Beyond the Blogger Basics
You wanted to start a blog for yourself. Then you looked around and found a simple, yet powerful blogging platform called Blogger. Getting started was pretty quick; in just three simple steps you got your own blog online! You became part of the blogosphere in no time.
The user interface is very intuitive and it’s almost like working with your favorite word processing application. The WYSIWYG post editor hides the complexities of HTML and re-arranging the page elements with the drag-and-drop layout editor is a snap. You can customize the fonts and colors of your blog with a user-friendly panel. All seems to be going very well and you are blogging away happily.
Things Getting Somewhat Complex
Now your sidebar extends way too down in the page and your readers miss out on some of the stuff you want them to see. Being the fluent writer you are, some of your posts become so big that they look a mile long in the narrow post column. You have some nice photographs but the post column is so narrow that they get resized to a size smaller than you would like them to be. Stated simply, your blog is now cramped up and looks like a traffic jam on the highway. You want more space to play around, but you simply don’t have it! What’s more, human nature comes into play, and now you are not satisfied with the fonts and colors given default by Blogger.
Searching around you learn that three column blogs give you more room above the fold (i.e. that part of a blog which is readily visible to a reader without scrolling down) and you also saw some Blogger blogs with a wider post column and custom fonts that are not available on Blogger fonts panel. You, too, now want these customizations. In other words, you have gone beyond the basic blogger, but still you don’t know how to solve these complexities.
you aren't alone. There are people who can help. You are the kind of Blogger user that is the focus of my blog, The Blogger Guide. It is a blog that provides clear and simple technical advice for non-technical users who want to do more than the basics with their blogs. For example, there are straightforward step-by-step tutorials for converting to three columns and expanding the size of the post area. There are also a lot more HOWTOs offering tips for customizing a Blogger blog. If you are the type of person who likes to know the internals, then there are articles that explain, for example, the under the hood matters of three columns and template variables.
The official Blogger Help Google Group is another great resource to get advice on both technical and non-technical matters relating to Blogger. There are many helpful members on that forum and most of the time your problem will be solved quite quickly. I myself frequently answer technical questions on that forum.
So the next time you get stuck with a technical problem that you cannot troubleshoot or you need that additional customization, don’t panic or feel frustrated. Just search around and look for some help and you will find it for sure.
Ids is a professional programmer with an honors degree in Computer Engineering. His blog, The Blogger Guide, has lot of tips and guides tailored to Blogger users. He is also available for consultancy and can be reached via email.