blog

Welcome to my Newly Created Blog

Welcome to my blog. My name is Bishoy Botros, I am a software engineer and this blog is to share some of the ideas and day to day issues I face and solutions. These won’t be only software related issues, but could be anything technical related to software development in general, computers, my other hobbies like photography, cycling, or even cooking.

My first article on the blog will be about creating a blog.

Why would you need a blog for?

I see a blog as a way for learning more stuff. Although a blog is generally based on you adding articles, but you will get feedback and comments. In addition to the fact that you will need to do some effort to write down your thoughts in an understandable manner, which will be a good excuse for you to learn more about the problem you are describing and help you learn more about how to describe yourself better.

Creating a blog

This is the easiest part, go to one of the famous blogs hosts. My choice was blogger.com.

Log in using you web profile or create a new one.

Create a new blog and name it to reflect what it is about.

Posting your first article

EditorPosting articles is as easy as writing text in any word processor. The real issue is finding articles that are of interest to your target audiences. The second thing is to describe you thoughts clearly using diagrams, pictures, and links to references. Also remember to make use of various formatting facilities like headers and lists, and give your articles labels/tags to be easily searchable when your blog is crowded with articles few years later.

One way to achieve nice and tidy blog is to use a pen and a paper to plan an article with a list of points and how diagrams will be laid out.

Another good idea is to keep a to-do list for your next planned articles. I am using my Google keep for that.

Using a domain name

Now getting into serious business. You bought a domain name for instance at godaddy. It’s so easy to connect it with your blog.

Initially blogger will assign your blog a sub domain like bishoybt.blogger.com, but if your are really serious about your blog, you can spend around $20 and get yourself a standalone domain name.

In my case I already had a domain with name bishoy.com.au. to make this your blogger’s address, follow these steps:

  1. CustomiseGo to Blogger.com and click on Settings > Basics in your blog settings. For other blog hosts try to find where do you set your blog domain address. There, write your domain name. You have to choose a subdomain, this can be www or other customised subdomain.
  2. An error will occur because your domain name is not yet referring to your blog. In the error message copy down the two values that should go into CNAME fields at your domain name provider. One of those would be the one corresponding to the subdomain your chose to be your blog URL (e.g. www in case you chose your url to be www.somedomain.com). The other one will be Google special domain to refer to your blog. Copy down these two values.
  3. Go to your domain name provider (in my case was Godaddy) and find the control panel to edit your DNS zone file. Add the two CNAMEs you got from step 2 to the CNAME section in the zone file. In case you are using www, you will need to update the existing record which is probably having ‘@’ as its value rather than adding a new record.
  4. Save the file and wait a while until DNS services updates and viola, your domain will refer to your new blog.
  5. In case you chose www to be your subdomain, although it will work perfectly when you type ‘http://www.mydomain.com’ in your browser, it will not work when you type ‘http://mydomain.com’ (naked domain name). One workaround is adding a redirect script on your main hosting folder to redirect all requests landing there to www subdomain, which will redirect to the blog.

It’s always about your style

Now you got a blog and it’s got your first couple of articles. You’d like to personalise the feel and look of your blog. I guess it is better doing this now after posting an article or two to be able to see how style is changes your blog look.

Following is various areas where you can enhance your blog look and feel:

Template

Choose one of the templates provided by Blogger, or any other blog host your are using. Try to choose a theme that is matching the type of articles you are going to publish on your blog. For instance if your blog is going to be technical, don’t choose a very distracting theme with animations or vivid colours. Although this can be very subjective of course and depends on the individual taste and personality.

Templates

Layout

Some of the templates will allow you to choose from different layout settings. Choose the setting that suits you the most, you will be able to do this through the customise button attached to the template you are using. Then you will have the chance to further control your layout through choosing each widget position.

Layouts

Gadgets

Like most CMS (content management systems), Blogger will have two main types of components on each of its pages: content and other modules.

Content is the main part of a Blogger page, which is the window showing the article feeds on the main page of your blog, and it is the same window that shows a single article when a user presses ‘Read more’ link. A page will always have one and only one content at a time.

In Blogger, other modules are named ‘gadgets’. These are other parts of the page that are fairly constant while user is navigating your blog. Examples to gadgets you can find natively supported by Blogger are:

  • Link to your Google plus profile.
  • Google Ads, if you think you can make some money out of your blog.
  • Archive history links to enable users to browse your old blogs.
  • etc…

To be able to add, remove, and decide the location of your gadgets, press the layout link in your blog settings control panel. Choose and empty place holder and press ‘Add a Gadget’ to navigate through various provided gadgets wither by Blogger or by other third-party providers.

CustomiseLayout

More Customisation

Ok, so you think you are into web design and programming? You can do some more with your Blogger blog space. One much powerful tool in your blog, is the HTML/JavaScript gadget. It is introduced to you as one more type of gadgets, but I believe that is much less than what you can do with it. Just add as many of it in your layout, write whatever HTML or JavaScript you want, and have fun.

DesignerOne other strong tool is custom CSS. To find these, again go to the customise link of your template, add whatever CSS definitions you want. Use Google chrome magical ‘Inspect element’ or any other tools to inspect your blog HTML/CSS and find which modules do want to modify their style. One thing to note is that Blogger template is giving each location and id similar to ‘footer-2-2’, use that to modify style rather than classes because classes will be more fatal and will cause the entire blog to be affected. Of course sometimes changing everything will be what you are¬†really¬†after.

Last words; enjoy and learn, its all about fun and sharing knowledge. C&Cs are most welcome.

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