Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Normal Service Will Be Resumed

I manage this weblog via Blogger, but host it on a server of my own or, more accurately, my company's own. I run my own hosting service in effect, and in day-to-day operation Blogger updates my server via FTP publishing.

Now that I'm starting to use labels more regularly, I was looking to add some sort of widget that displayed them to my design when I learned:
Blogger Layouts customisation is not supported for blogs hosted on non-Blog*Spot servers. To use Layouts, you'll need to host your blog on
(Blogger's free hosting service) or a
custom domain (point your own registered domain name to your blog).

I've often thought that if we were launching the company today rather than a decade ago, we wouldn't invest in any infrastructure at all but would simply build products on industrial scale services hosted in "The Cloud". Looking at Google's plans for Blogger - such as video upload - at Blogger in Draft, I think that this may be a good time to move "A Welsh Born Icon" over to them.

So, how do I go about moving it with as little friction as possible? I want to keep the same address so I will have to create a DNS CNAME record for it, associating with This should be simple enough as I manage the domain via (another cloud service if you like and a lot less hassle than managing

There's a problem though, when I move from FTP publishing to a custom domain - "computer says no":
Images (or other files) from your server are not copied over to the Blogger servers. If you leave your server up and running, then the image tags and links in your posts will continue to work. Alternatively, you can re-upload your images to Blogger so they're hosted on our servers.
I've got plenty of images, certainly too many to reload, and the odd custom file like

The way around this seems to be a missing files host:
If you choose to specify a missing files host, it will be used as a fallback server whenever someone tries to access a file that cannot be found on your blog.

What I will have to do is set up DNS (and IIS) to serve up the blog to date on, say, and set that up as the missing files catchall.

There is a further problem with Google Maps though, the API key in the code that I use to generate the maps is only valid for a single "directory", so I will have to update that code when I move the blog.

Today is due to be the last episode of "eat your way around the world in London" before we shut up shop for the summer and go to AbbeyFest instead, so I will get that out of the way and then move the blog next week.

I can always move it back if it goes wrong, but remember service may be a little flaky for a day or so as any DNS change propagates around the globe.

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