26 September 2008

Loading new templates problem in blogspot blogs

Loading new templates in Blogger ( blogspot) blogs can be a bit of a problem if you haven't done it before. The "choose new template" page is generally very easy to use and causes few problems. It also doesn't usually disturb your existing widgets. People tend to have problems more often in the "Edit HTML" page when they try to upload a new template. Problems can also sometimes arise after you have saved a copy of your existing blog template, made some changes to your template and then tried to restore the saved version.

These tips should help you have a more problem free experience when uploading new blogger templates.

1. You will find that you will probably have fewer problems if you use Fire Fox rather than Internet Explorer when you're having trouble with a template. Why is this? Possibly because FireFox is more standards compliant - who knows?

2. Don't forget to backup the code in your existing gadgets or widgets. This is important if you want to ensure that you don't lose the way they are set up. You can use notepad for this. Just create a new text document and save the code for each widget in its own section.

3. Now remove all the widgets on your existing template using the template editor page. Yes remove them. This will stop you getting the "duplicate widgets name" error that so frequently happens and prevents you from saving the uploaded template. You can deal with duplicate widget names by going in and editing the HTML but this is messy and potentially can cause more problems of you don't do it right. Its much cleaner just to take your existing widgets off, load the new template and then put the widgets back on using the code you saved in the previous step.

4. I also prefer to save templates with the bare minimum of widgets as well. You don't have to do this, I just like to upload and save nice "clean" templates. It doesn't take me that long to put widgets back on.

5. Make sure "Expand Widgets" tickbox is unchecked before you upload and try to save the new template.

6. When you save (backup) a template from blogger it saves as an XML file. If the file you are trying to upload or restore is an XML file then upload it. Don't just try to open it with Word and then paste it into the HTML box. Word processors sometimes introduce characters or other entities which disturb the XML format. So if its XML upload properly using the browse and upload buttons.

7. Alternatively if your template is in a clean txt format then you can just copy and paste it into the HTML box. Notepad is generally fine for working with txt and xml files like this because it doesn't introduce new characters or entities into the code.

If you follow these steps you should have much less trouble dealing with the upload and saving of new templates in blogger / blogspot blogs.

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