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Saturday, March 06, 2010

How to Fix Blogger's FTP Bug

Google is canceling support for FTP in blogger. Fortunately, there's an easy fix and you get to keep your domain, and keep everything working the way it was.

1. Switch to hosting your blog on blahblah.blogspot.com ... but don't finish the migration (read step 2).

2. DONT LET GOOGLE FILL YOUR OLD BLOG WITH REDIRECTS. This will ruin your site's ranking and be, in general, a bad user experience.

3. Use a script to synchronize the blogspot domain pages with your real custom domain blog. Here's the script I'm using, it works well and uses ETags so is remarkably efficient. I'm running 12 blogs from a cron job now, 5 of my own.

4. Turn OFF any indexing services for the new blogspot domain (Allow search engines to find this site? NO). You don't want two sets of content out there. Many search engines, not just Google, will punish your site's ranking for having multiple versions.

5. (Rant: I don't believe, for a minute, that the engineers at Google couldn't figure out how to run FTP affordably. I do over a terabyte of FTP crap every month for free at memebot.com ... and I never even look at it.... paid for twice over with cheap ads. They're either liars or they are incompetent.)

6. ADD this script to the HEAD section of your template... so people won't use your blogspot domain:
<SCRIPT language="JavaScript">
<!--
var str=location.href;
if (str.indexOf('blogspot.com') > 0) {
var newStr = str.replace('http://YOURBLOGSPOTNAME.blogspot.com','').replace('http://www.blogger.com/blog-preview.g','');
window.location='http://www.YOURDOMAINHERE'+newStr;
}
//-->
</SCRIPT>


7. I made a form so people could sign up to have their blog sync'ed if they don't know what a cron job is. If you use rsync, I don't need your password. (Why didn't Google use rsync?). I have a bunch of dedicated servers for other reasons, so it's no problem for me for now (not too many people so far):

New Blogspot Site:
FTP Host (aka custom domain):
FTP Path (for example /blog/):
FTP Username:
FTP Pass (optional):
Use Rsync*:

* NOTE: To use rsync, you'll need click here and put this public key in your authority file (~/.ssh/authorized_keys). This way your password doesn't have to be entered anywhere.



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