Blogger Unofficial FAQ blog

The blog formerly known as Blogger archive/template troubles, featuring
fixes for problems with Blogger's archives, templates, and more

Templates - Changing your name

Want to change your name, now that you've realized that Blogger posts the full name you gave when you signed up? Here's how. Click the "Team" button on the top toolbar, then click your name, then click "Edit My Profile" over in the upper right corner.

There are two approaches to naming yourself: if you want to change the name that appears in your blog, but you don't mind using your full name in Blogger Discuss, just put the name you want to use in your blog in the "Nickname" field, click "save profile", then edit your template by clicking "Template" on the top toolbar. Look for the byline (down toward the bottom: in most templates it starts out <span class="byline">) and change <$BlogItemAuthor$> to <$BlogItemAuthorNickname$>. Click "save changes" and then "publish". Check your main page to be sure it worked, and then republish your archives to make the change there by clicking the "Archive" button on the top toolbar, then clicking "republish all".

If you want total anonymity, change the "First Name" and "Last Name" fields (you have to put something in both, but "Last Name" can just be a single space if you only want one word), click "save profile", republish your blog and your archives, and then sign out of Blogger and close your browser to get Discuss to notice your new name.

General - Images in posts on Blog*Spot

One of the most often asked questions in Blogger Discuss is "how do I add images to my blog on Blog*Spot?" The biggest problem is that you have to find a host for your images who is willing to allow them to be delivered to a web page on another server. Between the general end of free anything and so many people wanting to post pictures on ebay and hotornot, there are very few free hosts who will allow offsite linking of images, and those that do today may not tomorrow. The best solution is probably to move out of Blog*Spot, but lots of people don't want to hear about anything that involves FTP. If your ISP gives you free webspace, chances are fairly good that they allow offsite linking. You can find out whether a host will work with Blog*Spot by signing up, transfering an image, and then including it in a post, but clicking "Post" rather than "Post & Publish". If the image shows up in the bottom frame, it should show up on your blog as well (be sure to clear your cache ("Delete Temporary Internet files" in IE-speak) if you viewed the image in your browser after you uploaded it).

Once you find a host that will allow offsite linking, include images in your posts with
<img src="">.

If you want your page to load faster, include width="100" height="50" (well, whatever they really are) in the img tag after the source. Don't know the width and height in pixels? You probably have an image editing program that will tell you, or, view the picture in your browser after you transfer it, then right click on the image and select properties, and look for "Dimensions" which will tell you width x height.

If you want to do things right, and be nice to people with images turned off (there are a lot of us), include alt="A picture of me on a pony" as well.

To get the text of your post to flow around the image, use align="right" (or left, or middle, or top, or bottom).

All together, your link would be something like:
<img src="" width="294" height="424" alt="Picture of Ursy - hard on the couch, good for the soul" align="right">

Templates - Using &

As "A note about ampersands and JavaScript" at the bottom of the template editing page explains, in order to let you edit HTML character entities like &copy (the © character), the editor converts & to &amp;. Fine and dandy, unless you use a JavaScript like the newsfeed from moreover, or most common rollover scripts for pretty menus, which use &&, the JavaScript AND, or use & in a complex url in a document.write. Then you've got troubles, because the next time you edit your template, each & is converted to &amp;, which is converted to &amp;amp; the next time, until your template is filled with amp;s and your scripts are broken. My old solution was a horribly complicated scheme involving things like rewriting if (a and b) as if not (not a or not b), and using a variable which was the first character of a long string of &amp;amp;amp;amp;s. Thanks to someone's accidental discovery, my new solution is to simply nest two sets of comments inside your script tag, with the script after the innermost set of comments:

<script type="text/javascript">
script here would be messed up
// -->
script here is safe!
// -->

FTP - To GeoCities

If you have a free account with GeoCities, then you do not have ftp access (as of April 2002), and so you cannot use Blogger to publish a blog to your GeoCities site. However, if you paid for an account on GeoCities, so that you do have ftp access, you may find yourself getting more than your share of "unable to get input/output stream" errors. This appears to be because resolves to eight different IP addresses (,,,,,, and as of today), but Blogger doesn't give up and try another if it can't connect to the first one it tries.

Here's my workaround: when you get the "unable to get input/output stream" error, or even when you see that Blogger is taking too long to connect, and you suspect that you will get the error, start your FTP program (CuteFTP, WS_FTP, etc.) and connect to GeoCities. Chances are, it will try one IP address, fail to connect, and then move on to a working address. Write down that address, and once Blogger has given you the error, go to your Settings and change FTP Server from to that IP address. Save changes, and publish. Once it goes through, decide whether you want to gamble on that particular IP address working more often than does, and either change your FTP Server back to, or leave it until the next time you are "unable to get input/output stream."