Decide if you want to keep a blogger page

Customize RapidBlog

Import your old Blog

Customize blogger

Custom CSS

Formatting is wrong

I get a really crazy error message

Pages take too long to come up!

I want to migrate my blog to RapidBlog

I want to blog with a friend

What do I lose by using RapidBlog

Why doesn't it delete posts?

Help, I got a bunch of duplicate entries

New categories don't show up!

"Sync" vs. "Publish"

Blog by Email

Help, it's lost a post!

Why Blogger and now WordPress?

When you create a RapidBlog page you actually end up creating two pages. One is your rapidweaver version and one is your blogger version.

For instance for my "All About Monkeys" page you can view it here (Rapidweaver version) as well as here (blogger version)

You may decide that you don't really want the blogger version but instead want everyone directed to your rapidweaver version. If this is the case simple go into the template editing feature of blogger and select 'Edit HTML'

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In the section insert the text


<meta content='0;url=[FULL URL TO YOUR SITE HERE]' http-equiv='refresh'/>


Of course replace [FULL URL TO YOUR SITE HERE] with the actual URL. You can also delete everything between the and tags. Now the blogspot account will automatically redirect to you Rapidweaver account.


There are a ton of options in RapidBlog to let you customize it to your hears content. All of the options should have tool-tips (hover the mouse for a few seconds over the item) to get help

Preview mode also works properly and should give you a accurate view of your final pages.


RapidBlog has a 'blog import' feature to allow you to easily load in your existing RapidWeaver blog. It's strongly recommended to save a backup copy of your RapidWeaver file first and carefully check the imported results afterwords.

  1. First save a backup copy (or make an archive)

  2. Then go to the setup menu -> Import tab. There will be a drop-down list of all the blogs in that RapidWeaver file. Select the one you want to import, click import.

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In addition to the options without RapidBlog there are also options with Blogger that might be worth considering changing. While none of these have to be change it's probably worth considering.


First make sure the Title makes sense. This is what will show up in the RSS feed title. Also it's probably a good idea to have a reasonable description. If you dont plan on using the Blogger front end at all you may consider turning off "Add blog to our listings" to avoid getting random visitors or spam.

Finally the post editor (WYSIWG) Compose Mode. Blogger has a really slick editor, that, unfortunately can break valid HTML code. For instance as of this writing it will break youtube videos and doesn't, in general, allow custom javascript. If your needs are simple editing then you can keep it on but you may find if you are doing fancy stuff that your life is easier just turning it off.



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For the most part RapidBlog uses the standard CSS rules that all RapidWeaver themes include. However because rapidweaver offers some additional features the standard blog client doesn't offer it has some additional class structures you can define CSS for.

class Purpose
blog-entry-author The Author name as defined by Blogger (You can control what it says here by editing the entry in blogger). This is only useful if you have a multi-author blog
blog-entry-readmore The “Read More” string if you use a summary view
blog-entry-comment-even Comments that are ‘even’ (e.g. comment 2,4,6,8)
blog-entry-comment-odd Comments that are ‘Odd’ (e.g comment 1,3,5,7)
blog-entry-comment All blog entry comments (use this if you don’t want to define custom comments
blog-entry-body the main “Body” of the blog entry
blog-entry-category the “Category” class
blog-entry-date The “Date” of the blog
blog-entry-title The “Title” of the blog
unique-entry-id-xx The ID of that post (e.g. unique-entry-id-0 is the first, unique-entry-id-1 is the second, etc.)


If you take a post entry and edit it in RW then Blogger, then RW, then Blogger it may turn out that you loose formatting and it otherwise starts acting strange. Rapidblog works very hard to try to make this all happen automatically but it can get confused. It's best to try to edit only one place at a time. Within Rapidblog you can easily tell if a post was last edited on the web by the 'lock' icon next to the title
Indicates last edit was remote



You can also enable a warning dialog in the setup panel to help remind you to tread cautiously.

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If you get a crazy looking error message like is show below and it includes the text "The server received a timeout from an upstream server while acting as a gateway or proxy" That is a blogger error. They are working on it so your best bet is to try again

************* Received bad status code=504 response=NSError "

HTTP Status 504 -


type Status report

message

description The server received a timeout from an upstream server while acting as a gateway or proxy ().


Apache Tomcat/4.1.24

" Domain=NSURLErrorDomain Code=504 UserInfo={    NSLocalizedDescription = "

HTTP Status 504 -


type Status report

message

description The server received a timeout from an upstream server while acting as a gateway or proxy ().


Apache Tomcat/4.1.24

";}More Details=http://code.google.com/apis/gdata/protocol.html#http-status-codes
The way RapidBlog is currently implemented it queries the blogger service every time a page view is requested. This can result in a .25 to 1 second delay in viewing pages. The best way to control how fast pages come up is to limit the number of pages to a reasonable number (say less than 10). The other good way to control the time it takes to bring up is to not enable 'show number of comments'


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For the most part you should be able to import your old blog and then put RapidBlog in it's place. The two areas that might break are:

  1. RapidBlog permalink pages are different than the built in RW Blog permalink pages
  2. RapidBlog uses PHP to process the RSS feed


If those two are important to you consider keeping both blogs 'live'
RapidBlog supports multiple authors using the blogger author feature. To use it invite your friend to your blog. It is strongly recommended that you make all authors 'admin' otherwise RapidBlog gets very, very confused if you try to edit each others post.

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Although RapidBlog was designed to work in a very similar fashion to the standard RapidWeaver blog plugin there are some differences and in some cases some missing features. Specifically:

  1. RapidBlog has no podcasting module
  2. RapidBlog handles date formatting differently
  3. RapidBlog doesn't support smilies (tragic, I know)
  4. RapidBlog doesn't allow custom permalinks

When you hit the 'minus' sign to delete a post RapidBlog takes note of that and will delete it on the next 'publish'.
For the most part RapidBlog should sychronize things quite nicely but there are situations (like if you sync and don't save) where it's possible duplicate entries can show up.

RapidBlog includes an automatic process to find & delete duplicates, simply arrange the posts with duplicates in adjacent entries and your most desirable version on top and go to the 'setup' menu and select 'delete duplicates'. RapidBlog will mark for deletion any posts that It thinks are duplicates.

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For performance reasons categories work a little differently than you might expect. At publish time RapidBlog publishes a known list of all categories so they can display (if you enable that option). however if you remotely edit a post or add a new post remotely and create a new category RapidBlog will not show it in the web page until you re-publish.

When you hit the 'sync' button in the setup menu it does a 'deep sync' -- This means that it pulls ALL of your posts from blogger and compares them to the post's in RW. If you find that somehow you are out of sync then this will fix that.

What the sync button doesn't do it push up any graphics so if you have a post you've written that includes a picture the sync will push it onto blogger but the graphics won't be uploaded to your server so it'll be a dead link

In general you shouldn't have to use the sync button in the setup menu.
Blogging via e-mail is super easy using Bloggers 'Mail-to-Blogger' address.

From the web go to settings -> Email and create a 'secret' email address. Whenever you send an email to this address it will get posted

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Before you panic make sure you do a 'deep sync' from the setup menu. This will guarantee that blogger & RapidBlog have the same entries.
Blogger is a free service with a very easy to use and administer system that supports everything I was looking for. Blogger is also owned by Google so I expect that over time they will integrate it even more into google services. I am considering adding other blog engines as back ends in future releases if there is sufficient demand however