An Important Update

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If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now . During the past...

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Diagnose Problems, With Blogs Using Dynamic Templates, Using Non Dynamic Templates

The process of examining browser source listings for a blog, and of having a blog owner carefully examine blog template code, is an important part of diagnosing many Blogger problems.

With blogs published to dynamic templates, neither source listings, nor template "Edit HTML", contain as much useful information, as with blogs published to non dynamic templates. Dynamic templates reference scripts, that are hosted in external libraries - and that cannot be updated or viewed.

The idea of having templates that were less customisable was originally supposed to encourage people to work on post content, and increase stability of their blogs - not create instability.

One of the original reasons for having the dynamic templates was to have templates that would encourage blog owners to work more on content - and less on style.

Dynamic templates were designed for less customisation - and increased reliability.

Having the less customised templates would, hopefully, have made the dynamic templates more reliable. Unfortunately, Blogger chose to add features to the dynamic templates, to make them more popular.

The "infinite scrolling" feature of the dynamic templates impressed people, who decided that "infinite scrolling" would be useful for their blogs - but without having noted that dynamic templates have less options for customisation.

People, who like the existing dynamic templates features, demand more features for them. And, they cause more problems, for themselves - since many of them lack the ability to diagnose their own problems.

Eliminate general blog problems, by re publishing to a non dynamic template.

Any time a blog problem is diagnosed, and the problem involves a blog that uses a dynamic template, it's a good idea to start by re publishing the blog to a non dynamic template. Try to diagnose and eliminate any general blog problems, before tackling problems caused by tweaking of dynamic templates.

Just go to the dashboard Template wizard, and choose any non dynamic template - then "Apply to blog". Then, reset the post template (if the posts are involved, in the problem).

Publishing to a non dynamic template lets us use standard diagnostic tools.

With the blog published to a non dynamic template, you (the blog owner) can use the Template Editor to examine general (non dynamic) template CSS, HTML, and / or XML code. Also, you (and any helpers) can use a browser "View Source" window, to examine the rendered blog code.

If you diagnose a problem with non dynamic code, you can edit and correct any problems found. Once that is done, and you are satisfied that there are no non dynamic template related problems, re publish the blog to a dynamic template - and diagnose any remaining problems.

As always, template backups are strongly advised.

If you decide to make any changes to the template code, as always, I advise that you backup the template - before and after making changes. Whenever you detect a problem, recover the template to the backup taken before the changes, and see if this fixes the problem noted.

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