One of the most apparent shortcomings on Blogger is the lack of categories. In other words, while the standard sorting by date (archives and recent posts) exist, you cannot sort your posts according to “user-defined” categories. This may not be a an issue to some, for those of us who like order in our posts, this blows a hole in the Blogger experience.
A search through the Blogger help highlights a way around this (link here
). I personally found this a bit too long drawn out, but here are the steps in brief.
- You need to be using FireFox (this works using a FireFox plug-in called Greasemonkey)
- Update FireFox to the latest edition, download and install the plug-in
- This method uses the tagging system of a site, del.icio.us to “tag” the pages, so you will have to make a del.icio.us id in case you don’t already have one (I didn’t)
- Once you are done with these steps, every time, you create and publish a post using FireFox, you will be asked to enter tags for the page. This way, your categories will now begin to appear!
Of course, I had issues with this method as well. For one, seemingly two word categories (eg armchair philosophy) were sometimes getting treated as one word (“armchair philosophy” and in some places as two words (“armchair” “philosophy”). Also, special characters like apostrophe’s etc are not allowed (Kino’s Journey). Maybe that just an issue I faced, since I’m not too familiar with the whole tagging system, but I found this method a bit too annoying.
This was when I noticed that a blog
I visited run by Rearset
had categories just the way I wanted them. Listed here
is his method, just scroll down to the bottom of his post. I have also listed the steps down here.
- Prepare separate blog posts for each index you want.
- Every time you post, remember to add the link to your index post
- Every time you post, add the title of the new post to your index page and the hyperlink the ‘permanent link’ of the post to the text.
Of course, this is no good if there are no links to your categories on your “homepage”. You will need to alter your page template (the html code page).
- Locate the portion in the template which codes to the links section on your sidebar
- Copy - paste it in the location you want your categories sidebar to appear
- Using a bit of good old fashion common sense, locate the part of the link that has the hyperlink and the part that has the text that will appear on the page. Substitute these with the links of the index pages and the text you want to appear.
- Don’t forget to rename the heading from links (which you had copy-pasted) to “categories”!
- Update this section as and when you add new categories
I prefer this method, as there was no restrictions on characters you can use plus you are in control of the words you use.
The only drawback is that your index pages will have a lot of “links to this page” but that’s not an issue with me.