28 July 2020

Official Blogger Blog: “A better Blogger experience on the web”

Since 1999, millions of people have expressed themselves on Blogger. From detailed posts about almost every apple variety you could ever imagine to a blog dedicated to the art of blogging itself, the ability to easily share, publish and express oneself on the web is at the core of Blogger’s mission. As the web constantly evolves, we want to ensure anyone using Blogger has an easy and intuitive experience publishing their content to the web.

That’s why we’ve been slowly introducing an improved web experience for Blogger. Give the fresh interface a spin by clicking “Try the New Blogger” in the left-hand navigation pane.

In addition to a fresh feel, Blogger is now responsive on the web, making it easier to use on mobile devices. By investing in an improved web platform, it allows the potential for new features in the future.


Unexpected, but welcomed update from the Blogger team. It is certainly reassuring to see sporadic signs of life from one of Google’s most neglected products – the previous post on the official blog is from January 2019

Overall is it an improvement over the former backend interface, in at least two major regards. My regular workflow for publishing blog posts is to draft them locally on my laptop in Open Live Writer, then upload the draft to Blogger’s web interface where I upload images and other media and do the final tweaks, like cleaning up the HTML code and adding CSS classes to images and content. As such, once the draft is uploaded to Blogger, I stay mostly in ‘HTML view’. The recent update has both improved this view and removed features, but I would say it is a net positive.

The major improvement is how HTML code is now color-coded to highlight individual HTML elements, including red warnings when elements are not properly closed with a matching end tag. This makes it easier to modify the article in HTML without accidentally removing tags and causing errors that were relatively hard to track down. The new HTML view also has improved find and replace, activated with the well-known Ctrl+F keyboard shortcut – this is similar to the search interface previously available in the HTML template editor. Another addition here is a ‘Format HTML’ button – which I normally do not use, because it spreads everything out way too much. The downside is that you can no longer upload images from the HTML view since that button is only available in the standard ‘Compose’ view. The image edit interface is nicer though, with new options for entering alt and title text for better accessibility.

Blogger 2020 update HTML post editor
HTML post editor in the Blogger 2020 update

The other new feature I am excited about is the post preview, where you can now switch the article preview between various screen sizes (desktop/tablet/smartphone) and orientations (portrait/landscape). This is clearly meant to adapt Blogger for a predominantly mobile world, at the same time useful to catch possible design problems with custom CSS or the included templates. There is clearly more work to be done here, as in my case the smartphone preview loads the desktop template, even though I have selected a mobile-specific template in the settings. Not a big issue for me, I was planning on switching to a more mobile friendly template anyway.

Blogger 2020 update post preview
Post preview with various display options in the Blogger 2020 update

I am using the new interface for a couple of months already – not that I had much choice, the old one is scheduled to be deprecated soon – and I am glad to see it is steadily improving. When it debuted, it did not remember my preference for HTML view between sessions and the buttons were icon-only, a poor choice since I always struggled to associate their weird icons with the actual functions of the buttons. Both these issues are fixed as of today.

As much as I am glad to see Blogger improving, I have a personal wish list that I fear will never get implemented. On the top of my list is the ability to upload and use SVG graphs instead of regular images, for their better scalability and usually smaller file size. I would also like to see support for automatically switching to dark mode in Blogger themes – I am sure I could eventually write the styles for a good looking dark theme, but I would rather spend my time reading and writing more than struggling to fix individual styling and cross-browser support. Oh well, maybe sometime in 2022…

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