Multiblog FAQ

(c) Wieland, 2005. Published under the GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.2. See here for details.
Last modified: 16 Mar 2006

Note that this site HAS NOTHING TO DO with David Raynes' MultiBlog plugin for Movable Type or the MultiBlog blogging tool by Skinmaster.

Please read this FAQ carefully before contacting me!

  1. How do I include multiple blogs in one page?
  2. I don't know how to edit my template! I don't understand (X)HTML/CSS! Help me out here, you stupid geek!
  3. I've checked and doublechecked my code and I'm sure it's correct, but my embedded blog still isn't showing. What can be wrong?
  4. How do I make my multiblogs look the same?
  5. Why not use <iframe>-tags?
  6. Can I use this method to include an RSS feed in my site?
  7. I got it all working, but I still think it stinks!
  8. Can you help me edit my link list/change my template/post via email/etc.?
  9. I'm on Blog*Spot or some other free host, and I don't know the name of the HTML file I want to include
  10. I'm on Blog*Spot. How do I remove the Navbar from my embedded blog?
  11. Links from my subblog open in the iframe, but I want them to open in the main window
  12. Who are you anyway?
  13. Your English is appalling! And so is your code!
  1. How do I include multiple blogs in one page?

    This is, surprisingly, one of the most frequently asked questions. RTFM! The answer was in the Blogger FAQ that sent you here in the first place. Please go back and read it. Then check out my example. Look at the source, too (Mozilla/Firefox users can do so by clicking here).

    After that, if you don't understand, or you still have another question, come back here. If the answer to your question isn't in this FAQ either, please feel free to contact me through this form. Trust me: I'm really not as grumpy as I seem.

    Oh, and one more thing: use this method only if you can't use any of the other methods described in the Blogger FAQ. All of those are far superior, mine is just a limited workaround for people who can't use PHP/SSI/ASP/ColdFusion for some reason or another.

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  2. I don't know how to edit my template! I don't understand (X)HTML/CSS! Help me out here, you stupid geek!

    I'm sorry, but that's far beyond the scope of this FAQ. I'm not in any way affilliated with Blogger or their support department (see here!), nor am I able to give you a full course in (X)HTML, unless you pay me (a lot). Blogger have set up a great FAQ on editing templates. Please read it.

    Throughout this FAQ, I'm assuming you know a little bit about (X)HTML and the basics of editing your Blogger Template. If you don't, read up on those subjects first. You'll be doing yourself a huge favour, because you'll need to know a tiny bit about (X)HTML for pretty much everything other than posting to your Blogger account with an unmodified default template - even for editing your link list. Besides: it's fun!

    (X)HTML and CSS can seem a bit intimidating at first, but they're really very easy and fun to learn. If you're interested in creating your own homepage or editing your blog's templates, there's a huge amount of information available on the web, and people in dedicated message boards and newsgroups will be more than willing to help you.

    Personally, I would recommend W3Schools for an easy yet very complete (and still free!) crash course on (X)HTML, CSS and many other related technologies. This site will not just learn you how to create web pages, it will show you how to create them with standards in mind.

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  3. I've checked and doublechecked my code and I'm sure it's correct, but my embedded blog still isn't showing. What can be wrong?

    Are your blogs located on a different hosts? Internet Explorer has a 'security feature', turned on by default, that prevents the browser from access[ing] data sources across domains. IMHO, this setting is hardly useful from a security point of view, but we'll have to live with the fact that nearly 90 percent of people are surfing the net using IE with its default settings.

    Regretfully, the only way around this is to make sure your blogs are all on the same host. If you have your own webspace, this shouldn't be a problem.

    If you're on a free Blog*Spot account, you're pretty much out of luck. On Blog*Spot, each blog is on its own subdomain (i.e.: example1.blogspot.com and example2.blogspot.com). AFAIK, this setting cannot be changed. Sorry. If anyone has any suggestions how to overcome this huge limitation, I'd love to hear about it. And so, I'm sure, would all those people who've contacted me about this issue.

    If you're on Blog*Spot Plus, see here.

    Also, you can 'fix' this problem be changing the default setting in IE (disclaimer: you do so at your own risk!), or (even better) switching to a proper browser, such as Firefox.
    Obviously, this will only fix the problem for yourself. People using a default configuration of IE to do their surfing, will still not be able to see your multiblog. In short: this is not a real solution, unless you're the only one reading your blog, which would, in my humble opinion, somewhat beat the purpose of having it in the first place.

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  4. How do I make my multiblogs look the same?

    The blog you've embedded in the object tag is just another (X)HTML-page. You can style it exactly the same way as you would any other web page. Personally, I would recommend keeping the design for the embedded blog as clean and simple as possible, especially since it will typically sit in a small column on your main site. Use clean and structural markup: <h1> for headers, <p> for paragraphs, <ul> of <ol> for lists, etc. Add classes and id's for finer control, and style it with CSS. If done properly, this will ensure that your multiblog is accessible and easy to maintain.

    I cannot teach you (X)HTML and CSS in this FAQ (or over email, unless you have a very specific question). Please see here or here for some suggested further reading.

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  5. Why not use <iframe>-tags?

    The World Wide Web Consortium has dropped IFRAME from (X)HTML Strict. To keep current with internet standards and to make sure your website will work with future standards compliant user agents, it's be much better to use the <object>-tag, which offers the exact same functionality. The <object>-tag is supported in all modern web browsers.

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  6. Can I use this method to include an RSS feed in my site?

    The short answer: no. RSS is not (X)HTML, and most current browsers will not parse it without additional processing or external software.

    The longer answer is: probably yes, but lacking the need, I haven't tried this myself (yet). RSS is a species of XML, and it can be parsed by a script to convert it to browser-readable HTML. If you're using PHP, I can recommend Magpie RSS for this task (It's great! Really!). But if you're using PHP, you don't need my multiblogging method anyway (check out include()), so you probably wouldn't be reading this FAQ. Basically, this option is redundant.

    Another (more useful) possibility would be to use XSLT to transform the RSS to (X)HTML. This assumes that you have control over the actual RSS feed, so you can include a reference to your XSLT-stylesheet in its headers. Also, this will only work if the XSLT and RSS are well-formed, your visitor's browser supports it and your host is configured to serve the feed and the stylesheet using the correct MIME-types (either application/xml for both, or application/rss+xml and application/xslt+xml, respectively). If the above makes sense to you, you probably know enough about the subject to make it work.

    UPDATE Yes, it can be done, and I've just done it. Follow the link for more info.

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  7. I got it all working, but I still think it stinks!

    It does indeed, and I'm not claiming otherwise. My method is really just a very limited way to mimic the effect achieved with more advanced server-side technology, such as PHP. It has many known drawbacks, such as not being accessible to people using text browsers. Still, for those who don't have the option of switching to something more advanced, I hope it's at least better than nothing. I'm sorry you don't like it. Please find yourself a hosting company that offers PHP/ASP/ColdFusion or whatever other technology you prefer. So did I.

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  8. Can you help me edit my link list/change my template/post via email/etc.?

    No, I cannot. I'm not in any way affilliated with Blogger or their support department. I honestly don't mean to be rude, but I really lack both the time and the qualifications to offer general Blogger support. Please don't ask me. Instead, consult Blogger Help or see below.

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  9. I'm on Blog*Spot or some other free host, and I don't know the name of the HTML file I want to include

    That shouldn't be a problem in this case (this could, though). Anything that shows in your browser directly, will also show within the object-tag. Just pointing to http://example.blogspot.com/ (or whatever your exact URL is) will do. On Blog*Spot, the actual HTML-file is usually named 'index.html', but I'd recommend you not to use the full name, as it could change without advance notice, thus breaking your setup.

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  10. I'm on Blog*Spot. How do I remove the Navbar from my embedded blog?

    If you're on a free Blog*Spot account, the Navbar is displayed on top of your page. There used to be ads in that spot before Blogger introduced the Navbar to replace those, so you might consider it an improvement. However, the Navbar will also be displayed inside the iframe containing your subblog, which is redundant, useless and ugly like hell.

    Unfortunately, Blogger only allows its paying customers (who have FTP access) to remove it. Consider upgrading, since it offers many more advantages (see here). If you can't or won't upgrade, you can remove the Navbar by pasting the following lines (exactly as shown below) to the bottom of the stylesheet in the headers of your subblog's template, right above the line where it says "</style>":

    div#b-navbar {
    	visibility: hidden !important;
    }
    

    Note that doing this is almost certainly a violation of Blogspot's Terms of Service. Do this at your own risk!

    If you do this on your subblog only, Blogger may hopefully understand your problem and not make a fuss - as long as you don't remove the Navbar from your main page. But they DO have every right to terminate your account, as is clearly stated in the TOS. Please don't blame me if they do, you can't say I didn't warn you! Remember, Blog*Spot's a free service. No one's forcing you to use it. Don't like it? Go elsewhere. And again: I DO NOT WORK FOR BLOGGER.

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  11. Links from my subblog open in the iframe, but I want them to open in the main window

    Point the links in your subblog to the main window by setting the target attribute to "_top", i.e.:

    <a href="http://www.example.com" target="_top">Example</a>
    

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  12. Who are you anyway?

    My name is Wieland (not quite thirty yet), I live in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and I like writing my own blog as well as contributing to a blog about my home town (both are in Dutch). I also enjoy photography. I studied Journalism, I worked as a reporter for some years, and I've just finished my master's thesis in Political Science. I'm a dedicated supporter of Ajax, the local football team (which, unfortunately, isn't doing too well in the Dutch League right now). I've been working with (X)HTML, CSS, Perl, PHP (etc.) for some years now, both for fun and as a part of my current side job in IT/webdesign.

    About two years ago, I wrote to Blogger about multiblogging without ASP/PHP/SSI/ColdFusion. Blogger put my suggestion in their FAQ, and I've been receiving emails about it ever since.

    I try to answer all questions, but please note that I'm not a Blogger employee. I don't work for Blogger, and (although I still think it's a great tool) I don't even use Blogger anymore to edit my own blog (in Dutch). I've switched to WordPress (PHP/MySQL based) some time ago. Ergo, I can not help you with editing templates, customizing the looks of your blog, changing your links, or anything else that's not related to Multiblogging. I honestly don't mean to be rude, but I really lack both the time and the qualifications to offer general Blogger support. Please don't ask me. Instead, consult Blogger Help.

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  13. Your English is appalling! And so is your code!

    That's not really a question, is it? Still, I'm sorry. I'm not a native English speaker. Any corrections are greatly appreciated. Please contact me if you've found an error, whether in language or otherwise.

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