Designing Compatible Blogs

As the web is considered to be a fluid medium, it is important for the blog to be viewable under all circumstances - with any browser or on any computer. Also it should look and function as close to the same way as possible. That is why it is advised to design for maximum compatibility.

Inevitably, choices will need to be made between compatibility and design. 

For example: whether to use or not to use flash animation as splash page on your blog.

For it to run in all circumstances it is advised to test it extensively with many different browsers and computers. 

The work should be tested on both Macs and PCs.

Achieving a successful design requires inspiration, careful planning, and hard work. Besides this, of course, a few softwares are required.

Here is a list of software that can be used for the various phases of the designing project:

Graphic Design

· Photoshop 7

· Adobe Illustrator 10

· Adobe LiveMotion

· Macromedia Flash 5

· Macromedia Fireworks MX

· Macromedia Freehand 10

· Graphic Converter

Web Page Construction

· Macromedia Dreamweaver MX

· BBEdit

· Lots of Trader Joe's coffee

Details Of Other Blogging Tools and
Add Ons are mentioned below: - is a free tool for managing web links and increasing site traffic. It can be embedded anywhere in the web page and can be easily configured to fit the existing site design.

Once a user is registered, a special code is provided to his webpage. The toll allows users to add websites to the list of links. If the site is already member of blogLinker, then its details will be listed.

If the website you link to is also a member of blogLinker then user’s website will automatically appear in their list of links.

This increasing the number of visitors to user’s site. One can even hide sites from the list. The sites hidden will be made aware of this and vice versa.

Similarly, list entries can be edited or deleted. If a reciprocated link is deleted, the link to user’s site is deleted in return. In other words, a bunch of links cannot be added.

People can add their site to user’s list by clicking a link at the bottom of the list in his webpage. The link will be reciprocated, further promoting the site.

The look of the list can be customized. This is very easy to do; once blogLinker code is copied & pasted into your chosen web page, the user is directed to experiment with the look and feel.

At the bottom of the 'Format Your List' page, there is a set of 16 drop-down lists. Each list corresponds to a feature of the blogLinker, such as header font color or text size/type etc.

Either a value from the drop-down list can be selected or the required value can be entered directly into the input box, just below each drop-down list, allowing for maximum configurability.

Click 'Save Changes' when ready. To test the changes done, simply reload the web page. User scan also display different lists with different categories required.

BlogSnob -

BlogSnob is an experimental service for members of the blogging community. It enables users to tell everyone in the webspace about his or her blog thru simple textbased ads.

It requires the users to insert a simple piece of code into their page. Every time someone views the site, a small text ad of another blog shows up on the page. BlogSnob is basically an ad exchange for Personal Blogs, where the ad is in the form of a Text Ad that blends into the site design.

This way, it does not spoil all the hardwork a user has done in beautifying his site, but still serves its purpose. The software also allows a person to read many other beautiful, yet less popular blogs. Plus, a section called SnobJumping talks about sites, in general.

User moderation is a way by which the users themselves help to keep the BlogSnob network clean, friendly and nice to surf through.

Any member of blogsnob can simply check out sites randomly. If they find a site that interests them, they can talk about the site in the "Cool sites" board in the Forums.

If the user's made a really good discovery - that is a yet not popular but wonderful site, the site and the discoverer's site are both rewarded with publicity on Snobjumping.

Reblogger -

Reblogger is a comment system for web logs that is designed to work with Blogger blogs and other systems as well. It can be used as a remote commenting system (for those without cgi capability), or can be installed on any server with CGI capability and perl.

Following are specific features of the software: It allows multiple users, i.e., people can add their own reblogger accounts on to user’s server.

If someone doesn’t have a CGI enabled web server, they can host their comments on user’s server. If there are extra resources the general public can be allowed to host their comments on server.

The template that it uses is like a Blogger template, where special tags can be used to indicate where to put the comments, how should it be formatted and where to put the form to submit a new comment. The software provides the facility of email notification.

Reblogger can be set to send an email to user whenever someone leaves a comment on web log. One of its features includes removing unwanted comments/ offensive comment.

It can also help in IP Blocking.

If someone is continually harassing the user, then he or she can block their IP address. This will restrict them to from commenting. HTML in comments: it allows usage of , , and tags in comments.

Also, links are created automatically when URLS are typed in a comment.

Time Zone can be selected by the user to have the time and date that is displayed adjusted accordingly. 

Installation of the software: Installation can be easy using Linux/Unix or Windows/DOS. The archive run the file called "install" before the installer ask some questions to get an idea about where on server reblogger will reside.

The URL of the website is entered where reblogger is installed. Start with http://. In most cases CGI scripts can only be run from the CGI-bin directory.

So, here the user needs to specify the path to the CGI-bin. If there is no CGI-bin, then change this to something other than the default (try /reblogger/). Otherwise you probably won't need to change this.

This allows the user to specify where important things, for example: password, are to be stored. The software uses sendmail to send any of the emails it needs to send.

Once this information is entered the installer will try to figure out what the web address of the reblogger directory is. The installer will then show the information entered. 

If everything is right enter "y". The installer will now ftp reblogger to user’s website.

The reblogger is ready to use. Now that reblogger is installed, a user account should be created. Once the account is created the user is taken to the comment manager, where he can customize the settings.

Reblogger can be used by just one person for one blog, or one person for a few blogs, or by many people for many blogs. Users can allow as many people as they want.

w.bloggar -

w.bloggar is an application that targets to be an interface between the user and his blog(s).

It is considered to be a Post and Template editor, with several features and resources that the browser based blog editors can not offer.

w.bloggar a software that runs over Windows GUI and allows the user to edit his posts without being connected to the Internet, saving locally one or more texts to be posted in the future.

It can be minimized to the Tray bar as an icon and every time the user wants to publish a new text, he just need a click and has the editor ready to work, finished the text, another click and the post will be published.

Another great advantage of w.bloggar is that it is compatible with most of weblog systems available, allowing an advanced user to have one only interface to several accounts hosted on several different sites, under different publishing systems.

To communicate with the weblog w.bloggar needs that the blog system has implemented an API, the acronym to Application Programming Interface. Currently w.bloggar is compatible with Blogger API, metaWeblog API, MovableType API and b2 API all based on XML-RPC definition.

To set up w.bloggar to post to your BlogWorks XML blogs, instructions given below should be followed: download w.bloggar from  and install the application and open the w.bloggar application.

A login window will appear allowing the user to create a New Account. BlogWorks username is to be entered here along with the password. Click OK.

It will then direst towards the account connection window, where the address of the host where BlogWorks is installed into Host field.

If the webserver runs on a port other than 80, the port setting should also be changed. Click OK to confirm the entered information.

Its functions include: post and publish on Blogger, b2, MovableType, Nucleus, BigBlogTool, BlogWorks XML, Blogalia and Drupal blogs, edit posts and templates, save posts locally for further publishing, import text files, add links and images, format text font and alignment.

It can also multiple accounts and blogs, post preview, colorized html code, html tags menu, find/replace option, post to many blogs, ping to, title and category fields, spell checking, file and image upload, custom tags menu , toolbar icons skin, supports windows xp, easy account configuration

blogBuddy -

blogBuddy is a small Windows 95/NT/ME/2000/XP program written in Delphi that manages and other weblogs which implement the Blogger API. Features include spell checking and post editing.

The current features of the application includes: posting of new entries, saving of blogid, username and password in an .INI file, proxy settings, get list of available blogs, system tray icon for quick posting, coming features sourceforge keeps an updated list on coming features in the requested features tracker.

The current version is 0.5. The changes that has been incorporated in version 0.5 are given below:

Following new features were added: installer via nullsoft (superpimp|scriptable) install system, windows XP look where available, improved error messages when remote site returns error, spelling, minimal password encryption, editing of recent posts, keyboard shortcuts for posting and publishing, posting buttons put back where they were.

Following features were fixed: password prompt is always displayed, size and location is saved (again), two bugs after selecting font fixed: duplicate entries in blog combobox and crash when saving, crashing when updating blogs and then canceling options dialog fixed.

Deciding A Name For The Blog

Save the situation where the whole weblog ready except indecision on the blog name. Bloggers may consider browsing through hundreds of weblogs for ideas. The most common names range from:

The lame - "Pete’s Weblog," "JamieJ’s Weblog," "Darren S’s Blog" to

The inane - "Fumes n’ Flames," "My Random Thoughts," "SomePlaceElse", to

The sublime but already taken - "Wordridden," "Colossal Waste of Bandwidth", “The Unseen World”

Naming a blog after an individual’s name, may be blogger’s name, reflects that the weblog might focus on none but himself. It is recommended that personal names should be kept out of the blog title.

Name, undoubtedly, may bring hundreds, if not thousands, of web denizens to a weblog. A weblog should have name that strikes the right note.

To read the next instalment of this complete guide to blogging, click here

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