Monday, November 17, 2008

Adding Pages to Your Blogger Blog

I love Blogger and how much easier it is to add widgets and gadgets to it than Wordpress, but one big gripe I have is that it doesn't allow you to add pages, which I've been wanting to do for a while. Luckily I found a way around this problem, well two ways actually, which I will share with you.

For both options there's 2 steps:
1) create the page, and
2) put a link for it on the sidebar.

The first is super easy. You just create a new blog post and back-date it so it's "hidden" in the archives. For example, I recently created a "Press" page for one of my clients so she could put a list of links to all the articles and blogs she's been mentioned in. Once I entered all the info on the post, I dated it to last January, so it won't appear as a recent entry. To add a link on the sidebar I clicked on the "Layout" tab and then "Page Elements". From there I went to the "Add a Gadget" list and selected the "text" option, where I composed a little ad with a link pointing to the new page. Voila!

The second option takes a bit more work but it enables you to attach a full website to your blog. I built my "Services" page using Google Sites, and as you can see from the image below, I was able to replicate the exact same 'look and feel' of my blog, to make it seamless.

Although overall it was pretty simple to set up, there are some tricks I learned. This application is for groups to build sites that many people can collaborate on, but it allows you to change the defaults so that 1) you make it available for the public (as opposed to only those in the group), and 2) you disable the sharing features, since you'll be the only one entering information.

To start out you'll need to go to Google Apps and open a free account. Then go to Google Sites and click on "create new site". It'll ask you to enter a name for the site and also whether you want it private or public. Next you'll need to select a theme from a number of available templates, but since I would be customizing mine I just chose the default option. From there you'll automatically be sent over to your new home page, where you can begin making your changes.

Since I wasn't going to have any collaborators on my site, I wanted to get rid of the links for Attachments and Comments on the bottom of the page. To do that, I clicked on the "more actions" tab and selected "page settings". Then I unchecked "allow attachments" and "allow comments".

To change the colors and fonts, click on the "site settings" tab and select "site appearance". The "change site layout" button allows you to tweak the dimensions of the sidebar and the overall page, which I re-sized to match the width of my blog's sidebar.

To replicate my blog banner I took a screen shot of it and cropped it using Microsoft Paint. Once I saved it to my hard drive I could then download it by clicking on the "change logo" link under "Header" and selecting "custom logo".

To match the background and font colors, click on the "colors and fonts" tab and enter the same hex code that you have in your blog's layout.

In the navigation bar I removed the "recent site activity" by clicking the "delete" link. The default title was "navigation", which I changed to "Services" by clicking "edit".

I also added a picture of myself to the sidebar and a link to my profile by clicking on "add sidebar item" and then selecting "add text".

Once all that was done I was ready to insert the copy for my services, so I clicked on the "save changes" button on the upper right hand side and then "return to site" on the upper left. That'll take you back to the main page, where you'll find an "edit page" button that will open up a text editor similar to the one Blogger has for entering posts. You can insert all kinds of things like images, calendars, videos , Google Gadgets, etc. but unfortunately it blocked me from entering html code with certain tags in it, like for affiliate widgets, so it's a little limited (hopefully Google will fix that soon?!@*#).

The last step is to add a link to it on my blog's sidebar, and that's it. I was pretty impressed with how much I was able to match it to my blog and how user friendly the software was. Now I'm planning on adding a few more pages, which I'll be letting you know about. I'd love to hear what you think of my new services page or if you've found another way to solve the Blogger "page issue".

'Til soon!


Anonymous said...

This is an awesome post!! I was in the process of switching my blogspot to wordpress for just that reason and now I can keep my original blog! Luv ya much!

Anonymous said...

Thanx for your suggestion I have understood completely Now I am going to try it on my blog

Ideal said...

Thankyou for the simple explanation. I really want to add pages to my blog and you have found the perfect solution.

Νίκος Τσότσος said...

you help me a lot,thank you

The Krew said...

thank you so much.... I was trying to figure this out for a long time and broke it down very nice. thx. again

Anonymous said...

thanx you very very much i looking for this

4 a long time

Tyler said...

Hey by any chance would this be bad for SEO considering that you're technically hiding a page? Google doesn't like that. But I guess this couldn't hurt because your really not hiding it it just wont show up in the archives. Plus your site is still high in search rankings...

Kaka said...

I chanced upon to view your blog and found it very interesting. Great ... Keep it up!

Erskine said...

This is the type of solution that makes life simpler. I love this perspective.

Thanks a lot, it really works.

Kenley said...

Thanks for that tip. I appreciate it, as it has helped me with the whole thing. I used it, for starters, for the privacy policy thing, now I know how how to create links to certain topics of interest.

Anonymous said...

u can create a page by clicking new post and there u will see a tab saying edit pages , there u can make a new page , hope thsi helps u guys