A Consuming Experience

Thoughts on my experiences as a consumer of products, services, people (well maybe not that last one...), from reviews to raves, rants and random thoughts - concentrating on technology, gadgets, software, product usability, consumer issues, customer service. Including some introductory guides and tips on various subjects (like blogging!) which stumped me until I figured them out. And the occasional ever so slightly naughty observation.

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Blogger: deleting the navbar or Blogger button

Saturday, June 18, 2005
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Bloggers who use Blogger with Blogger's free Blogspot hosting service sometimes wonder whether they can get rid of or hide the Blogger navbar (the horizontal bar at the top of Blogspot-hosted blogs, which starts off as orange though you can change the colour - effectively the Blogger header), or delete the "Powered by Blogger" button from their template.

Well there are ways of "deleting" the navbar, and the Blogger button is easily got rid of just by deleting the code for it in your template - but Blogger don't want us to. (Unless you host your blog elsewhere - if you do, and use ftp to upload your blog posts to another provider, you're fine - Blogger don't mind your deleting the navbar in that situation.)

Their terms of service don't actually spell out that, in return for our being able to publish our blogs to Blogspot for free, we have to retain the navbar and the Blogger button. (In fact their TOS don't even seem to have been changed from the days when Blogspot offered a paid-for premium option, so it seems rather in need of updating).

They do suggest that the navbar should be retained, in their Navbar help page ("Unless you publish your blog via FTP, the Navbar cannot be disabled" (my emphasis)) - but that's an ambiguous "cannot" and could refer to the mechanics, which is initially what they said to me (In fact, they said that if they hadn't provided an option to do something in Blogger, then it mustn't be done. I queried that very narrow view, as you can imagine - there are loads of areas where Blogger haven't provided an option to do something, but that doesn't mean everything they haven't specifically provided an option for is therefore forbidden by their TOS. If such a rigid view was taken, that might mean no hacks were allowed, which surely can't be the case!).

Now if only they'd said "must not be disabled" in the TOS or even help pages, we would all know for sure where we stand. I suppose they could say that not including the navbar and icon would be against the "spirit" of their terms (see item 9 of the terms), but "spirit" is just so vague.

However, that is indeed what Blogger require, so Blogger support told me. Let's hope that their legal team will update their terms to make it very clear what the bare minimum is that Blogger requires of its members. Most of us want to be good citizens and to do what we're supposed to - at the very least it's only fair, when they give us a free publishing tool and free webspace for our posts - but it's not easy to do what they want us to, if they don't spell out exactly what it is they require of us.

Anyway (unless anyone has been told differently by Blogger?), that's the long and short of it, folks: don't delete or hide the navbar or Blogger icon, or you may find Blogger taking down your blog or stopping your hosting on Blogspot. They might not in fact do anything as drastic as that in practice, who knows, and maybe they have better things to do with their time than track down and warn the offending bloggers or worse - but it seems that they're saying they think they have a right to. Best not to risk it, in my view.

[Updated 23 March 2006]: Blogger have now come right out and said very clearly that they consider it a violation of their TOS if you modify the navbar. I think this has to include hiding it altogether too - see my post.

Besides the navbar has its uses - it can be used to search Google's index of your blog (see the Navbar help), without your having to do anything more (assuming your blog has been indexed by Google, of course). And you can change its colour to tie in better with your blog's colour scheme (in your Dashboard go to Template, the Change the Blogger NavBar dropdown menu is above the template box). Plus the button can be changed a little to blue and orange, grey and orange, or silver and - yep, you guessed it - orange!

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22 Comment(s):

I think keeping the nav bar is a small price to pay, and it allows people to blog surf. In its current format, it's small, relatively indiscreet and can blend with the template design.

(By ChickyBabe, at Sunday, June 19, 2005 1:07:00 AM)  Edit Comment

You are right, the nav bar can stay. Thanks for the post. All these days I had not bothered to change the color of the nav bar - I did that today!

(By SatishTalim, at Sunday, June 19, 2005 6:01:00 AM)  Edit Comment

I confess! I removed my navbar. I deserve a good spanking I do. ;-)Naughty blogger..

You're right of course that the TOS is kinda vague, and terms of service can be changed on a whim anyway. So if you want to be absolutely sure than keep the navbar. It really wouldn't be a tradgedy if my blog got pulled so I'm gonna live dangerously.

I do keep my powered by blogger button though...maybe they'll lemme stay.

(By RedRyder, at Sunday, June 19, 2005 6:26:00 AM)  Edit Comment

CB & ST - yes I agree. I barely notice the navbar there anyway. But the silver's definitely nicer than the orange!

Redryder - yes you obviously need a good smacking, why anyone would think you'd done that on purpose, you bad bad blogger you! ;-) (shaking head). There, I wonder if Blogger will view that as sufficient punishment for you and let you stay now? :-D

(By Improbulus, at Sunday, June 19, 2005 9:43:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Blogger bar blows big babe! Hehe. it’s the most ugly shoddy code I have seen on a google project.

I spent a log time chatting to a robotic virtual voice (Tanzanian accent?) about that also, they wouldn’t come out and say “NO you must keep it” or “Yes it can be removed”. But made it clear all support will diminish if I do remove it.. which is also true if you use a non stock template, modified template, ftp.

Surprised why someone (like a referral whore) hasn’t put their ?=ID where the next blog goes.

Branding is accomplished by .blogspot.com but sticking us in uniforms is nothing short of nazi rule to this GNU girl. And EasyJet orange at that..!

(By TaB, at Tuesday, June 21, 2005 7:53:00 AM)  Edit Comment

I got rid of my NavBar just because I didn't think it was fair that I should have it saying I hosted it my own site!

Also, it made my site look bad.

(By J Anderson, at Thursday, June 23, 2005 4:36:00 PM)  Edit Comment

G-BOAC - yes they're vague aren't they? I tried to get a definite answer out of them about removing blogs and they just came back with the same stuff about reserving the right to terminate any blog that doesn't comply with their TOS - my point is, they don't make it clear enough that removing the navbar IS non-compliance with their TOS!

Mr Anderson - they do allow people to get rid of the navbar if hosting on their own sites, even if you use Blogger to publish. I'll edit my post to spell that out, thanks.

(By Improbulus, at Wednesday, June 29, 2005 8:04:00 AM)  Edit Comment

I did not hide the navbar, but I translated in French. Since my blog is in French, I wanted something homogeneous!

Here is the code
(work for any language, but the explaination are... In French :)

(By Erwan, at Sunday, July 03, 2005 6:07:00 AM)  Edit Comment

being a css noob, i modified another tempalte instead of creating my own hopeless kludge from scratch. i've only just discovered that the navbar is actually a useful tool, so i've reworked the template to allow it to be shown. cheers for the discussion on this.


(By Sigsputnik, at Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:28:00 AM)  Edit Comment

sigsputnik, thanks for the comment, glad you managed to rework your template.

Erwan, sorry, completely missed your comment before - a French version sounds useful to many!

(By Improbulus, at Friday, April 28, 2006 8:45:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Thanks, I was testing this out on my billiard website. The billiard blog wouldnt accommodate the code. It worked in FF, but not in IE. I have decided in the end to remove it, rather than risk all of my time being lost if google decided to delete it.

(By billiardsforum, at Saturday, May 27, 2006 12:24:00 AM)  Edit Comment

Billiardsforum, personally I think it's best to leave the navbar in. Craffter aka Avatar has worked out a way to have a show/hide navbar however - up to you whether you want to try it! I'm too cautious to take the risk, myself.

(By Improbulus, at Monday, May 29, 2006 10:46:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Put the code between the


#b-navbar {


(By wmc, at Tuesday, July 18, 2006 6:25:00 AM)  Edit Comment

That looks like it should work too wmc but remember that it may be against Blogger's TOS to hide the navbar, which is my point...

(By Improbulus, at Sunday, July 23, 2006 10:06:00 PM)  Edit Comment

but how to change the icon next to our url?

(By Ashwini, at Tuesday, February 13, 2007 3:02:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Ashwini, that's a favicon. On how to create your own favicon and set your blog template to display it, see this post.

(By Improbulus, at Tuesday, February 27, 2007 9:11:00 AM)  Edit Comment

Here's an article that has an improved solution on how to remove the blogger nav bar.

(By Zvonko, at Tuesday, March 06, 2007 11:47:00 AM)  Edit Comment

Thanks Zvonko, making the navbar show/hide is a neat idea. But I still don't know if that would amount to "modifying" the navbar in relation to the TOS, or not...

(By Improbulus, at Tuesday, March 20, 2007 9:21:00 PM)  Edit Comment

hi, improbulus! hey, i need some clarification here. i'm about to change my template but the one i'm switching to does NOT include the navbar (it has an ajax application that affects the upper part of the blog, allow me to put the link to the demo version so you can see what i'm talking about. this is not my blog it's only the template! http://foliage-for-blogger.blogspot.com/, i don't know if that has anything to do with that, though)
so i would need you to tell me how to put it back on, please.
cute blog, thanks so much!
see you!

(By lucasb., at Monday, April 09, 2007 11:50:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Hi Lucasb, best to change the template first and do what you want to with it, and when you're ready let me know & I'll try to take a look. You can also probably get help from the people on the Blogger Google group who'll be a lot more up on navbars on New Blogger than me!

(By Improbulus, at Friday, April 13, 2007 7:26:00 PM)  Edit Comment

i finally figured it out myself, copypasted the code of my current navbar in the body of the new blog, added some tweaking to it and that was all. thanks for the tip on blogger google group anyways.
see ya!

(By lucasb., at Saturday, April 14, 2007 3:06:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Cool lucasb, good on you, glad you figured it out! And yep lots of people hang out at the Google Group, so it can be useful, more brains better than one.

(By Improbulus, at Sunday, April 15, 2007 11:47:00 AM)  Edit Comment

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