo. There should be an option where we can temporarily disable the autosave feature, preferably in the post editor itself for easier access.

6. Post Scheduler: Sometimes we are away on work or vacationing with family and friends. What happens to our blog then? What happens to your feed readers who subscribed to your blog hoping for new article every day or every week? If you are away for days with no one to update your blog you will lose your readers and subscribers. The best way to tackle this is to have a post scheduler. Write your articles in advance and schedule the date and time when you would like it to appear in your blog. Another Wordpress feature sorely missing in Blogger.

7. Easier backup: Backing up your blog is an important activity. You wouldn't want a hard disk crash on Google's server to permanently delete your blog. Though I trust Google's hard disks, yet it will give me peace of mind to have my blog securely backed up on my own hard disk. The backup procedure Google suggest involves modifying the template. Not again!! Why can't they provide an easier way to backup? Like a one click backup button. This is essential. Other backup techniques exist but I want one that enables us to backup from the dashboard.

8. Fix the bugs: And finally, bug fixing. This is expected in the next version, but not all bugs are documented. I had written about some bugs I discovered very early when I started blogging. Another one to add to the list is the font color bug. Blogger uses the <span style> tag to assign color to fonts, but sadly it rarely works. The color gets automatically reverted back to the default font color. One fix I discovered is to use the more general <font color> tag.

Phew!! that was some list. I hope Google is listening. :)

Oh, and yeah, before I forget, Blogger need smilies. That makes it point No#9.

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