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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Some background on the process

Long-time Blogger engineer Pete Hopkins wrote a great blog post last week on his personal blog that captures the thought process behind our approach to shutting down support for FTP. From his post:
Though we’ve tried to put together a migration process that will work smoothly for everyone, I’m sure it won’t be perfect; there are too many moving parts in FTP publishing to guarantee that everyone will have a great experience. Nevertheless, I believe that our overall plan is sound, so I’d like to tell you about what we came up with, as well as some of the alternatives that we considered (and that might work better for you if you want to try them out).
That last part is key: he outlines a number of more "advanced" approaches that may be more appropriate for users, given certain situations. We'll be talking more about those in the next couple weeks here, and will answer questions as you raise them.

If you're interested in understanding more of the thinking behind what we're doing and why we're doing it, give Pete's post a read.

34 comments:

  1. I hear that "one or more of your blogs are published via ftp"

    How do I confirm this and tell which ones ARE before I jump through the hoops (or let those blogs die a semi-natural death?)

    Thanks...

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  2. Hi,

    The big problem for a large number of my blogs is that they are on the Stanford webserver. There is an official process around prohibited data and so on, which would require some discussion between the data server folks here and the folks at Google, so that our campus can use these resources in a manner that does not require FTP and does not violate campus guidelines. Who should I contact at Google to initiate such a discussion?

    Thank you so much.

    Regards,
    Somik Raha (somik@stanford.edu)

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  3. @fred The migration tool builds a complete list and identifies all FTP blogs within your dashboard. Until then, click on "settings | publishing" for your blog; it will tell you if you are publishing via FTP.

    @Somik Feel free to have the Stanford team contact me directly. I've sent you an e-mail with my contact info.

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  4. I have a longstanding blog (fragments from floyd, started at blogspot in 2002) that I migrated from blogger to WP in 2008. It is listed at blogger.com as published by ftp, Nameless Creek is not.

    My question is--if I fail to do the migration will that impact access to archives? (I'm sure my blogging host imported all archives to the new platform hosted on his server in 2008 until present.)

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  5. @fred - No, see here: http://blogger-ftp.blogspot.com/2010/02/for-blogs-that-are-no-longer-updated.html

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  6. I may have missed it - this INFO Blog is pretty thorough, but I have a question that may not have been addressed here.

    I publish via sending an email message (including photo attachments, at times) to an unique, dedicated BLOGGER.COM email address.

    Will that capability continue?

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  7. @MindWalker Yes, e-mail to Blogger remains a core feature at Blogger. It is not impacted by this transition.

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  8. I have four blogs, all accessed through my personal URL so that I can register the blog traffic on my site. Do these changes mean I will be still be able to do that?

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  9. What do you mean "register the blog traffic on my site"? Using Google Analytics or some other site analytics tool? Or some other mechanism?

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  10. The traffic from the blogs are counted towards the figures on my website. I assume these numbers will now be lost, thus completely skewing all the data from March 26. Thanks for giving us so much notice.

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  11. I'm sorry, but I'm so surprised to see actual humans who appear to be working at blogger. I thought it was a completely rudderless ship.

    For the last 8 months I've had a warning on my control panel saying that my blog was a spam blog that would be deleted in 20 days (but the available remedies - "unlock review"? - went nowhere, so I just gave up and my blog wasn't deleted in any case)

    So now FTP is too much for your engineers to handle? I note that the current FTP standard is unchanged since 1985, but now it poses some kind of big engineering challenge for you? It's not an engineering challenge for various, other unmaintained, mickey-mouse pieces of software I use. I guess blogger has special needs.

    Good God, get me out of here. I tried the wordpress migration tool before but it seemed broken at the time. Hopefully I can get it to work soon. My data stays on my server, because I don't trust you at all.

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  12. So, those of us who use Blogger as a back-end engine to push data to custom blogs (ASP driven) are out of luck? Google will not support exporting blogs to external web sites in any fashion whatsoever?

    This means complete re-engineering of my website, integrating multiple domains, losing control of my files, reworking templates, and so much more - with less than 2 months actual notice....

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  13. Talk about having the rug pulled out from under your feet. I'm still in shock. For 4 years I've used blogger as means of publishing posts to my website which is a bit more than just a blog. And now I have 3 weeks to do 10-20 hours of work trying to figure out how to fix this mess.

    It's a real struggle here not to hurl some foul abuse. My site has just topped google's search results for my name and now I have to risk fundamental changes. My site is my livelihood and the thought of having to re-engineer the whole thing actually makes me feel sick inside.

    Total, total disbelief.

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  14. I FTP publish to a folder on my domain (avgroup.com/talk). All the images that I have in my posts are in another folder on my domain, (avgroup.com/blogpics). Will the migration tool enable me to migrate my posts and images to the Blogspot servers?

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  15. If we go to a community college and have problems, can we email you too? Or is it just Stanford people that get personal attention?

    PS, no one believes your fable about your FTP hardware suddenly dying on April 1 2010.

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  16. @Jim Haynes. I can't comment on the Blogger migration tool, but after I migrated to a custom domain all the image references were still to the address of the images on my server (/blog/hosted-images/). I am just leaving them there as the server is used for my quite extensive web site of which the blog is only part. If you were planning to close your hosting account then this might be a problem for you. I am not sure how you would move the images.

    It took an evening of my time to move to a custom domain. It will be quicker and easier with the official migration tool, but I wanted access to the additional features of the new templates with widgets. Its the right move for me, but I can understand people's feelings.

    The biggest reason for moving has to be the speed of updates. No more timing out of the FTP process. Its instant as soon as you press the save button. It was an evening well spent although I can understand people's misgivings abotu search engine indexing. Its a worry for me too, but my experience of using 301 redirects on individual pages of a business site moved to a new domain was that Google picked up the new domain quite quickly and within two weeks it was showing the pages in results at the same positions they had been before.

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  17. @Rich Gautier You're correct, Blogger's servers do not run Microsoft server extensions.

    @Jim Hynes The migration tool will move your blog posts, and leave the images in tact.

    @Global Status Reporter We've been replying to hundreds of people in the last 24 hours, regardless of who they're affiliated with.

    @Gordon Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  18. @Rick Klau, while waiting for the migration tool I have started a new blog in order to reserve the sub-domain name (http://hangarchat.blogspot.com). Can I start adding a header, image, and gadgets, while I am waiting for the migration tool to migrate my posts?

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  19. @Gordon, excellent post on your experience. Once you created your new blog, how did you migrate your posts to the New Blogger platform?

    PS, I wish all posts were as helpful as yours, and flaming from others, which is not helpful, would stop.

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  20. I have successfully and easily migrated my blog on the old Classic template (where I used FTP) to the New template. All my posts and images imported perfectly.

    First I created a new blog, imported my header image, and other easy tweaks to the page elements. The ability to do the is alone worth the switch, in my opinion.

    Next I exported my old blog to my HD, then imported the saved file using the New template - Settings - Basic tabs and the Import blog link.

    I have not used it yet but the new editor sound terrific and solves many of the issues I had with the old editor.

    Questions:
    How to I add Permalinks? They did not import from my old blog.

    How do put the description under the Header image? It appeared as a tag line (within the box that surrounds the image) in my old blog, www.avgroup.com/talk. It does not appear at all in my new blog.

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  21. @ Jim Haynes - re: How do put the description under the Header image?

    You can go to Layout->Page Elements-> Edit 'Header'. You should be able to add description there.

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  22. I think I have seen this question asked before, but I don't think I have seen an answer. One of the main reasons for the existence of our blog is that the interest it generates increases the page rank of our site which means that actual paying customers (a set that is probably disjoint with the blog readers) are more likely to find us with a Google search. Is there a way we can continue using Blogger while preserving this benefit, or must we migrate to some other tool that supports publishing blog posts to our own site?

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  23. @ Shameela, Layout->Page Elements-> Edit 'Header' only gives me 2 choices for the placement of the header image.
    1. Behind Title and Description
    2. Instead of Title and Description

    The Description is not readable behind the image, and it looks awful. It worked fine in the old Classic template. (See my old blog at www.avgroup.com/talk) I am in the process of converting to the New Blogger template. I had been using FTP before.

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  24. @Jim Haynes - I took the liberty of adding it myself. Your blog http://hangarchat.blogspot.com now also has the description. This needed to be modified in the HTML since you replaced the Header with image.

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  25. @Shameela, thank you so much. I looked for where you added or modified the code. Can you give a hint?

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  26. @Jim Haynes - Sure. This line <p><data:description/></p> needed to be added after the image in header-wrapper div.

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  27. @Shameela, I searched the HTML code for the template and do not find that code anywhere. It would be nice if Google just added an option to do what you did without having to understand code.

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  28. @ Jim Haynes - I agree. I will file a feature request. In the meantime, here is a screenshot of what it looks like in the code.
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_rMKF-H0x2FE/S2yshHyV3MI/AAAAAAAAABk/BGA_9u2_PfY/s1600/header-wrapper.JPG

    NOTE: This part of code will show up only when you check "Expand Widget Templates" checkbox

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  29. LAME. I couldn't be more pissed at Google. This was hard enough the first time, now you do this. Sickening.

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  30. I found the transition from my blog's old Classic template, where I published with FTP, to the New Blogger extremely smooth. My main concern was that since my blog was hosted in a sub-directory, 'www.avgroup.com/talk', of my domain, former visitors would not know where to go. I solved this by replacing the code in the Blogger index.html file in my old template with redirect code from w3schools.com.
    All is well.

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  31. Why is my picture not showing in my posts in this blog? It shows in my profile. Not really important, but wondering if there is some switch that says where my profile picture is displayed.

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  32. The people who DON'T need their hands held and were doing just fine are LIVID.

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  33. Hi all - just noting that the FAQ is updated, addressing a number of recent questions raised on this and other posts.

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  34. Note: Comments are closed on this post. Please direct general questions to the FAQ page, and specific problems with the migration tool to the issue tracker. More details about support for the FTP migration are here.

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