March 09, 2008

Weekly Review #9

I hope you all like the new look for Blogger Buster! Over the past couple of days, I've been ironing out the glitches in the template and have changed a few other things which you can read about below.

This week, I've discovered some really useful tools and resources for Blogger. I've also begun writing up tutorials about various aspects of the new design to help you recreate similar effects in your own Blogger templates.

Blogger Buster News

Of course, the big news for the site this week is the new template design. If you're reading this post via RSS I would really recommend for you to visit the site to take a look at how much Blogger Buster has changed!

There were a few glitches in the template, though hopefully these are all now fixed.

I've added a couple of new features in the past few days including:

  • A tour of the site for new visitors, which gives an overview of Blogger Buster and explains some of the major features of the new template. You can find a link to this in the navigation bar beneath the search box, and also on item pages.
  • The Home Page has changed a little to ensure there isn't such a great gap between the bottom of the page and the footer sections (thanks for the suggestion Dr Wiz!)

The "links" page is still inactive as I'm still in the process of writing this up. Eventually, this will be a resource page full of useful links related to Blogger, blogging and template design which should be available midweek.

As you may have noticed, all templates and tools are now accessible through the home page and are contained within this area of the site. The original sections for templates ( and tools ( are still available if you wish to use them, but will no longer be updated and will eventually be depreciated as everyone updates their bookmarks to the new locations for these features.

SEO for Blogger Templates series

Over at Blogging Tips I've been writing about search engine optimization techniques for Blogger templates. The first and second posts are available for you to read right now, while the third in this series will be available tomorrow.

I'm happy to say that I'm now a regular writer for Blogging Tips, and will be posting about Blogger and blog template design each Monday from now on.

Blogging Tips is full of useful articles and ideas for bloggers and has a great writing team, so please pop over sometime to read what this site has to offer the blogging community.

Upcoming Articles

Those of you who have kept up with me on Twitter may be wondering about the tool I've been using to backup, restore and import Wordpress posts to Blogger... This post is currently in the pipeline and will be posted in the next day or two.

Also, I will continue to write tutorial posts explaining how to install and use the new features included in this template.

I do apologize for not having written anything for the Blogger Template Design series recently. I'm sure you all understand how busy I've been with the redesign and other projects, and can assure you that this series will continue with at least two posts over the coming week.

Blogger News and Issues

Did anyone else notice the bug with all Blogger powered blogs yesterday? For a while, all blogs hosted by Blogger seemed to load extremely slowly, or wouldn't load at all! Thankfully, the Blogger team were on the case within minutes and had soon sorted out the problem for us all, and by now everyone's blog should load just fine.

The problems people were experiencing with custom domains earlier this week have also been resolved. If you were experiencing problems establishing your custom domain, you can try again now as everything seems to be working just fine.

This Week's Links

Here's a selection of the sites and articles I've been reading this past week:

  • Vote for Blogger! Blogger has been nominated for "Best Publishing and Photography" site in the 2008 Webware awards.

    Voting is open until the 31st of March and winners will be announced in April 21st.
  • ShareThis Plugin for Blogger: The popular service, ShareThis has now created a widget style plugin for Blogger users. This will add a ShareThis icon to your posts which allows readers to easily add your posts to their favorite social bookmarking service or email complete posts to their friends.

    You can also use this widget to receive detailed statistics about the performance of both the widget and your blog in general.
  • Smashing Blog Headers: Smashing Magazine has some truly awesome blog headers available for free download, which have been offered by creative readers of this site. There are some real beauties here, so if you need a new header image for your blog, be sure to check out this selection.
  • Building a Page for First Timers: This excellent post by ProBlogDesign is what inspired me to write the "Tour" page for Blogger Buster. In this article, Michael Martin explains how to write a page specifically for new visitors and why such a tactic can be effective for your blog. This is really worth a read and may even inspire you to create your own!

I hope you have enjoyed this week's review. Be sure to let me know if you have any suggestions for next week, and feel free to leave your comments and opinions below.

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Browse through the Archives

All existing posts are still available to view while I'm working on the site, albeit seen in a much simpler interface. Feel free to browse through the archives to find tutorials, templates and articles to help you build a better blog:

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