For a Google product, Blogspot sure finds inventive ways to never get better. When I first started a blog years ago, I started it on Blogspot before moving to my own hosted setup. I had no particular preference when starting the new blog, but I wanted a WordPress account for other reasons anyway, so here I am. Commence rant.
There are two things on Blogspot that don’t work right, and annoy me every single time I encounter them.
Problem the first: Some blog themes on Blogspot have a .cap-top div in their HTML. This is apparently nothing more than a big blob of empty space in their background color, and it does not work. I’m not sure if the intention behind it is to provide a header with completely wasted space, or if it’s supposed to have an image background, or what, but all I ever see is a big blob of the background color completely blocking the top of the blog, which sometimes also blocks the top of the post. Maybe this cap works in other browsers like Chrome or (ick) IE, but frankly I doubt it because in Firefox it’s an absolute fail. As a rule, Firefox doesn’t screw up what IE gets right and it screws up very very little of what Chrome gets right (the reverse is actually more common; don’t get me started). It’s been this way in every version, and it’s not the browser’s fault; this has simply never worked. Is it just one theme, or several? I don’t know, but whoever’s responsible needs to be punched and the theme needs to be retired with prejudice if it’s never going to be fixed. This issue has been around for a very long time.
I have a filter to hide .cap-top when I’m on blogspot.com. But it doesn’t work worth crap if the blog is Blogspot-based but has a custom domain name. I may have to bite the bullet and write a Stylish CSS file to apply to every page I visit, if I ever want this problem to go away permanently. But as with most of life’s little annoyances, having to go to that trouble would just anger me more; I’d rather spend the same amount of time complaining about it, because if you don’t complain then crap doesn’t get fixed. This issue is surprisingly Google-proof as it is, and I can’t be the only one who ever noticed it.
Problem the second: Some blogs like to get fancy with a widget that loads up their post in a floating box, as if static pages aren’t good enough for them. I probably wouldn’t have a problem with this if it worked. But if you have cookies disabled, it doesn’t work at all; it just sits there showing you spinning gears while you contemplate who deserves a slap more: the idiot who designed this feature or the idiot using it. I disable cookies by default and only enable them for sites I want to interact with. Like the cap problem, this doesn’t cause me issues on Blogspot because I have cookies enabled there, but on custom domains it fails utterly. If I want to read something on one of those domains that uses this bonehead feature, I have to enable cookies there.
This nifty little floating post box also fails in a lot of mobile browsers. On my Kindle Fire, sites that do this are unreadable.
Those are the only two problems that come to mind. I’ve seen some bad WordPress themes but never anything that was outright broken. An ugly theme you can just chalk up to the author’s taste, or their limited options. But when the features on your blog interfere with anyone’s ability to actually read it, you’re doing it wrong. I shouldn’t have to enable cookies and manually remove a broken piece of the page in Firebug just to read a post somebody linked to, let alone if I’m trying to look up a Google result on a work-related search for some obscure programming issue and the page may or may not even answer my question.