Google is finally rolling out the changes to Blogger after months of tinkering with the interface of its blogging platform.
On Wednesday, Google announced that the changes - which should make the interface easier to use and more efficient - will be appearing shortly.
Blogger's graphics have been improved, but it doesn't stop there. Blogger product manager Chang Kim said: "We've rewritten the entire editing and management experience from scratch so it’s faster and more efficient for you — and easier for us to update and improve over time."
Google has made accessing the editor for writing and modifying posts smoother and swifter. Whether a blogger is in dashboard mode or on the settings page, they can return to the posting editor by clicking a button at the tops of those pages.
The post editor has been simplified and expanded to offer more space for writing and reviewing posts.
The dashboard also has a new look - now it has an "Overview" section which gives bloggers a quick snapshot of activity on their blog. It has a graph of recent traffic numbers, for instance. It also gives bloggers a view of recent comment activity and a tally of follower counts. And for inspiration, the section includes helpful links, a feed of updates from other bloggers and a showcase of other blogs that Google thinks will interest the blogger. Another alteration in the new interface is the replacement of the 'Monetization' tab with an 'Earnings' one. This change is primarily cosmetic, but is part of Google's efforts to make the language it uses throughout its services easier for users to understand.
Whether it's called 'Monetization' or 'Earnings', the tab still refers to income earned by a blogger through AdSense ads placed on their blog pages. When AdSense is activated through the tab, Blogger automatically retrieves earnings information from AdSense, saving the blogger a trip to the AdSense Website.
Few previous upgrades to Blogger
Google has been touting the Blogger changes since March. Even though Blogger has consistently been one of the top 10 visited websites on the internet, it has changed very little for more than a decade. In its first major upgrade in 2004, for example, the Blogger dashboard was enlarged and improved to allow posting by email. In 2006, it allowed blog posts to be categorised and drag-and-drop to be used when laying out pages. And that's about it.
Recently, however, up and coming services such as Tumblr have outshined Blogger with slick interfaces, mobile apps and better content discovery systems. More importantly the new blogging services found ways to incorporate social networking techniques into what they offer. That social networking slant is something Google hopes to cash in on, too, with its Blogger revamp.