Thursday, March 11, 2010

The New Blogger Template Designer Is Here

After months of waiting, Blogger today released their new template library. Instead of a static library, though, they chose to provide an array of combinable choices.
  • Multiple, exciting styles.
  • A huge library of theme organised backgrounds, each with an associated colour palette.
  • A selection of layouts, with symmetrical combinations of
    • 2, 3, and 4 columns
    • with and without split sidebars
    • in both left and right variations
  • Adjustable column widths.
  • An updated Fonts and Colors GUI interface, with selections for new template objects like Pages Index gadgets.

From the dashboard or navbar, select "Design". From "Page Elements", then select "Template Designer" - and check out the possibilities.

What we have, now, is an almost infinite variety of possibilities, which should keep many bloggers happily occupied for days.

Yet, there are missing pieces.
  • There are no dynamic width (aka "fluid") templates, a feature that was quite useful, to this blog, with a layout template.
  • The "Layout" GUI will only let you rearrange existing objects - there's no ability to add new objects. You'll still use "Page Elements" to add custom accessories, headers, etc.
  • There's no GUI to save the old layout, before moving forward. If I had an existing blog, I would try a new template only after backing up the existing template.
  • There's no link to "Edit HTML". You have to go "Back to Blogger" to "Edit HTML", or to use "Page Elements".

As with every new feature Blogger presents to us, always remain aware of security restrictions on your computer and network, and consider how the Designer content is hosted. If you can't get the Designer to work on your browser, try another browser or another computer.

Those deficiencies aside, I now have a new look for my Buzz blog, and another for my Recipes blog.


Note this product, like all shiny new Blogger improvements, will have its rough edges. Blogger expects that, and provides Blogger Help Forum: Problem with the new Template Designer? Report it HERE! for reporting problems with the template designer. Note that the question will be closely moderated.
Fair warning though, all off-topic relies will be removed


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7 comments:

William Skyvington said...

For the creation of a new post, I find the new editor rather clunky. I felt lost. So, I switched back to the old blog editor.

Chuck said...

William,

Fortunately, the old vs new post editor is a Settings selection, that's present on the Draft (Blue) as well as the Production (Orange) dashboard. So, you can use either post editor, with or without the Template Designer.

One selection controls how you edit posts, the other controls the templates. They appear to work independently.

William Skyvington said...

We always get back to wise words that Jean-Louis Gassée told me ages ago: "The best word processor in the world is the one you're most familiar with." I've used the old blog editor so often that I no longer have to think about how to handle it. I would imagine that this kind of conservative attitude exists from one end of the computing arena to the other.

Kitty said...

Thank you for this, and the link to the draft.blogger
I've now done a new template for one of my Blogs and am quite happy with it!

Cheers for the 'plain English' view of the additions!
Kind regards, Kitty

Linda said...

I tried one of the new templates, but found it so buggy (kept reloading the page, extreme difficulty in uploading photos, AND lost my analytics tracking code), I switched back to my old, predictable template. I'll wait until the templates go into orange mode...

The Other WomaN said...

Can someone please help me. My Design Tab... disappeared after I had uploaded so much data to start a new blog. Can anyone help me get it back. I'm not technical so that doesn't help. I also lost data that I had saved as a draft.
Please.
Char

Chuck said...

Char,

This question you really should ask in BHF: Something Is Broken.