Posted December 10th, 2007 by admin 1 Comment »
Related Post: Update: Google Makes a Major Change on its Blogger Platform Comment Page
We’ve initially recommended an option to install HaloScan, an independent commenting and trackback service, for Blogger users who weren’t very happy with Google’s revision of the Blogger commenting page. However, we find out soon enough that the install doesn’t work for everyone. As one blogger commented on a previous post that all his old comments disappeared after installing HaloScan and after reading another post about it from a fellow Do Follow blogger, we thought we should probe deeper into the known issues. We actually registered to get access on the member page.
Here are things you should know before installing HaloScan lifted from their Forum Page:
The auto-install DOES NOT delete or lose any comments left using the Blogger commenting system, but you won’t be able to access those comments through HaloScan.
Unfortunately HaloScan cannot read the Blogger system to access any of the comments left using the Blogger commenting system. You should be aware of this before installing HaloScan.
Blogger does not offer a way to backup or export comments, if you want to move comments from the Blogger system to HaloScan it is currently a manual cut and paste task.
If you are not happy with the HaloScan installation, there IS a backup made of your Blogger template before the installation is run.
The backup can be located here: http://www.haloscan.com/members/autoinstall/backup/
And you will need to copy it from there, and paste it into the Blogger template editing screen.
Please note that this feature is still under BETA testing. There may be glitches or workarounds required and you use the auto-install at your own risk.
1. Blogger sometimes seems to undo the changes to the template when you make a new blog post or delete a post after the auto-install. We suggest you do not post, or delete a post, for 24 hours.
2. Sometimes the auto-install doesn’t work the first time. Re-running the auto-install one or two more times seems to work.
3. I think (THINK!) that the auto-install is only meant for people using a default Blogger template. If you have customised your Blogger template in ANY way it may not work. As ever, backup before you make any changes.
It’s somewhat odd to find the above caveat on the help and forum pages and NOT on the Blogger install page where it would help the most. We captured the Install page and this is what it looks like:
For certain, any one who relies on HaloScan’s inviting ad on its homepage, with no previous knowledge of HaloScan whatsoever, will install this comment page because it promises more features and offers better options than Blogger’s comment page. Once installed, most Blogger users will later find out that it doesn’t work for their template. Hiding the said warning in the Forum and Help section doesn’t really ‘help’ a new member decide if the install is worth doing and to us, that seem deceiving.
There are also issues of comments disappearing after a certain period of time and you’ll no longer have access to it or the system is unable to fetch post titles or the comment page is not displaying the correct count or the page is not displaying at all.
While HaloScan boasts of a free service, they offer an upgrade for a donation of $12.00 per year which will supposedly give one, access to other premium services like email notification when someone leaves a comment (free service from Blogger), full template customization, more management options, priority support and comment export among others.
In the light of all these, we will no longer endorse the said install. Please be warned before you decide to shift. We will be on the look out for fixes and improvements for both HaloScan and Blogger platform and will give update once we do.
Our Verdict: Despite Google’s revisions on its comment page, it still remains a reliable system for Blogger users. For a moment, we thought HaloScan offered better solution but so far, the only solid benefit one gets with HaloScan is its trackback (Google doesn’t offer this).
We found the Logical Philosopher as helpful and Consuming Experience offers a comparison on HaloScan and Blogger use. Quick Online Tips talks about the issues as well.