Thursday, February 01, 2007

Backing up current template PLUS Page Elements and changing New Blogger Template

One of the most important thing for you to do after you have made customization and other changes to your blog is to BACKUP the template PLUS edit your Page Elements one by one and copy the content into Notepad files and saving them together with your backup templates. Backing up Page Elements are decribed in greater details in Backup New Blogger Page Elements (click BACK button to get back to this page).

Backing up New Blogger templates has been made very easy. Only problem is some of your Page Elements may be deleted when you put back your backup or new template. That is why it is important for you to read the above post.

For backing up New Blogger template, all you need to do is to sign into your New Blogger account, click "Layout" in the relevant section of the list of blogs, click the TEMPLATE > EDIT HTML tabs. This will open the template editor window and you can make changes to the template if that is what you want to do. However, as mentioned above, it is important to backup the current template first before making changes or changing to new template.

To backup the template, click "Download full template" and save it with an easily identifiable filename like DummiesGuide 1 feb 2007 plus any other information to identify the backup template such as changes you plan to make, ect., and save it in a suitable folder. Make full use of the ability of using long file names. If you use the old method of backing up template by copy-pasting into Notepad, make sure that you expand the template widget first.

Note "PLUS Page Elements" above. Reason is, when you change a New Blogger template, some Page Elements (widgets) may be deleted. For more information on backing up Page Elements, refer to Backup Page Elements (widgets) (click BACK button to get back to this page)

If you want to change the current template to a standard Blogger template, click the TEMPLATE > PICK NEW TEMPLATE tabs and select a suitable template, then click "Save template". If you have done customization, it is likely you will get a warning that some Page Elements (widgets) are about to be erased, and whether you want to proceed.

If none of the standard templates appeal to you, there are other templates made or modified by others. This template uses Ramani's modification of Douglas Bowman Minima template (see 3 column template for the New Blogger (formerly beta). I choosed this template mainly because it fits in nicely for those using the 800x600 screen resolution which still represents 5 - 20% of the readers (this statistics is obtained by installing statcounter (those using the New Blogger template will install the statcounter by using "Add a Page Element" instead. Readers with larger screen will see empty columns on either side of the screen. Also there is this readability study which influenced me: What is the best template to use for my blog. See No. 2. However, template choice is a very personal matter, and people value different things, and also have different kind of visitors. You chose the template you prefer.

If you want to rid of those empty columns, there are other templates to consider. Use the standard Blogger stretched templates. Also, see New Blogger 3 column template modified by Stavanger of Blogcrowd Forum, More New Blogger (formerly beta) templates modified by Stavanger and New Blogger (formerly beta) template for posting large photos, tables, scroll boxes, etc.. To use these templates, get to the template editor, (click TEMPLATE > EDIT HTML), click inside the window ctrl+A and press the delete key, then copy the template from the relevant page of Stavanger's Forum, copy, and paste into the template editor window. Preview, and if satisfied, save.

Some sites uses a different method for changing to a different template. They have a link to an XML file instead. For such sites, right-click on the link, select "Save link as..." (wordings may be slightly different browsers), then save the XML file into a suitable place in your computer where you can find later. To change to the new template, in the Dashboard, click LAYOUT, then click EDIT HTML,
New Blogger Upload template
click "CHOOSE", then locate the XML file you just downloaded, and click "UPLOAD".

Other templates you can consider are:

New Blogger template modified by Stavanger
Dots New Blogger template with Header
New Blogger templates modified by Ramani
New Blogger templates by Isnaini
New Blogger templates by Thur
Ramani's New Blogger Neo template
New Blogger template by Final Sense (these have no navbar)

A blog reader commented requesting for more details and did quite a systematic summary of steps to backup New Blogger template PLUS Page Element to make sure that the instructions I gave him is safe to implement. Jamie of Goldfish Care Information has given permission to reproduce his summary which I will copy-paste below with some editing or addition of my own below:

1. Back up my blog (in a suitably named folder)
2. Back up page elements and in same folder as back up name accordingly for page elements
3. Link list will have to manually redo (alternative is to use HTML/Javascript Page Element and HTML hyperlink tags for your "Link List". You can get an idea of how to do it at the bottom of What a grateful blogger did for me without asking. In this case, you can save the Page Elements and would not need to redo your Link List from scratch when you change template).
4. Profile, Archives just simply add in later (from the LAYOUT)
5. Now that its all saved and backed up get template from Blogcrowds.com copy it, go into html editor in blogger and paste it.
6. It will then say widgets are about to be deleted, that will be okay now since I backed it up and saved codes
7. Click okay and save.

28 comments:

Admin said...

Dear Peter,
or your information, I have tried ten times to changed my blog beta :http://mrriz3436.blogspot.com from 2 columns to 3 columns but its still error like this "
We were unable to save your template
Please correct the error below, and submit your template again.
Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: The element type "Variable" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "".
Please give me an advice how to solve the problems coz I have already follow your guideline in your blog. Thank you

Peter Chen said...

Hi Admin,

I have already given the information in my posts. If you are still having problems, I can offer to help you do it if you can trust me and give me the username and password to your Blogger account. I have done work for other bloggers before for donations.

You can always change the password after the work is done. If your are interested, you can contact me via the email me link in my blog or send email direct to bloggerfordummies at gmail dot com

Peter (Blog*Star 2006 and 2007)
Dummies Guide to Google Blogger
"online book" in progress

Catmoves said...

Dear Peter: Ok, I saved my template. Now I'm sure it's easy for you, but I do NOT know what CSS is nor where it is found. Are there further instructions for us "Dummies?" Basic help is what I need.

Peter Chen said...

Hi Catmoves,

Tried to answer, but comment wouldn't allow the scripts I want to show, so tried to post that in a post, but the scripts wouldn't display either. I remembered I didn't have problem publishing such scripts before, and don't know why I am having problems now. Sorry, the answer to your question will have to wait when I have less things to do.

Peter (Blog*Star 2006 and 2007)
Blogger Tips and Tricks

Peter Chen said...

Hi Catmoves,

OK, found the thing that prevented the script to display. Can probably put it here, but I have already posted them. Refer to Response to Catmoves' comment.

It is a short post, but if you have further question, you can always comment again.

Peter (Blog*Star 2006 and 2007)
Blogger Tips and Tricks

nana said...

Hey, I'm facing the same problem as Admin. Whenever I try to save a template I've downloaded from some site, I always get the responses:
"We were unable to save your template
Please correct the error below, and submit your template again.
Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: The element type "Variable" must be terminated by the matching end-tag ""

Yeah, and I really don't know how to settle it, because all the other people I know don't seem to be having any problems settling their blogskins. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Piping Girl said...

Thanks so much for your help! I'm a new blogger and have been trying to figure out how to change my blog to 3 columns. I finally found your blog which explained it to a newbie like me. Thanks!!

Peter Chen said...

Hi Nana,

Regarding changing template, you have to make sure they are New Blogger (xml) templates. New Blogger is very fussy and there were a number of New Blogger templates that I downloaded but also cannot upload. Even New Blogger templates that have been uploaded successively, when I make changes which according to me seem perfectly OK could not be saved. Refer to Menu bar for blog Header.

Peter (Blog*Star 2006 and 2007)
Dummies Guide to Google Blogger
"online book" in progress

Hamzeh said...

HELP ME!! Ive currently got a minima 3 column, i want to use a 807 3 column (which is provided by you) but when I upload it, it says: The following widgets are about to be deleted and lists a whole lot of them, what do i do?

hamzeh.majiet@gmail.com
http://xbox-360den.blogspot.com

Peter Chen said...

Hi Hamzeh,

I have put an update (reminder) about backing up Page Elements (mainly HTML/Javascript) right at the top of the post. Read this post Backup and edit old classic template to see the difference between the two. When you change to a new template, you will get some Page Elements (widgets) that will get deleted or become empty. That is why the reminder to backup whatever Page Elements that you can backup was put there so that you can easily put them back again.

Peter Blog*Star
Blogger Tips and Tricks

Holden Caulfield said...

Peter:
When trying to load Blogger Template - Andreas04 from Blogcrowds. I get the following errors after agreeing to have my widgets deleted:
We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.

When reporting this error to Blogger Support or on the Blogger Help Group, please:

* Describe what you were doing when you got this error.
* Provide the following error code and additional information.

bX-e8wvis
Additional information
blogID: 3622036890619448494
host: www.blogger.com
uri: /html

This information will help us to track down your specific problem and fix it! We apologize for the inconvenience.
Please assist. Thank you in advance.

Peter Chen said...

Hi Holden,

Please refer to Error messages: What to do?

Recently, just got another error code but solved it my way. Not infrequently I have succeeded but no guarantee of success.

Peter Blog*Star
Blogger for Dummies

Jamie Boyle said...

Hi Peter,

I'm having some trouble here, I've been on the internet searching for hours how to change my blog to a 3 column. I have read your site and its a great blog but I'm not too much into html stuff really need to learn more on that aspect. You can say thats one of my weakness's, I know some stuff but got to learn more on this html code, XML etc...

I have went ahead and backed up my template already. But when I went ahead and took the template from Blogcrowds.com I went to paste it into my html editor then it said it was going to delete all these widgets.

I can't simply copy and paste??? I thought for these type I could??

I want to have the 3 column denim template on my site, more advantages and better layout.

My blog is http://yourguidetointernetmarketing.blogspot.com

Could you please help me? Would be much appreciated thanks.

Jamie Boyle

Peter Chen said...

Hi Jamie,

Sorry for taking so long to respond to your comment, but I just had too many other things to attend to. Please refer to Backup Page Elements: How?. If things still not clear, feel free to comment again although I may be a bit slow in responding.

Peter Blog*Star
The easiest way to earn something for your blogging efforts

Jamie Boyle said...

Hi Peter,

Thanks for getting back to me.

Now I want to make sure I understand this correctly.
1. Back up my blog
2. Back up page elements and in same folder as back up name accordingly for page elements
3. Link list will have to manually redo
4. Profile, Archives just simply add in later
5. Now that its all saved and backed up get template from Blogcrowds.com copy it, go into html editor in blogger and paste it.
6. It will then say widgets are about to be deleted, that will be okay now since I backed it up and saved codes
7. Click okay and save.

Now by doing this as i said all my posts I have made will still be in the blogger database right? And second thing I will need to do now is simply go in to my blog and then re-ad page elements from my back up folder and simply paste them into correct page element box right?

Now doing this step by step as I said here everything will work right and I won't have a problem?

Looking forward to hearing from you your response before I go ahead and do this.

I appreciate your help on this and I do recommend your blog to people when they need help.

Sincerely,

Jamie Boyle
Your Guide To Working From Home

Peter Chen said...

Hi Jamie,

The steps you outlined are so systematic and organized, I am tempted to ask you for permission to copy-paste it into my post so as to make things extra clear to my readers. Do I have that?

Yes that would be the way to the very best of my knowledge. Now if you have other page Elements like photos uploaded via a Page Elements, I have never ever replace a template in a blog with such a Page Element, and for that, I have to say I have no practical experience which I I have the time, I would like to test. However, would love your feedback on how you progress.

Now I have been thinking of putting up some notice that advice are given in good faith and to the best of my knowledge, and the blogger is free to take the advice or leave it, the decision and responsibility is his or hers alone. I cannot assume responsibility for any untowards consequences. If you have the time or the inclination and especially if the blog is extra important to you, what I may suggest is to start a test blog with the same template that you have, put in the same Page Elements that you have, perhaps using your backup Page Elements, replace the current test blog template and confirm whatever I have given, which fortunately you reminded me, I have forgotten that nothing will happen to the posts and the comments. They will be preserved.

Peter Blog*Star
What a grateful blogger did for me
(no one should feel obligated. Everything completely voluntary. However, by doing so, you may also help your visitors find helpful information and help. You may even pick up various ways of linking sites there too)

Jamie Boyle said...

Hi Peter,

Thank you!
Yeah I just wanted to try an put it in simple english to make sure I understand it correctly. As for copy and pasting it on a post for your readers please feel free if you want to mention my name there as well that would be appreciated too but not obligated,

What I would like to do on my site for people coming there is I would like to do a posts on Blogs 3 columns for the stuff that I know on where to get them etc.. and I would like to mention you on there as well and maybe we could exchange links, linking my post to yours. I'm not a pro like you on this blogging stuff but I'll definitely be able to direct them to the Blog*Star :)

Thanks for all the help and what I'll do is use my test blog in which I already have, that is something all bloggers should do to make sure they don't lose important stuff by testing first. You can never go wrong with testing thats how people learn.I'll let you know my progress as well. Thanks again!

Sincerely,

Jamie Boyle
Your Guide To Working From Home

Jamie Boyle said...

Hi Peter,

I'm back again! Just wanted to let you know that I successfully changed by blog to a 3 column template. Glad its all done and over with :) It's actually really easy to do but it's very time consuming if you have a lot of page elements (widgets) that you have to put back in that you previously backed up.

For me I had to put in I think 24 page elements on one of my blogs. So it was kinda time consuming after first backing it up and then having to put it back in.

Peter you've offered great advice here for people looking at changing their Blogger Template from 2 columns to 3 columns. Good job, thanks!

I seen you added the comment I made in your post the 7 steps I made in changing it to 3 columns over to make sure I undertood it correctly, thanks. I followed this from the information I gathered from your blog and it worked great.

Two tips I can make here for people is:

1. Try and choose the perfect template for you at the start whether its a 2 column of 3 column, it will save you a lot of time from having to change it later.

2. If you do change it later and if you have a lot of page elements to re-ad in, draw a template of the layout where its all situated or you can take a screen shot of it, and check off the page elements that you re-added to make sure you added them all in, make a check list. This is what I did, did it in steps and checked it off.

Well just wanted to drop by and let you know Peter that everything worked out fine. Thanks for all your help and good job for you for helping all us Bloggers out :-)!

Hope you and everyone else that reads your blog have a great time over the Holidays. Another thumbs up for the Blog*Star for helping all us out.

Sincerely,

Jamie Boyle

Need Information On Taking Care Of Goldfish?

Peter Chen said...

Hi Jamie,

Thanks for taking time to come back to leave feedback and glad everything worked out well for you. It is always good to get feedback to see if our instructions are helping or not so that we can add or edit where necessary.

Those are good tips you offered. Just to add other options. When you save the Page Elements, uses decriptive file names such as ....left sidebar no 3 etc.

Peter a.k.a. enviroman
Enviroman Says
(floods in England, polar ice and ice caps at moutain peaks melting, I think more severe and frequent hurricanes in US, rain when it is supposed to be a dry season in my country, someone from Queensland recently contacted me if I noticed the weather changing. I replied when I was young I had to sleep under the blanket, but now I sleep topless. If I remembered, he said it is freezing in tropical Queensland and now he has to sleep under a blanket. Please folks, take good care of our one and only Spaceship Earth which have no lifeboat. It may not affect us severely now, but it has every chance of severely affecting our future generations. Then they will have lots to be "thankful to us)

Paul Orion said...

Hi Peter, I would like to stay using the simple minima stretch template but would like to modify to 3 column, something similar to yours one, but stretch version. How should i do it. thank for your help!

Peter said...

Hi Paul,

I never like fluid width as you can never be sure how the blog will be displayed to different visitors. Anyway refer to 3 column templates by Thur and 3 column template by Stavanger

Pole said...

I have downloaded and saved my current template and gadgets.
When I upload a new template (I want the 3 column layout), will all my postings and comments from my previous template still be displayed or do I have to start all over again??

Thanks!

Peter said...

Posts and comments will be preserved (not affected) when one changes the template.

Pole said...

Hi Peter, I've successfully managed to change to a 3 column template thanks to your help!! :-)
The colums on either side are a little narrow though. How would I go about widening them??

Thanks

Pole

Peter said...

Please refer to changing widths

Queen Mom said...

Thanks for these instructions...working on a re-do but did not want to lose the old template in case I changed my mind!

Thanks again!

Minnie MiuMiu said...

Hi Peter, I want to use the template "New Blogger (formerly beta) template for posting large photos, tables, scroll boxes, etc.."
I already try but is doest work, when I preview the page only show "#" do you have any idea what when wrong?

Peter @ Enviroman said...

Check to see if it works with template designer where it is easier to customize colors and fonts