Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Blogger FTP service - end of

Like many ham radio blogs, this one uses Google's Blogger. Unlike most ham radio blogs, this one is hosted on my own web server (well, not really my own web server, just some cheap shared web hosting that I already had for my G4ILO's Shack website.) I use Blogger's FTP option to upload my blog pages to my server. I made that decision when I started this blog simply because I already had a website and server and I thought it would help improve my site's popularity to have the blog pages under my g4ilo.com domain instead of Blogger's. Plus any add-in service that works on a per domain basis such as the ClustrMaps visitor tracker or Ham Banner Exchange works for the whole site, including the blog.

There have been times when I cursed this decision, notably during the occasions when Blogger's FTP uploading didn't work. Also, this is becoming a pretty big blog and any update that affects all the pages means the entire blog has to be re-uploaded, which can take a long time. But I really felt that I had passed the point of no return for changing this decision as my blog now consisted of too many pages and I couldn't see how to switch without losing all my existing content, or at least breaking all the links.

Blogger has now given me notice that they are going to shut down their FTP service on March 26, so I now have no choice. I will not for much longer be able to continue publishing my blog on this site. The email claims that Blogger is developing a tool that will handle redirecting traffic from the old URL to the new URL which will handle "the vast majority of situations." But it would not surprise me at all to discover that one of the situations it will not handle is that where a blog shares a domain with a website running under a content management system that already uses a complicated .htaccess script to create virtual web pages from a CMS database.

This looks like one of those situations where if that's where I have to get to, it would be better not to start from here. I don't like messy solutions, so leaving the existing blog pages as a kind of historical archive and starting afresh isn't an option. There are a couple of ham bloggers (you know who you are) who still have pages from earlier attempts online (and even one or two who appear to have two different blogs containing many of the same posts) and it's confusing when you fetch up at some of those pages and find they don't link to any recent content. So if I have to start over, it really will be a clean, fresh start. Though at the moment the thought of junking over 300 pages makes me wonder why I bother at all.

Until I know where I am going with this, there seems little point in adding more content to the existing blog. If anyone reading this has already done what Google is forcing me to do and could help me do it without waiting to see what tools they can come up with and whether they will work then I would welcome your assistance or advice.
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