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Friday, August 08, 2008

Blogger: Changing Templates without Loosing Widgets

Blogger: Changing Templates without Loosing Widgets

The other day when I was trying to change the Template of this blog I faced a rather disheartening problem. Blogger said that all the Widget along with their data will be lost when changing to a third-party template. As you can see I have a link list (big one) on the sidebar, it has links to all my posts so far (>180!), man could I afford to loose that? Of course NOT!

Good thing was switching to one of the templates provided by Blogger wouldn’t make me loose those widgets. Bad thing is I don’t like those templates. Those are all too old, excessively used everywhere and 2-column ones.

So what did I do to save my widgets when changing to a third party Blogger template? Read along to know…(this might look like a crappy landing page that’d sell you something, believe me its NOT!)

If you too are facing the same problem you can take these steps to save your widgets:

STEPS:

1. Start off by going to Layout-> Edit HTML then click on Expand Widget Template check box.

2. Search for <b:widget in the template code and copy the widget section code.
e.g.:

...
<div id='sidebar-wrapper'>
<b:section class='sidebar' id='sidebar' preferred='yes'>
<b:widget id='HTML1' locked='false' title='Search this Blog' type='HTML'>
<b:includable id='main'>
<!-- only display title if it's non-empty -->
<b:if cond='data:title != &quot;&quot;'>
<h2 class='title'><data:title/></h2>
</b:if>
<div class='widget-content'>
<data:content/>
</div>


<b:include name='quickedit'/>
</b:includable>
</b:widget>

<b:widget id='LinkList1' locked='false' title='Recent Posts' type='LinkList'>
<b:includable id='main'>

<b:if cond='data:title'><h2><data:title/></h2></b:if>
<div class='widget-content'>
<ul>
...

Do it as many times as needed to copy all the widgets. Paste them one after to other in Notepad. You can leave the unnecessary ones such as Header, Blog (There is a widget for this too, shows the posts) etc. the code of which would look something like below:

No need to copy these:

  • <b:widget id='Header1' locked='true' title='For Testing Purpose (Header)' type='Header'>
  • <b:widget id='Blog1' locked='true' title='Blog Posts' type='Blog'>

3. Now copy the new template code by opening the XML file in another Notepad. Paste it in Blogger deleting the old template code.

4. Find the following line in the newly pasted template code:

...
<div id='sidebar-wrapper'>
<b:section class='sidebar' id='sidebar' preferred='yes'>
[--PASTE WIDGETCODE HERE--]

5. Paste all the widget codes previously copied there right after the <b:section line.

6. Save the template.

7. If you had not copied some unnecessary widget codes from the original template, Blogger might ask you to confirm their deletion. Confirm this and SAVE the template.

8. Done!

Doing this you’d save existing widget from getting deleted when switching template but the widgets will NOT be arranged or placed in any meaningful manner (they’d all be in a sidebar). To re-arrange them in the manner you want just go to Layout-> Page Elements and drag drop the widgets as required, click save. You’re done!

Blogger: Changing Templates without Loosing Widgets  - Rearrange the Widgets

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