Saturday, 18 June 2005

Blogger: deleting the navbar or Blogger button






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. [UPDATE: it's good that Blogger have now updated their TOS to remove the "spirit" requirement. Good for them.]

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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27 comments:

ChickyBabe said...

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.

SatishTalim said...

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!

RedRyder said...

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.

Improbulus said...

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

TaB said...

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..!

J Anderson said...

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.

Improbulus said...

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.

Erwan said...

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
http://b-dash.blogspot.com/2005/06/navbar-blogger-en-franais.html
(work for any language, but the explaination are... In French :)

Sigsputnik said...

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.

http://myminitruck.blogspot.com/

Improbulus said...

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!

billiardsforum said...

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.

Improbulus said...

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.

wmc said...

Put the code between the

~style~

#b-navbar {
height:0px;
visibility:hidden;
display:none
}

~/style~

Improbulus said...

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...

Ashwini said...

but how to change the icon next to our url?

Improbulus said...

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

Zvonko said...

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

Improbulus said...

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...

lucasb. said...

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!

Improbulus said...

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!

lucasb. said...

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!

Improbulus said...

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.

Jonny D said...

I used the invisible navbar code weeks ago but it just came back on its own 3 days ago and stayed. I was looking for the code again and came across your discussion.

Improbulus said...

Jonny D, maybe it's a tweak at the Blogger end (as it seems we're not supposed to hide the navbar). There are tweaks around for hiding the navbar on New Blogger (Blogger in Beta), just try searching for that on Google, but remember what I said about the TOS. Myself, I'm playing it safe - it doesn't take up much space.

Ian MacGregor said...

In case anyone is interested in whether or not hiding the blogger navbar is a violation of the Blogger TOS, it isn't. See the following post with an explanation by a Blogger employee:
http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help-customizing/browse_thread/thread/c7e3226fe35da11e?fwc=1&pli=1

Improbulus said...

Thanks Ian. I'm still uncomfortable with the "draw your own conclusions" given the presence of "Unless you publish your blog via FTP, the Navbar cannot be disabled" on their Navbar help page. Clearly Blogger staff have changed their tune from what they told me in 2005!

I wish they would just delete that sentence from the Navbar help page. It may not be in the TOS but it's still on that Help page. If it's OK to delete the navbar they should just say so unequivocally rather than hinting.

TheLabRat said...

I've been doing peekaboo style navbar for eons (not that you'd know it from the shabby state of my poor blog) and never had any problems from blogger. It could be because I don't get a heck of a lot of traffic; mostly meatspace homies. But I do have a clear link to the credits for all of the hacks and such in the beast and I spell out what's up with the navbar there. I've had blogger staff poking around on my blog since I've had it up to help me with a glitch and they didn't care. Again it could go to low traffic but I suspect the fact that I note the hack is helpful.