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Monday, March 8, 2010

New process for reporting issues

We've been working to answer questions over the last few weeks, and when the migration tool launched last week, we set up a spreadsheet to take in reports of problems with the tool.

Unfortunately, that's created a bit of a mess. Users were reporting problems with the tool in comments (in some cases on posts that are weeks old), questions were being asked about things not related to the tool in the spreadsheet... and members of the Blogger team who wanted to chip in and help out didn't know where to look for the most recent reports of problems.

Starting this afternoon, we moved all reports of issues from the spreadsheet form to a dedicated issues tracker. We've been evaluating this as a way to improve user support more generally on Blogger, and now seemed a perfect time to test out this approach to see if it helps. So far it seems to be helping, so we'd like to provide a quick update on how we will be supporting this going forward:

  • Effective immediately, I've opened up comments on the FAQ page for general questions. Questions that get asked repeatedly will get bumped up to the FAQ page itself.
  • I'm closing old comment threads and directing general questions to the FAQ and specific problems to the issue tracker.
If you file an issue, you will get notified any time we update the ticket with additional info. If you search the open issues and find one that you're interested in, simply star that issue and you'll receive e-mails each time the issue is updated.

To anyone who filled out the form over the weekend, you can search the issues tracker for your URL and you will find your ticket. Feel free to update the ticket with any additional details. (Note that we may have marked the issue fixed if we determined that things were working properly; if you don't see your ticket, search all issues and not just open issues.)

69 comments:

  1. Hello Rick,

    Here is my question. I want to keep the same url (blog.waysofseeing.org) for my blog. I also own a separate website at waysofseeing.org.

    Here's what I'm planning to do:

    1. Switch to blogspot
    2. Backup & delete the files at blog.waysofseeing.org
    3. Switch to the custom domain, blog.waysofseeing.org


    So basically I'm not using the migration tool at all. Will I lose anything in terms of page ranking? or anything else I can't think of?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually, I've tried doing this to blogtest.waysofseeing.org.

    I lost my comments! Why do you think that is? Is there a way of importing comments?

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Yoel: Really trying to steer these general questions to the FAQ, but I'll respond here: you should not need to switch to Blogspot nor do you need to delete the files at blog.waysofseeing.org - in fact, if you have any non-blog files there (images, pdfs, etc.) then they'll get lost if you host that domain with us without setting up a Missing Files Host.

    I'm almost caught up on the outstanding issues that have been reported, and as promised last week I'll have a post up in the next day or two outlining how to keep your existing URL from FTP to custom domains. Look for it here soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It may take up to a few hours for comments to replicate from their prior location in the data store to the new location. No data is lost while they are being replicated.

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  5. I am sorry .... I have tried to use the migration tool and this is just too complicated. I guess my only answer is to go elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I tried to use the migration tool, but I don't use an FTP server to post anything--just your regular posting system. The migration tool got stuck when I tried the process, and I ended up being told that everything had migrated to a new URL (which I did not want--I wanted to keep the one I had), but now that URL is blank. Fortunately, I can still post to my regular site. Will this continue May 1, or will I face a white screen of death because of an unnecessary attempt at migration?

    I am not happy with this process. I am a writer, not a programmer, and the instructions and help have been less than clear.

    Bart

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  7. @Bart: Read who's affected to determine if you are impacted by this move. If you are, you will not be able to update your site after May 1 and will need to either migrate your blog (using the migration tool or manually) or move to another platform for updating your site.

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  8. I am stuck in the migration process on the 2nd to last step. Google gave me a zip file to download and upload manually to my FTP server. I did that and there has been no progress since then. As an added frustration, now all of my images and files that I have hosted on my FTP (Go Daddy) do not show up on the internet. Any help is appreciated.

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  9. @Zebo: As noted above, please report specific issues here.

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  10. Hi Rick,

    What about issues that were logged yesterday; will they show up on the issues log at some point?

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  11. @JohnC All issues should be on the issue tracker (be sure to check "all issues" instead of just "open issues").

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  12. I dont know what to do???? I had someone build my website and is someone whom i do not have access to anymore to make the changes i do not understand how to make. My blog is the center of my hompage.
    Someone please help!

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  13. Cheryl,

    I feel your pain. FTP Blogger was so easy to use and this migration is way too technical.

    You need to find out who your host is. Then you need to find out the username/password to login to your host so you can access your files.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I made a reverse publishing tool for people that want to keep everything the way it was:

    http://www.documentroot.com/2010/03/how-to-fix-bloggers-ftp-bug.html

    Especially useful if you have php code in your template... for example

    ReplyDelete
  15. You begin your instructional video by talking about help us "migrate" our "FTP" blog over to blogger hosting. When you say the word migrate, do you mean the word transfer? Did you want to explain what an FTP blog means? I know I have a blog. Are you saying my blogs are FTP blogs?

    It's typically called speaking in layman terms. I used to work for an airline in their reservations department on their 800 phone number. It was drilled into us to never, ever use in-house terms with customers.

    Are you trying to say saying that all the blogs on Blogger are going to be switched to a newer technology and we have to press some buttons to transfer our current blogs so it works in a newer (or different) web technology?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rick,

    Nothing much seems to be happening at
    https://code.google.com/p/blogger-ftp-migration-tracker/issues/list

    When it looks like things have been stalled for 48 hours or so, you can expect people to get antsy.

    I know I am.

    ReplyDelete
  17. @ Rick Klau

    I finished the migration process on 6th March, but I have a serious problem which is seen small with My Blog List Gadget.

    My Blog List Gadget is reading my blog's URL as http://madrup.blogspot.com/main.html We all know blogspots' main page must be normally on index.html

    My friends who added me their Blog List see my blog's main page URL false right now.! My blogspot's main page name is seen as main.html by My Blog List Gadget.

    Before migration, My blog was on http://mizrak.web.tr/main.html In other words, my blog's main page name was main.html

    May this the reason my problem? I dont really know how I can solve. I think this is a migration bug, not a Gadget fault. Could anyone check it Please.?

    ReplyDelete
  18. @Steve: I was on a plane and then giving a speech yesterday, and most of the team was heads-down to get this morning's launch out the door. All issues have been accepted and triaged, and most are caught up at this time.

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  19. I'm trying to hold back on making the switch for another month, since we have until May 1st. However, my blog does not seem to publish currently (using ftp) and has been having errors on and off since these changes were announced.

    htttp://www.collegehoopsnet.com/blog/marchmadness/

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  20. @Jeff - entirely coincidental. FTP continues to work, and there are no known issues on our side preventing FTP from successfully publishing. It's most likely an issue on your web host's side. Have you contacted them?

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  21. Just wanted to let you guys know that I was cursing your name and wanted to shove my head through my monitor for about two days. But, everything is sorted out and is snappier and works better then ever. I'm fairly retarded with technical things and was able to figure out the whole DNS thingy and change CNAME settings and A Name IP (I don't really even know what any of it means) on our custom domain and well, like I said, it all works better than before. Yes, it'll be a bit of a headache for a moment, but its worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Rick. Any chance of a quick update here on two of the more common issues that have been reported.

    First, for those who migrated early, how the wrong code for the redirect that was inserted in all the old pages will be fixed and when. I know the redirect syntax has now been corrected by your team for migrations done a few days after the tool was released, but how are you proposing to fix all those old pages that have the wrong code in them? And when will that happen?

    Second, how and when will the issue with the wrong file extension for the blog index page be fixed for those who have experienced that problem?

    I have not seen anything on the issues log that gives specific answers to these questions other than general comments to the effect that we will have a fix shortly or in a couple of days (which was 3 days ago).

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  23. @Rick

    I can upload whatever else into the ftp directory, and did speak to them (the server host) anyways and all seems to work. I've tried clearing cache/cookies and whatnot. Its flashing 'Your blog published with errors' intermittently with 'publishing files to your blog' and nothing is actually happening. Never seen this before.

    ReplyDelete
  24. @Jeff - ok, thanks. Please update the ticket in the issue tracker so we can stay on this in one place.

    @JohnC: users who migrated early can click here to download an updated zip file with the tweaked meta refresh syntax:

    http://www.blogger.com/export-as-zip.g?blogID=xxxxxx

    Plug in your blogID # and unzip/upload zip file contents.

    The wrong file extension issue has also been resolved; if you're still seeing issues on an already-migrated blog please file a ticket in the issue tracker so we can resolve it asap.

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. Hi Rick. Thanks for the update. I was able to download the zip files and upload them to the old FTP blog locations and the redirects are now working.

    It's not clear if I need to do anything re the wrong index file extensions issue or not. All I know is that if you go to http://maxemadi.arikiart.com and click on the blog title it is still pointing to the non-existent index.htm file, and the same issue esists for the "About Max Emadi" page link which is similarly broken pointing to a non-existent .htm file.

    I will report it on the tracking log.

    ReplyDelete
  27. @ Rick Klau

    I really wonder that did I say something wrong? If so, sorry. I were just waiting for a reply who says what I must do, or not do. This is my last comment. Although I couldnt find any answer to my question, thanks to the team for all effort.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Apologies Kazim, we've been trying to handle specific issues with the migration over at the issue tracker. Much easier to stay on top of things there. Can you please file a ticket there, and we will follow up there? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks, Rick, for taking care of the remaining issue with the file extension so quickly this morning! Everything is working right now.

    ReplyDelete
  30. @Rick

    I did post on the tracker but it was not accepted in the thread

    ReplyDelete
  31. Am I the only one? FTP posting seems to be completely hosed today. Must be the overload from all the folks like me trying to get migrated. Fortunately, I have only two more blogs that need the migration process -- the rest can just be done manually, or simply killed.

    Are there good times and bad times to click publish? It would be nice if there were a link to a load graph or something. I'm guessing that 3 am is the best time on the graph if it exists...

    ReplyDelete
  32. Suggestion: The 30-second redirection seems awfully long, especially on all the pages that do not have a "blog is moved" notice and link. Could it be cut to 15 secs?

    Another idea: Create a template tag that resolves to the new URL, so we can put "This page has been moved. Click here." in our templates. Just an idea.

    ReplyDelete
  33. @Michael: Shortening the meta refresh value is not a good idea; we checked with the search quality team at Google, who recommended a sufficiently long value (like 30) so that Google doesn't interpret the redirect as spammy.

    Re: load times, no, we are not seeing unusually high load right now, and do not see systemic problems with publishing across all accounts.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Your tool, documentation and help is poorly implemented for people who want to keep the same subdomain they have been publishing to. Thanks for hanging us out to dry. Don't bother responding to this comment, I'm not coming beck to read this migration blog, you really screwed my blogs over, good job.

    ReplyDelete
  35. ftp publishing has been sketchy at best all week.

    i thought we had until may 1

    ReplyDelete
  36. @Rick - Any progress being made on issues #82 and #100? The last message on the issues board is 5 days old and says, "we have a fix for this which will go out with the next production release (this week). We will update this issue once it's done." Is the fix in place? Will this fix correct the blogs I have already migrated that have incorrect feed title links?

    ReplyDelete
  37. My blog (www.nealcollins.co.uk/blog) is my only source of income. I followed you instructions re migration, which is now listed as complete. I have spent the last two days spending hours watching the clock go round... nothing will publish, no matter what I do. For me this is an urgent matter, I have been happily publishing for months but now nothing and I am losing my following... please help, urgent.
    Neal Collins
    +44 7990524643

    ReplyDelete
  38. We have used blogger as an easy to use tool for our school. Teachers were able to publish files on 6their via ftp to our school domain. Publishing files (pdf, doc) and keeping it really easy is essential to our use. I don't see any possibility to do that at blogspot. Is there a chance of integrating something like that. Otherwise we will have to switch to a cms system. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have converted a number of blogs from Blogger FTP to a custom domain name. However, for those that are looking for details about how to convert to another blogging platform on their own server website, I just finished publishing an in-depth article with the procedure to convert from Blogger FTP publishing to a WordPress self-hosted blog on your own server. Note that there are a fair number of items that must be taken into account when doing a Blogger FTP to WordPress conversion, if you wish everything to work from the old to the new blog. It is a bit of a time consuming process. You can read about it at: Blogger FTP to WordPress Migration Procedure.

    I would say that if you want to continue to have an easy blogging experience, without having to do a major rewrite and customizations, then stay with the new Blogging platform and switch to a custom domain name if you can. The new things you can do with Blogger and a Custom Domain name for your own website are simply amazing. See the article on Blogger Buzz: Express yourself with the Blogger Template Designer for an overview. I've played with these new Blogger features on a blog, and am very impressed.

    If you can not easily make the switch from FTP to the new Blogger, (for whatever reason) you still have many options available to you. You could create a new subdomain (Custom Domain Name) for your own website i.e. ww2.yourwebsite. com if you can, or a subdomain blogspot.com hosted website without uploading the new updated migration FTP redirect files at the old website. You could then post a new FTP posting (while you still have a chance) with information and a link of where your new website is located. You could even alter the old template to have the information right at the top of each and every posting stating where the new website is located, and include a link to the new website too. The benefit of this approach is that all your content would still remain at the old website and you would not lose any of your SEO rankings or external site links to your own website content. The downside of this approach is that you would no longer be able to post new comments or make quick changes on your old FTP hosted blog template, or make quick changes to any of your postings after the end of life Blogger FTP period is reached.

    Another way, as was pointed out by Rick Klau, (and is preferable) is to do your redirects with .htaccess redirects on your own website, though that takes a bit of knowledge, but can be figured out using examples too. Maybe the Google folks could publish .htaccess redirect file examples for doing proper redirects from the old to the new too. I am sure folks would be appreciative of that. If the blogging world folks have good examples to follow, then that would make it easier on everyone. Don't you think?

    Just a few ideas for the blogging world.

    Regards,

    Jim

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  40. Hi Rick,

    I'm really confused and need some real advice and direction here. I recently purchased a custom domain URL from google that redirects to my blogger blog. Will this FTP change affect me? Do I still have to change anything at all.

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  41. @Joel: You are almost certainly *not* affected. Please read this post for more.

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  42. I changed my CNAME at 1&1 to ghs.google.com
    I created a subdomain arakiada.fwmurnau.info
    I started the migration tool and since 24 hours I am waiting for validation of the DNS changes and redirecton of the blog.
    Nothing happens!
    (several hours you say...24 are not enough??)
    Thanx

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm in transition of moving off of the FTP version of blogger and to another blog site. However, I accidentally selected the option to Start migration now.

    Since I did that, I now can no longer see the FTP option in my dashboard and I'm not able to FTP my blogs anymore. All I see under publishing is custom domains or an option to use blogspot.

    This is a problem because I was hoping to have a few more weeks before fully migrating. Besides, I thought we had until May. Also, a large number of my readers use RSS feeds to follow my blog. I was hoping to send one last update for them before I switch off. Now I'm not able to inform them of my change. Can any one help?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Rick, I have bitten the bullet and gone with Blogspot. Few problems with images but nothing i can't handle. Bit of advise i need. My blog is called the Philanderer as is my URL for FTP. Thephilanderer is allocated on blogspot so i am having to use another name....but Thephilanderer has never been used in 8 years. Is there a way of reallocating it so i can use it?

    Hope so

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi there,
    just a short question. For testing purposes I made a backup within the migration tool. I want to migrate later on so that I want to make a backup again. At the moment I can't create another backup because the tool is one step further and I can't switch back. Is there a possibility to make the backup again or will the migration-process be reset after a while?

    ReplyDelete
  46. @Rick - I received an e-mail this morning saying my issue #82 (incorrect title link in blog feed) had been fixed, but the problem remains. I posted a new comment and attachments in the issue tracker, but my question is this: do you guys still monitor issues once you have marked them fixed?

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  47. I keep getting an error saying the FTP redirect can't be verified. However the entire blog is working fine. Can you help out and make sure I am doing this right as I have many blogs to migrate over.

    Verify FTP redirect

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  48. @Lisa - If you can verify yourself that things are working fine, then the migration has completed. There are some lingering issues with certain servers that are preventing us from automatically verifying the redirect, but you can ignore the migration tool at this point. We will be updating the tool so that it can be marked finish even in these cases where we're unable to verify the redirect; until then, you're all set.

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  51. @Rick - Issue #82 (incorrect title link in blog feed) was marked fixed by your team on 03/18, but the problem was not fixed. I posted a new comment with attachments and a screen shot in the issue tracker 03/19, but my question is this: do you guys still monitor issues once you have marked them fixed, or do I need to start all over with a new issue number?

    ReplyDelete
  52. @rick

    I'm currently hosting images in my blog directory on my hosting server. I link those pictures into my
    blog post via an html link

    I can't seem to post the html in this comment window

    Will these links still work after the blog migration ?

    ReplyDelete
  53. ok i accidentally clicked "finish" as i was poking around the "manual set up" section and now it says my blog migration is finished when in reality i took no steps to do so. i would like to use the migration tool but now it won't let me. is there a way to undo that "finish?"

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  54. @Rick - I'm getting the same problem as Lisa and cannot get an answer anywhere. How can I tell if all is OK? I've looked in my source code for blog posts and cannot find rel=canonical so I'm worried that I'm going to lose my search rankings and traffic. What should I do? How do I know if I need to worry or not?

    Many thanks.

    Simon

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  55. @Simon: If you suspect that the migration did not complete successfully, please file an issue with our Issue Tracker (linked above) and we will look into it.

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  56. @merkley: Please file an issue with the Issue Tracker (linked above) and we can reset your migration status.

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  57. I've setup a subdomain (blog.asiamarketing.biz) and redirected this subdomain to the http://ghs.google.com/
    as per your instruction, but still can't continue the migration. What can i do?

    ReplyDelete
  58. @Ferdi Strictly speaking, the setup is not a redirect but a CNAME; in any event, if you're having specific problems with the migration please file a ticket in the Issue Tracker (linked in the post above) and the team will investigate.

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  59. Hello,
    I run the website at brooklynparrots.com. I used the FTP migration tool several days ago, and the tool reports that "migration is complete." But none of my new posts are propagating out. Can you advise me why this might be happening?

    Thank you.

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  60. @steve: Please file an issue with the issue tracker so the team can look into specific issues relating to the migration.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I was told I had to switch how my blog is updated. The blog has been an extension of my website, and was set up as www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/blog. Based on your tutorial, I went with www.blog.sailingscuttlebutt.com, and had my website host add a CNAME to the DNS entry with the domain registrar, with the CNAME directing requests for blog to ghs.google.com.

    But this has not worked. The website host said, "Unfortunately, the only thing we can tell you is that the CNAME is configured. You would need to check with the hosts of your blog to determine if there is anything else that needs to be done on their end or if the correct CNAME has been set. Below is a copy of the current zone record for your domain. Please let me know if there are any additional changes."

    I did not include the copy in case it has security info, but can send by other means if needed.

    ReplyDelete
  62. @Scuttleblog: Please file a ticket with the issue tracker.

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  63. I didn't realize I was publishing via FTP, but I guess I was. Now I am in a serious pickle. I changed my CName to point to ghs.google.com and AName to point to Google's IPs and I'm getting a 404 Not Found. AAAACK! Can somebody take a look? www.shaddupandlisten.com

    ReplyDelete
  64. @Geoffrey: Sounds like a DNS cache issue - I can see your blog just fine on my end. You can try clearing your browser cache, flushing your DNS cache, or simply waiting just a bit for your computer to catch up (might take a couple hours). Sounds like everything is configured properly w/your blog, however. If you have further issues that you think are Blogger-related, please file a ticket with the issue tracker.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I am having a similar problem as Murnau (whose question wasn't answered).

    I've set up a CNAME at my hosting company (registrar is GoDaddy and the field to change this is grayed out since I host elsewhere).

    Despite the CNAME being directed from my subdomain:
    badplumbing.kurvy.com
    to
    ghs.google.com

    nothing is working. I am sitting and waiting for the "Hosted at Blogger" text to appear on my migration page and nothing is happening.

    The manual migration steps are sorely lacking for subdomains, too.

    Help?

    ReplyDelete
  66. @linda You should have a trailing '.' after 'ghs.google.com'. So your CNAME should look like this: 'ghs.google.com.'. That should fix it. (Some registrars add this in automatically if it's missing, some do not.)

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  67. Hi there, I know I'm very late in the game, but I clicked on 'start migration' and none of my blogs were listed, so I couldn't get past the first step. However, Blogger won't allow me to make new posts, as it tells me to switch over from ftp. Any idea why?

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  68. @schumie: Most likely you're not an admin on the blog. Can you confirm whether you have admin rights to the blog, or are just a contributor?

    ReplyDelete