Blogger, Google’s free blogging platform is a good starting place for many budding bloggers worldwide. It’s what I started with and perhaps if you can’t tell, it’s what this blog is currently running on, albeit on my own custom top level domain address rather than blogspot subdomain.
The free hosting blogger provides is a lifeline for millions of bloggers who would otherwise have not been able to afford web hosting costs. For that, we’re grateful to Google for this wonderful service.
With that said, in my 3 years of active use of Blogger I’ve stumbled on or rather have had to adapt to some of Blogger’s quirks. I take it that’s the price one has to pay for getting things for free.
At first it was the limited Blogger template support but with some determination that’s relatively easy to get around. What’s not easy to overcome however is that which is not under our control, and by that I precisely mean bugs.
Blogger thanks to not getting updates as often other Google products, has somewhat been plagued by a few issues which have rather overstayed their welcome.
Interestingly, I don’t encounter that many mentions of some of these issues on the web save for some few known issues – something that has only led me to wonder whether this is something that could be stemming from my end rather than Blogger’s backend.
As such I’ve decided to share some of this “bugs” I’ve noticed perhaps with the farfetched hope that they’re going to get fixed.
1. Anchor Links
This is a rather common one. Anchor links are those links that are used to take a user to a specific part within the same or a different page. They’re also often just called jump links.
The issue with blogger however is that while making HTML anchor links works as expected in the code editor, switching to the WYSIWYG editor (Compose) breaks their code.
The workaround here is to publish the post while in the HTML editor. Any subsequent edits on that post also have to be finalized in the HTML editor.
2. HTTPS Redirection
In the Layout page, a View blog link pops up at the top of the page so that you can preview your blog after making any layout changes.
The problem however is that the link is in HTTPS meaning if you’re using a custom domain you get a browser error that a secure connection failed. Remember Blogger doesn’t support HTTPS for custom domains:
Only blogs using the blogspot domain (yourblog.blogspot.com) can enable HTTPS redirect. This is a very minor issue if you, unlike me, can easily shake off the habit to use that link.
Update: https is now available for custom domains so consider this bug resolved.
3. Disabled Meta Tags / Search Description
In Blogger settings under Search preferences, you can write a brief description of your blog that will show up in the search results description. Enabling this also turns on the search description box in the blog post editor so that you can add meta tags to individual posts.
The problem I’ve experienced with this feature is that on two occasions it has been randomly turned off, and as far as I’m concerned there is nothing out of the ordinary that I did for this to happen.
Fortunately, the search descriptions for the posts don’t disappear completely – they get re-enabled the moment I enter the blog description again.
4. Wrong Page
This one I find quite annoying for me. Sometimes after publishing or updating a post, Blogger takes me to different page (Layout, Theme etc) that I had opened previously instead of the Posts page.
This has happened so many times that I now usually just open new posts on new tabs so that the Posts page remains opened.
5. Updating of Static Page Links
Unlike the post pages, the static pages don’t support creating custom permalinks (URLs). Instead, Blogger generates the URL from the title of the page. As such if the title is too long (that is for blogger standards) some words will be omitted in the link. However, that is hardly the issue here.
The problem arises when it comes to updating pages. Blogger for some reason sometimes changes the link after the update. In other scenarios, deleting a page (let’s say /p/about.html) makes it impossible to create a new static page with that URL; instead Blogger appends a number to it (such as /p/about6.html).
As you can imagine, this completely unacceptable as the page will return 404s (Page Not Found) if it’s linked to in other posts/pages or indexed in search results.
To save yourself this trouble, always make sure you check the page links after updating pages. If it gets changed, consider using a custom redirect in the settings so that you don’t have to worry about 404s.
Also assuming you’ve Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) set up already for you blog, regularly use it to track any missing links/404s.
6. Layout Changes
Sometimes when I rearrange widget positions in the Layout page and save the arrangement, for some reason the changes do not get applied in the blog. Reloading the layout page confirms this.
After doing this it eventually works, but sometimes it’s quite adamant in which case I have to resort to rearranging the widgets by editing the template’s code.
This is however may be a problem with a particular template rather than blogger itself.
7. Uploading Images
Due to the nature of my blog, I tend to utilize images on almost all of my posts. As such, one thing that I’ve realized while uploading images to Blogger is that it’s always advisable to upload all the images needed in a post in one go rather than doing multiple uploads.
This is because on subsequent uploads the already uploaded images are sometimes cleared from the Add Images window.
Consequently, you’ll be forced to fish them out from all the images that have been uploaded to the blog in the From this Blog tab – a task akin to finding a needle in haystack if you happen to have hundreds of images, not to mention loading all those images may take forever.
Suffice to say, whenever I’m confronted with this mishap, I just find it more efficient to just re-upload the images again.
8. Wrongly Positioned Images
At times when adding an image to the post, instead of going to where the cursor is, it goes somewhere else, usually at the very top.
Dragging the image to where you intended it to be works in most cases but at times it’s very stubborn on getting in a particular position in which case one has to move the image from the HTML editor.
Sometimes blogger will also add all the uploaded images instead of those only selected.
9. Undo Scrolls Page Up
I’ve noticed that every time I undo something using Ctrl+Z, the post editor automatically scrolls the page upwards and as a result gets me away from the view of what I was undoing. It does undo the action though.
10. Undo Clears All Content
Repeated use of Ctrl+Z or the undo button to undo changes will sometimes clear the entire content leaving the post editor empty.
This is irrespective of the fact that the post was already published and that last undo action should be the previously edited draft.
So personally those are some of the bugs I have encountered while using Blogger. Do any of them look familiar? Or have you experienced a different issue that I haven’t listed above? Let me know in the comments.