Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shut-Down of FTP Support on Blogger - Step 6

Well, I had to invoke step #6 "Have a good resource to call if this does not work!!". While the transition was smoother than I anticipated, I still needed a couple of redirect statements to solve some broken links and "Page Not Found" errors. The group helping me to get my Blogger account transitioned is LinuxForce. They verified what to do, gave me the simple steps required and made server and minor site adjustments. I am very satisfied!

Shut-Down of FTP Support on Blogger-Steps 3-5

Well, I think we might be okay. We need to do Step #5 with our web hosting support person later today. I could do it, but I'll let them. The next step will be to check links and history. Hopefully I will not need to employ Step #6 "Have a good resource to call if this does not work!!"

Shut-Down of FTP Support on Blogger

You may have seen a hiatus with my normally routine blog posts. I was a little preoccupied this past month. I was in a crisis about a imminent shutdown of FTP support on Blogger, the application we have been using to post our blogs.


We recently announced that our blog on water treatment is approaching its 4th year. Almost simultaneously, we were sent an email from the Blogger Product Manager announcing "a planned shut-down of FTP support on Blogger Buzz (the official Blogger blog), and wanted to make sure you saw the announcement". Not having the time, nor frankly the interest in following a Blogger blog on blogging support, we did not see it until the email on February 2, 2010. The clock was ticking so I needed to find out what to do and how implement a solution by March 26, 2010.

Main Challenges:

I am pretty savvy technically, but this one required some research. The main challenges were:

  • Using FTP to post our blog has been relatively painless.

  • Retaining the numerous links to and from Blogger to and other sites.

  • Losing our over 100 posts on our blog and/or having two locations were the blog resides

  • Losing our daily automatic backup of our blog during our normal, automatic website backup

  • Having to structurally change our website,

  • Needing to change settings at our web hosting company that they may or may not be able/willing to do

  • Losing our search rankings because of this substantive change in hosting from our server to a Blogger (Google) server

Some of the Research:

I read many articles on the web and in several recent books on possible blog posting software applications and strongly considered changing. A posting on Blogger Buzz seemed to indicate a smooth transition, but there were some server settings, redirects, and files required that I was unwilling/unable/scared to undertake on my own. Luckily my web hosting company has an excellent resource to walk me through the process.


Here was the process to make the transition:

  1. Set up in DNS

  2. Wait a day (This is the set I am at now)

  3. Follow instructions to "Update Your Blogger Settings" using as the "Custom Domain"

  4. Check to see if it works by navigating to

  5. Set up an .htaccess file to redirect traffic from to

  6. Have a good resource to call if this does not work!!

Since I am at step #2 going to start step #3, we'll see if this blows up and I lose 4 years of work!

Why did Blogger decide to do this?

Here is some additonal text from the announcment email. It sounds valid, but still a pain for us at Res-Kem:

"Last May, we discussed a number of challenges facing[1] Blogger users who relied on FTP to publish their blogs. FTP remains a significant drain on our ability to improve Blogger: only .5% of active blogs are published via FTP — yet the percentage of our engineering resources devoted to supporting FTP vastly exceeds that. On top of this, critical infrastructure that our FTP support relies on at Google will soon become unavailable, which would require that we completely rewrite the code that handles our FTP processing.

Three years ago we launched Custom Domains[2] to give users the simplicity of Blogger, the scalability of Google hosting, and the flexibility of hosting your blog at your own URL. Last year's post discussed the advantages of custom domains over FTP[3] and addressed a number of reasons users have continued to use FTP publishing. (If you're interested in reading more about Custom Domains, our Help Center has a good overview[4] of how to use them on your blog.) In evaluating the investment needed to continue supporting FTP, we have decided that we could not justify diverting further engineering resources away from building new features for all users."