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Recovering A Broken Template, Using "Edit HTML"

I have, for a long time, recommended regular template backups, for those who like to tweak the template.

Normal backup uses the "Backup" wizard, on the dashboard Template page. When backed up, an XML file, containing the template code, is extracted and saved locally. To restore, the "Restore" wizard is used and a previous Backup XML file selected.

That's how Backup / Restore should work - but it isn't always that easy.

With the current wave of bX codes, being used to diagnose the "Error 500", the Template dashboard page may not be accessible.

This is the case even attempting direct access, using the navbar "Design" link, or a hand generated equivalent.

With some blogs, the Template Editor may be OK - with the Template page broken.

For some blog owners who cannot use the dashboard Template page, the Template Editor aka Template "Edit HTML" may be accessible. This will require using a hand generated URL - since there is no direct link to the Template Editor.

If the Template Editor can be accessed directly, the blog owner may be able to continue.
  1. Access the Template Editor for the broken blog, in one browser window.
  2. Setup a new blog, using a clean template, in a second browser window.
  3. Access the Template Editor for the new blog.
  4. Copy the new blog template, to the broken blog.
  5. Save the now recovered current blog template.
  6. Refresh the post template.
  7. Clear cache, cookies, and sessions, restart the browser, and try again.


The blog owner has a possible solution, in this case.



Access the Template Editor for the broken blog, in one browser window.

Use a hand generated URL, to access the Template Editor. If you can do this much, you are well on the way to getting your blog back.

If you truly feel the need, you can backup what's there, before you paste over what you have. Ctrl - A then Ctrl - C to copy - then Ctrl - V, into a new text document - that you can save, at your convenience.

Setup a new blog, using a clean template, in a second browser window.

Blogs are free, so make a new one. Select the "Simple" template, for best results.

Access the Template Editor for the new blog.

For the new blog, you can use the dashboard menu, and Template - "Edit HTML".

Copy the new blog template, to the broken blog.

With the Template Editor window for the new blog, containing a valid template, copy its contents (Ctrl - A then Ctrl - C) - into the Template Editor window for the broken blog (Ctrl - A then Ctrl - V).

Save the now recovered current blog template.

Hit "Save template". And say a brief prayer.

Refresh the post template.

This may not be necessary - but you should consider it. It has saved a few blogs.

Clear cache, cookies, and sessions, restart the browser, and try again.

This is always a good idea, when clearing bX codes.

It's a workaround - not perfect, but it may get the blog going again.

This is not a perfect solution. If you are tired of the bX codes, and if this will get your blog operational, you may find it useful, however. It's also possible that this error is part of a larger problem - and you need a persistent solution.

If you have a template back up, you can apply that after the blog is back in service. And your readers have stopped emailing you with angry complaints. Just use a clean backup.

And test your tweaks, going forward, more carefully.

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Some bX codes, being used to diagnose the "Error 500" condition in #Blogger blogs with broken templates, affect the dashboard Template page. Blogs which have broken Template pages cannot be recovered by getting a new template.

In some cases, with the Template page unusable, it may be possible to directly access the Template Editor - then paste a separately developed clean template into the "Edit HTML" window, and correct the problem.

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