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Completing The Migration - Converting To A Layouts Template

New Blogger - what I will call here "New Blogger 2006" - has been with us now for one year, give or take a few months. This time last year, I had just previously written about the impending migration to Blogger Beta (aka "New Blogger 2006"). Now, we are completing the migration.

I say "completing the migration" because there are, currently, folks seeking guidance on how to complete the migration of their blogs.

All blogs are now under New Blogger - that's not the issue - Old Blogger was laid to rest some months ago. Not all blogs are using Layouts templates, however. Some blogs, which are published using FTP to external servers, will always be using Classic templates. Yet there are some blogs which can be migrated to Layouts, that haven't.

Anybody who has been posting, or helping, in any of the Blogger Help Group forums has seen this query.
I just finished entering a post into my blog. I previewed it - and it looked fine. Then I published it. And now, my blog looks like crap. What happened to my blog?


Well, what happened is that you didn't test your post enough. The Post Preview wizard simply doesn't provide a valid test, for every blog.

And my guess is that the template migration process doesn't provide a valid test, for every template, either. There will be template features, on any blog with any complexity, that will have to be tested in a live browser. Preferably, two, or more, live browsers.

Expecting that, after migration, there will likely be template features, in any Classic blog of any complexity or size, that won't be migrated automatically, I'll ask a rhetorical question.
When would you prefer to be testing your new Layouts template?
  1. Now, while your blog is online and operating (as a Classic)?
  2. Or later, after migration, while your blog is down (with missing features to be patched in) (And with complaints from your readers)?


I'll bet you'll answer
#1

in a heartbeat.

Why stress yourself? Having added various features to both Classic and Layouts templates, I'd bet that any Classic template, that originally took more than an hour or two to setup, probably wouldn't migrate as is, with all features intact. I'd waste an evening, to reduce stress and make a more successful migration happen. Start this process before you execute the migration.
  1. Be aware of Layouts template migration issues. Learn from other folks mistakes.
  2. Be aware of Layouts templates design deficiencies and limitations. Learn from others disappointments.
  3. Setup a test blog.
  4. Copy the current template, and the posts with comments, from your current Classic blog.
  5. Migrate the test blog, to a Layouts template.
  6. Customise the test blog, adding template features, as necessary.
  7. Test the test blog, with the Layouts template, in multiple browsers.
  8. When you have the test blog all working, so it looks like you want your blog to look, then migrate the production Classic blog to a Layouts template.
  9. Finally, copy the fully tested Layouts template, from the test blog, to your newly migrated production Layouts blog.


The bottom line? Some planning, and extra (and redundant) effort, will make for a less stressful migration. Less stress will make for less mistakes. Less mistakes will make for a better experience by your readers. And your readers are The Bottom Line, aren't they?

If you consider this to be excessive thinking, consider my hypothetical experiences in Which Migration Experience Would You Prefer?

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