Bloody Blogger!

Nov 17, 2009

I don't consider myself very knowledgeable on Blogger stuff, with my first blog not yet six months old, I'm still a newbie. But I certainly learned a lot because of all the problems I had so far, and in particular this week.  

I hope this short story of my recent misadventures with Blogger will help some of you: 

I must have been on another planet, but I read only this month that Google Pages would come to an end this month, and that's where I stored my shared files! This started a cascade of consequences for me.

First: Until now, I was using Google Pages as a convenient free storage for my few files and had to look for a alternative.
I wanted to avoid as much as possible a host like filefactory.com but instead a storage giving direct access with no waiting time to the files. As I only have a handful of small files, I tried free websites like Weebly and Jimdo. One was constantly nagging me with "Website not published" even though I made it public and published several times, and the other one gave me dns errors on the early stage of the registration.
Then I came accross DriveHQ.com which free membership comes with 1GB storage. They also have a client application that allows to drag and drop files from a local PC to their server: very convenient. See a review here. There's a drawback though, only a limited quantity of bytes can be downloaded monthly.

Second: I had to change all the references to the old file server (geekandfun.googlepages.com) by the url of the new one (www.drivehq.com/file/.../PublicFolder). That part was simply done by exporting the whole blog from the settings > blog tools, then performing a full search/replace for one string to the other using Notepad++.

Third: The fun really began here: Re-importing the blog turned into a silent disaster.
Silent, because, at first, everything looked fine, but once I started to click on the links in the Recent Comments section, it lead to a 404 error! Then I realized that, upon importing the posts, blogger had renamed all my posts with a numeric suffix at the end, so a page like:
"war-of-clones.html"
was now named:
"war-of-clones21.html"

So all the local links in my blog were now wrong!
From my researches, what happens is that old deleted posts are still in blogger index, and the new one are automatically renamed. I tried leaving the new posts for a day, hopping that they would be re-indexed and the re-importing would allow to recover the original names, but it can take days before a re-indexing occurs, so I had to take a more drastic measure.

Fourth: I went to Blogger dashboard and imported both blog backup and template into a brand new blog. Then I had to re-assign the domain gadgetvictims.com from http://gadgethell.blogspot.com to http://geekandfun.blogspot.com.
Apparently, this "new" blog is in the process of being indexed right now, and everything came back to almost normal. Some links will be invalid though as Blogger still found the way to rename some posts like "wireless-pan-tilt-ip-camera.html" into "foscam-wireless-pan-tilt-ip-camera.html" but that's the price to pay to keep the readers comments safe. If you don't find a page after clicking on a link, just use the tag sphere or labels below each post to narrow down to that article, everything is still there!

I just hope that I won't have to find another file host any time soon!

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