Sunday, May 27, 2007

Putting a copyright notice that automatically update

There are various ways of putting copyright notices on your blogs including typing your own and if you want to include the © symbol, you will have to use the code code for copyright symbol to display the © symbol. For clearer explanation, refer to How to put a copyright notice to your blog. This post was written for the old classic Blogger template, but you can modify it for the New Blogger if you know how New Blogger works. If not, refer to the bottom section of this post.

If your blog content has been copied, or you want a way to discourage would-be copycats, refer to this post: What to do if your blog content is copied, or you want to warn off would-be copycats (click BACK button to get back to this page).

Anyway, there is an easier way and a way to do copyright notice which can enable you to keep the copyright notice up-to-date automatically, and that is to use this copyright notice generator: Automatic always up-to-date copyright notice generator. I have used it to generate a copyright notice for this blog: Dummies Guide to Google Blogger. The copyright notice is at the footer of the blog. If you return to the blog next year, you will see that notice updated to year 2008.

The above copyright notice generator is very easy to use and is self-explanatory. Just input the relevant data and make your choices, and when you are done, just click the [generate] button and a window will appear with the script which you can copy and paste into a HTML/Javascript widget window of the Add a Page Element of the LAYOUT. The most suitable Add a Page Element to click to do that should be in the footer section of the LAYOUT, and that is what I have done for the blog Dummies Guide to Google Blogger.

I think I will probably do the same thing for my other blogs, including this one.

How to put the script mentioned above into your blog

If you are using the New Blogger template, sign into Blogger Dashboard and click LAYOUT for the blog where you want to put the script (or click the TEMPLATE tab if you are already in the Dashboard of the particular blog) and you will be taken to the Layout page. Click "Add a Page Element" in the footer section of the Layout, chose HTML/Javascript and click "Save to blog". Paste the script into the window and click "Save". The new HTML/Javascript Page Element will appear at the top of other page elements if you have other Page Elements in the footer. Most likely, you will want the notice to appear right at the bottom of the blog, in which case, hover your mouse over the new Page Element. The cursor will change to a cross. Drag the Page Element to the bottom of the footer. Click "Save" at the top right of the Page. Click "View blog" to make sure everything is as you want it.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

How to enable people to ask for invitation to a private blog

UPDATE 4 December 2007: This trick, for reasons unknown, no longer works

New Blogger has introduced private blogs where you can set the blog to be viewable by those you invite or by blog authors. However, Blogger have left out one thing, that is to make provision for private blog owners to enable people to request for an invitation. I have found a way around that. The only thing is, you will have to accept some changes to the appearance of your private blog.

What you can do is to add to the title of the blog a message such as (email xyz@gmail.com for invitation) and any other information that you may want, example, amplify the message a bit by adding "Please give reasons why you want to view this blog" or something similar. The only thing to remember is if you give the email address as shown, it may be harvested by bots for spam. I have a email me link in this blog which can also be harvested for spam, but I don't care because the email address I provided in the mailto: HTML to display the email me link is a special gmail address made for such purpose, and my experience is all the spam messages go into the spam filter, and I do not get spam messages in my Inbox. If you are worried, perhaps you can write the email address as xyz at gmail dot com.

You can see an example in this test blog: Peter's Private Blog.

To change the title, click SETTINGS > BASIC in the Dashboard.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

How to hide the navbar for New Blogger

Refer to Simple adjustable way to hide Navbar for an easier way to hide the Navbar. Also see earlier update at the bottom of the post.

The navbar is compulsory for bloggers using blogspot.com for their blogs, and it can also be useful. It has a search box which will allow visitors to search the content of your blog. You can also change the color of the navbar to blend with the colors of your blog by going to the LAYOUT and right at the top, you will see a section for navbar. Click EDIT and chose the color for the navbar.

However, many people have expressed the desire to remove the navbar as there is "Next Blog" in the navbar which when click will lead to an unpredictable blog which may contain sexually explicit content, etc and about which people like educators who set up blogs for their students are very unhappy about.

Update 29 July 2007: Accoring to Kawaljit of Maybe it is OK to remove Blogger navbar, Google did a series of road show in some Indian cities to promote their Blogger platform. Ankit attended the event and asked for clarification on the navbar policy from the Google representatives at the roadshow. They called up their office in Bangalore office and confirmed that it's legal to hide the navbar.

If you really want to hide the navbar, this is how to go about it. Whenever you make changes to the template, it is always wise to backup the template first. If you are not familiar with that, refer to this post: Backing up and changing New Blogger template.

Sign into Dashboard, click LAYOUT for the relevant blog and then click the EDIT HTML sub-tab. This will open the template editor window. Look for this tag: </head>. Paste this script immediately above that tag:

<style type='text/css'>
#navbar-iframe {
display: none;
}
</style>

so that what you see will be

<style type='text/css'>
#navbar-iframe {
display: none;
}
</style>
</head>

Preview, and if satisfied, click "Save Template".

To demonstrate, I will hide the navbar from this blog DIY (Do It Yourself) which is a blogspot blog.

There are New Blogger templates by Final Sense which you get via links in New Blogger 3 column templates by Final Sense. Although there is a navbar Page Element in the Layout of the most blog templates, there are no navbar for blogs using Final Sense Color templates. So if you don't want a navbar, but have an excuse for it perhaps you may want to consider using Final Sense templates.

Update 5 July 2007: A blogger commented this method don't seem to work anymore. I tested before I published and it work, but on getting him comment, I tested again and found that what he said was true. I have tested a slightly different way of doing it at Another way of hiding the navbar and found that the alternative way worked. So if you still want to hide the navbar, refer to the new post.

Amazon products for Blogger

Related posts:

Another way of hiding the navbar (February 2007)
How to hide New Blogger Navbar (October 2008)
Simple adjustable way to hide Navbar (January 2010)

Meta tags for Blogger

Update: For this post you will need to know how to open the template editor and this post How to backup and edit template will show you how.


A blog reader said he couldn't find a post for post description, and since it may involve a long reply, and it will benefit more if I answer in a post, I will write about it here.

You can write meta tags on your own, but there are plenty of meta tag generators on the web and one of them is META Tag Builder. If you go to that site, all you need to do is to fill in the title of your blog, a description, keywords, email address, author, (leave the EXPIRES field blank), use the drop-down menu to select the language of your blog, then if you don't want search engine to spider your blog and/or the links to be followed, tick the box for NOFOLLOW, NOINDEX (I left this blank as I want my blog to be crawled by search engines and for the links in it to be followed), then just click the CREATE HTML button and the meta tags will be generated for you. Most of the above is optional and you can leave them out if you want.

Just a note. If I remember correctly, XHTML tags have to be in lower case alphabets. See the last sentence at Common HTML Validation Problems. Also, HTML tags normally comes in pairs, opening and closing tags. A few tags like the HTML for displaying images <img> and <meta> doesn't need a closing tag. Only thing is, with XHTML, I think you have to write your tag as <meta />. The meta tag generator gave this for my meta tags (it also include <HEAD>, etc. You can leave this out as it is already in your template. Just make sure to paste the meta tags below the <head> tag in your template:

<TITLE>Blogger Tips and Tricks</TITLE>
<LINK REV="made" href="mailto:enviromen@gmail.com">
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="blog, Blogger, Google Blogger, template, Blogger template, tutorial, blogger tutorial, tips, tricks, blogger tips, blogger tricks, blogger tips and tricks">
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Help, tips and tricks for bloggers using the Google Blogger platform for their blogs. Some posts also relevant for those using other blogging platform">
<META NAME="author" CONTENT="Peter Chen">
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="ALL">


I changed it to

<title>Blogger Tips and Tricks</title>
<link rev="made" href="mailto:enviromen@gmail.com" />
<meta name="keywords" content="blog, Blogger, Google Blogger, template, Blogger template, tutorial, blogger tutorial, tips, tricks, blogger tips, blogger tricks, blogger tips and tricks" />
<meta name="description" content="Help, tips and tricks for bloggers using the Google Blogger platform for their blogs. Some posts also relevant for those using other blogging platform" />
<meta name="author" content="Peter Chen" />
<meta name="ROBOTS" content="ALL" />

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Blogger 3 column templates by Final Sense

Here are some demonstration blogs of 3 column templates by Final Sense. Before you make any changes to your template, it is always wise to backup your current template. If you are not familiar with that, refer to Backing up and changing New Blogger template. This post will also shows you how to access the template editor. In the case of Final Sense, to change the template, click inside the template editor window, press the ctrl+A keys to highlight all the template (or right-click and chose "Select all"). Click the Delete key and you will have a blank template editor window ready to paste the new template in. Click on the link to the template below, right-click inside the scroll box and chose "Select all" to highlight all the codes. Right-click again and this time chose "Copy" to copy the template into the clipboard, go back to the template editor of your blog, and paste the new template into the empty template editor window. Click "Preview" and if satisfied, click "Save template". Note that after you changed the templates, they may be a few Page Elements that may have the wrong title and/or be an empty HTML/Javascript Page Element. For example, the Labels are often wrongly titled "Ads" and there may be empty HTML/Javascript Page Elements titled "Text-ads", "Links" and "Feed". You can go to the LAYOUT and either put other HTML or Javascript into them and edit or remove the Title or click "Remove Page Element" to remove them.

Butterfly New Blogger 3 column fixed width template

This blog Articles on Beauty uses the Butterfly 3 column fixed width template from Final Sense. The template can be obtained from New Blogger 3 column fixed width Butterfly template.

Update 12 June 2007: Looks like Final Sense changed the Butterfly template. If you want to see an example of the new Butterfly template, surf over to Guide to United States of America. And if you want the template for the old Butterfly template, you will have to email me by clicking on the "Click here to eMail me" link near the bottom of the left sidebar

Luxury car New Blogger 3 column fixed width template

This blog Cars and Trucks uses Final Sense Luxury car 3 column fixed width template. You can get the template from New Blogger 3 column fixed width Luxury car template.

Books on Google Blogger

Amazon products for Blogger

Grey New Blogger 3 column fixed width template

This blog Standard Insurance uses Final Sense Grey 3 column fixed width template. You can get the template from 165: Grey template.

Colors New Blogger 3 column fixed width template

This blog Legal Matters uses Final Sense Colors New Blogger 3 column fixed width template. The template can be obtained from Colors New Blogger 3 column fixed width template.

Note that the original text color for the content is blue, making it hard to distinguish content (text) from links. I have thus changed the text color to black. If you want to do the same, just get to the LAYOUT, click the FONTS AND COLOR sub-tab and there you will easily be able to change the text color.

New Blogger 3 column fixed width Sunset template

This blog Philosophy uses the Final Sense Sunset template. You can get the template from New Blogger 3 column fixed width Sunset template. Just as for the Color template above, the main column text color is blue making them hard to distinguish from the links. I have also changed the text color to black.

New Blogger 3 column fixed width Trading template

This blog You and Politics uses the Trading template. You can get the template from New Blogger 3 column Trading template.

New Blogger 3 column Red Fruits template

An example of a blog using this template is Environment and Ecotourism. The template can be obtained from 170 Red Fruits 3 column New Blogger template.

Note that there is no navbar in Environment and Ecotourism. So if you are one of those who do not want a navbar in the blog, this is one template you can use without having to hack to remove the navbar.

New Blogger 3 column Pink Flower template

This blog Guide to Belgium is an example of a blog using the Pink Flower template. The template can be obtained from New Blogger 3 column Pink Flower template.

More New Blogger templated


New Blogger template modified by Stavanger
Dots New Blogger template with Header
New Blogger templates modified by Ramani
New Blogger templates by Isnaini
New Blogger templates by Thur
Ramani's New Blogger Neo template
New Blogger templates by BloggerBuster

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Improving your Alexa ranking

Alexa ranks sites based on visits from users of its Alexa Toolbar for Internet Explorer, so if your blog visitors don't have the Alexa Toolbar installed, your site wouldn't rank well for Alexa. According to Brett of Using Alexa redirect in your comments, you can improve your Alexa ranking by putting http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect? in front of your site's URL (Brett was referring to links in comments, but if you don't have the habit of making links to posts (however, see note below) in your other blogs open in new window, you should be able to use the same trick by doing the same thing for links in posts to improve your Alexa ranking, especially if you link to posts in your own blogs like I often do). Each click on the link will be counted by Alexa irrespective of whether the visitor has the Alexa toolbar installed.

To explain further, I will put a link to one of my post in this blog below:

DMOZ, the most important directory and the hardest to get listed in, and Blogger Tips and Tricks got listed even without submitting (by the way, there is also a link to a site which have tips on how to submit your site to DMOZ). I will put the HTML for the above link in the scroll box below:

<a href="http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?blogger-tricks.blogspot.com/2007/04/dmoz-most-important-directory-blogger.html">DMOZ, the most important directory and the hardest to get listed in, and Blogger Tips and Tricks got listed even without submitting</a>


However, don't try to make the link open in new window by adding a target="_blank" attibute because the link gets displayed as "External link". To demonstrate, I will make the same link as above, but with the target="_blank" added below:

DMOZ, the most important directory and the hardest to get listed in, and Blogger Tips and Tricks got listed even without submitting

Note: I had earlier made a test in a test blog and Blogger displayed the link as "External link" and not only that, the HTML was changed and the link opened in the same window. See

Testing Alexa redirect and

Testing Alexa redirect opening in new window.

I had done the same thing as above, and Blogger changed HTML for the link in the second test to

<a href="http://blogger-tricks.blogspot.com" rel="external">external link</a>


I don't know why I can add the target="_blank" attribute and get a different result in this post. If this behavior is consistent, looks like you can make links in posts open in new windows and still use the same trick. I will try it when I make new posts and see if I get the same result. If you use this trick in your posts, I hope you will let us know your experience by leaving a comment in this post.

Anyway, it will make no difference if you do this in comments as target="_blank" is not allowed in comments. And anyone clicking on the link in the comment will contribute to improving your Alexa ranking.

BTW if you don't already know it, the lower the Alexa ranking, the better it is for your site, just the opposite from PageRank.

Note: I have made a few more links with this trick and included the target="_blank" and there were no problem. The link displayed as it should and also opened in new windows. However, if you use this trick, do check and ensure it is working as it should, and if it doesn't, please do leave a comment in the interest of all bloggers.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Adding a clock in your blog

Someone asked how to add a clock to the blog, and I feel I should answer it in a post so that more will know about it. There may be more possibilities than this, but http://www.clocklink.com/ may be a good choice. Here is a screenshot of their gallery:

clock gallery

All you need to do is to chose the clock you want, click on "Get HTML". You will have to select your country/region timezone, and not all countries are listed. Mine wasn't , so what I did was to do a Google search for GMT Malaysia and found it is GMT + 8. So I selected that, highlighted the HTML, copy and paste into the HTML/Javascript Page Element, saved then drag it into the position I want. You can see an example of the clock in this demonstration blog Blogging Ideas. The clock is at the bottom of the left sidebar.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Business should ditch the Yellow Pages and turn to blogs

Are you running a business? If so, advertising your business is a good way to get more business, and an old, effective way is to advertise your business by placing an entry in the Yellow Pages. But nowadays, how do people search for information? The answer for many people is that they use the Internet and the search engines. And search engines love blogs. There have been many times that I have started a blog and notice hits from search engines in my hit counter statistics not very long after I started the blog. Not only that, quite often, a particular post come up quite high in the search result page, and not infrequently in the first result.

You should always have a hit counter installed to track visitors to your blog. See How to track visitors to your blog. This was written before New Blogger was introduced. It should still work, but it will add a visible counter at the bottom of the page. If you chose an invisible counter, it will make no difference, but if you want the visible counter elsewhere, or want an easier way, for instruction on how to install it for New Blogger by referring to Adding advertisement, hit counter, etc. to New Blogger blog (click BACK button to get back to this page).

So if you run a business, start a website for the business plus do a blog to draw traffic to your business site.

Books for Business Blogs

Monday, May 14, 2007

Changing the sidebar font

Got a question from a blog reader on how to change the sidebar font. So I did a little testing. See the screenshot of original font in the sidebar of this blog (click on screenshot to enlarge it):

testing changing font of blogger sidebar 1

I believe the original font is Arial. Now see the screenshot after editing the template (as above, click on screenshot to enlarge it):

testing changing sidebar font 2

Note that the font has been changed to Times (you got to see the enlarged screenshot to see the difference, or surf over to Taman Sentosa to see the actual site.

This is the way to do it. This involves opening the template editor and as always, backup the template before you make any changes. If you are not familiar with that, see the instructions at Backing up and changing New Blogger template.

After you have opened the template editor, in the template editor window, look for this block of codes in the CSS:

.sidebar {
color: $textColor;
line-height:1.3em;
}

Add in a line for the new font, for example, if you want Times, add the line

font-family: times;

so that it becomes

.sidebar {
color: $textColor;
line-height:1.3em;
font-family: times;
}

Preview, and if satisfied, click "Save template".

Update: I was asked about changing the font size too. If you want to do that, just add the line

font-size: 150%;

or any other percentage as you wish. You may also specify in pixels (px), eg. 12px

.sidebar {
color: $textColor;
line-height:1.3em;
font-family: times;
font-size: 150%;
}

Of course, if you want other font, just use a different font. BTW, I have changed the font size of the sidebar of the blog Taman Sentosa


Books for Google Blogger

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Redirecting a New Blogger blog to another site

Update: Chuck @ nitecruzr, a blogger very knowledgeable about IT stuff, says that a Javascript redirect as described in this post will very likely get your blog deleted. Check out his post, Some Blogger Blogs Being Locked As Malware Hosts, Because Of Malicious JavaScript, described this issue in more details.

A better way to do it is to setup a virtual host in the domain, and publish the blog to the virtual host URL. Learn how to here.

I have previously done a post for redirecting a blog to another site for the old classic Blogger at How to redirect from old URL to new URL. However, on testing, it was found not to work on the New Blogger blogs anymore, even with changes.

This is the way to do it for the New Blogger. First thing to do always before you make any changes to the template is to backup the template PLUS the Page Elements. Some or all of your old Page Elements will be deleted or become empty when you upload a new or backup template. If you are not familiar with the method to do it, refer to Backing up and changing New Blogger templates.

First, sign into your Blogger Dashboard, click LAYOUT, then click the EDIT HTML sub-tab. This will open the template editor window. Add this block of codes into your template just below the <head> tab which should be very near the top of the template:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex" />
<script type="text/javascript"><!--//--><![CDATA[//><!--
var url = "URL of where you want the blog to be redirected"
(document.images) ? location.replace(url) : location.href = url;
//--><!]]></script>
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=URL of where you want the blog to be redirected" />


Then add this just below the <body> tag:

<p><a href="URL of where you want the blog to be redirected"></a>.</p>


Make sure you replace URL of where you want the blog to be redirected with the actual URL of the site you want to redirect to. If you are not familiar with URL, refer to What is URL and how to get it.

Update 5 August 2007: Two readers have complained of problems with this hack. I have taken the trouble to retest following exactly the instructions given above with a test blog Testing New Blogger Redirect.
Update 1.9.2008: Apologies, I have unknowingly deleted the above test blog. But be assured that I have successfully tested the redirect.

The link is supposed to take you to
http://testing-new-blogger-redirect.blogspot.com/
but click on the link and see where it eventually takes you. It will take a short interval before you get redirected.

One think I suspect is they have left out the http:// from their URL.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Improving link popularity and PageRank of your blog by removing Nofollow attribute in the comments

Note: See update at the bottom of the post.

The New Blogger have added a Nofollow attribute into the template to prevent hyperlinks in the comments section from being followed by search engines. This is to discourage spammers from posting spam comments in Blogger blogs. However, if you, like me, often respond to comments with links to your own posts and/or add signature line with a link to your blog/blogs, that is a disadvantage to you, especially if you moderate your comments to weed out spam comments. By doing that, you allow search engines to follow links in the comments section and will help increase link popularity and PageRank. This will help you bring more traffic to your blog.

This will involve tampering with the template of your blog, and a wise step to take is always to backup your template before you make any changes so that if anything goes wrong, you can always upload the backup template and you will be back to where you were. If you don't know how to backup your template, refer to this post: Backing up and changing New Blogger template.

To remove the Nofollow attribute, sign into your Dashboard, click LAYOUT, then click the EDIT HTML sub-tab at the top of the template editor. Tick the Expand Widgets Template checkbox to expand the template. Look for this line of code:

<a expr:href='data:comment.authorUrl' rel='nofollow'><data:comment.author/></a>

Delete the phrase rel='nofollow', preview to ensure everything is OK, then save the template.

If you have problem finding that line of code, click inside the template editor window, then press ctrl+A (or click the beginning of the codes and keep pressed down the left while scrolling right to the bottom of the template editor window) to highlight all the codes. Right-click on the mouse and select "copy" to copy the whole template into clipboard, open Notepad and paste the template into Notepad. Click "Edit" in the menu bar at the top and chose "select all" to highlight the whole codes. Repeat again, but this time select "Find". Type of copy-paste part or whole of the line of code you want to edit into the "Find what" field, then click "Find next" and whatever you are trying to find will be highlighted. Do what is necessary (delete rel='nofollow'), highlight all the edited template again and copy into clipboard, go back to the template editor. The whole template should still be highlighted. Press the "Delete" key to empty the template window and paste the edited template into the window. Preview to make sure everything is OK, and if so, then save the template.

UPDATE: I have checked Page Source of those blogs which have removed the "nofollow" attribute and the "notfollow" attributes are still existing in the Page Source thus indicating that this hack may not help.

Friday, May 11, 2007

How to add background picture to the sidebar

A blog reader asked about how to add background picture to the sidebar. This can be done. The first thing you need to do is to upload the picture to the Web, perhaps using the method outlined in this post Getting New Blogger to host the photo for your profile, sidebar, Header, etc. (click BACK button to get back to this page) or use a photo host like Photobucket

What you need to do to to sign into Dashboard, click LAYOUT, then click EDIT HTML and look for this block of codes:

#sidebar-wrapper {
width: 150px;
float: right;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
background:
}

Type this into the block of codes:
url(photo URL);

#sidebar-wrapper {
width: 150px;
float: right;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
background: url(photo URL);
}

You can see the result here: Dummies Test Blog. The links and wordings are a bit hard to see though because of the color. I probably have to choose another photo to demonstrate.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

How to find the width of your blog Header, sidebar and main column

Got a question from a blog reader about how to go about finding the width of the blog Header, so I thought I might as well make a post to let more people know about it.

To get the width of the blog Header, sidebars, main column, sign into Dashboard. In the section for the relevant blog, click LAYOUT tab (Update: LAYOUT is now DESIGN), then click EDIT TEMPLATE. This will open the template editor window. Search through the templates for the following:

#header-wrapper {
width:750px;
margin:0 auto 10px;
border:1px solid $bordercolor;
}

#main-wrapper {
width: 400px;
margin-left: 20px;
float: left;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
}

#sidebar-wrapper {
width: 150px;
float: right;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
}

These codes are from the template of this blog. The first block of codes tells me that the width of the Header is 750 pixels. The second block says the main column width is 400 pixels. The last two block of codes tells me that both the sidebars are of width 150 pixels.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Yahoo answers: Another way to build traffic to your blog

Here is where you can kill 2 birds with one stone. Help others and increase traffic to your blog. Try Yahoo Answers. Either look at the approprite category for your blog or type in keyword in the search box and look for people seeking answers. If you have a post address the question, put a link to that post. However, do not spam.

If you have been providing pertinent answers, and people find your blog relevant, they will tend to go back to your blog and you can get repeat visits and loyal readers. In this way you can build up a readership

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Update on Statcounter: No spyware

I use Statcounter to track visitors to my blog and have been happy with it so far. This email from Statcounter increased my confidence further. Thought you might want to read it:

A few months back, Statcounter was approached by an advertiser, offered lots of $$$, and asked to include a spyware cookie on all of our member sites…we refused on the spot.

You install Statcounter to track visitors to your site NOT to open yourself and your visitors up to being spied upon by phantom advertising corporations.

It appears, however, that other players in the world of webstats were happy to take up this offer…

We were shocked to discover just today that another well known stats provider is allowing up to 9 cookies to be installed in the browser of every visitor that hits one of their member websites. This means that the provider is making money by transmitting data on you and your visitors to a third party advertiser. Not only that, but to add insult to injury, the cookies are causing the member websites to load very slowly too.

In light of this, Statcounter wants to assure you that we track your visitors for you, only you and not any one else.

Which provider would you prefer??

Update 6 May 2007: For Statcounter to work, they must put their OWN cookie into the computer so that they are able to distinguish between returning visitors and new visitors. This is not for spying purposes and is completely different from putting a third party spyware cookie.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ramani's New Blogger 3 column fixed width Neo template

NOTE: Before you edit or change template, make sure you backup your curremt template PLUS Page Elements. Refer to Backing up current template PLUS Page Elements before changing new template

Ramani of Hackosphere came up with what he described as a lightning-fast Neo template with which a visitor can navigate the blog very fast because when he goes to a new page, the entire page wouldn't reload. The sidebars stuff wouldn't reload while only the post and comments are displayed immediately. Also, new comment is displayed before the old comments (the other way around from the standard New Blogger templates) and the comments are divided into pages of 10 comments each, making a huge difference in blogs which received many comments.

However, Ramani pointed out some limitations like for bloggers who display AdSense ads will receive very few impressions (plus if that is true, the ads would not change with the content of the post, which will lead to less relevant ads). However, he says he will come up with a solution for that.

Update 5 May 2007: Someone commented that the whole page reload and not just the main column, as you can confirm with the demonstratin blog Gizmos and Gadgets. I did mention above that Ramani may do something about it because AdSense user may not be happy with it and that he may do something about it. He must have already done that, but didn't update the post and mention the alteration. I think I will try to contact Ramani to provide 2 versions of his Neo template so that his visitors will get to choose.

I have used Ramani's Neo template for this blog: Gizmos and Gadgets and I have AdSense ads in it. Ramani must have made modifications to overcome the limitations mentioned above because whenever I surf to a new post, the sidebars reload and new AdSense ads are displayed. You can test this out for yourself by surfing to different posts of the blog.

Ramani used to require USD10 for the template, but has now kindly made it free for everyone. If you want to use the Neo template, surf over to Neo for everyone. You will see a link "Download the Neo template" somewhere in the middle of the post. Right-click on the link and select "Save link as ..." (This is for FireFox. Wordings will be different browsers but will be similar), and download it to a place in your computer which you can locate easily when you need it.

Note: See update below

For instruction to backup your current template and upload the new Neo template, refer to Backing up the current template and changing to a new template.

BTW, this Neo template is a fixed width template. If you are viewing Gizmos and Gadgets with a wide screen (1024 x 768 screen resolution), you will see the content extending almost the whole width of the screen. If you want to observe how a visitor with a small screen (800 x 600) view the blog, type or copy-paste

javascript:top.resizeTo(800,600)

into the address bar of the browser and press the ENTER key. The window will resize to 800 x 600 and part of the right side of the content will be hidden, and you will see a horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the page. To see the hidden part, you will have to scroll horizontally to see it. This may discourage visitors with small screen from visiting the blog again, and if a significant percentage of your visitors are using the 800 x 600 screen resolution, you may want to consider using other templates such as the one I am using for this blog (this one uses Ramani's Minima template as described in New Blogger 3 column templates modified by Ramani of Hackosphere (click BACK button to get back to this page.

The reasons why I use this template is because Statcounter tells me 5-20% of my visitors are still using the 800 x 600 screen resolution (you can get this from the "System Stats"). Other reasons are stated here: What is the best template for your blog. If you are worried about small screen visitors, you may also consider fluid width templates where the main column width will adjust to the visitor's screen resolution in such a way that the whole width of the blog is displayed. You may find fluid width templates at New Blogger 3 column templates modified by Charlemagne Stavanger.

More New Blogger templated


New Blogger template modified by Stavanger
Dots New Blogger template with Header
New Blogger templates modified by Ramani
New Blogger templates by Isnaini
New Blogger templates by Thur
New Blogger template by Final Sense
New Blogger templates by BloggerBuster

Update 18 July 2007: Got an alert from Ramani of Hackosphere which I will just paste here as I have no time to check:

"Yes, it has happened. And they didn't even inform me before doing this. That's why bvibes.com is down and Neo template doesn't work. Don't ever host with A2 hosting. I am going to show them the middle finger and move back to Yahoo.

Neo users can pickup the entire Neo script from here, add it to your template and be happy. It will take some time for me to move over the bvibes database and code. So, it maybe down for a few more days. I really don't want to host with them anymore."

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