At last after months of waiting, Blogger has updated its Blogger in Draft interface. We users have probably had to wait until the soft launch of Google +, as other areas of Google are also receiving updates during this time. When I logged on this morning to my Blogger account, I was very pleased to see the new interface in Blogger in Draft. Some users are already unhappy with it, mainly the colours used and the waste of space on the page, but I for one prefer it to the older version, its light, looks far more in keeping with todays web pages, and is an absolute joy to use.
The first page that greets you is your Dashboard. Your blogs are all listed at the top of the much wider page with the reading list of the blogs that you follow underneath. At the right hand side of each blog are three icons, the first takes you to the new online editor which again is the full width of the page.
At the right hand side of the editor are the post settings where you can add labels, a schedule when you wish the post to be published, a location for the post and lastly other options such as allowing comments on this post, backlinks, the compose mode and line breaks. All the usual editing and composing features run along the top of the Compose area.
The next icon which is in the shape of a house consists of a drop down list which contains the following, Posts, Comments, Stats, Earnings (from AdSense if you use this on your blog) Layout, Template and lastly Settings.
Selecting Posts takes you to a list of your posts where you can edit, add tags etc. to any of your previous posts. You will also notice that whilst I was taking a look at the new online editor and doing a demo post for my screen grab, Blogger saved the post automatically because it’s there in the list. (take notice Live Writer, auto save in the background!)
Clicking on Comments from the drop down list takes you to the new comments page where you can edit any comments that appear on your blog posts. Stats show you a very comprehensive view of your visitors to your blog in an easy to understand graph, either for hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or for all time, a map showing where most of them live and also the traffic sources such as Twitter etc.
You will probably have noticed that every page also contain the same list on the left hand side as the drop down list on your Dashboard so that you can easily access those choices without having to return to the main Dashboard page. Clicking on Layout takes you to the new Layout page where you can change the layout of your blog as you wish.
Selecting Template takes you to the new template page where you can simply change your blog to a new template or customise a new template which will take you to the Template Designer. Clicking on each template will give you a Preview of your blog so that you can see how it looks before you decide to change it or customise it. You can download a copy of your current blog to your computer before you make any changes, just in case you make a hash of it or change your mind later.
You can see how your blog looks in the other Templates from this preview by simply clicking on the arrows in the preview window to move onto the next template or the previous one. Selecting Settings from the list allows you to alter the basic settings for your blog such as its Title, the description, add authors, state who can read your blog and whether it can be trawled by search engines.
Your Reading List on the main Dashboard page now looks really attractive. It includes a small picture from each blog, and you are also given the option to read your list of followed blogs in Google Reader if you prefer on the right hand side.
All in all I really like the new user interface. It’s attractive and easy to navigate around. Okay, there is quite a bit of wasted space on some pages, but its a vast improvement to the previous version in my opinion. Of course, if you don’t like the new version, you can always use the old version by choosing not to use Blogger in Draft for your Dashboard.