Blogging_: categories categories categories in Blogger blogs


You can have categories in your blog in 5 minutes flat!


Looking to include categories in your Blogger blog? Check out these blogs that use my netcf2 hack:
...
Pop Culture Jeblog
an entertainment blog
reviews on music, DVDs, books...

Freshblog (mentions), Ubi Dubium Ibi Libertas (mentions), Brown Rab Girl Fish, Great Britain, not little England (mentions), 7CM Internet Marketing Blog (mentions), Gavin Corder's Blog, Pike Mot Samtiden, This is not my country, Tempus Fugit (mentions), Capital Defense Weekly, Em duas línguas (mentions), Graça Morais, par Lui, avec Lui et en Lui , For Myself and Strangers , idei de imprumut , A Rare View, Okazu, the truth hurts, Amateur Gardening, Forest Law, mckib•in•nihon, owsblog and many more - see my technorati ranking and google search.

Many bloggers have noticed that categories are not supported in Blogger. If you've used them before, you'll know categories are a good thing to have. In fact, many other blogging sites and popular blogware such as WordPress actually allow bloggers to create/manage categories and classify all their posts under them.

It is possible to have categories in your Blogger blog. A simple search (in Google or Blogger) shows that there are hacks to do it (see my previous post on which are the more popular techniques). However, these hacks are a little complicated for some, especially if you only need a basic category function. And most of these hacks rely on external sites to do the tagging, such as Technorati and del.icio.us.



If all you need is a simple yet effective categorizing feature in your blog, here's how you can do it in 5 minutes flat. I even wrote a script generator, so you can easily generate the code to add to your sidebar template (very much like adding new links or Adsense code). In the spirit of clarity, I rehash what I posted previously here:
  1. Visit the script generator here.
  2. Enter your blog URL in the first textbox. Leave out the "http://", and very importantly, leave out the "www." as well (this is because www.yourblog.blogspot.com is actually an alias to the actual yourblog.blogspot.com)
  3. Next, enter your first category in the next textbox.
  4. To add one more category, click on the link "click this to add one more category" and enter it in the textbox that appears. Repeat this step, if necessary, to add more categories.
  5. Finally, click the link "Generate code" to generate the code. Click on the code and press Ctrl-C to copy the code.
  6. Go to your blog Template and look for the section called sidebar. Then paste the copied code at the place where you want the categories to appear.
  7. Save your template and republish your blog.
  8. Note that this technique (or hack) actually makes use of Blogger Search to categorize your posts. Thus it is important that you name the categories appropriately so that the search results return the correct posts. The category name should contain keywords that appear in your post. One extremely effective way, which I use, is to either (1) prefix every post's title with its category name, for example, "Blogging: categories categories...", or (2) ensure that your post contains the category name somewhere.
  9. (You may need to republish your entire blog sometimes, to let Blogger index your pages.) If you find that Blogger Search is not searching your blog, check that you have activated the "Site Feed" and "Notify Weblogs.com" features for your blog (under Settings), and that your template does not contain a meta tag to stop the search bots from indexing your blog.
  10. You are done! If you like my technique/hack, please support this blog by making a small donation via PayPal (click the icon at the top left of this page). Any amount is appreciated. Thank you.

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