Amfas Tech | Technology, Blogging & Internet Marketing: Blogger Tricks

How To Setup Custom Domain To Your Blogger Blog On WhoGoHost

WhoGoHost is one of the Nigerian hosting providers that sells domains and hosting space for the people of Nigeria. We have found some usability issues on their website during a session with one of our help seekers. The dashboard after logging in gives no clue to add or edit values properly. If you wanted to setup your Blogger blog, you will find it very hard to do it from your dashboard directly.

 

It would be a bit hard to find the option to add CNAME values of your blogger blog in WhoGoHost’s dashboard. A new blogger or the one with no knowledge of setting up a domain to one’s blog will almost quit trying.

 

whogohost-dashboard

 

The CNAME setup for Blogger blog is given separately and that is not found on the dashboard. It can barely be found on the site itself, though searched thoroughly. You can find it on Google with a keyword “WhoGoHost Blogger” or here it is for you: https://www.whogohost.com/blogspot-CNAME.php.

 

The Blogger CNAME form would look like this:

 

whogohost-blogger-cname-entry

 

The CNAME form filling process goes like this:

  1. Enter you email ID
  2. Select a number as a security PIN
  3. Enter the domain name
  4. Enter Subdomain 1 as ‘www’
  5. Enter CNAME value 1 as ghs.google.com
  6. Enter the unique subdomain value provided by Blogger for your blog in Subdomain 2
  7. Enter the unique CNAME value provided by Blogger for your blog

custom-domain-setup-blogger

 

When you are done with entering the details correctly, click ‘Send CNAME Records’ to raise a support ticket. Then the process will be taken over by the customer care. Wait for 24 hours to get it completed.

 

The sad side of it is that the hyperlinks for help text (highlighted in above screenshot) are inactive. So, one should have a sound knowledge of setting this up or should contact the expert to finish the job.

 

That’s it! A bit twisted, but easy though. Hope the company takes care of this usability issues and provides a proper solution to the problem very soon.

 

Feel free to ask me any questions regarding this setup. I’ll be happy to help you out. Share this tutorial to your Nigerian friends who are planning to buy a domain from WhoGoHost.

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How to Secure Your Website from Hackers

This guest post was contributed by Caroline on behalf of Secure Thoughts, one of the best possible online sources for information regarding internet security.


 

Hosting a website can be very useful in the Internet Age. But if that website is not protected, then you, your data, and the data of your visitors, clients, and potential clients is in danger. Thus, keeping your website protected is of utmost importance. Fortunately, there are simple steps that can be taken to protect your website from these hackers:

 

How To SecureYour Website From Hackers

 

Stay Updated and Up-To-Date on Everything

Staying updated and up-to-date is the most important and simplest means of protecting your website from hackers. But staying “updated” means several different things:

 

First, stay updated with the latest news and information regarding the most current hacking threats. You can do this by paying attention to trustworthy periodicals, websites, blogs, podcasts, and radio programs that focus on the nature of hacking, current hacking threats, and computer security. By doing this, you will be better aware of the dangers threating your website and will, thus, be able to take proactive measures to prevent being hacked.

 

Second, because hackers are constantly devising new ways of infiltrating their target, it is necessary to keep all platforms and scripts up-to-date. After all, platforms and scripts are often times updated in order to better protect the user from these destructive and hostile invaders.

 

Third, install all the latest security plugins for the platforms or scripts used by your website and update them as soon as updates are released. Security updates are created for a reason: They are there to protect you and your website.

 

Further, there are also many third-party security applications that can be used with various platforms or scripts. These can provide an added layer of security. Prices vary with some, like Acunetix WP Security, costing nothing at all. In any instance, a little bit of research can go a long way to discovering which of these might be useful for your website and keeping your website more protected.

 

Put a Firewall between Your Website and the Hacker

Nonetheless, even by staying updated and up-to-date, your website still remains vulnerable. A web application firewall (WAF) better alleviates this vulnerability by reading all of the data that passes between your website server and the data connection. Reading this data means that known malware, Trojans, spyware, or other unwanted entities can be traced to their origin and deleted before they infect your website or computer system. Thus, your data remains a bit more secure.

 

Protecting Your Website Means Protecting Your Computer

Defending your website does not only require, however, that you build a layer of security around your website. If a hacker wants to access your website badly enough, he will stop trying to break the lock on your window and steal the key to the front door, that is, rather than hacking your website, he will attempt to hack into your computer system. There, he can gain access to your website as well as all sorts of other personal information.

 

The first way to protect your computer is reactive but still effective: install anti-hacking software and run it regularly (at least once weekly but daily if possible). Find any unwanted entities left by these hackers and then delete or quarantine them; this can be one of the more effective means of removing the backdoors hackers may have placed on your computer.

 

A second, more proactive, and, thereby, more effective means of protecting your computer system (and website) is to prevent hackers from first accessing the gateways to your personal files and folders that constitute it at all. Perhaps the most efficient means of doing this is to install a virtual private network (VPN). Essentially a VPN uses a third-party server to encrypt your data whenever you access the internet. By using a VPN, a hacker will be unable to trace your internet usage back to you: it will be re-routed to a server elsewhere. The data you share online is thus secure and, so too, is your website. You can research more information about VPNs to find the one that has the features that are right for you.

 

Closing Remarks

In short, while there are many other ways to protect your website from hackers, the simplest way is by combing these three dimensions of security: 1) stay updated and up-to-date on everything, 2) use a WAF to trace information as it travels between the website server and its data connection, and 3) prevent entry into the website indirectly through the use of anti-hacking software and a VPN.

 


* If you have any complaints regarding this guest post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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Possible Solutions to DNS Errors After Changing URL in Webmaster Tools

Bloggers and webmasters often encounter DNS errors in Google Webmaster Tools. The message saying Over the last 24 hours, Google bot encountered 40 errors while attempting to retrieve DNS information for your site. The overall error rate for DNS queries for your site is 14.8%.” will worry you till it is resolved.

(The values seen in bold are variable from site to site)

We will discuss the possible solutions to this problem and will try to find a solution(for which you came here) that can solve your problem by the end.

dns-erros-possible-solutions

Solution #1:

Check for error rating – If the error rating is closer or equal to 100%, check if name servers are correctly configured or not. Go to your domain registrar’s dashboard that is provided to you when buying the domain and set the values correctly. If you have no technical knowledge to change them for yourself, ask the registrar without any hesitation.

If you find no clue of how to contact your domain registrant, please check the email format designed by our friend +Rohan Chaubey:

To The [company name] Customer Support Team,

I recently bought a domain from your site. I am facing some DNS errors after changing the URL in the Webmasters tools. While checking for error rating I wanted to verify if name servers are correctly configured or not.

I possess no technical knowledge to change them myself. I would highly appreciate if your staff could help me in getting them configured correctly.

I am ready to bear any charges for your time and service if needed. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hear back from you soon.

Thanks,
[Your name].
[Account details or web address].

Solution #2

Upgrade your hosting plan – If the error rate is less than 100%, the problem might be caused due to server overload. This happens mainly due the following 7 reasons:
  1. Uncontrollable amount of natural web traffic trying to access the site within the same time.
  2. Distributed Denial of Service(DDoS) attacks on the server where you website is hosted.
  3. Uncontrollable amount of unusual or bot traffic sent to your website.
  4. Affected web browsers and computers due to viruses and worms.
  5. Because you have hosted your website on a limited capability host and you get excess number of client requests to access that page that your server cannot handle.
  6. Low speed internet connections finding it difficult sending request to servers and receive the response.
  7. Maintenance or repairing of web servers
The possible solution to this problem is upgrading the resources to your server and improving the configuration that can handle ample of client requests at once. Also, consider security features in order to avoid hacker attacks on your website.

Solution #3

Fixing DNS problems on your own computer – Sometimes, the DNS configuration on your own computer might get disturbed due to the recent changes you have made to your network or the changes made by your ISP.

To detect if the error is with your computer, ask your friends to check if they could open your website without any glitches on their side. If they could open your site normally from their side, it would definitely your computer configuration problem.

I have faced this situation in the past once and worried why my website alone is not working on my side. Later, with the help of my online friends, I could figure out the real problem is and changed and back the DNS configuration from Google to default.

IPV4-configuration

Solution #4

Fetch as Google – This is the simplest solution ever for this problem. Use ‘Fetch as Google’ option in Google Webmaster Tools to tell Google bot to re-crawl your website once. It will Google to update the status of your website.

Perform this step even after solving the problem once. It will be helpful in reducing the ‘URL not found’ errors due to this DNS blackout.

Hope these solutions would help you get your problem solved. Please share if you have any other or better solutions than specified ones. We’ll update them in the article with an attribution of your name.

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Also I would like to thank Rohan Chaubey, the wise soul in young body for helping us out with the letter format to contact the hosting providers. He’ll be with us from today, if you need any other help regarding the composing of any emails
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Responsive Blogger Template Not Showing Up On Mobile? Here Is The Simple Solution

A responsive template should blend your blog’s layout mobile friendly. It should cuddle itself within the screen size and give the user an uninterrupted experience.

 

Many bloggers who had their blogs on ‘blogger’ platform, though installed responsive templates, couldn’t get it displayed on medium and small screens.

 

The reason for this glitch is caused due to two major reasons.

  1. No responsive code related to the size of the screen you are using.
  2. Wrongly setup settings in your blogger dashboard.

1. ‘No responsive code’ issue:

This occurs because of the lack of necessary code to blend the layout according to some sizes of the screens.

 

Solution: There is an easy solution for this problem. Simply add the screen resolutions in the media screen CSS rule. You can use the following abstract responsive code in your template if you want.

 

media screen and (max-width:524px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:720px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:1080px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:320x){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:480px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:620px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:800px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:960px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

 

 

You can also add up any screen size and add the respective layout code.

 

*Layout code – Nothing but the code consisting of header, body, sidebar, footer and other elements of the template.

 

2. Wrongly setup settings

This is one of the silly reasons why bloggers even change templates without checking. Sometimes, even having a responsive template installed on your blogger blog, you can’t see it rendering properly on mobile screens.

 

This is because you might have left the setting to default. Let’s take a tour of template settings in blogger and see how effective they can be.

 

mobile-friendly-template-settings

 

Selecting ‘Yes, Show mobile template on mobile devices’ will show the mobile version of the template. You can only select some simple pre-existed blogger templates if this option is selected. No responsive template is effective here.

 

Selecting ‘No, Show desktop template on mobile devices will show up desktop template on small screens. As the blog is already installed with responsive template, it will automatically render properly from now on.

 

Hope it helps! Share your thoughts about it.

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Google Takes Back ‘Ban’ on Sexually Explicit Content Blogger Blogs

It has not been so long since Google announced the ban on sexual content blogs on their free blogging platform, Blogger. We have seen Google saying that they are going to take action on the sexual content blogger blogs from March 23rd of 2015 so recently.

The company have also made changes to their policies to make internet free from sexually explicit content. Amfas Tech welcomed this change whole heartedly as this coincides with our policy of spreading awareness on online security. But it seems like our happiness didn’t last so long.

What made Google change the decision?

The change of ‘change of policy’ is updated by +Jessica Capelegio, employee of Google in the product forums page. However, the old link about the ‘change of policy’ has been redirected to this page after the change of decision.

According to the update posted by Jessica, Google took back the word as it shows a negative impact on those who post sexually explicit content to express their identities and those adult bloggers who have been with blogger from 10+ years.

“..So rather than implement this change, we’ve decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.” says Jessica in her update.

However, adult bloggers are advised to mark it as ‘Adult content’ in blogger dashboard that puts their blog(s) behind the ‘Adult content’ page.

 

Take a look at the change of ‘change of policies’ on Blogger policies page.

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I would personally like to thanks to my friend Gopi Talluri for bringing it to our notice with the references of reliable internet sources.

This is the quickest ever policy change I have ever known about in my tech life. Hoping for the best, Amfas Tech will help you keep you updated on online security issues.

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Google Takes on Sexually Explicit Blogs, Going to Block or Delete Blogger Blogs with Nudity from March 23rd 2015

This is going to be one of the game changing decisions that Google have taken for Blogger in this era. They announce that they are going to block or remove content or blogs entirely from March 23rd of 2015.

New year resolutions for Blogger seems like have started like this, a lot better way ensuring the social web security and clean content for the internet users. They also say that will allow nudity if the content have an educational, artistic, documentary or scientific benefits substantially.

blogger-bans-explicit-sites

What’s going to change on your blog?

You don’t have to worry if you don’t have any kind of explicit, nude or any pornographic content on your Blogger blog. Your blog in such case won’t get affected.

On the other side, if you have a blog that entertains adults with all the no-more-allowed kind of content, it is the time for you to wake up from the bed and pack up your things. Because Blogger will not allow you to have ‘such’ content any more on your site from March 23 of this year.

Your content is either made private or removed completely from the web.

What to do to safe guard your site?

If your site have any such content that violates this new policy of Google, remove it as soon as possible before 23rd of March or else you will have to see the magic hat-rabbit trick performed by Google.

It is however better to backup your blog and Google is ready to help you with that. Check out Google’s Takeout to use that feature.

Any new blogs that are created after march 23rd would have to comply with this new policy from then along with the rest. Read the updated Blogger policies here.

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Amfas Tech welcomes this wonderful changes being added to the Blogger policies as it supports our concern over the child and web safety content on the internet.

What do you think? Is Blogger making a good move? I’d be glad to have your thoughts in comments below.
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Web Design Issues To Take Care Of, For Bloggers?

sheela-jobyThis article is written by Sheela Joby, a freelance writer with an experience of 10 years. Apart from writing she is into photography, traveling, music etc. You could reach her at sjindia2013@gmail.com

 

She has written some more article on Amfas Tech. You can check them out here.



Consumer tastes and preferences tend to change from time to time. Pictures say a thousand words as compared to words. Here are some of the latest blog design trends which have become very popular in the recent months:

 

webdesign-issues-take-care-bloggers

 

Look for sponsorship posts

Though there are numerous brands which offer information about a product or service. But only a handful of them are sponsored. Therefore, you should give emphasis on sponsorship posts to gain greater visibility on the web.

 

Prominence of the mobile

A majority of the users are switching to their mobile devices when going online, so all blogs which are published on the web would need to have smaller screens. Though having mobile phone is a necessity, mobile is the now the major focus. Incase a site isn’t very effective on mobile, then you are neglecting a major section of our audience.

 

Therefore, major emphasis of any web design process needs to be centered on mobile. Therefore, any web design process needs to be based on mobile. Therefore, for any web design process to be based on the mobile, you need to design it to work on a desktop screen.

 

Large background photos are important

Large background photos have gained popularity because of their capability to fill in an otherwise sparse, simple site. This trend has gained widespread popularity because of an increase in bandwidth across the globe and helps sites with large pictures and a lot of information. Using large background pictures is an effective strategy for web pages, and when used with flat-design buttons provides a stylish appearance to a website or blog.

 

Enhancing the content layout

People using their mobile phones for browsing usually don’t have significant screen space to work with. They are often frustrated when their mobile phones zoom out automatically. In order to improve their experience of visiting your website, you will need to minimize the number of columns on your site. Do away with sidebars, so as to ensure that people who are visiting your website find your content interesting and informative.

Most of them would have liked specific pieces of your site’s content. At this point, they have no interest in navigating the menu which includes the entire screen, or a huge sized inbox. You can access a number of websites so as to ensure that they find the content engaging and easy to read.

 

Make users familiar with the content that is shown

There are clearly an extensive variety of sorts of programming and locales, all conveyed for different markets and gatherings of spectators. What looks "incredible" for any one particular swarm will change. This suggests that you should outline the look and feel of your interface for your gathering of spectators. Moreover, feel should be used as a piece of offset and to reinforce limit. Adding a level of sparkle to the interface is different to stacking it with pointless incredible sight.

 

Therefore, you will need to ensure that the content of your website is updated with latest information. This will not only create interest in the minds of the consumers, but also help you gain greater visibility on the web.

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WhatsApp Sharing Button for Blogger and Wordpress

Social media sharing buttons are one of the necessary ornaments for any blog these days. whenever your blog readers find the article too cute to be shared, social media buttons will help them chubby your article with their love and support.

No matter where do you place them, make sure you put them in reach for your readers. I recommend you to put them right under the article body rather than sticking them to the sidewalls of the site that scrolls through the article.

So far, we had social sharing buttons for major social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Digg and Pinterest and so on, assuring us the subscribers from all these different social networks.

After watching the increased priority for mobile rendering of webpages,  social sharing plugin developers for websites are also adapted the ‘mobility’ for content sharing.

According to BuzzFeed, iPhone users are tapping on WhatsApp button more than twitter’s.

whatsapp-share-button

This resulted in the addition of WhatsApp sharing button along with the rest of their social networking buttons.

Check out the AddThis announcement of new services being added to their plugin including WhatsApp.

Checkout this announcement by paper.li about the adding of sharing button to the header of the paper.

However the WhatsApp sharing button can be manually added in your site code. But as per the information provided by the Whatsapp-Sharing.com, old code added prior 16-09-2014 will not work if not updated to latest version.

Here is the updated version of the code:
<a href="whatsapp://send" data-text="Take a look at this awesome website:" data-href="" class="wa_btn wa_btn_s" style="display:none">Share</a>

You can add this code to your site where you wanted to the share button appear. Remember to make it appear closer to content.

Adding WhatsApp Sharing button for Blogger/Wordpress

To add the WhatsApp button to your Blogger/WordPress blog, you can do it in 2 ways.
  1. By using the readymade plugin
  2. By adding the code shown above manually
1. By using readymade plugin – Go to AddThis.com and create your own widget > Get the code > Add it to your blog.

2. By adding the code manually – Copy the above updated version of the code and paste it where you wanted it to display on your blog.

However, there available another ready-made plugin for WordPress called mobile-sharebar which can make your task much easier.

Till next time!
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Blogger vs. WordPress: The Debate Ends Here

This is not going to be another discussion or conclusion saying that there are pros and cons with both the major blogging platforms. I would like to take you through can-dos and can’t-dos of both the platforms and at the end you will find solid reasons to stop comparing apples with oranges.

 

One of my blogging friends, +Rohan have gathered opinions about this from expert bloggers and revealed some facts in his myth bursting blog post. Though, the conclusion ends up in ‘have-their-own-benefits’ tone.

 

Before we really compare these two blogging platforms, let’s talk about what are concerned to bloggers at most.

 

bloggervswordpress-debate-ends-here

 

Bloggers generally worry about,

  • Design of the blog
  • Its SEO capability
  • Its technical feasibility
  • Control

Talking about design

When it comes to design, there are some myths in blogosphere about these two blogging platforms. Let’s burst them.

 

#1 Blogger have no good themes available compared to WordPress

Yes! WordPress have beautiful themes available on the web but, it is not really true that Blogger don’t have any such. Every template/theme that is available in WordPress is copy-designed to Blogger and vice versa.

 

Even blogger have beautiful templates available these days since responsiveness is taken as a SEO signal.

 

#2 WordPress themes can be customized, but not Blogger templates

This is totally a myth. Any template or theme can be customized unless it is a limited version. Designing has nothing to do with the comparing as it depends on the skill of the designer. The template of Amfas Tech is an example of how better that we can design a blogger template than we could imagine.

 

The worst consequence of believing this myth is, people not even try to change the design or test how better they can customize a template before they take a decision to switch to WordPress.

 

#3 WordPress themes are expensive but Blogger templates are available free

This is also totally a myth. The reason why WordPress themes are expensive and very few of them are available for free is that the lack of people who have knowledge in PHP where as there is no need to have the knowledge of any other technology other than HTML, XHTML, CSS and JavaScript for designing a Blogger template.

 

So, there available more free beautiful templates for Blogger compared to that of WordPress.

 

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So, it is clear that there are no differences between these two blogging platforms regarding the design and it is dependent on the creativity and skills of a designer.

 

Talking about SEO capability

If there is something a blogger would care equal to content, it is nothing but search engine optimization(SEO). If there is a fight between two different blogging platforms, there would surely be the ‘SEO’ as a metric.

 

To the question, which is the most search engine friendly platform? I’d say ‘human(blogger)’ as an answer. Both the platforms have their slots and knobs to handle SEO in a better way. We cannot compare any two slots or knobs of two different platforms at once. Because, they work the same way.

 

In fact, there are some myths regarding this point. Let’s burst them first.

 

#1 WordPress can provide better SEO than that of Blogger

The reason behind people saying this has a strong involvement of one of the best features of WordPress, the ability to install plugins.

 

A plugin is nothing but a packed snippet of code that automatically installs into the code and also updates periodically. Blogger lacks this feature and no Blogger widget automatically updates unless intervened manually.

 

An SEO plugin can do the cooking for you with WordPress and in which it needs a manual involvement in Blogger. This doesn’t mean that WordPress can do better but can do it in easy way.

 

If you know about optimizing the blog in a right way, it doesn’t matter what platform you choose. Blogger is no less powered than WordPress. All it matters is the SEO knowledge of the person using it.

 

As there available different plugins for WordPress, there are chances to optimize a WordPress blog using different strategies. Because, every plugin differs form one another.

 

Talking about technical feasibility

Talking about the technical possibilities, both the platforms are good enough to allow third party code into their templates. They both allow CSS, JQuery and JavaScript which are the basic technologies needed for coding any interactiveness on a webpage.

 

In WordPress, there is an advantage on the other side of technicality, that is the PHP an MySql. You can build your own applications using a front-end technology like PHP and a back-end technology like MySql on a WordPress site which is not possible in Blogger.

 

Though you have this wide possibility technically, not all WordPress users use it to its best. Many of the WordPress migrators don’t even know this fact yet.

 

In Blogger, there is a possibility to embed your own scripts and applications built using JavaScript and JQuery technologies. But it is not possible to connect your blogger blog to any of the database servers.

 

If you wanted to use any dynamically storage management with Blogger, you can achieve it by using Google docs and sheets. You can build apps that saves the data into Google sheets which is also we have discussed in the past.

 

Technically, we can also use Google docs and sheets in WordPress applications but we cannot use database association with blogger. This is where Blogger stays behind.

 

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As the WordPress sites are self-hosted by the user itself, he has the flexibility of increasing more space on the server. Also he can host as many sites as he can in his own server space.

 

Where as in Blogger, it is not possible to host any other site or application as it is owned by Google.

 

Talking about the control

As it is being said, users can have full control of their own WordPress site. That means you can keep it or remove from your server space and there would be no intervention of anybody in this regard unless some factors.

 

However, there is a shortcoming of this flexibility of control. WordPress blogs are more vulnerable than that of Blogger blogs. Where as it is as hard as hacking a Google account with Blogger. You won’t get your blog in someone’s hands unless your co-admin removes you or Google removes your blog in case of blogger.

 

Will Google remove Blogger blogs without notice?

 

This is one of the most famous myths believing in which why ‘Bloggers’ are migrating to WordPress. The problem arises with the lack of knowledge about the terms and conditions of that concerned platform and web.

 

When creating a Blogger or WordPress blog, we would go through ‘I accept’ thing at first which is just ticked ‘Ok’ without reading a word from it. Isn’t it? Generally, it may not appear while using platforms but will appear while creating ‘Google’ and ‘WordPress’ accounts.

 

It would be mentioned in there that if the sites entertaining any of the explicit, porn or hatred speech and etc.. content is found then it would be removed from the web without any prior notice. So, if you are not thinking about creating content that violates the policies of that respective platform, you may not have to worry about this.

 

Even WordPress is not safe in this regard. Not only Google, other major search engines may remove any blog from their databases that violates their policies.

 

It is better to take regular backups of your blog/website to avoid major damage when it is hacked or removed.

 

Is ‘Blogger’ for me? Or should I choose WordPress?

Is ‘Blogger’ for me? Or should I choose WordPress? This is a million dollar question that is worth more than ‘Blogger vs. WordPress’ discussion. The following answers might not impress you but will help you decide if it is Blogger or WordPress that is best for you.

 

If you new to blogging, it is better to start up with Blogger and flourish your passion for it. Later, after learning so much from it, if you wanted to have more features on your blog like you own applications and third-party help in organizing your content, you can then think of migrating to WordPress.

 

If you are just a blogger, where you just write blog posts on your blog, get handsome traffic for them and wanted nothing else from it but design, stick with Blogger as there is a feasibility of customizing the design of your blog to the extent you wanted it.

 

If you are an event blogger, there is no need to buy hosting and struggle setting up WordPress. Blogger can do the work better for you. Didn’t you read my last blog post about an event blogger making $6000 in just 5 days?

 

If you are not a techie, it is better to get along with Blogger where as you may not able to utilize the full-use of WordPress without any knowledge of coding and SEO.

 

If you don’t find any need of extended functionality, you can happily stick with Blogger and enjoy the possibilities of it.

 

If you are not earning enough, keep the migrating-to-WordPress thoughts aside. Because you might have to spend 4 times more money for hosting of your WordPress blogs. And the migrating-to-WordPress will help you earn more are all fairy tales unless you know the real strategies.

 

So, which is the best platform?

You cannot compare apples with oranges or dogs with cats. ‘The best’ is awarded based on the purpose you are starting up your blog. I cannot conclude as I might do it by keeping something on mind towards the platform I personally liked so far. For example, I could say WordPress because I liked its technical feasibility to showcase apps that I develop. Or I could say Blogger as I expertise more in it than in WordPress. The best comes with the purpose you use it for.

 

You can use a knife to cut vegetables but cannot consider it ‘the best’ without knowing its possibilities drawbacks.

 

The same way,

 

You cannot use a sword in war and consider it ‘the best’ without knowing its possibilities and drawbacks.

 

The fact is knife cannot do what a sword can and the sword cannot do what a knife can.

 

Hope it tells it all!

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How to Download, Install and Configure Windows Live Writer?

Windows Live Writer is one of the useful live essential tools provided by Microsoft. Though the prominence for them, after releasing Windows 8 has reduced to half, the prominence for WLW is never lost.

 

Windows Live Writer is my favorite blogging tool as it provides WYSIWYG user interface to blog. Take a look at the following screenshot and you will understand why.

 

WLW-UI-Web-UI

 

Isn’t that quite good if we could blog using such a transparent environment?

 

Let’s see how to download Windows Live Writer to your Windows computer.

 

Downloading & Installing Windows Live Writer

Step 1: Go to Windows Live Essentials website and click ‘Download Now’ button. A web installer will be downloaded on to your computer(with a name ‘wlsetup-web.exe’).

 

Step 2: Run the program and you would see a screen asking to choose what to install.

 

install-windows-live

 

Step 3: Choosing ‘Install all of Windows Essentials’ will install all the windows live essential programs. Choosing the other, ‘Choose the programs you want to install’ will install programs that you are going to chose in next step.

 

Step 4: Let’s choose the second option to see what other unnecessary programs are installing along with Windows Live Writer.

 

choosing-wlw-live-essentials

 

Step 5: Choose Windows Live Writer under ‘These programs will be installed’. In my case, I have already installed some of the programs. You can choose to install more than one program among the available list.

 

Step 6: Select the wanted programs and click ‘Install’.

 

Wait for a while till the installation completes. After installation is over, open Windows Live Writer and configure it with your blog as shown below.

 

Configuring Windows Live Writer

Step 1: Open Windows Live Writer and navigate to Options.

 

Step 2: Go to Accounts options and then click Add. Choose your blog provider and click Next.

 

adding-account

 

Step 3: Then you will see the following window asking you to enter the blog URL, username and password of the account associated to that blog.

 

blog-details

 

Step 4: Wait till your blog authentication completes and the downloading of the current template structure on your blog is being downloaded.

 

Once it is done, it is done! You are then good to go. You can now start writing your blog posts using this wonderful tool. You will even leave Microsoft Word for blogging if you get used to it.

 

Hope that helped you make blogging easier than before!

 

Note: Windows Live Writer will no allow you to text-in your own custom search description. So, after writing the post, add the labels and post it as draft. Log in to your blogger dashboard later and do the SEO part there.

 

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Make Microsoft Word Your Default Blog Post Editor

I know it is a bit non-geeky to use default blog post editor every time. It would work fine until you don’t need any interaction-with-visitor module in it. Also, we may have to work for overtime to design the graphs, images, or any other advanced graphics that can be inserted into your blog post. Isn’t it?

 

Think for a second, how sophisticated it would be if you have an interface like MS Word for blogging?

 

Wait a second! Why can’t it be MS Word?

 

Isn’t it great if you could use your favorite word processor software Microsoft Word for blogging?

 

Yeah! Of course it is!

 

So, how can we make MS Word useful for blogging?

 

I’m here to reveal the magic for you. Tuck yourself in the seat and read the following process to configure your blog with MS Word.

 

Open MS Word software in your computer. Click on New Blog Post > Create.

 

new-blog-post

 

It then asks you to register a blog account.

 

register-a-blog-account

 

Click on Register Now. Choose the blog provider and click Next.

 

Configuring-blog

 

Give the username and password. Mark the tick on the Remember Password checkbox if you don’t want to sign in every time you wanted to write a blog post using MS Word.

 

username-password

 

Click on Picture Options and provide your server upload and source URLs.

 

upload-pictures

 

 

When you are done with Picture Options, click Ok to get back to username-password window.

 

privacy-info

Click on Yes to continue the setup.

 

When it is done, it would look something like this,

 

blogpost-word

 

Navigate through the menu and other options and find your way around the new blog post editor.

 

Alternate Clue – Making it more easier:

You may type your post by choosing the New Blank Document at first and later can publish it to your blog by navigating to Share > Publish to blog > go with the setup process as shown above.

 

Isn’t that helped your blogging easier and faster? Share your thoughts about it in comments below!

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How to Make a Professional Website on Blogger?

Blogger, even being one of the best blogger platforms on the web is not flexible enough to use it as a professional website. However, we can make it look like a professional website at least.

Generally a professional website should,
  1. Not have xxxx.blogspot.com in the URL.
  2. Not have blog posts area on the home page.
  3. Not have a different favicon.
  4. Have ‘about us’, ‘contact’ and ‘FAQ’(if needed) pages.
  5. Have a professional template.
Installing a professional template is not enough if you don’t take care about the above two issues.

Note: As I’m just going to focus on making a blogger blog look like a professional website in this article, I want you to mind that the functionality is never going to be changed or tweaked.

Before we begin, it is recommended to take backup of your current template as to avoid dealing with dead design issues in future.

Removing ‘blogspot’ extension in the URL

A professional website should contain its own domain name instead of an extension in the URL of it. No matter how good the website looks and how well the content is, the URL is what makes first impression on your site.

If you are looking forward for business connections through your website, it must have a high level domain, for e.g., www.example.com.

Hint: Businesses won’t connect to you that easy with an extension in the URL, for e.g., www.example.blogspot.com.

Removing ‘blogspot’ extension can be achieved by buying and mapping a domain to your blog.


Hiding blog posts on homepage

As said above, a professional website should not display blog posts on the home page. So, hiding them on home page is a good option.

To hide blog posts on homepage, go to Template > Edit HTML and search for the following code,

]]></b:skin>

and insert the following code right after it.

Hiding only ‘blog posts’ area:
<b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:blog.homepageUrl'>
<style type='text/css'>
.post, #blog-pager {display:none;}
</style>
</b:if>
<b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:blog.homepageUrl'>
<style type='text/css'>
body#layout .sidebar {display:inline;margin-top:200px;}
</style>
</b:if>

If you don’t wanted the sidebars be loaded on the homepage and wanted it to look like a static landing-home-page, add the ‘sidebar’ classes from the above piece of code. After adding, the code will look like this:

Hiding ‘sidebars’ along with ‘blog posts’ area:
<b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:blog.homepageUrl'>
<style type='text/css'>
.post, .sidebar, .sidebar2, #blog-pager {display:none;}
</style>
</b:if>
<b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:blog.homepageUrl'>
<style type='text/css'>
body#layout .sidebar {display:inline;margin-top:200px;}
</style>
</b:if>

Hint: ‘Sidebar classes’ would be seen with the names, sidebar-wrapper, sidebar and similar.

Save the template and check if it is working fine.

Changing the default favicon

A favicon on the title bar of the opened page in browser will also reflect a professional look on your blog. By default, a big ‘B’, representing ‘Blogger’ will be shown on the title bar of the page.

If you ignore changing it, you would regret and realize only after loosing some valuable business deals.


To change your favicon, go to Layout > Edit Favicon > Browse the favicon and Save. The favicon after changing would look like as shown in the following screenshot,

bloggr-amfastech-favicon

The ‘a’ icon and ‘B’ icon are the favicons of ‘Amfas Tech’ and ‘Blogger’ by default respectively.

Adding necessary pages

A professional website should have the following pages of information displayed on it.

An ‘About us’ page with the information of the owner, team and mission statement of the business or company.

A ‘Contact us’ page that allows the website visitors to contact the company to seek or offer business.

A ‘FAQ’ page to guide and provide information on the website regarding the necessary proceedings of their business deals. or other.

A ‘Policies’ page to provide your clients and customers the policy you are bound to.

A ’Services/Products’ page to display or showcase the portfolio of your work and skills to earn trust from your clients.


Installing a professional template

The design or template of the site is what that brings the site the professional look and everything else we discussed above are noticed later. When a visitor come to your website, it is the design that impresses him/her at first.

You can Google for professional templates on the internet or can design of your own. It might take sometime if you wish to design, but it would give an unique look of your website which helps also in branding.

I have tried to catch up some of the templates and you can take a look at them, select if you like any of them and then download and install.

Over to you

These are just a few things that have to be tweaked in order to make a professional website on blogger. There is a lot technical possibility if you are able to use HTML,CSS and JavaScript wisely.

Hope that helped! Please share your opinions on the article in comments.
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How to Add AdSense Code to Your Blogger Blog’s Template?[Dummies Guide]

Starting up a blog and getting an idea of earning through it is a fantastic thing and I appreciate you coming up with it. I know you are new to blogging and Google AdSense, but you need to worry when there are articles on Amfas Tech to guide you get started with good speed.


Coming to current topic, adding AdSense ad code to the template will create a permanent place on your blog’s layout to display ads. You may add the code anywhere in your template but make sure it doesn’t dominate or push down the content from the above the fold.

Take a look at the following examples given in official Google support answers,

Good examples of placing ads:

above-the-foldabove-the-fold

Bad examples of placing ads:

belowthefold

Keeping them in mind and follow the instructions to add the ad code to the template,

Step 1: log into your Google AdSense account
Step 2: Click on My ads > +New ad unit
Step 3: Choose the type of ad unit and style, give the unit a name and click Save and get code.

Note: Copying and pasting the code directly into the template is not valid. You need to parse the code before pasting it into the template.

What is parsing?

According to Wikipedia, “Parsing or syntactic analysis is the process of analyzing a string of symbols, either in natural language or in computer languages, according to the rules of a formal grammar. The term parsing comes from Latin pars (orationis), meaning part (of speech).”

To speak it in English. parsing is nothing but converting the string of symbols in HTML into the browser understandable format. For e.g., ‘<’ symbol in HTML is parsed as ‘&lt;’.

How to parse?

There are several HTML parsers available on the internet that can do the work for you in blink of an eye. Among them, following are the some of the good parsers that always stay top in SERP.

Adding parsed code to the template

If the unparsed code looks like this,
<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script>
<!—NAME OF THE AD UNIT-->
<ins class="adsbygoogle"
     style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-XXXXXXXXXXXXXX"
     data-ad-slot="XXXXXXXX"></ins>
<script>
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
</script>

The parsed version of it looks like as follows,
&lt;script async src=&quot;//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js&quot;&gt;&lt;/script&gt;
&lt;!—NAME OF THE AD UNIT--&gt;
&lt;ins class=&quot;adsbygoogle&quot;
     style=&quot;display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px&quot;
     data-ad-client=&quot;ca-pub-XXXXXXXXXXXX&quot;
     data-ad-slot=&quot;XXXXXXXX&quot;&gt;&lt;/ins&gt;
&lt;script&gt;
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
&lt;/script&gt;

If you wanted to add the ad code under the ‘title’ or ‘body’ of the post, follow the instructions as given in this tutorial.

If you wanted to add the ad code in elsewhere of the blog’s template, use inspect element feature of your web browser, identify the section you wanted to place ads and go to Template > Edit HTML section of your dashboard, find the section in the code and paste the parsed Ad code right there and Save template.

Tip: Always place the code in between <div>ADSENSE PARSED CODE</div> tags to avoid messing up of Ad unit with the blog template. For e.g., it looks like as follows,
<div>
&lt;script async src=&quot;//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js&quot;&gt;&lt;/script&gt;
&lt;!—NAME OF THE AD UNIT--&gt;
&lt;ins class=&quot;adsbygoogle&quot;
     style=&quot;display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px&quot;
     data-ad-client=&quot;ca-pub-XXXXXXXXXXXX&quot;
     data-ad-slot=&quot;XXXXXXXX&quot;&gt;&lt;/ins&gt;
&lt;script&gt;
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
&lt;/script&gt;</div>

Hope that helped.
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How to change the default ‘Save’ location of Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer(WLW) is my favorite offline blogging tool provided by Microsoft corporation. It can be installed along with the Windows Live Essentials manually on your computer if you don’t have it yet.

It gives you the feel of writing a blog post in the view format on the webpage. We can even half write the blog posts and save on our computer for later editing.

By default, WLW saves the blog posts in the form of drafts and recent posts separately in the C:\Users\<Your Username>\Documents\My Weblog Posts directory. There is no option to change the save location unfortunately. So, any drafts that you had saved in the same directory where the operating system is installed would be gone if anything goes wrong with your OS.

As we cannot stop the operating system go wrong in one time or another, it is always better to save the files in another partition(s). Though there is no path changing option for WLW, we can change its default saving path by tweaking windows registry.

Performing the tweak

Hoping that you are using Windows 7 or later version(s) of operating system,
  1. Press Win+R and type regedit to open windows registry.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows Live.
  3. Right-Click on Writer folder > New and Select String Value.windows-registry
  4. Rename it to PostsDirectory and then double-click on it to enter the value.
  5. Copy-paste or type in the directory where you wanted to save the blog posts by default. For e.g., D:\
Note: Your blog posts will be saved in a folder named My Weblog Posts which would be created by default as a sub directory after giving the directory path in the Value field of PostsDirectory string.

So, finally your blog posts will be saved in the following directory(ies),
D:\My Weblog Posts\ – main directory.
D:\My Weblog Posts\Drafts where your drafts are stored.
D:\My Weblog Posts\Recent Posts – Recently published posts or recently loaded-from-blog-blog posts will be saved.

Hope it solved the problem simply. Don’t forget to share if it worked for you or not!
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Working with Language & Formatting Settings | Blogger Basics

Language and Formatting settings in blogger are out numbered compared to Post & Comment, Mobile & Email and Basic settings that we have seen so far. Because these settings will not affect your blog that much.

 

Choosing Language & Transliteration

Language:

language-settings-blogger

 

Language of the blog is the language in which you want your blog appear. This doesn’t change the language of your blog posts but changes the language of the blog interface for a reader.

 

For e.g., If the language is set to ‘Chinese’, the blogger interface will be shown in Chinese. That means the text that is not related to our blog posts will be turned into Chinese and it will not affect out blog posts at all.

 

what-changes

 

Transliteration:

Transliteration is a feature that allows you to write in your blog in your own language with the English keyboard. This works the same way the Microsoft’s Language Indic Tool works.

 

To make it simpler to understand, it is how you SMS in your own language.

 

For e.g., Kaise ho?(means ‘How are you?’ in English)

 

Learn how transliteration works in real time from this link.

 

Formatting:

Formatting is not what actually it sounds like. It is related to time zone of your blog. You can set a time zone  that will display date and time  accordingly on your blog posts.

 

formatting-blogger-settings

 

Time Zone – Sets the actual time zone of the country you are living in.

Date Header Format – Sets the format of display of date and time on your blog posts.

Timestamp Format – Sets the timestamp format when you publish a post.

Comment Timestamp Format – Sets the timestamp format when someone comments on your blog posts.

 

So that’s it for now and isn’t it simple to understand? I recommend you to read the rest of the Blogger Basics too.

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Working with Mobile & Email Settings | Blogger Basics

Blogger platform allow blog owners to write on their blog(s) through mobile device or email. That means you don’t need to have your computer or laptop with you every time you wanted to post something.

 

To enable blogging through mobile, you need to add your mobile to your blog.

 

Posting through mobile

Go to Blogger Dashboard > Settings > Mobile & Email > and then click on Add mobile device to authenticate your mobile for posting on to your blog.

 

mobile-verification

 

You can verify your mobile either through SMS, MMS or Email. Once your mobile device is verified, you can start posting on your blog through it.

 

Limitations while posting through mobile

However, there are some limitations while blogging through mobile. They are as follows:

  1. You can only send pictures of size below 250KB. Any further size sent would be bounced back with a message asking you to try again.
  2. Only text and images can be posted.
  3. General data charges apply.
  4. You can choose to post through only from text-message. Google won’t charge you any extra cost.

Hints:

  • To disable text message replies, SMS STOP to BLOGGR(256447).
  • To cancel your device registration, SMS UNREGISTER to BLOGGR(256447). You can choose to re-register with the same blog or may register with another blog if you wish.
  • To get further support from mobile-blogger SMS HELP to BLOGGR(256447).

For more official information on blogger-mobile, visit this link.

 

Posting through email

Posting using email, also known as Mail2Blogger allows you to publish your posts through email. You have to create a secret word to make an email ID that should never be shared to anyone.

 

posting-through-email

You no need to verify any device here as the secret words authenticates your identity over the blog. So keep the ‘secret email ID’ a secret.

 

Publish email immediately – Publishes your post as soon as it receives.

Saves emails as draft posts – Saves your posts as drafts so that you can review it once and post it later.

Disabled – Will keep the email feature disabled.

 

It is better to save the posts as drafts as you can optimize the article for search engine optimization later. Also it is better to keep it saved as draft rather than getting it published in case of hacked

 

Limitations while posting through email
  1. Only text and images can be posted.
  2. Can send images of bigger sizes(up to 10MB) directly.
  3. General data charges apply.

Notification Emails

Comment Notification Email – You can add up to 10 email IDs of yours and other admins of the blog to get notified when you get any comment on any of your blog posts.

 

comment-notification-email

 

Email Posts to – You can add up to 10 email addresses to get updated with an email, when posted anything on the blog.

 

Isn’t it that simple?

 

Also read all other Blogger Basics tutorials.

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Working with Post & Comment Settings in Blogger | Blogger Basics

Post and Comment settings in blogger gives you control over the posts and comments in your blog. You can limit the posts on the homepage, design or specify a particular posting template common for each post, change comment acceptance and display settings on your blog.

Unlike the basic settings, the post & comment settings have less impact on the entire blog’s visibility. Let’s take a tour of ‘Post & Comment’ settings of your blogger blog.

Post Settings

Show at most
You can set/limit the visibility of number of posts on your blog’s homepage. To do so go to Settings >Post & Comment >Under Posts, enter the number of posts to be displayed on the main page, in the field ‘Show at most’.

post-settings

You can also choose between the ‘posts’ and ‘days’ associated with the number you have entered.
  • If ‘posts’ is chosen, the number of posts will be displayed on the homepage.
  • If ‘days’ is chosen, the posts posted in that number of days will be displayed on the homepage.

posts-days-blogger-settings

Post Template
If you are posting certain format of posts on your blog, you can predefine a posting template. This will help you not to format your every post in a certain format every time.

You need to have an of HTML,CSS and JavaScript to design your own posting template.

Showcase images with Lightbox
Setting it to ‘Yes’ will open images in a blog in a focused environment with black out-focused background, when clicked.

Setting it to ‘No’ will open images in the blog in a parent tab of the article page normally.

Comment Settings

Comment Location
Comment location setting defines the position of the comment system on your blog.

comment-location-blogger-settings
  • Setting it to ‘Embedded’ displays comments under the posts.
  • Setting it to ‘Full Page’ displays comments in a full page.
  • Setting it to ‘Popup Window’ will show comments in a popped up window.
  • Setting it to ‘Hide’ will hide comments on your blog irrespective of the show/hide settings that are set while composing a post.
comment-settings-blogger-settings

Who can comment?
You can set the privacy settings for your comment system on your blog. You can allow everyone or some specific members by choosing the options available.
  • Choosing ‘Anyone’ allows anyone comment on your blog posts. It also allow anonymous users to comment.
  • Choosing ‘Registered User’ will only allow registered users to comment on your blog posts. One has to login with the accounts available to show their identity before making a comment.
  • Choosing ‘Users with Google Accounts’ will only allow those who have Google accounts. One has to sign into his/her Google account before making a comment.
  • Choosing ‘Only members of this blog’ will only allow authors of the blog to comment.
Comment Moderation
You can control the spam comments on your blog by keeping a watch on it.
  • Setting the comment moderation to ‘Always’ will not publish every comment made by your blog readers. You’ll have to review it and allow it to get it displayed in the comment section
  • Setting the comment moderation to ‘Sometimes’ will not publish the comment that seems spam for the commenting system or when it is made by a low reputed commenter. You can then review it and choose to allow/remove it later.
  • Setting the comment moderation to ‘Never’ will allow any kind of comments and you can only choose to delete or show them after they are published. If once the published comment is deleted, it will show ‘the comment is deleted by the admin’ message at the comment location.
Show word verification
Setting word verification to ‘Yes’ will ask to verify a captcha code before they submit a comment. This will help your blog get rid of automated comments made by spammers.

word-verification-blogger-settings

Setting word verification to ‘No’ will not ask to very captcha code. This is vulnerable and may get spam comments.

Show Backlinks
Backlinks are the links that are linked to your articles. We’ll talk about them more precisely in advanced tutorials. Let’s just make it short for now.

show-backlinks-blogger-settings

To show up the link that are linked to your blog posts, set it to ‘Yes’ otherwise set it to ‘No’.

Comment Form Message
You can write any instructions for your readers who are  about to comment on your blog posts just like I have written in the following screenshot.

commnet-form-message-blogger-settings

That’s all for now

I hope you got an idea about ‘posts & comments’ settings of your blog. Go to blogger basics tutorials page and learn blogging with blogger right from start.

Have a good day! :-)
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Add Your Blog Feed to MSN News App in Windows 8/8.1

If you are a Windows 8/8.1 user, you might have came across the news app in the metro tiles once at least. Some like me have a hobby of reading news from news app daily. It is more sophisticated than opening news sites individually on the browser.

 

windows8-newsapp

 

The MSN news app in Windows 8/8.1 allows users to add their own news feed of their interest from different categorized sources.

 

adding-sources

 

You can also add your or any of your friend’s blog feed to the news. To add a feed of your or your friend’s blog, type in the RSS feed URL of the blog you wanted keep updated about and click on ‘+’ symbol to add it to your sources.

 

adding-your-blog-to-feed

 

Go back to news and check the feed from Sources category.

 

check-news-categories

 

Open the source you have just added to read the latest updates from your blog.

 

newsfeed-amfastech-windows8.1app

 

Click on the title of the updates shown to read full stories.

 

image

 

So, it is that simple! Increase your readers by asking them to subscribe to your MSN news feed sources.

 

If you need any further help in adding your blog to MSN news feed sources, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you in no time.

 

Adding Amfas Tech to Your News Sources

Apart from the regular social media subscriptions, You can read latest updates from Amfas Tech through MSN news app on your Windows8/8.1 device.

 

To add Amfas Tech to your sources, Go to Sources > Click on ‘+’ > copy and paste the following RSS feed URL in the search box > Click on ‘+’ to finish adding.

 

Feed URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/AmfasTech

 

Ask me for any further help in adding Amfas Tech to your news feed sources.

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