Blogger Template Designer - Customizing your Blog's Look and Feel

With a newborn just hitting the two week old mark and Thanksgiving break at the house, I've had some time to tool around with the look and feel of Chanatown. Just the other day, I discovered some advanced settings in the Template Designer under the Design tab of the Blogger Dashboard. Here are some of the changes I made during the hour of spent (not wasted) time.


Templates
Although always tempted, I chose not to change the template since I have added a number of copy/paste HTML code to customize the current blog. Changing the template often removes these customizations, and I have not been good at keep track of what does what and where it came from. Blogger Rule #1: Always save your current site by downloading the full template from the "Edit HTML" link on the design tab.

Backgrounds 
Not many options here for me, but you can easily spend some time perusing the different colors and pictures for your background. I've found that these tend to be more distracting then appealing. You can also upload your own image, but I didn't have anything in mind at the time. I also played around with a different color scheme, but didn't dramatically alter things in the end.

Layouts
Again, I felt the desire to mix things up and have my columns on the left side or split them, but similar to changing the template, you run the risk of losing some of your customizations, especially if the columns shift position resulting in the mixing up of all your gadgets. I chose to let things be for the meantime.

Adjust Widths
This one's simple, yet interesting. I've always wondered why there was so much empty space on the sides of my blog, and whether I had any control over it. In this setting, you can widen out your layout columns (blog and right sidebar for me), and after adjusting, I was able to see more content in a wider space. I suppose this might have an effect on viewing on smaller screens (mobile browsers), so I will keep an eye on this in the next week. In the meantime, check out the before and after shots for the effect of increasing the width.

Before (930px)
After (1000 px)


Advanced
Customization fun is always found under the "Advanced" setting, right? Well, Blogger is no different. Here is where I spent the bulk of my time, and this is where most of my changes were made. Essentially, all of the fonts and colors of your blog can be adjusted here. Some of the major adjustments I made during my sitting included getting rid of Arial and opting for Calibri and Cambria fonts, shrinking the title size (way too large at 70 px), and making some minor changes to the link, hover, and visited colors. Again, I could have spent even more time here, and normally, I'm not the tinkering type. However, it was a fun process, and with the preview screen underneath, you can easily monitor the changes as you make them.

Blogger Template Designer is included in the free Blogger platform. It is found under the Design tab of the Blogger dashboard.

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