Friday, November 7, 2008

Always back-up your Blogger Templates!

There's a cardinal rule when customising your Blogger templates - always back them up first! I get quite a lot of mail which usually goes something like this...

“I followed your 3 Column Minima tutorial but now my Header section and Posts section has disappeared! Oh and some of the code didn’t make sense in my template so I deleted it and now it won’t display correctly. By the way I didn’t make a back-up of my template… Please help me!”

Now I understand how catastrophes like this can easily occur – it’s happened to me too. After all Blogger templates can be extremely confusing and counter intuitive when you are new to HTML and XML. However all of this can be avoided if you follow one simple step – Always back-up your Blogger template.

Click "Edit HTML" in the Dashboard
How to back-up your Blogger template
  1. Click the “Layout” tab in your Blogger Dashboard.
  2. Click “Edit HTML.”
  3. Select the “Download Full Template” option and save the file to a safe place.
  4. It’s also wise to save it as a filename you will recognize with a date included so you have a rough idea what version it is (i.e. “my_blogger_template_nov_08_2008.xml”)
How to restore your Blogger Template

Now if you make a booboo while customising your Blogger template you can restore it to its former glory simply by:
  1. Click the “Layout” tab in your Blogger Dashboard.
  2. Click “Edit HTML.”
  3. Select “Upload a template from a file on your hard drive:” and browse to your saved template and select “Open.”
  1. Open your saved Blogger template file, select all of it and copy it to your clipboard.
  2. Click the “Layout” tab in your Blogger Dashboard.
  3. Now click “Edit HTML.”
  4. Put a tick in the “Expand Widget Templates” box.
  5. Select your entire Blogger template (in the Blogger Dashboard) and paste the contents of your clipboard to replace it with your saved version.
If you back-up your Blogger templates regularly you never have to worry about experimenting with new Blogger customisation tricks.

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