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Moving Your Blog To A Designer Template? Watch Your Template Accessories

The Designer templates have been part of production Blogger for since 2010, now.

Occasionally, we see odd queries about loss of gadgets, and visitor counts.
Where did my (custom accessory) go?
and
My SiteMeter counts dropped to zero.

In many cases, the problem here comes from not planning and watching the template move closely enough.

If your blog started out with a classic (HTML) template years ago, you may not have thought about accessory location.

Accessory positioning involves converting your tweaks, like Google Analytics, SiteMeter, or StatCounter counters, from being embedded in the template, to an HTML / JavaScript gadget.

When your blog is moved to a Designer template, you start over with a clean template. Any custom tweaks in the template HTML code, like embedded counters, will be gone.

Any HTML / JavaScript and other gadgets, that you can see on "Page Elements", will be copied to the new template. Depending upon which layout you select, in the Template Designer wizard, your gadgets may be located in odd places.

If you select a split sidebar (1 column at the top, and 2 columns at the bottom), look at the bottom of one of the split columns after the new template is in place. Gadgets that were sized for a single column sidebar may be too wide to fit into a split column sidebar - and this may cause problems like the well known dropped posts / sidebar column.

Before you move your blog to the Designer template, do yourself a favour and save the Layout code where it's convenient. Go to "Edit HTML", select "Expand Widget Templates", and copy the content of the window to a Notepad file.

When you find that your visitor meter or other third party code is missing, having the Notepad file will be a lot more convenient than having to "Select Layout Template", retrieve the missing code, then recover the blog back to a Designer template.

In general, the Template Designer wizard does a pretty good job installing a new template onto blogs that started out with Classic or Layout templates. Just watch your blog, be aware of the few odd possibilities, and you should do fine.

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