BNI 60 Seconds - Changes to Blogger
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Each week in our BNI lunchtime meeting, I am expected to get up and tell other members and visitors a little bit about my work in a sixty second snapshot.
If you want to find out a bit more about our weekly meetings, skip to the bottom of this page.
Here's what I had to say this week:
"My name is Jon Ewing and I am from inframes.com ltd, a website design and development company from Reading established more than ten years ago.
"You should refer business to me because I offer a reliable, friendly and personal service at the competitive rate of just £35 per hour.
"Last week I talked about setting up a blog for one of my clients and since then I've heard about a change to the running of the free, Google-owned Blogger system that is going to affect the way some of my clients run their websites starting at the end of March. So I've been taking steps to pre-empt any problems and make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.
"So this week I'd like you to refer someone to me who has a website and doesn't have anyone looking after it full time but might find it useful to have a member of the team they can call on at any time who knows their website inside out and can spot potential problems long before they start to cost them money.
"To find out how good your website could be, look into inframes."
For years, Blogger has allowed you to store your website's FTP hostname, username and password as part of your account so that you could write your blog page on blogger.com and then click "Publish" to copy that page to your own site. As a consequence, you could create blog pages for your own website without any technical know-how.
But from the end of March, you won't be able to do that any more.
It seems that Blogger's owners, Google, are fed up with providing technical support for this free service and rather than making it a premium subscription service, they've decided to scrap it altogether. Instead, Blogger blogs will have to move to a Blogger-hosted service, where the pages appear on Blogger's server instead of yours.
The good news is that you can carry on using Blogger and still make your blog pages seem much the same as always, plus you can still keep your usual domain name, as long as you know your way around your domain's DNS management.
The best way to do this, assuming your domain registrar provides you with a DNS management console, is to create a subdomain (aka vanity domain).
We've done this with www.allanstewart.com to create the new subdomain blog.allanstewart.com.
You do this by creating a CNAME.
It's pretty simple. You don't need to know any IP addresses or anything, just create a new CNAME in the format "whatever.yourdomain.com" and associate that domain with "ghs.google.com."
It might take anything from a few minutes to 48 hours for the new DNS record to filter through and the Blogger publishing settings page will tell you if your domain is or isn't ready yet.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There's a full stop (dot) at the end of "ghs.google.com." - it's important, so don't leave it out. Do leave out the double quotes, though - they're not part of it!
ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: Google suggests it is "important" to "create a 'A' NAME records for your naked domain". No it isn't! In fact if you're using a subdomain, you absolutely must not do this.
Allan Stewart's news page used to be www.allanstewart.com/news.asp but now that he can't publish his blog to his own webserver, that page is now found at blog.allanstewart.com
I am one of half-a-dozen people who have started a new chapter of the BNI business networking group and we're looking for other Reading-based small business professionals to refer business to.
We meet between 12.15pm and 1.45pm on Wednesdays. If you'd like to come along to a lunch, please drop me a line or give me a call and I'll put you in touch with our organiser.
There's absolutely no commitment required – you just pay a tenner, which covers the cost of lunch at the Strada on the Oracle Riverside - and you'll have a chance to meet existing members and other visitors, introduce your business and of course hand out business cards.