anyone tried a custom template on blogger? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-18-2008, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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where did you get it and how did you do it? did you use a service? Thanks!
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#2 of 10 Old 12-19-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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At one time I had a custom template that I designed myself, graphics and all. It was rockin'!

You can change most of the layout through the .css file, such as colors, background images, page width, font etc. The standard templates they offer are pretty easy to modify, just make sure you only correct one thing at a time, so if you break the layout you can fix it pretty easily.
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#3 of 10 Old 12-19-2008, 11:32 PM
 
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i just turned my old blogger template, sand dollar, into a custom one. I changed it to a three column so i can implement more ad space without forcing readers to scroll down to read important info.

it was pretty easy, maybe difficult if you know zero about writing code, but if you can follow basic instructions, it was simple. (Also, trying to tweak code with a toddler hanging onto your back - literally - kind of makes it harder. Just so you know.)

i'm happy to guide you through it if you need help, or at least point you in the right direction. The main thing to know is, all your widgets will be gone, so you need to backup all your files. for me it was easier to c&p my widget codes into a notepad document rather than sift through the 25 pages of code for each one. (yes truly, it was 25 pages!!)
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#4 of 10 Old 12-21-2008, 04:02 AM
 
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I have been wondering the same thing! I would really like to make my blog more attractive looking ( its just a plain white background now- so boring!) and I always wonder how people do that to their blogs.

I'm still researching it and trying to learn how while trying to write frequent blog post!
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#5 of 10 Old 12-21-2008, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3pink1blue View Post
i just turned my old blogger template, sand dollar, into a custom one. I changed it to a three column so i can implement more ad space without forcing readers to scroll down to read important info.

it was pretty easy, maybe difficult if you know zero about writing code, but if you can follow basic instructions, it was simple. (Also, trying to tweak code with a toddler hanging onto your back - literally - kind of makes it harder. Just so you know.)

i'm happy to guide you through it if you need help, or at least point you in the right direction. The main thing to know is, all your widgets will be gone, so you need to backup all your files. for me it was easier to c&p my widget codes into a notepad document rather than sift through the 25 pages of code for each one. (yes truly, it was 25 pages!!)
all i want is a line below my name! not a straight line, something more artistic, and my friend said she will draw it for me, she's an artist. but i will need to know where / how to insert it.

i'm on blogger, and i tried to have a picture behind my title. i made my photo narrow and long, and it still came out as huge and square--NOT what i wanted.

it is a good idea to have the code in notepad! i'm terrified of srewing up and losing all of it.

but i'm not sure if blogger changed things over the year. i read it used to be html (which i can tweak with some cheat sheets) but now it is apparently something else? i will need to look at it more closely.
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#6 of 10 Old 12-21-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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yep, its almost all xml and .css now, which really isn't too bad. Seriosuly, if I can figure it out, anyone can.

Your header pic should be right around 700px by 200px. Any wider than 200px and it will be huge. What blogger template are you using? I ended up switching away from the sand dollar anyway, to the classic maxima, because it's much easier to tweak without bugs.

When you say you want a line - do you mean under your header? Or in each post? To do it under the header, you just need to go to blogger-->layout-->page elements. Then click add a gadget, and select picture. Once your picture is up, the page layout will put it in the sidebar. now just click and drag it under your header, and voila!

Embedding something into each post is funky and a bit time consuming. If you don't wear glasses, you might after embedding, because you have to sort through your code (which as I said before is 25 ish pages long!) and find just the right spot to put your code.
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#7 of 10 Old 12-21-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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would you mind telling me, or pointing me to a website, that explains how to save your codes ( for the side widgets) and stuff? I don't want you to have to explain it all, so maybe you have a recommended website that would help me?? I like your three column thing on your blog.. HOW did you do that?!

Right now Im just looking at using a different custom template from blogger but I know once I do that all my side widgets ( about me, links, ect) will be erased and I would hate to have to enter all that again!!

Thanks so much for any help or advice you have! :
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#8 of 10 Old 12-22-2008, 12:50 AM
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I wanna learn to have stuff on both sides too!! I don't like just having a sidebar on one side
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#9 of 10 Old 12-22-2008, 02:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy View Post
I wanna learn to have stuff on both sides too!! I don't like just having a sidebar on one side
haha, me either! We'll learn together! I figure once we figure out it will be totally easy, it's just these learning stages that are hard!

If I figure it out soon, I'll let you know!
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#10 of 10 Old 12-22-2008, 11:04 PM
 
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You can either change the xml to give yourself 3 columns, or download a template.

At first, I did it myself. But I screwed it up somewhere and everything I put on the left hand side, it mirrored to the right. And vice versa. So I ended up downloading a new 3 column template. You just need to google "free blogger template 3 column." make sure you specify blogger, or you'll get a bunch of wordpress ones, and they won't work. I ended up with Minima so I could customize it more easily, but I might change it again. I want it to be unique, and there are lots and lots of blogs using the 3 column minima. I don't know yet. I might just say screw it and leave it the way it is, for a couple months anyway.


Anyway...

To backup your widgets:

First, go to dashboard-->layout-->edit html. Now click the little box that says "expand widget templates."
Now C&P your code into a new document (notepad, wordpad, whatever.)

Now, on that same page, you will see a place to download your template. DO that. I called mine template1219, with 1219 being the date. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Because that way you can try on a bunch of new templates and if you hate all of them, you can just go back to the original.

You will notice that I essentially backed it up twice. That is because I am a complete idiot and am sure to screw it up somewhere. If I could have, I'd have backed it up ten more times, seriously.



Now here is how I saved my widgets without sifting through code.

go to dashboard-->laout-->arrange page elements.
also open up a new document. I used word for this.
also get a piece of paper and a pen.

Now, on your paper, write the number 1 and a brief description. Mine said "1 HTML - no copy."

Now on your c&p that code into your document with header of "1 html"

next I had followers, which I don't need to edit, code wise. So on the paper I wrote "2 followers."
I did not do anything for 2 in the document.

next was a text box. On the paper I wrote "3 text."
on the document i typed "3 text" and then c&pd the contents of that text box.

and so on and so forth. Mine is nowhere near done, and a lot of junk is sitting at the bottom of my page because I haven't decided where to put it all. But it has to be somewhere on the page in order to maintain membership at all the different blog directories.

I also had things embedded into each post that I need to deal with. Those bits of code are still buried somewhere in those 25 pages of xml code. No one used them anyway, but it made me look official. Always good to look official, then people might think you know what the heck you're doing.
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