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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Simulcasting Your Wordpress Blog On Blogger

I have two blogs... okay, I have one blog, The Sound Of One Hand Typing, and I simulcast it on a second blog, The Sound Of One Hand Typing FM. The difference between the two blogs is that the first runs on the Wordpress platform, the second on Blogger.
Why do I do this? A few reasons:
  • Being a technical person at heart, I wanted to see if I could do it, and if so, what differences there would be between the more-familiar Wordpress platform and the Blogger platform.
  • I wanted to increase my outreach. I went with Wordpress because it was easier to move to a self-hosted blog when I felt the time was right, and I liked its editor better. Still, I knew that Blogger was the more popular platform, and I also knew I probably wasn't getting my name out to Blogger users as well as to the Wordpress ones.
I wanted to make it easier for people to comment. It's easier to comment on a Wordpress blog if you're a Wordpress user, just as it's easier for Blogger users to comment on Blogger. The alternatives (e.g. moving commenting to Facebook, installing a third-party commenting tool like Disqus) were either impractical or impossible, and they would alienate people, what I wanted to avoid in the firsst place.
You're probably thinking I do a lot of work to maintain two blogs, but I don't, because I have help: If This Then That, IFTTT (rhymes with "gift") for short. IFTTT uses recipes that consist of triggers ("this") and actions ("that"), like this one:
If there's a new post on the Wordpress blog, post it on the Blogger blog.
Here's a video that shows how the process works.
So, I can use the Wordpress editor I like, write and publish my articles, and IFTTT takes care of reposting on the Blogger side. Usually...
There's a lot more technical information that I'll post on my websites (along with a few "gotcha"s), but that's an overview of how I'm doing it. Feel free to contact me on this blog, either of my blogs, or on Facebook or Twitter with comments, questions, complaints, deep thoughts, bowling scores, or just if you'd like to say howdy. ETA: The technical post is now up on my blog; you can find it here.

34 comments:

  1. clever . . . . . . I will go and lie down now and hold my head for a while

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  2. This all sounds very clever. I am impressed. I do get irritated sometimes that Blogger doesn't offer more fonts, colors, etc. in their post creator. Although if I create in Open Office and then paste it in, it keeps the HTML. Yet, I almost always instinctively open Blogger and start typing.

    I find it easier to manage posting comments on Word Press as a Blogger blogger when I use Google Chrome as my browser, thanks to their great autofill.

    As to bowling, hubby's team won only one game yesterday. :(

    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. How many games did they roll?

      I never use the WYSIWYG tools to create posts. I write mine in a text editor using Markdown and convert them to HTML, then play around with the generated code (I'm a bit anal about ensuring that links open in a separate window, and I'm learning that doing this kind of manipulation practically requires that I bypass the Wordpress CSS classes and use native HTML to get this to work). It's worth the sacrifice, I think.

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  3. That is interesting how you maintain both blogs, one on Blogger, the other on WordPress. I tried a blog on WordPress but to me it was not as user friendly as Blogger. What bothers me with WordPress is now I can't delete my account there (can the blog but not my account) so whenever I want to comment on a WordPress blog, I have to do so through WordPress and my password there, rather than Google/Blogger. It can get a bit confusing.

    betty

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    1. When you get right down to it, neither is especially user friendly. It's pretty much what you get used to. I used Blogger at one time and really didn't like it, particularly its inability to handle pingbacks. Wordpress was the lesser of two evils. I've tried writing my own blogging software using Ruby on Rails, and about drove myself nuts.

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    2. I have the same problem Betty and it is really annoying cos I want to point people to my Blogger blog.
      Plus I can't easily follow Wordpress blogs via my Blogger reader - so now I"m using Blogloving - as well .... more things to handle.
      This is a great workaround John - I'm going to look into your IFTTT thingy and see if it might work for me too.
      Fil

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    3. I use Feedly as my feed reader, because it's agnostic to either Wordpress or Blogger. Regardless of where the feed comes from, Feedly handles it seamlessly.

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  4. That's interesting and something I might pursue, one of these days. I love my self-hosted Wordpress website, but I also set up a one page Blogger blog that contains all my links and an RSS feed. Commenting on Blogger is easiest using a Google account, so that's what I do. During last year's A-Z all of the commenting complaints I received were from Blogger people. Maybe they could set up a Wordpress account to make it easier for them? Just a thought. :)

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    1. I do all my commenting on Blogger using my Google account as well. It's easier than fighting with Blogger to recognize my OpenID (i.e. the URL of my Wordpress blog), which works sometimes and not other times. There are Blogger people that have a Wordpress account, and I'm assuming their experience with doing that is similar.

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  5. I always like hearing the reasons people use one or the other. I don't think I would ever bother to do what you do. I'll stay with blogger for now.

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    1. See, I'm one of those technical people that feels compelled to try things like this just to prove I can do it.

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  6. The only issue I see with this is that Google may ping you for having duplicate content out there.

    I've used self hosted wordpress and get more traffic on blogger than I ever did wordpress. I also prefer to keep the comments section open to the public. My site is also faster on blogger than it ever was on wordpress.

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    1. I've commented on a self-hosted Wordpress blog without being registered. I've just never went looking for how it's done.

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    2. V. L. Jennings that is my concern too after reading this. Duplicate content is (from what I've read over the years) not a good thing and frowned up by Google. When I am so dependent on search can I really afford to risk that?

      I too began on Blogger and transitioned away from that to Wordpress after about 1 week! There seems to be a lot more freedom with Wordpress and depending on what statement you want to make it can look a lot more professional.

      Don't get me wrong, Blogger is fantastic for what it is, a personal and free blogging tool.

      Interesting to read that Blogger is bigger than Wordpress. That could well explain how I see so much activity on Blogger set ups.

      Have people successfully monetised through Blogger other than Google Adsense?

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    3. The Guy... I actually use blogger to host my entire site. I'm on a very tight budget and free wordpress would not let me use my own url for free. Blogger will.

      I also saw TONS more spam posts through wordpress than I ever did with blogger

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    4. Here's what I found... you can add a syndication tag to the blog post to tell google that this article is being copied from another site.
      Check these posts out for help: http://www.digett.com/blog/07/02/2014/letting-someone-copy-your-online-content-read
      and
      http://searchengineland.com/syndicated-content-189097

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    5. Thanks, VL. I'm going to modify how my stuff passes through. Appreciate it!

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    6. After reading the second article, I realized that my posts on the FM blog were sort of linking back to the original (it was printing the original article's URL, but not actually linking to it). I've changed that so there is now a link from the copy on Blogger to the one on Wordpress. Will be sure to point that out among the technical considerations.

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  7. I guess I'm just a dummy but I couldn't get the IFTTT to work. Not sure what I'm doing wrong

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    1. Mine didn't work at first, and what IFTTT told me to do was to reactivate the Wordpress and Blogger channels. It worked fine after that. Try that and let me know how it goes.

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  8. I'm maintaining a Wordpress site as a volunteer (must re-think this volunteering) and it takes me forever to make changes. I'm on Blogger for my writing life, and that seems super easy to me. I do see the positive for a self-hosting blog, but I'm just too busy/lazy to switch over.

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    1. Like I said, it's what you get used to.

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  9. Very helpful information, John. Thanks for sharing this as it may come in very handy for more than a few people. This is the kind of post that will get hits long after it has posted.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of... XD

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  10. I'm part of a system of team blogs. We used to maintain blogs on both Wordpress and Blogger but it was a huge headache. We took a vote and switched back to blogging solely on Blogger. Most of us agree that it's the more user-friendly platform.

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  11. I could use your guidance. I only had my blog on wordpress and after reading this post, I created the blogger for simulcasting and I thought I had everything correct. I created a test post on wordpress with a title, a one sentence body and no tags. It worked so I deleted both. Yesterday evening I wrote by March 5th post and scheduled it for 6 this morning. It posted on wordpress but on blogger only the title and the tags. No body which was words and photographs. If you have information that can help on your website, send me a link. I couldn't find the technical stuff you mentioned in the article.

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    1. Yeah, that's one of the technical considerations that you have to make... Both platforms allow you to use HTML5, but IFTTT puts a line in front of the line coming over from Wordpress that tells it what's coming is XHTML. When you embed a picture and attach a caption to it, Wordpress uses the HTML5 figure and figcaption tags to do it (they have that [caption...] when you add a caption that expands). They aren't part of the XHTML standard, so they get rejected and you end up with a blank post. I talk about it here: http://goo.gl/n7sSCD. I'll have a post up tomorrow on my blog that covers all of that.

      Yeah, I know, huge pain in the backside. I've told IFTTT about it because I think they're the ones that are sticking that tag in, and they say, "okay, we'll work on it," but they haven't so far. One wonders if they ever will...

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    2. Thank you. It may be all too technical for me but thanks for the link and I look forward to your post tomorrow.

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  12. John I like this idea. I immediately created my own Recipe, then decided I wanted to rename my blog. I did rename and now when i try to build the Recipe it goes to the deleted blog. Do you know how I can change the blogger blog name so it will work? I tried searching Google and cannot find support docs about how to fix. Thanks for the great idea you shared.

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    1. You might need to deactivate the Blogger channel in IFTTT and reactivate it to pick up the new blog name. I know, IFTTT is really poorly documented, but you can contact them on Twitter (@ifttt) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ifttt) and they're usually pretty good about getting back to you.

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    2. That did it John. I deactivated and reactivated and it reset. Thanks for the tip on doing this and the technical support on how to reset my blogger choice.

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  13. Oy . . . another technical aspect I really need to learn.

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  14. Too much at once for my non-techno brain...
    I'll have to digest this piece by piece...

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