How can we improve our blog?

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I am merging a number of topics here to bring everything together.  If you agree with the ideas entered in the original post, then click the Like button.  There is no need to add the same idea more than once.  If you have an additional enhancement idea, please feel free to add a comment. 

Here are the hot items our customers have asked for so far.

1) Simplify the process of adding an image.  We agree, but for now, you will need to follow these instructions

2) A simple way to share blog posts to various social media sites.

3) The CAPTCHA(challenge phrase) is very difficult.  Can it be made easier or can I toggle it off?

4) I would like visitors to be able to create a new topic on my blog rather than simply comment on topics I create.

5) I would like to be able to add videos to the blog.

6) It would be nice to have 2 or more different blogs on my site.
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Drew N, Community Manager

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Posted 4 years ago

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Bryan6483

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
I need an easier way to add photos to my blog..


I would like to try using the blog feature with my site. I need to post some pictures of my work but when I click on the insert photo icon it puts up a screen to prompt me for my pictures. It requires a photo url. My photos that I want to use are stored on my computer and do not have a url. I just want to take them right from my hard drive just like I do when I use my blogger.com blog but I don't see a way to do that. Can anybody help me out with this?
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Mary3106

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I agree! The photo posting is horrible, cumbersome, time consuming!  For heavens sake, I can't understand what the problem is with making this more user friendly.  Pulling photo's off my hard drive is working with programs that are over 10 years old! 
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Mike F., Alum

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Bryan6483 and Mary3106, Since the blog requires a photo url, you need to upload the image to the server. This is easily done by importing the image to the file manager. This page shows how to add photos to the file manager for the blog.
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Mary3106

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I'm with Mary, you're missing the whole point.  Sure with enough jumping through the hoops I can do all kinds of loading, but don't make me do it.  This is a pain and time consuming.  I have a business to run and I don't have the time or patience to mess around with such an archaic loading sequence.  Make it a simple drag and drop and we'll all be happy!
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Drew N, Community Manager

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We agree with you as well.  We are simply trying to give you the simplest way to do it now. 

Thanks for the feedback.
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Pam7996

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Blog Help.


I have read through the other issues on blog development. My website will be stronger with a blog that is well integrated on my site (which I am paying for already through Homestead). As such, I am confounded that your answers consistently say that as customers we should either integrate a wordpress or blogger version instead of the one you have. Firstly, I cannot completely figure out how to bring either blog over effectively, and secondly I'd rather you gave yours a significant upgrade. I've been paying for a Homestead site for years, and am conflicted about staying here given the bulky nature of the interface after all this time, and this blog issue.
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Luther6300

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Sharing blog posts.


Is it possible to add links to the end of blog posts to make it easy for viewers to share the post to Facebook or LinkedIn?
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Cassandra S

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This is the #1 blog issue I'd like to see changed.  I hate having to post and then go back and manually add facebook and twitter links.  It's a pain in the butt work-around that shouldn't even be necessary.  A little modification to the blog features should allow it to automate this information.
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Mike F., Alum

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Thanks for your comments.
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Luther6300

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I like the one-stop-shop for blog issues.  I looked today and my blog doesn't want to show up.  When I preview the page in SiteBuilder it shows up (just with placeholder text) but loading the page straight from the internet doesn't work.
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Drew N, Community Manager

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It seems to be loading now. Let us know if you still have an issue.
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George0083

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Blog Comments: CAPTCHA too difficult..


The CAPTCHA entry feature for blog comments is much too tough to use. It often just keeps rejecting entries and many of my readers are just giving up. .
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tamara

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How can customers post in my blog?.


I want clients to start their own topics and questions
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Ngan9397

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Add an option to allow videos within a homestead blog..


Is there a way to embed video within the blog? Would it work to upload the video to YouTube, and then use that html code in a blog entry?
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Intuitive Ladies

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yes embed youtube html. If you have issues check the code and remove anything that looks like homestead.com in the code.
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Tedia3946

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Is there a way to allow visitors to share my content?.


Is there a way to allow visitors to share my content? I received a complaint that a visitor was trying to share my blog post from a mobile device and couldn't. I don't see anything I can add to my site to enable someone to email a link to someone - all buttons seem to only be directed to a specific email I set, and will not allow me to allow a visitor to send a link or content to their designee... Is there a way to enable sharing?
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Gail6062

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Multiple Blogs.


Can I create more than one blog using the blog feature on my homestead website? We work in several industries and I'd like to have industry-focused blogs for each sector.
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Drew N, Community Manager

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If you have other ideas, please add them here.

Thanks

Drew
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John1845

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I think it is completely unthinkable that we can not post videos to our blogs. Why in the world would a blog be available to us that does not have the ability to imbed a video? It makes no sense. Also being able to share more easily with social media needs to be addressed, in my strong opinion. The only reason why I am still using homestead is because I inherited it, and our company has been using it for so long. However when I start comparing it to other services, it is in many ways substandard service we are all receiving. Homestead is sending a message that they are not willing to keep up with the times, and eventually it is going to bite them because they will not be making new users, and faithful users are being forced to change service providers to stay current. I advocate that videos should be made available and social media tools should be made available.
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Intuitive Ladies

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For most things on my homestead site I use a 3rd party service, one of them is AddThis.com you can set up and style all of your social media buttons and place them on your pages via HTML as I have on the top & bottom of my homepage at AcrossTheRealms.com. Another similar site I found was ShareThis.com. Lastly I upgraded to blogger, mapped a sub-domain blog.acrosstherealms.com and made it so that if you click on blog you are re-directed to our blogger blog were I again added my social media buttons. We get 2000+ visits a day though blogger + you have several widget options i.e photo, video and your post titles are automatically arranged for you so, in my option its worth the added effort. You can however embed a video on your homestead blog with the youtube embed code pasted into your HTML when you create your blog post in site edit (there are other forums about this).  
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John1845

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Thank you for this great info. I will put it to good use.
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Mike F., Alum

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John1845,   You can add a video to your blog by uploading the video file into your file manager, publishing the file and then add the following code in the blog post.

 Visit the following page for detailed steps: Can I add an HTML5 video to my site?

<video autoplay controls preload="auto" width="428" height="240" name="myvideo" id="myvideo"> 
<source src="yourvideo.mp4" type="video/mp4" /> 
<source src="yourvideo.m4v" type="video/mp4" /> 
<source src="yourvideo.ogv" type="video/ogg" /> 
<source src="yourvideo.webm" type="video/webm" /> 
*Your web browser does not support HTML5 video* 
</video><br>


Unfortunately this seems to work on all browsers except IE.  This script utilizes the newer HTML5 which seems to be supported by all the major browsers and our SiteBuilder Plus software but not Internet Explorer. 
(Edited)
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John1845

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Thank you so much for your response. I am excited to try this out I have been wanting to post videos to my blog for some time now. Thank you, thank you!
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Mike F., Alum

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You're welcome.  On a similar subject, here are steps if you wish to use the HTML5 method for audio clips as well: Can I play an audio file using HTML5 in SiteBuilder?

Mike 
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Sarah5434

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Why is the homestead.com blog infinitely better than what is available to us payi....

I would really appreciate a more modern blog interface, both for me and for my site visitors. The small business blog that homestead.com uses looks awesome - why are we not able as customers to have that same functionality?

It would be great to have:
tags/categories
archive
other typical blog features that are lacking at the moment.

Thanks!
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Drew N, Community Manager

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We are currently upgrading many back end systems to provide a more modern platform from which we should be able to make some needed enhancements to your web services.
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Sarah5434

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Any ETA? Also, one I forgot the other day, allowing people to subscribe to the blog. 
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Bryon7394

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Typical homestead, 6 months later, and not one single improvement.
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Peggy4Jesus

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Hi, well I am working on making my own blog menu on separate page but getting urls wrong here is the page working on http://www.christiangentilemag.net/Menu.html  got one main catergories  then sub catergories I am working on be easier for my readers find once fixed which will keep them coming back people love easy access will have other holidays in there but first must fix links before moving on

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Peggy4Jesus

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be nice have something like that with drop down menu select catorgires you want then shpws it along with sub catorgaries cause getting the right url pain in the but but did fix them add more later
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Peggy4Jesus

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I know I don't want people adding new blog posts on mine all for the rest


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William S

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Sounds good. We will add your recommendation to the existing blog improvement request we have with our developers. We really appreciate the feedback and ideas. 
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Peggy4Jesus

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no problem viewers love easy access to things and easy find I find the blog very hard to find thing which could impact ratting of your users websites which not good for us or ya'll
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Elisa9404

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While we are on the topic of upgrading the blog platform, it would be great if there was a way to enter the blog post, and then schedule the post to publish on a specified date and time. I typically write blog posts in bunches, and it would be awesome to schedule the posts as soon as I am finished writing them, rather than letting them sit as a draft until the day I want to post.  Thanks,
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Elisa9404

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Do you have a weekly or monthly newsletter that you send to clients that announce what's new and how it might help us? This would cut down on a lot of searching for answers for many folks. For example the video in the blog request (an easier option than the work-around provided) is over a year old...thoughts on such an idea? Is there one already? Thank you!
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William S

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Hello,

I do apologize for the long wait, but at the time we do not have an ETA when any changes would be implemented. We will notify the community with an update when we hear about new features being added. 
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Kimara0309

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Menus of blog topics.

This would be good if someone is on your site for one blog then they see the title of another that is of interest.
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Robert Meagher

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Hello Drew and Homestead BLOG improvement team. I have been watching this discussion closely and want to thank you for your responsiveness to all customer suggestions. It has been some time since we had an update in regard to if and when Homestead will be offering an update/upgrade to its current BLOG feature. Can you provide us with an update? Can Homestead customers look forward to an updated BLOG feature in this calendar year?...or can we look forward to have something new in 2016?
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Jennifer3538

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How do I respond to my customer's comments on my blog? Currently I'm just posting my own comment (frustrating with the ridiculously difficult captcha) with their name. Is there a better way to respond? 
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Todd H, Social Media Specialist

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There is not a way to reply directly to the person who left a comment on your blog unfortunately.
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Kathy2323

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I created another idea topic called 'Blog Enhancement Timeline' and consolidated the requests originally listed here as well as from other postings. This is the consolidated list that I have at this time.

1. Provide the ability to post Blog directly to social media. It's counterproductive to have to go to the social media site and post a link back to the Blog.

2.Provide the ability for customers to subscribe to the blog so they get notified when a new post is created

3.Provide the ability to manage Blog comments. Examples include notification and acceptance or not, prior to a comment being publicly posted, as well as a request for name/email.  Ability to respond to customer's comments rather than just posting another comment.  on my blog?

4.Simplify the process of adding an image or video. Create a more user friendly experience.  

5.Create a mobile friendly interface for posting new blogs

6. Provide the ability to schedule posts to publish on a specified date and time.

7. Provide the ability to have 2 or more different blogs on a single site

8. Provide the ability to be able to create a new topic on a blog rather than simply comment on topics I create.

9. Simplify the CAPTCHA(challenge phrase).  Can it be made easier or be toggled off?

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Brian4612, Champion

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Gets my vote Kathy, but would comment on a couple of things. 2) not started my blog yet but I seem to remember a subscribe option in there and 9) Captcha is a painful process, even the latest version with photographs BUT in view of the amount of spammers out there searching for emails, I would like some form of challenge phrase.
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Christine9434

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Thank you for this.  I am especially waiting on #3.  What is the current development status/timeline of these requests? Some of the features had already been available in the old builder.
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Hugh

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I see there is a new option using the new “Website Builder” to develop a Blog. Doing a search in this Help Community, it looks like there is not much interest lately as all the posts except for Kathy’s great ideas that I totally agree with.

 

I would like to add, what is the possibility to register a Domain with the TLD (extension) “blog” either with Homestead and if not, can one purchase the TLD from a Third Party like GoDaddy and use on a Homestead Site?

 

Maybe some Homestead Users would like to post their Blogs on this Community Site for others to get a better idea of the possibilities. 
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Robert Meagher

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Drew, 

Has there been any update/upgrade to the blog feature in Site Builder plus since October 2017? If not, does Homestead have any plans to update/upgrade the blog feature?

Sincerely,

Robert
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Drew N, Community Manager

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I don't currently have information on this. I will see if I can find out.
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Robert Meagher

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Thank you, Drew. I appreciate it. The last time we spoke about this was almost 2 years ago. I would like to continue to use the Homestead blog feature, but it's just not very flexible. I am considering hiring a web developer to create a blog with WordPress. Can you give me an update on Homestead's efforts to update its blog feature / toolset?
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Drew N, Community Manager

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I am trying. Most development is being done on our newer Websitebuilder product, but we are upping our resources for Sitebuilder Plus as well.