Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Template For Virginia USA, #5

For a few years, I have been making jokes about some Blogger blog owners, and their (perceived) need to keep a Classic (HTML based) template, on their blogs. Some blog owners continue to ask naive questions in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?.
How do I let my readers view 'Older Posts'?
or
How do I add a Pages menu?
or
How do I use Following, with the "Follow" link recently removed from the navbar?
Recently, in musing about some of the recent Blogger policy changes, such as the end to the Blogger FTP Publishing option, a formalised browser support policy, and the end of pre-Google (aka "legacy") Blogger accounts, I realised that one of the next changes, logically, would be a phasing out of support for HTML based templates. I think that this idea is probably long over due.

With the recently offered Layout, then Designer, and now Dynamic templates, there are so many features offered by Blogger that you are just plain missing out on, if you insist on using an HTML based template.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting that you need to upgrade your template, this month - or even this year. Even so, I believe that one day, possibly sooner than you would think, the day will come, and you'll see the latest Buzz article.
Time to upgrade your template!

My suspicion is that the few remaining owners of blogs, still using an HTML template, are smaller in number than those who objected to the forced installation of auto pagination, or those forced to migrate from FTP Publishing, or those who are currently objecting to the New Blogger GUI. And of those 3 changes, possibly only the implementation of auto pagination was simpler to execute.

Those of us who have migrated a blog from Classic (HTML) to Layout (XML) - or maybe Designer (XML) - know how simple most Classic template upgrades are.
  • Click on the "Upgrade" button.
  • Select an XML template.
  • Use the "Page Elements" wizard (now the "Layout" menu entry), and start adding accessories.
  • Occasionally, use the "View Classic Template" option, to retrieve some overlooked HTML code.

The GUI menus and wizards, too, will make a Classic to Designer upgrade almost transparent. Under the Classic Blogger GUI, there was a completely different set of links, menus, and wizards, for a Classic, as opposed to a Designer, template.

Under the New Blogger GUI, the main difference between a Classic and Designer template would be the absence of the Layout menu entry, for a Classic template. A Classic template only needs the "Template" menu entry, and the "Edit HTML" button in "Template" - just a clean subset of the existing menu structure.

Is this jumping the gun? If so, my apologies, in advance.
Time to upgrade your template!
But, is 5 years (less 3 weeks) not long enough, to wait?

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