Blogger (finally) adds a Template Designer
Blogger has made its first major update in some time. For those tired (really, really tired) of the limited selection of templates available, it’s (finally) launched a template designer, as of last Thursday.
Of course, there were a number of sites that you could access to customized templates that went directly into the actual source code of templates to create new ones, and you could even muck with the HTML yourself. Still, none of those were supported by Blogger, and some of them caused issues.
With the template designer, currently only available by logging Blogger’s “experimental” login site, Blogger in Draft, you can start with a number of newly designed templates, customize them further, even down to (finally) being able to alter widths of columns, use stock photos for backgrounds, and more. You’ll find the Blogger Designer when you login at Blogger in Draft and go into your Layout tab (as above).
Click into the Template Designer and you’ll see the above. Below it will be a live preview of your site. From there you can drop into one of the sub-categories, even to Advanced where you can modify individual portions of your blog.
Here’s what Blogger said:
Here’s what we’re launching today to Blogger in Draft:
- 15 new, highly-customizable templates from our design team, split into four families: Simple, Picture Window, Awesome Inc, and Watermark
- One-, two-, and three-column layouts for each template, with complete control over the size and arrangement of the columns
- Hundreds of background images and patterns from iStockphoto, the leading microstock image marketplace
Tips from the Blogger Team
- Get your links to match a background image quickly by using the Background panel’s “Main color theme” to adjust all of your blog’s colors at once. This works particularly well with Simple’s second design.
- With a three-column footer, you can fit in several gadgets to interest your readers after they’re done reading your post. For inspiration, read Derek Powazek’s post, “Embrace your bottom!”
- If you’re using our new Pages feature, put the Page List gadget in the wide section at the top of your blog. We’ve added unique tab designs to all of the new templates.
- Many of the patterns in the background image picker are semi-transparent, to let your blog’s background color show through. Look for the “transparency page curl” to see which patterns these are.
- The Attribution gadget (added to the footer by all new templates) is there to give credit not just to the designer and artist of the background image, but to you as well. Edit its settings by clicking “Edit” on Layout > Page Elements to add your own authorship or copyright information.
Additional information: IE6 is not supported in either the Template Designer or with the new templates. Based on recent announcements by Google with regards to IE6 and some of its services, this is not surprising. Frankly, those still using IE6 really need to move on.
Blogger will be adding more templates, images, features, and images as the Designer works out its kinks. Remember that Blogger in Draft is basically Blogger in Beta. One thing of note is that the gadgets (such as advertising widgets) you may have carefully placed on your blog will probably appear after using the Designer, but most likely not in the same location, even if the design appears close to the original. You’ll have to relocate them manually, but at least, probably won’t have to recreate them.