A tour of Blogger Draft

Blogger has finally come out of the bushes with a whole makeover, probably the first in ages. Although this is still called Blogger Draft, it has become a default for most of its users already. The new layout or as I would like to call the ‘New Blogger’ has a rather simple yet slick design, and is indeed very organised compared to its predecessor.

 The new dashboard has the same features as its predecessor but the design is obviously different. You can view your primary and secondary blogs seperately now, but unlike its predecessor, doesn’t allow you to create a new post or edit the designs or settings straight away. You can also easily manage them as primary or secondary blogs by using the little arrows that appear when you hover the blog names.

 The landing page for each blog now gives you an overview of your blog with stats like pageviews, comments, posts et cetera. It also has a couple of Blogger related posts for its users. The navigation bar that used to be at the top now comes to the left side and looks much neater than the previous one. On the top bar, (as you can see in the screenshot above) is a navigation to the dashboard, new posts, all posts and to the blog respectively. Overall, this interface is much cleaner and more appealing.

 Click on Posts lands you on the ‘all posts’ page and not the ‘create post’ page. The only changes here is the design and not the usability has the features still remain the same.
The ‘create post’ page on the other hand looks completely different. Post title is right at the top where the ‘Publish’, ‘Save’ and ‘Preview’ button is now located. Formating options remains the same while the space to write your post is just the white box over there (which expands as you type and kinds off give a office application touch). The post settings at the side is a good touch too. Everything is really organised, easy to use and there is a location option too.

 The Layout section of Blogger Draft is more or less the same. However, Blogger has introduced some new features (it may not be ‘new’ at the time of this post, but is certainly something we really need) and one of it is the Favicon option. I remember stuggling through codes trying to insert a Favicon but Blogger wasn’t accepting it. Now, blogger have an easier way of using favicons with no codes necessary.
 Blogger also has a couple of new gadgets in their list. Although personally, I don’t use gadgets on my blog (everything is coded and inserted in the HTML) this is certainly something that will be usefull for the many. Users can now follow by email and have their popular posts and stats on their sidebars.

 Blogger Draft has differentiated ‘Layout’ and ‘Template’ which used to be together but subcategorised as ‘Page Layout’ and ‘Edit HTML’. The Template section encourages bloggers to use the Blogger Template Designer instead which although may have some great features can be quite annoying for the average blogger who prefers to edit the html and css codes instead. But no worries, unlike previous versions of the draft, this one still gives the option for bloggers to edit their layout the old school way.
 The Edit HTML function is just in a better design now but a few good stuff is that it uses more of the screen now so your codes aren’t crammed into a small box, and when you save the template the cursor still remains at the same spot so you don’t have to go searching for your codes again.

There has also been an addition to the Pages feature. Users can now create tabs to redirect its readers to another web site. Although this can be done via editing the html, it would be useful for the bloggers who have no experience with html and css.

Overall, Blogger Draft is certainly a great step forward by Blogger. It has grown over the years to be more friendly towards an average Blogger with no coding experience so bloggers can actually get the most out of their blogs. The interface may be confusing at first, but it stands out over its predecessor. This is also well called for considering the many changes going on at Blogger which will soon be known as Google Blogs.

Don’t forget to tell us your opinion on Blogger Draft in the comments section below.


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