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,
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
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.