Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Thursday, August 11, 2005
Blogger Hacks: The Series - Change your Template
See other posts in Blogger Hacks: The Series

Alright. Blogger Hacks: The Series. If we're going to do this then I should make some effort to be systematic & cover topics in a sensible order. Let's imagine you've got a new blogger blog, & a default blogger template, but you haven't messed with the code in the template too much & you'd like your blog to be visually distinctive. A new template may be a big part of the solution.

Blogger offers default templates when you register for a blog, & some of them are pretty cool. You can dress them up pretty well too, by changing the colors of links etc. If you want to move beyond the defaults, though, here's some places to look:

  • Updated 5/9/06: This blog uses a template generated by PsycHo. (Freshblog eval.) This is a great tool, and your template will validate straight off the site, at least until you paste in all your old code chunks!!

Some things to know before you change your template:

  1. Images - Although they'll let you add images to posts, blogger doesn't have a way of handling images for templates. The work-around here is to have web space somewhere else that you can upload the images to, & then modify the <img src=""> tag to point to the location of the image. It will slow your template down a bit, but I think it's the only way to keep the images tied to the template.

Updated 5/9/06: You can host your template images on blogger if you upload the image in a draft post, then grab the image URL out of the draft & use it as normal in your template. This is probably quicker than hosting images on an external service, but I haven't tested it...
  1. Existing Modifications – If you've already made some changes to your default template, they won't make the move with you unless you cut & paste. I recommend changing your template while your blog is young, before you've customised your sidebar too much!! I also recommend wrapping features that you add in begin & end comment tags to help you remember what all this stuff does, like this:
    <!-- begin statistics --> put sitemeter code here <!--end statistics-->

  2. Posts – If the template you pick is already set up for blogger, & has <blogger></blogger> tags with post formatting information between them, your posts will make the move. I can't guarantee that the template you choose is really blogger ready, so backup your existing template and preview your new template before you save it.

Disclaimer: There may be other things that you should know.

Whichever template you pick, here's how to make the switch:

  1. Log in to Blogger

  2. Click on the “change settings” gear-wheel on the dashboard

  3. Click the “template” tab at the top of the screen.

  4. Select & Cut (ctrl-x) your existing template text. Paste it into word, an e-mail or a text editor so that you have it as a backup.

  5. Paste in the new template text

  6. Click “preview” to see how things will look.

  7. If you like it, click on “save changes”

  8. Republish your entire site

    And there's your new, cool, unique “no-one else has it but me, & it didn't cost me a dime” template.

    Disclaimer: None of these links are recommendations or endorsements. I haven't tested these templates

Other Resources for template mods:

Good luck changing your template. Remember – backup & preview!!

See other posts in Blogger Hacks: The Series

Posted at 10:29 AM by John.
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Blogger Id.Ology said...
John, I have something I want to ask help from you:
1. Is it possible to decide how many posts was displayed on the main page instead of how many days of posts.
2. Is there a previous posts manager which allow you to control how many previous posts you want to display?
3. Is it possible to show previous posts not in the sidebar but in the bottom of the page?
3. How to make a template to ensure that the sidebar won't be pushed into the bottom even if there's a massive photo in the post. It's quite annoying that sometime when you post a massive picture , the whole sidebar come down to the bottom.
4. Is there a possibility to creat a calendar archive. I find one solution at,
but it's extremely difficult to carry out with limited design knowledge.
Thank you John! The Blogger Hacks series comes out really in time. The feedback is quite good as well. Like you said' Let's turn this post into a one-stop shop for blogger mods!!'

<    >
Blogger Curt Dalaba said...
I've download a template at, but when it comes to placing the images, I'm stuck.
It says, "Upload the included images to the same directory on the webserver as where you upload the blogger files." Where are blogger files located?

<    >
Blogger The Muse said...
When I changed my template, only new posts after the change are in the new template. The old ones are still in the old template(s). What can I do to have all the posts in the same template as my main page? Would really really appreciate if you can let me know this!

Your hacks rock by the way!

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Anonymous Linuxct said...
Thanks for the tips

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Blogger Singpolyma said...
It might be useful to upgrade this post to mention PsyHo... and the fact that the 'blogger won't host images' assertion is not 100% true...

<    >
Blogger milo317 said...
THXXX 4 your help, megacool stuff
it worx all well, just the categories are opening in another window,any idea why?

<    >
Blogger jerry247 said...
try editing the CSS in the beginning to change fonts and color and if you view source of the page (not in template edit) you can find the CSS that is linked(import@) for other styles to edit. you must host the external style sheet somewhere or paste it into the beginning of your template between the <style> and </style>.

<    >
Blogger Mahamud Omar said...
hai, i really have something to ask you, how can i change my templates??

<    >
Blogger aleet said...
Great tips, I'm still "green" in a Blogging thing, this tips really helpful for me to make my blog look better.

<    >
Blogger verina oei said...
hey,wud u help me please,im about to star my 2nd blog n i got some templates from
but it won't work,why is that?
n cud u help me out please?

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