Thank you for joining in my blogger survey! I heard from more than 60 of you, both Blogger and WordPress users. Some answered all the questions, others only answered a few or had a comment about the blogger change (usually negative!) Both points of view are summarized in this (long) post.
So, as we walk through the Blogger labyrinth, remember -- to get through, put one foot in front of another!
This post is divided into sections -- General Results, Workarounds, Resources, Comments about Blogger and WordPress Users. There's a short summary at the end.
Nine of our participants were WordPress users and their comments on the platform are included below. WordPress must be
loving this -- Seven of our participants are considering a switch to
another platform. One is considering stopping blogging altogether.
I also appreciated how many of you helped problem-solve issues some brought up. Those "fixes" are listed here as well.
(Although I didn't ask this question, there was a fairly good mix of types of blog -- life in general (which includes blogs like mine that go all over the place from family to travel -- a little bit of everything) and home and garden/how-to/info. A few have specific focus -- nature, film, books, cooking. And I might add, this is what I love about blogging -- the diversity of our community.
Age: Of those who gave their age, 35 were over 60 and 15 were between 41-60. Only a few were under 40.
Hardware: It was a pretty equal split between all participants as to what they worked on -- 16 used the laptop all or some of the time; 18 used a desktop computer and six used a tablet all or most of the time.
Monetizing: Only two "Blogger" bloggers monetized. (Many more mentioned how much they hated blogs with ads.)
Photos: Far and away, this is the biggest of the issues with 19 of you having trouble with a variety of issues, including uploading them, moving them about in your post or sizing them. (There's a workaround for sizing; see below.) Some of you didn't like the + and - for sizing, preferring the words large, extra large, etc. Some found it hard to delete a photo they'd placed incorrectly (see Workarounds.)
"If you upload multiple photos and don't
drop them into your post all at once (I like to add my photos at one
time, but change my mind when drafting a post as to where I want to
place them quite frequently), you have to scroll through your entire
blog album to get back to the picture you want to add. I haven't found
an easier way yet, " wrote one blogger.
Both Rita of Panoply and I have noticed glitches with photos not justifying to the center properly and having to revert to Legacy to do that. "I really don't care for the new way to download from albums on Google photos--it takes longer to search for them," Rita added.
Karen of Living in My Valley summed up what several noted: "I don't like that you can't download a bunch of photos and then post them one at a time. As soon as you post one, they all go away!"
Double space issue: 7 -- A number of you use quotes or poetry in your posts which now come out double spaced instead of single. There is a workaround for this -- see below.
Editing or Adding Links: Only three of you had trouble with editing or adding links, although this often involved if you were participating in link parties where the party link hadn't yet posted. I find it takes more steps to add a link.
Rita of Panoply said "I used to keep my links that I frequently used in a draft version so I could easily copy and paste into my posts. It would have the main blog name captured, but not the specific post that I might link to for a party later on. In the new version of Blogger, I can’t just right click on the link and edit it. I have to go to the menu bar and do the copy of the link into it to change it now. I wasn’t real clear on that, but it is more cumbersome to do now."
Rustic Pumpkin had the same issue: "I haven't figured out how to fix (if there is a way) is when you set up your post, and you want to link up to a party at the end, if that particular party hasn't come on line yet you can't do it."
Labels: This was a big source of frustration with nine of you commenting in depth about it. "Labels are terrible!" more than one of you said.
Line Spacing: Seven of us are having issues with the default single spacing. This mostly affects those of us who might add poetry or quotes to our posts. Rustic Pumpkin has a solution for that. See the workaround section below.
Font Legibility and size: Two of you mentioned a change in the default font. While we can adjust that in the font section, I think it has to be done with each individual post. Does anyone know otherwise?
Accessing posts and drafts by page: Seven of you mentioned that you are frustrated by not being able to access past posts and drafts with the old page number at the top of post page. (In other words, if you wanted to see your first post ten years ago, you'd have to keep scrolling down to the bottom.) This sure annoys me! There IS a workaround for accessing drafts -- see below.
Divers and Sundry says: "Those page numbers are a real necessity for me if I'm going to keep using blogger at all."
HTML dissatisfaction: Seven of you are not loving the new html page. I'm one of them. "I am driven totally crazy by this," wrote Mae of Mae's Food. With all the html now in one supersized paragraph, it is difficult to tell where line breaks are. And for those of us who don't use html regularly, the bunched up symbols of the code make it almost impossible to find your place to fix something.
Anno writes that on the far
left of the composing toolbar, there's a pencil icon that you can click
to get to an HTML editor. In this view, you can change the ending
paragraph tags that give you the double returns to tags that give you a
single line break." I see that but it is so garbled that unless you know html well, you can do more damage than good trying to adjust spacing or centering. How do I know this? Been there, done that.
Settings Page: Three of us were not happy with the new layout of the settings page.
It's free -- Five bloggers pointed out something we should probably all remember. We're not paying a dime for this and that makes an impact on both help services (several said they never received any kind of reply to concerns to Blogger) and forces a look at what we will (or won't) put up with because we aren't paying. Or, as one commenter said: "I... found it needlessly complicated,
all cons and no pros, and promptly switched back to Legacy. Will have
to try again, though, eventually because I have no desire to switch to
Comment Posting is slower, clunkier -- Two of you mentioned a slowdown in comment post.
Line Spacing -- "Before you hit 'enter' go to the drop down
menu that says 'paragraph' and select 'normal', then when you hit enter
it will single space automatically. Hope this helps." (Rustic Pumpkin)
You can hit SHIFT+RTN for a single space. (Mae)
Sizing Photos -- It took me awhile to figure this out, but when you click on the photo, a bar comes up and if you click on the plus sign the photo gets larger in increments; smaller with the minus sign. Is this better? I don't know. But it does work. (Jeanie)
Accessing Spam Comments -- At the top of the comments page, there is a drop down. You can access individual spam comments there.
Linda, of Life and Linda, has made posts about some of the new blogger features on her blog and I recommend you take a look. Her comments are in this post below in the General Comments section.
Sandra of Maison De Jardin tells us that there are a couple of groups on
Facebook for Blogger users where one can join and ask questions of those
who are whizzes at using HTML etc. -- a good one is KimSix Blogger
Support (For Bloggers on Blogger) and another is Blogger On Blogspot. They are helpful!
GENERAL COMMENTS, FRUSTRATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
A number of you had the "If it's broke, don't fix it" feeling like Lynne, who said, "I am open to change but if it working, why change it up?
Carol of Paris Breakfasts made an excellent point: "I think its a disaster to make major changes during Covid when people use it to communicate with family and friends."
Gayla noted: "I thought changing the backgrounds and font colors was a lot harder to navigate. But not only because everything moved... it was seriously more cumbersome to see the changes happening....I think it would be appropriate for blogger to offer a heads up on changes or even some YouTube courses to help bloggers transition."
"One of the problems is when using it on writing some edits or updates on
my published posts. Sometimes the changes does not save on mobile
unlike before " Stevenson Que
"I don't get why when I click on a blog in my feed it takes me to a page that asks if I wanted to go to the blog or go back to previous page ( which doesn't work anyway). Well duh if I didn't want to read posts I wouldn't click on it." Regina
Linda from"Life and Linda" is known to many as the Fairy Blogmother and has helped more than a few bloggers out of some serious problems. As New Blogger has started testing, she's posted on changes.
Linda also added: "It would be better if people learned to resize their photos before uploading them. Better for loading time and also taking up your space on Blogger."
She says that New Blogger is "more responsive and better for SEO (search engine optimization). People are always saying WordPress is better. You can make big money on Blogger, a free platform. I know many bloggers using Blogger and making six figures. WP can be easily hacked, it is just as secure as Blogger."
"I blog for my own amusement, I am not amused by the new blogger ,
kicking and screaming into it, or dumping my blog altogether, the new
blogger has made me cranky. It is awkward, inefficient, troublesome,
cumbersome and not at all blogger friendly. I tried it , threw up my
hands and went back to legacy which is preferable in all respects," says Linda Sue of Lady Margaret's Curlers.
One of the more distressing results of this survey is how many of you feel quite discouraged and are considering stopping blogging altogether.
Others are thinking of migrating to WordPress. "I have been thinking about creating a new blog on Wordpress just mainly a photo one with limited comments," says Dorothy of The Frog and the Penguin
WHAT DO WORDPRESS USERS SAY
Our WordPress friends aren't having to deal with this but it's useful to hear what they say about their own platform. It's not without its issues, too. You might find it encouraging!
Pam of Everyday Living says she does pay for WordPress but "I constantly have issues."
Bella Rum of What's She Thinking said: I'm on free Word Press, and I don't monetize. I hate change and I'm over 60."
Gigi of Gigi Hawaii tells us "I pay WordPress $96 per year for 13 GB of space. When that is used up, I will have to delete old photos in my media library so I can post new photos. If I don't do that, then I will have to pay $300 per year for 187 more GB space. I wish I had chosen Blogger to begin with, as it is free for most bloggers. "
Carol of Comfort Spring says "I blog on WordPress and pay for a host to house my blog on their server. I can tell you a few years ago WordPress introduced a totally new format to the blogging and I hated it. They issued a plug-in that makes it old WordPress and I've been using it ever since. I've never tried Blogger and can't compare. I sometimes wonder if it is better - it's very popular. Good luck!"
Two WP bloggers wrote some lengthier comments that may be helpful for those considering a switch:
Shoreacres (Lagniappe and The Task At Hand) said she came to Blogger, hated it and has been happy with WordPress ever since. "I
do pay for the no-ads feature, and for a custom URL on Lagniappe, which
also provides more storage space than I'll ever use. WP is rolling out a
new editor, which I'm now using on Lagniappe and soon will switch to on
The Task At Hand. I thought it was complicated at first, but I've begun
adapting, and I think it will be fine. .... it's quite user friendly, and the support is stellar."
Also: I don't monetize and never will. It's worth the $30/year to keep the ads away. There are a number of blogs I simply stopped reading because the presence of the ads was so irritating. One or two's ok, but when they're scattered all around, it's not.
Another thought: you mentioned trying to find posts. The WP editor is a gem. You can sort posts by published/draft, and search either one by date, topic, or keyword. If you think, "Didn't a post about lilies one time?" you can find it in a flash. Or, if I want to bring up all my Christmas posts, I can do it.
Also: in the WP editor, you have the ability to post verse properly -- however you like. You also can paste from text, so if you want to replicate the form from another source, you can do that.
Spam comments always are available, until you delete them yourself. Also, tags and categories are easily accessible, both through settings and for individual posts.
I know, I know -- I sound like an evangelist. But there's so much to love about WP, and with the new editor they've provided, it will be even better. (This, from a naturally resistant to change sort!)
Arti pf Ripple Effects says: "When I first started blogging 12+ years ago, I was on Blogspot, but
only for a few months, then I switched to Wordpress. I found it more
user-friendly. And I never switched back. So for years I've been using
the same Theme. Then I heard people telling me they see ads on my site
and I didn't like that, cause I didn't have control as to what ads came
on my blog. So I pay for a 'Personal Version', yes, I pay to make sure
there's no ads on my blog. Forgot how much, maybe around $5 a month.
Then about a month ago I was told by Wordpress my Theme was too old and would not support new features like block blogging. So I changed it to a more updated one, which is the one I'm using now. First I was apprehensive about the new blogging method (using 'blocks'), but after a month or two now, I'm getting the hang of it, and it's more contemporary looking and I can do more things with it. Although I'm still exploring.
My take is: don't be afraid to change to a newer version. Also, I'm happy with Wordpress, especially the HELP and support they give me (when I was switching to a new Theme.) We used chat, so it's immediate assistance, and they're very patient with me. That I really appreciate."
There are loads of problems that occur when changing anything. Back in the earlier days of word processing, I worked with a program called Palantir; then Word Perfect; then Word. Every change brought shaking of fists and pounding the top of our desktop computer monitors (sometimes probably harder than we should have!) We learned.
It takes time to get it right. But we can. And we will.