So Long, Blogspot

Finished migrating this blog from Blogspot/Blogger to my own domain.  Instead of a bloated, plodding, XHTML/JS-driven piece of crap hosted on a restrictive external service -- this is now a self-hosted, static site delivered straight to you without the need of a database or any client/server-side scripting (thanks go to Hugo for making it easy).  This means I get to control my own content, and you get a much leaner and meaner site.

Trying to drop out of Blogger: shit's about to go down.
Trying to drop out of Blogspot: shit's about to go down.

However, this post is about to morph into a bit of a mini-rant, and that's because I also had to set up redirection from the old site to the new one.  See, Blogger is a Google service, and as such they really don't want you to leave their ecosystem: 301 redirects to the outside are verboten.  Other methods are rather dodgy and carry frightened whispers of "bad SEO", "lost link juice", and other unverifiable witch-doctor terminology.  Google's product forums even have shills spreading FUD about the very notion of making a clean break away from Blogger.

It turns out that the only workable solution is to mess with Blogger's template code to have it "redirect" with javascript and hope for the best.  Ensuring that each old URL leads to its proper destination is about as fun as getting shanked in the ribs, and it gets even better with Blogger's brain-dead scheme of having a different ccTLD in every other country on the planet (something Google does to have an easier time removing your content, in case you've ever wondered).  I ended up having to concoct an insane- looking piece of XML with conditional statements for each and every post, using officially-undocumented template tags to get canonical .com URLs (only the country-specific ones are formally exposed to us peasants).

The redirections appear to be working... for now, but who knows if it'll last. And the more content I would've had before the switch, the bigger PITA this would've been.  Moral of the story: if you're on Blogger or a service like it, and want to have some control over the content you produce, RUN TO THE HILLS.  And sooner rather than later.

5 comments:

Achanux says:

What do you use for the comments? I'm interested to a similar solution

For comments I had to roll my own thing but the general idea came from here: http://saimiri.io/2016/06/comments-in-hugo/ .  There is also https://staticman.net/ but only if you host your site on github.

Hugo also supports integration with Disqus, and by all accounts it works very well... but I didn't want to go there, since part of the idea was controlling my own content (and presentation, and whether or not I want injected advertising, which I very much don't).  Keeps the blog javascript-free, too. :)

Thanks for the info on how to add comments and such. I'm not a hardcore coder, but I understand enough to ask the right questions and take generic info and work it until IT works and the hardest thing is finding the place to start, so I appreciate it.

Your blog looks amazing, I really like your visual style. How do you make the graphics like your int10h logo on top or the text mode lives on your fonts page?
And, on a totally different topic, do you use any analaytics on your site to keep track of visits and page impressions?

Those text-mode graphics are done the way they've always been done - an ANSI editor. :) (I like PabloDraw 2.x.)
I did try some analytics code, but it stopped working at some point and I didn't bother fixing it... my hosting service still provides some basic stats, anyway.

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