Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How to Change the Look of Your Blog

* I am going to use Blogger in this example, but if you use another blog platform and you need help, please let me know and I will do all I can! *

When you first set up your blog on Blogger, you are given a plain white template with two columns. If you want to adjust your colors and themes, you can go to your dashboard, click Layout > Pick New Template and then just choose one you like. It's very simple and straightforward, and you can change it any time you wish.

But what if you don't like the templates Blogger provides for you? Or what if you want more than the standard 2-column look?

Well, fortunately, there are tons of free templates out there you can use! You can find anything from a plain black, minimalist design (like I've chosen) to wild, funky patterns and crazy layouts. The look is totally up to you! To find one of these templates, go to Google and search for "free Blogger template". Additionally, if you know you want a certain number of columns, you may want to add that to your search criteria. Once you've found one you like, open a new window, log into your Blogger account, and follow these directions:

* For this example I will be using this template. Feel free to use this one if you would like! *

1. Go to the page where the template you like is located. Look around and see if you can find a link that says something like "Download" or "Get this Template". Once you find it, click that link (or right click) and save it to the desktop. (If you are using a mac, you may get a warning like this:

If you do, just tell it to continue downloading.)

2. THIS STEP IS SUPER IMPORTANT!!! You need to back up your template before you do anything else. To do that, Go to your dashboard and click "Layout", then click the "Edit HTML" tab. Look for this part of the screen:

and hit "Download Full Template". Then just follow the directions on the screen. (If you have ANY problems here, please do NOT proceed until you talk to me!) Once you are sure you've done this part, just save that backup, leave it where it is and go to step three. (You will only need that backup if something messes up... hopefully we won't have to use it! LOL)

* If you have widgets already installed on your blog, and you do NOT wish to lose them, please go here and follow these directions before you go any further. *

3. Just below where you backed up your template, you will see this:

Click on the tab that says "Choose File" and then pick the template file you downloaded earlier, like this:

4. Hit "Upload" once you have your file selected. (WARNING: you may see something that says you are about to delete certain widgets. As long as you have backed up these widgets, go ahead and proceed.)

5. You have now changed your template!

* If you backed up your widgets earlier, please go here and follow the steps to reinstall them. *

See how easy that was?

You can now change the look of your blog any time you wish! Just come back here, and follow the instructions for any template you choose!

p.s. I would LOVE to see your new blog designs! Please leave me a comment so I can check them out!


Vintage Jewelry Collector March 31, 2009 at 4:02 PM  

Jenn - do you know if you can change the name of your blogspot blog without losing followers? Thanks. :o)

Jenn March 31, 2009 at 4:12 PM  

you want to change the name showing in your address bar, right?

let me do some "testing" on my "dummy blog" and i will see what i can come up with... i've never tried it before, but i am sure we can figure out how

i'll get back to you soon!


Totally Tyra April 2, 2009 at 12:27 AM  

Thanks for all the great advice and information. My new blog looks so much better after reading yours.

LoveBug Studios April 2, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

Jenn - you are so AWESOME!!! Thank you for doing this. :) I am still scared but it is not your fault. :)

LoveBug Studios April 5, 2009 at 5:06 PM  

I got over my fear, thanks to your post and a few dedicated hours. Your instructions on backing up the template & the widgets eased my mind considerably, and I now have an awesome template. :)

Ninja Jenn™ May 5, 2009 at 10:48 PM  

Lovebug - YAY! way to go!

Vintage - i haven't forgotten your question either... every time i try to change mine i mess something up, so i'm still trying to find you a good answer... just wanted to let you know i was still working on it!


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