Saturday, April 29, 2006
One of the main reasons I chose Blogger was its dead-simple content management interface. You can sign up, select a pre-made template, and get to the blogging in no time flat, but how do you integrate your shiny new Blogger blog into your existing site?
My site (I know, it's hardly a site, but anyway...) uses server-side includes which contain functions that render various portions of the page. As you're aware, this significantly reduces maintenance time for site-wide changes, but you're left updating your blog template in a piecemeal fashion.
To ease the pain, I created this template page which lives on my server and uses my server-side includes to render the Blogger template. Whenever I make site-wide changes to my includes, I open that template page in a browser, view its source, then copy & paste the contents into my Blogger template and voila! Because my includes render some relative paths, Blogger must publish via FTP to my site in order to keep my link references from breaking. It's also nice to have my entire site live on ioyu.com.
It's not completely automatic, but it's much better than manually syncing up the code. Security concerns notwithstanding, I had also considered configuring the server so that .html files are executable, which would allow me to embed those server includes and function calls in the Blogger template itself. It would be pretty cool if I could specify what file extension Blogger should use when FTPing files to my site... (Maybe a feature request?)