Posted in Undependable Support

Google turning off the lights for Bloggers using FTP

A few weeks ago, Google announced that its Blogger “service” would drop support for File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, publishing. Blogger’s FTP publishing option has long been used by people who want to publish a blog as part of their own, non-Google hosted website, but use a hosted service to maintain the blog from the backend. Google has decided to end support for that option:

FTP remains a significant drain on our ability to improve Blogger: only .5% of active blogs are published via FTP — yet the percentage of our engineering resources devoted to supporting FTP vastly exceeds that. On top of this, critical infrastructure that our FTP support relies on at Google will soon become unavailable, which would require that we completely rewrite the code that handles our FTP processing.

It turns out that that point five percent are a vocal, savvy bunch… and they’re mad. Originally, Google was going to shut down FTP publishing on March 26th, but it has backed off and given users an extra month to make the “all or nothing” choice: Either migrate a Blogger blog to Google’s servers, or leave Blogger. Not surprisingly, many people are choosing to leave.

Writes one user:

Cut sleazy “migration” buzzword.

We don’t want to move our content to your servers, since you like to shut down services the moment you decide it’s ‘outdated’ or hurts your bottom line.

I’m done with Blogger forever unless you keep FTP for people who like me who have been using it for years.

Another says:

Putting in my two cents again about the disappointment that Blogger is shutting down the FTP updating. I had spent a lot of time and effort getting my sites working with Blogger, and for me, it was the ideal situation because I could update all of them from one location online.

Since the initial announcement, I tried both Thingamablog and b2evolution. TAMB is based on your computer, b2evo is installed on your server. I wanted to throw both of those out there for the any that are migrating away from Blogger because of this changeover. I tried both of them, and with some configuring, I was able to import all of my posts, with correct dates.

And another:

Unfortunately, I have to take my blog elsewhere – thank you for the free service over the past 6 years. One of the things that would help with my migration is knowing the algorithm you use to generate the URL of a blog post please.

Still another:

FTP is time tested software.

Hard to believe the mighty Google is afraid of FILE TRANFER PROTOCOL.

Still not too late to come to your senses. Not only will I de-Google my Blog but I’ll de-Google everthing — except Gmail I suppose, since that would be too onerous even for me.

And I’ll urge others to do the same.

Because if you screw us once, you’re bound to screw us again and anytime you feel like it.

Michael observes:

So you’re solving problems I might have on my end (i.e. my ISP & FTP) by just eliminating what could cause the problem despite the problem not being on your end. Yeah, thanks.

I’ve moved to WordPress.

Finally, foobarmus points out:

The tragedy of this imminent move is that many blogs currently accessible to readers in China no longer will be.

The great firewall does IP based blocking as well as many other kinds, has been blocking blogspot for years, but they can’t block all the ftp bloggers in one fell swoop, because it simply isn’t technically feasible.

Those blogs are now going to end up on google servers, which means it will be much simpler to block them all – and this will happen in due course, as certainly as our sun will turn into a black dwarf. This means that less information unprocessed by the central government will be available to your average Chinese person, which is basically a bad thing for humanity.

Please rethink this strategy, for the sake of Chinese people who are trying to live informed lives.

All of these comments come from the blog Google set up to focus on the “migration” or “transition”.

FTP publishing users have until May 1st to find a new platform. We recommend WordPress. Other possibilities are Serendipity and Movable Type.