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2016 in Review: Blogger updated dashboard, with more good things to come

Blogger got some nice updates in 2016, and there is a promise of more changes to come in 2017.
And some things were taken away: Google Friend Connect now requires a Google account login, the Slide Show widget stopped working, and there no longer is the option to edit or otherwise manage images now that Picasa Web Albums has been retired.
Why do I expect more good things to come? November's dashboard redesign was introduced as follows: 
". . . we’ve heard that there’s more we can do to make the platform a better place to have your unique voice be heard. So we’ll be making some adjustments over time to bring you a faster, easier to use and more beautiful Blogger.
To kick things off, we’ve taken a crack at simplifying Blogger’s dashboard so that it’s easier for you to get right to the tools you need."
I'm looking forward to seeing what's next.

In addition to the Blogger updates, Google Sites - which lets you easily make your own websites - got a major makover.  The updated Google Sites became available to everyone in November.

For webmasters, Google Analytics got a big update in September on both desktop and mobile.

Also this year: Google search results became officially "AMP'd". Unfortunately Blogger doesn't currently support creating Accelerated Mobile Pages. Maybe in 2017? I can hope!

Read on for the full list of Blogger updates in 2016 and my favorite tips!

2016: the year in Blogger updates
  • January Google Friend Connect now requires a Google login
  • February Blogger “Export/Import” is now “Import & Back Up”
  • March Google's official blogs get a custom domain! (yes, they are still using Blogger)
  • April HTTPS coming to all Blogspot domain Blogger blogs in late April
  • April Blogger post editor now has a "mixed content" warning tool to help you find and fix links without HTTPS
  • May HTTPS now enabled on all blogspot domain blogs
  • May Blogger template designers: new Lambda Expressions offer more custom template flexibility
  • May Blogger's Google+ Settings now integrated with the other blog settings
  • August Picasa Web Albums was retired, Blogger blog image albums are in the new Album Archive
  • September Announcing turndown of the Google Feed API September 29th
  • October Blogger update: Slideshow gadget retired, Search gadget searches blog only
  • October The Keyword is the new blog for product news across Google (and doesn't use Blogger)
  • November Towards a better Blogger: a new simplified dashboard and account design tweaks
Top Blogger Tips

Check out these great tips to learn more about using Blogger features. 
Want to keep up with all the Blogger updates and tips? 
Follow my Blogger & Webmaster Tips Collection on Google+!

Updated March 2019 to remove Google+ links


  1. There have also been some spiffy redesigned default templates obviously still being tested out on various Blogger staff sample blogs. They auto-format depending on screen size, seem to include a native "related posts" options, and a more simplified sharing button (including options to "Copy Link" and of course share to social networks).
    Just went checking one such blog I'd bookmarked but of course it's now been taken down. There were quite a few active out there last time I checked. So I'm hopeful that we'll be seeing the sort of things I just described rolling out in 2017. It's about time, too. How many Blogger users have been lost to Wordpress over the past few years...


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