Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. It was developed by Pyra Labs, which was bought by Google in 2003. Generally, the blogs are hosted by Google at a subdomain of blogspot.com. A user can have up to 100 blogs per account.
Up until May 1, 2010, Blogger allowed users to publish blogs on other hosts, via FTP. All such blogs had (or still have) to be moved to Google's own servers, with domains other than blogspot.com allowed via custom URLs. Unlike WordPress, Blogger cannot be installed in a web server. One has to use DNS facilities to redirect a custom URL to a blogspot domain.
On August 23, 1999, Blogger was launched by Pyra Labs. As one of the earliest dedicated blog-publishing tools, it is credited for helping popularize the format. In February 2003, Pyra Labs was acquired by Google under undisclosed terms. The acquisition allowed premium features (for which Pyra had charged) to become free. In October 2004, Pyra Labs' co-founder, Evan Williams, left Google. In 2004, Google purchased Picasa; it integrated Picasa and its photo sharing utility Hello into Blogger, allowing users to post photos to their blogs.
On May 9, 2004, Blogger introduced a major redesign, adding features such as web standards-compliant templates, individual archive pages for posts, comments, and posting by email. On August 14, 2006, Blogger launched its latest version in beta, codenamed "Invader", alongside the gold release. This migrated users to Google servers and had some new features, including interface language in French, Italian, German and Spanish. In December 2006, this new version of Blogger was taken out of beta. By May 2007, Blogger had completely moved over to Google-operated servers. Blogger was ranked 16 on the list of top 50 domains in terms of number of unique visitors in 2007.
As part of the Blogger redesign in 2006, all blogs associated with a user's Google Account were migrated to Google servers. Blogger claims that the service is now more reliable because of the quality of the servers.
Along with the migration to Google servers, several new features were introduced, including label organization, a drag-and-drop template editing interface, reading permissions (to create private blogs) and new Web feed options. Furthermore, blogs are updated dynamically, as opposed to rewriting HTML files.
In a version of the service called Blogger in Draft, new features are tested before being released to all users. New features are discussed in the service's official blog.
Adding location to posts via geotagging.In September 2009, Google introduced new features into Blogger as part of its tenth anniversary celebration. The features included a new interface for post editing, improved image handling, Raw HTML Conversion, and other Google Docs-based implementations, including:
- Post time-stamping at publication, not at original creation.
- Vertical re-sizing of the post editor. The size is saved in a per-user, per-blog preference.
- Link editing in compose mode.
- Full Safari 3 support and fidelity on both Windows and Mac OS.
- New Preview dialog that shows posts in a width and font size approximating what is seen in the published view.
- Placeholder image for tags so that embeds are movable in compose mode.
- New toolbar with Google aesthetics, faster loading time, and "undo" and "redo" buttons. Also added was the full justification button, a strike-through button, and an expanded color palette.
In 2010, Blogger introduced new templates and redesigned its website. The new post editor was criticized for being less reliable than its predecessor.
Blogger is available in these languages: Arabic, Bengali, Indonesia, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian, Oriya, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu Vietnamese. Nepali, Farashi.Bemba,Tonga,Tumbuka and cewa.
Country-specific blogger addresses
Starting in February 2013, Blogger began integrating user blogs with multiple country-specific URLs. For example, exampleuserblogname.blogspot.com would be automatically redirected to exampleuserblogname.blogspot.ca in Canada, exampleuserblogname.blogspot.co.uk in the United Kingdom. Blogger explained that by doing this they could manage the blog content more locally so if there was any objectionable material that violated a particular country's laws they could remove and block access to that blog for that country through the assigned ccTLD while retaining access through other ccTLD addresses and the default Blogspot.com URL. However it should be noted that if a blog using a country-specific URL was removed it is still technically possible to still access the blog through Google's No Country Redirect override by entering the URL using the regular Blogspot.com address and adding /ncr after the .com.
Blogger allows its users to choose from various templates and then customize them. Users may also choose to create their own templates using CSS. The new design template, known as "Dynamic View", was introduced on 31 August 2011 with Dynamic Views being introduced on 27 September 2011. It is built with AJAX, HTML5, and CSS3. The time for loading is 40 percent shorter than traditional templates, and allows user to present blog in seven different ways: classic, flipcard, magazine, mosaic, sidebar, snapshot, and timeslide. Readers still have the option to choose preferable views when the blog owner has set a default view. Some of the widgets (e.g., Labels, Profile, Link List, Subscription Links, Followers and Blog Archive etc.) are available for Dynamic Views; other templates are chosen by the blogger.
In April 2013, Blogger updated its HTML template editor that has some improvements to make it easy for the users to edit the blog's source code. The editor was updated with syntax highlight, number line and jump-to-widget button for ease of editing the code.
- The Google Toolbar has a feature called "BlogThis!" which allows toolbar users with Blogger accounts to post links directly to their blogs.
- "Blogger for Word" is an add-in for Microsoft Word which allows users to save a Microsoft Word document directly to a Blogger blog, as well as edit their posts both on- and offline. As of January 2007, Google says "Blogger for Word is not currently compatible with the new version of Blogger", and they state no decision has been made about supporting it with the new Blogger. However, Microsoft Office 2007 adds native support for a variety of blogging systems, including Blogger.
- Blogger supports Google's AdSense service as a way of generating revenue from running a blog.
- Blogger also started integration with Amazon Associates in December 2009, as a service to generate revenue. It was not publically announced, but by September 2011 it appeared that all integration options had been removed and that the partnership had ended.
- Windows Live Writer, a standalone app of the Windows Live suite, publishes directly to Blogger.
- Blogger can be optionally integrated with Google+.
- Google+ comments can be integrated with blogger comments.
- The Campaigns tab in Blogger dashboard links to Adwords making it easier to create ads .
Blogger on mobile devices
Blogger has launched mobile applications for users with mobile devices. Users can post and edit blogs, and also share photos and links on Blogger through their mobile devices. Not only advanced mobile devices, such as smartphones, are being considered, since users can also post blogs via traditional cell phones by SMS and MMS.
BlockingThe major two mobile operation systems that Blogger focuses on are Android and iOS. Blogger allow users to edit blogs anywhere through the app and either publish the blogs or save them as drafts. Quick navigation from posts and drafts is accessible from a list. Users can attach photos by taking a picture with a Blogger app or selecting pictures from their photo galleries. Sharing current locations on posts is also possible by tabbing My Location bar and adding locations. Users can also share photos and links directly to Blogger.
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Blogger has been blocked for various periods of time in the following countries:
- Iran (www.blogger.com and blogspot.com, as well as all blogs on this platform)
- Kyrgyzstan (www.blogger.com and blogspot.com, as well as all blogs on this platform are not accessible via most Internet providers because they take traffic from Kazakhstan, where they are blocked)
- People's Republic of China
- Russian Federation (some ISPs in 2012 blocking an IP address put into Federal List of Extremist Materials in 2011)
- Syrian Arab Republic
- Turkey (for a short period)
Blocking of *.blogspot.com domains by keyword-based Internet filtering systems is also encountered due to the domain containing the substring "gspot".
Blogger has the following limitations on content storage and bandwidth, per user account:
- Blog description – 500 characters max; HTML markup not supported
- Number of blogs – 100 blogs per account
- Number of labels – 5,000 unique labels per blog (an increase from the original 2,000), 20 unique labels per post
- Number of pictures (hyperlinked from user's Google+ Web Album) = 15 GB of free storage (Shared between Google Drive, Google+ and Gmail). However, if one has signed up for Google+ account, images less than 2048 x 2048 pixels would not be counted to this storage limit. For users not signed up for Google+, 800 x 800 pixels and below images would not be included in this storage space.
- Number of posts – There is no limit on the number of posts one can have in one blog.
- Size of pages – Individual pages (the main page of a blog or archive pages) are limited to 1 MB
- Size of pictures – If posted via Blogger Mobile, limited 300 KB per picture; posted pictures are scaled to 1600px
- Stand-Alone Pages – Limited to 20 standalone pages.
- Team members (those who can write to a blog) – 100 invitations per blog
- Favicon – Any square image less than 100KB
On February 18, 2010, Blogger introduced "auto-pagination", which limited the number of posts that could be displayed on each page, often causing the number of posts on the main page to be less than that specified by the user and leading to a hostile response from some users.
Private blogs are limited to only 100 members.
The official support channel is the Blogger Product Forum. This online discussion forum, delivered using Google Groups, serves Blogger users of varying experience, and receives some monitoring from Google staff. "Top contributors" are community-members nominated by the Google staff who enjoy additional privileges including managing discussions and direct access to Google staff. There is likely to be a top contributor or other knowledgeable person reading the forum almost all the time.
A number of people, including some top contributors, run personal blogs where they offer advice and post information about common problems.