An Open Letter To Blogger.com

While I have great appreciation for the opportunity to have a blog with no hosting fees with Blogger.com, I must admit that Blogger.com has a long way to go before bloggers can be truly happy and satisfied with the services provided. Sure, it’s extremely easy to start a blog with Blogger.com. Sign up for free, select a template from a small and utterly boring list, and you’re off and running. After spending a considerable amount of time searching the web, trying to find an attractive, professional looking, FREE, and easy-to-install template for my blog, it immediately became obvious that I was out of luck.

While there is no shortage of websites offering FREE Blogger templates, they are simply tweaked-and-hacked versions of the utterly boring originals, including the template I currently use. A few websites (that I won’t even bother to mention) have a small selection of templates that some woman might consider to be attractive, with lots of bright pinks and purples, but not all woman find that appealing. Many bloggers rave about the benefits and ease of WordPress, but I’d rather not go that route.

Bloggers can also spend a great deal of time checking out the various “tips, tricks and hacks” websites for bloggers, with How-To instructions for editing any number of HTML codes in their existing template to improve the look and functionality of their blog. Or better yet, Blogger.com should hurry to make some much needed improvements to the overall look and functionality of the templates offered. Here are a few things I’d like to see Blogger.com implement soon:

Improved Templates:

The selections offered when starting a Blogger.com blog are pitiful, to say the least. Please add more template options to your list, especially templates with three or more columns, for those wanting to monetize their blogs with Google AdSense or AuctionAds, or simply adding interesting widgets, etc.

Improved Post Editor:

1) Please add more standard options such as automatic Spell Checker, like on Microsoft Word, with the option to turn it on or off with each new post; 2) Add the option to insert tables of various sizes and widths, without having to manually input HTML into the post. 3) Add more font choices. 4) Add the “U” option for underlining words. 5) Add the option to allow for a Sub-Topic below the originating Title of posts. 6) Add the option to show excerpts of posts with links to the full text. 7) Add the ability to import/export other files besides just photos. 8) Add the easy option for links to open into a new window, if desired. 9) Add the ability for each new uploaded photo or graphic to be inserted where the cursor sits, rather than always at the beginning of the post. 10) Add the option to allow Sticky Posts.

Do you have any suggestions for ways Blogger can improve their services? Please let me know, as I regularly pass along requests, and hopefully they are listening.

In the meantime, I have my sights set on several templates that I like over at Template Monster and am busy widdling down the list to my top five favorites.

I hope you have found this article to be informative and helpful. If so, please do take a moment and comment, and add your requests for Blogger.com improvements.

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9 Responses to “An Open Letter To Blogger.com”

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  1. Heidi says:

    I run a Blogger blog for a friend of mine who is blind. I would suggest that Blogger have a script that would update the Captcha image for posting each time the post is saved. Right now I have to enter in any old thing and wait for it to reload because once the post is auto-saved the code is wrong.

    The other thing you might consider is that you can cut and paste Blogger templates by hand – editing the code – rather than use their selection. There are a lot of templates out there for Blogger if you’re willing to tweak them a little bit using NotePad.

    That said, I really prefer WordPress. Domains are not very expensive anymore. I’ve used both SiteGround and DreamHost – and they are great with WordPress one-click installs and updates.

    There are a lot more tweakable templates for WordPress. Come see my new look! No pinks or purples to be seen.

    If you have a little time you can also make your own.

  2. Telling It Like It Is says:

    Hi Heidi! Thanks for those great suggestions. I had started a practice blog with WordPress, and maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t find WordPress to be very easy. I spent way too much time reading the tutorials for WordPress, and still didn’t understand due to the lingo used.

    I’m very familiar with HTML, as I’ve used it for a long time with my MySpace page and MySpace Blog. I’m personally not too intimidated with editing codes for templates, I just wish Blogger would really step up and make some improvements soon.

    Thanks much!

  3. Betshopboy says:

    A great post and many great suggestions you got there for Blogger. But is Blogger listening? I don’t think so. They are owned by Google, which is like, Internet God, and I suspect they bought Blogger just so they appear “IN”.

    Blogger is a very user-friendly blogging platform, no doubt about it. Your strong knowledge in HTML far surpasses that required to use this platform with so many limitations.

    Your online skills are far suited for WordPress, which is so much more powerful compared to Blogger.

    Don’t get intimidated by WordPress, learn it and learn it well to harness the full power of this platform. Hope to see you make the switch!

  4. Jos says:

    You made some good points. I have to make a remark on this comparison of Blogger with WordPress. I see that discussion very often, but usually people are then comparing free Blogger with not-free WordPress. I have a few Blogger blogs, and a free WordPress as well as a free Typepad blog. Both the free WordPress and the free Typepad don’t even allow me to change anything in the templates – you have to buy an upgrade for that. The available free templates for free WordPress and free Typepad are all practically unmodifiable, as well as their widgets. Sure, there are some advantages (I like the editor of the free Typepad a lot, and the ‘manage’ features of the free WordPress), but in terms of user flexibility AND ease-of-use, I definitely prefer Blogger.
    What I think Blogger should do, is offer many other features, such as the ones you are proposing, [and decent SUPPORT facilities!!!] at a little upgrade premium – just as WordPress and Typepad do.

  5. Telling It Like It Is says:

    Hi Jos,

    Thank you for your comment. I know many people highly recommend WordPress over Blogger, but I have not personally discovered why. I didn’t care for WordPress, and maybe it’s because I’ve gotten used to doing HTML editing with this blog and my MySpace page. I tried WordPress, but didn’t care for it.

    I don’t know the first thing about TypePad, or “moveable type”, but I see that terminology everywhere.

    Hopefully Blogger.com will take seriously the many suggestions and improvement requests they have received and will anti-up soon.

  6. Snoskred says:

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. šŸ˜‰

    I’m surprised to hear you say you don’t want to go the wordpress route, but then again I once said the same thing. And now look what I have – a WordPress self hosted blog. šŸ˜‰ hehe

    wordpress.com is different to having your own self hosted wordpress blog. on the .com they don’t let you have any plugins or good stuff like that. There is no doubt that free blogger is better than free wordpress.com – however there is no doubt that a self hosted wordpress blog is 100 times more powerful and better than a blogger blog.

    I can understand why you say you can’t see that it is any better – wordpress.com is not.

    I can do html editing with my self hosted wordpress blog, In fact i write all my posts that way.

    My other half and I are considering setting up a reasonably priced (around $5-10 a month) pay by the month service for bloggers who want to move to self hosted wordpress. We have a huge dedicated server which doesn’t get much use and we figure there are a lot of bloggers out there who would like to be able to pay by the month and use wordpress – most of the hosts want you to pay large sums up front.

    I have a test wordpress blog on there and I’m happy to hook you up with a look at the internal workings of it if you want to see how the real thing works. Just let me know. šŸ˜‰

    Cheers,
    Snoskred
    http://www.snoskred.org

  7. Telling It Like It Is says:

    Snoskred, I’m honored you’ve stopped by. I truly enjoy your blog. Perhaps my difficulty with WordPress is due to not understanding the terminology used (ie Plugins, etc). I spent hours upon hours (much to the chagrine of my other half) reading and re-reading the tutorials for WordPress and walked away feeling very frustrated and downright stupid.

    Perhaps in time I will take a good look at it again, and we’ll see what happens. For now I’m comfortable with things as they are.

    Thank you so much for your visit!

  8. Rob O. says:

    I wish Blogger’s comments worked a bit more like WP’s & sometimes I definitely suffer from WP plugin envy.

    But overall, I’m pretty happy with Blogger. Our 2Dolphins blog is Blogger-based and hosted on our own space & domain name, but I think it manages to stand out from the crowd a little…

  9. Telling It Like It Is says:

    Rob, I too am envious over some of the plugins WordPress users have. I think my biggest pet peeve at the moment about blogger is the templates. I would love to have a template, most likely a custom job, that really reflects what “Telling It Like It Is” is about. Through a link in your blog I found someone who has a very nice template, and I’m going to email her and see where she got it. It would be just my luck to find that she made it herself. šŸ™