Thursday, December 23, 2010

Things I wish I knew when I first started blogging. (Part 2)

I was going to something different for part 2, but with the holidays so close I've been busy. So instead I am doing what was supposed to be part 3, now. This is going to cover random tidbits of HTLM and gadgets that can make organizing your layout a bit easier and make things look nice.

Before that though, SuciƓ Sanchez recommended using Picasaweb to add tags to your images that you've uploaded to your blog so that search engines pick them up easier. I had no idea Google had it's own image hosting and it automatically adds your blog uploads for you. You can sign in and start adding tags right away. Thanks Sucio!


Comment Plugin
The comment form I use is provided by IntenseDebate. The website as a super easy one-two-three step installation so I won't be explaining how to use them. Instead I will list the pros and cons of using it.

The comment form looks a lot better than Blogger's default comments. Other than looking pretty, it makes a few things easier. First off is the reply option. I don't think it need much explaining, it makes communicating a bit easier. It also lets anyone post a comment with a unique user name without doing any registering, instead of needing a Google or Blogger ID. If you're registered, it will send you emails anytime someone replies to one of your comments or when someone posted a comment on your blog that needs moderation. It also lets you approve or delete comments by responding via email. It's pretty handy. You have more moderation options too, it allows you to delete, censor, or change their ID to Lt.Manlove.

The downside to it is it makes regular Blogger users enter a bit of information instead of being able to post with their normal Blogger ID. They also have to sign up with IntenseDebate if they want a picture to show and to avoid typing their information each time they comment.

I choose to use it because it lets me communicate easier with the readers and other Bloggers who use the plugin.

Statcounter is a website that can track the stats of your webpage. You sign up and add a piece of HTLM to your blog and it start keeping track of all the people who visit, how they got there, their view paths, IPs, and location. It also keeps a list of every search that's lead to someone clicking your site and displays their percentages.

Statcounter will keep track of 500 entries at a time for free. After it's full, it will drop the oldest one when new hits come. You can upgrade the amount of hits it stores as cheaply as 5USD a month for an extra 5000. This is a must have in my opinion, it's MUCH better than Blogger's built in tracker and Google Analysis.

Hiding parts of your post on the main page
Ever wish you could post something in a post that wouldn't show up on the main page with the rest of everything? Say you have a footer you want shown after each post or an ad you want shown. Well, you can.

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'> CODE </b:if>
Just replace CODE with what you want to hide. You want to place this right above your </body> tag. This is how I have Linkwithin only showing on my posts' links and not on the mainpage. Note that it's not post specific, whatever you put there will show up at the end of everyone of your posts.

How to hide the EDIT icons
You know those annoying ratchet and screwdriver icons that show up when you look at your own blog? You can hide them with this.


Right click that link to view the code, it was too long to post. Make a bookmark of that and put it on your bookmark bar. You can click it and it will hide the icons.

How to make your post title show first on searches
By default, your blog shows up on searches engines blog title first. This isn't exactly bad, but there's a better way to have it shown. You want the content of the search shown first, then the title. It makes it easier for searches to know that it's exactly what they're looking for. Take this for example. If you were searching for a review of Aidyn Chronicles, which would catch your eye first?

D20+1: Life of a gamer: [Review] Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage
[Review] Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage: D20+1: Life of a gamer

See? To change it, you want to find this tag

and replace it with this tag

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;index&quot;'>
<title><data:blog.pageName/> ~ <data:blog.title/></title>
And there you have it.

How to make the textareas I just used.

<td class="smallfont">
 <div style="margin: 5px 20px 20px;">
 <pre class="alt2" dir="ltr" style="border: 1px inset ; margin: 0px; padding: 6px; overflow: auto; width: 525px; height: 25px; text-align: left;">YOUR_TEXT_HERE</pre>
You can control the size by changing the width and height pixels.

That took longer to type than I thought it would. My next post won't be until after Christmas. I hope you all have a great one! :D

You can find part one here.

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