Do You Need a Roadmap to Make Your Blog Successful?
Here's how you can:
  • Transform your blog into something spectacularly professional!
  • Learn a strategy on how to become profitable blogging!
  • Start driving traffic that you never dreamed of!

    Don't Miss Out! Enter your email here:
Blogger tips direction

Google Plus Shutdown - Blogger Implications

Google+ will be shutting down in 2019 and what this means to Blogger
As most of you probably know by now Google is officially shutting down the consumer version  Google+ in April 2019. Unfortunately for Blogger admins, this has some significant impacts for any Blogger blogs tightly integrated with Google+ widgets, comments and profiles. But, for me the real tragedy on this change is just how much Google had pushed Blogger owners to integrate Google+ into their blogs especially back in 2012 to 2014 like these - Socialize and Grow your Blog with Google+ or Automatically Share your Posts to Google+.

I know I was very tempted to convert my comments and add the Google+ widgets in BloggerTipsPro but thankfully I hadn't made the move since I already had so many native Blogger comments which was something I didn't want to lose. If Plus had grown a bit more I might have jumped.

So, what does this mean to you, the Blogger admin of one or more blogs? Well, the news isn't great. First, let's start with the easy change. If you have an About gadget on your blog and it is using the Google+ profile, it will be automatically converted back to the native Blogger profile like mine here. However, it will be blank and you will be prompted to create that profile with a image.

How to Backup Your Blogger Site Completely - 2018 Edition

Image of files being backed up as example for Blogger
Well, if you're like me you have been putting off getting fresh backups of your Blogger site content, template, images and videos. It's amazing that Blogger has been around almost two decades and through that journey it has transformed its templates while modifying the underlying infrastructure to support it. Google has moved much of your content to newer services typically without you knowing it.

That is why it is time to take some fresh backups. But, be aware, many don't realize that your content is spread across different components--template, posts and comments, images and videos--so if you just had been using the single 'Backup' button you were not getting everything.

Let's start!

Step1: Backup your Template

Though this isn't totally necessary, you should backup your template separately just to make recreating your blog easier. Step 2 also backs up your template with your content but having them separate is a good idea. Be sure to create a backup folder somewhere for all of your site content. I typically use a Dropbox folder so it gets automatically backed up offline.

In your Blogger editor select 'Theme' and click the 'Backup/Restore' button in the upper right as shown below:

Blogger template backup button

You will now see a popup screen to backup your template. Just click the 'Download theme' button and save it on your main drive or backup drive folder:

The file will have a name like theme-4829847293492863492873.xml.

Using Bootstrap with Blogger Templates

Bootstrap logo
Well, some of you may have been waiting for my second part of the Wordpress vs Blogger review. But, I was sidetracked by a much more ambitious project - merging the dynamic Bootstrap web framework with Blogger. I knew initially that this would be quite a challenge to get it right - and was I correct in that assumption. Note: since this was written I was able to successfully replace this tutorial's Bootstrap 3 code with the Bootstrap 4 and new JQuery libraries. The newer Bootstrap CSS code has not yet been tested. More to come...

So just what is Bootstrap? You can go over to their site and read up, but, at a very high level it is designed as a starter kit for dynamic web UI layouts that utilize CSS and Javascript for a great user experience. If you've seen sites like this one, or this other one - you'll see how Bootstrap can be beautifully extended. In the case of Blogger almost all of their templates are very static and were designed in the 2005-2010 time frame. In the last few years the web has exploded with new, dynamic web frameworks that have reactive interactivity without page refreshes.

The easy path to my task would have been to strip out the entire Blogger template and add Bootstrap in its place as some of these template providers have done. But, if you read my Best Blogger Templates article you know that I am a stickler for keeping Google Blogger as pure to its original intent of a dynamic layout and user substitution of design elements vs a copy-paste of some Wordpress or other template like Bootstrap and just getting it to work.

Blogger vs Wordpress

With the large number of free blogging sites out there, two still remain at the top for informational blogging - Blogger and Wordpress. Yes, there are other free blogging sites such as Tumblr, Weebly and Wix - but, they are not really my focus (other than Tumblr which I use for more visual blogging than informational blogging).

Invariably, however, someone will always ask me what's better - Blogger or Wordpress?  By Wordpress here I mean the free online version at and not the software you download from and manage yourself on external hosting platforms such as Bluehost (that would be like comparing apples to oranges - running Wordpress on a custom host is really more like building your own website except with a content tool installed). Of course, 'better' is a relative term depending on what you want to do with the tool. Given that, though, let's take a deeper look at both.

Search Engine Optimization - SEO

First, I have to call out immediately that within the last 1 to 3 years you get no advantage for SEO utilizing either tool. Google has completely changed its strategy so that internal formatting such as tagging, long-tail keywords and metadata within the HTML is not nearly as important as the authoritative content you write and highlight. You can build rank directly with content, so, I'm not going to dig deep into the template structures other than to reinforce that content rules today. (For more information  I agree with this SEO article generally but not as much with the keyword sections). This is an even tie for both tools.

Google Blogger - It's Future

It's funny, but I have been pondering just what might be going on behind the curtain over at Google with their Blogger team and the platform's future. You've probably seen a number of articles stating that Blogging is Dead or Google will shut down Blogger all together. Not to mention, the number of posts on their internal Blogger Buzz site has dropped from 40+ articles a year in 2011 down to less than 10 a year since. Update December 2018 - Google has no plans to drop Blogger

The future of Google Blogger
Source: DigitalRalph - Creative Commons
I really would not pay much attention to rumors like this considering the number of Blogger users in the world. In fact, Blogger is an excellent means for Google to get more people directly connected and to become more integrated into the Google ecosystem with profile information. This is extremely important since people with profiles utilize search giving Google a one-up on what people do online. Also, you may or may not have noticed that all of Google's official blogs are running on Blogger (this is no longer true in 2018 - not a positive sign).

How to Use Blogger on the iPad

As I noted in my previous post using the free default Blogger iPad application produced by Google can be done but has severe limitations. Thankfully I'm now sitting at the very same table using a different 3rd party application (which I will describe in a moment) that makes Blogger on the iPad a joy to use. In fact, I may just end up using this app more than my laptop for future posts. This isn't the only Blogger iPad application, I'm sure. But, it comes to the top of the list when you search the App Store at Apple. Let me dive in deeper on this.

My choice for Blogging on the iPad

The app I selected is called BlogTouch Pro (version 2.6.5) by Alexandru Denca. I had downloaded the free version initially but found immediately that the feature/functionality was so much greater than the Google tool that I just ended up buying it for only $4.99.

The first thing I noticed was the full editor feature set that was sorely lacking in the Google tool. I mentioned in my previous article that the smaller font size in the Google editor was driving my eyes crazy and made it mostly unusable for an iPad Mini (a larger iPad would probably be ok). Well, right away I altered this post's font size and now have a very comfortable screen to view and type on. I really like that the editor also fills the entire window with a very clean look.

Blogger on the iPad - Part 1

Blogger for iPad iPhone
I love my iPad mini - in fact, I find myself using it more and more for most of my day to day work and even my home business work. Now that I have a Zagg keyboard for it as well I find it even easier. Some of the research I've been doing over the last few months is on what the best Blogger app is for the iPad. Blogging on the iPad is convenient and works great if you're traveling or on the move. Frankly, I hate carrying around a laptop on vacations and have fully adopted my both my iPhone and iPad for any remote work.

That said, there still are some problems with using Blogger mobile apps. The iPad mini is small and compresses your screen size significantly. Additionally, viewing web sites or using online tools becomes more problematic due to the sites switching to mobile modes which can be reduce usability especially for those sites that have been designed for full laptop or desktop work.

Google's Blogger Tool for iOS
I must say I was excited to see that right away Google had created an iOS tool (version for both iPhone and iPad specifically for Blogger that was free in the App Store. I immediately downloaded it and began trying it out.