How To Change Template of Blogger/Blogspot Blog via the New Blogger Dashboard

The template is your blog's clothes and if you are not satisfied with it, you can easily change it. If you change your template, your posts will not be affected, only the look will be changed. You can easily change the look of your blog by editing your template if you are good with html/css; if not, you can just download a good looking template and upload it to your blog as your new template. Changing the look of your blog does not guarantee automatic success, but it does give you some advantage to build upon.

Today, I will explain to you how to change the appearance of your Blogger blog via the new Blogger dashboard by uploading an external template (not provided by Blogger). Hence, I assume you have downloaded a Blogger Template from somewhere. 

Must Do Before Changing Template

1. You must back up your template so that if something goes wrong or if you are not satisfied with the new template, you can just easily change back to your current template.

To back up your template, login to your blog and from your dashboard, go to > Template.  

Look by the top right hand corner and you will see the "BackUp/Restore" button. Click it.

You will see a new window, click on the "Download Full Template" button. Save it to your disk and make sure you know where you saved it. 

2. You must back up your widgets. When you change template, you might lost your widgets .Widgets are your added page elements like html scripts, floating share bar, Feedburner Email Subscription box, Facebook Like Box, Search box etc. 

To back up the widgets, you need to save the code of each widget (especially the ones added using html/javascript gadget) properly in a notepad as a text file. To copy code of each widget, you need to log in to your blog and go to Layout. Then click on the"edit" under the each widget you want to back up. Then, copy and save each code in Notepad. 

An extra tip is to take a screenshot of your widget configuration in the Layout section of your Dashboard – this will help you to remember the widgets you use before you change the template.

If you have backed up your template and your widgets, you can then go ahead to upload your new template.

NOTE: The name of the template you want to upload must end with .xml i.e it must be an xml file. If you download a zip file of a template, you will have to unzip it, to get the xml file which you will have to upload to your blog. 

How Do I Install New Blogger Template?

In the new Blogger design:  from your dashboard, go to Template

Look by the top right hand corner and you will see the "BackUp/Restore" button. Click it.

You will see a new window similar to the one below:

Click on the "Choose File" button

Select the xml file of the template you want to install/upload

Click the "upload" button

You might see a warning asking you if you want to keep your widgets. Choose "Keep Widgets".

Save and View your blog.

That's all. Now you have the same blog, with no change in content but a complete new look. 

If you check your blog and realize that some of your widgets are missing, you can add them back to your blog by going to Layout > Add a Gadget but remember, do not add too much of them. A cluttered and slow blog is a sure way to scare off visitors.

If you really want a unique look on your blog, then customizing the template is the option for you – small changes can make a surprisingly big difference and you can easily customize your template via the Template Designer provided the Template you downloaded is compatible with Template Designer.

Hence, when next you are trying to download a template, make sure the template is compatible with Template designer. You can easily confirm this on a "Test Blog". If you don't have a "Test Blog", create it and be using it to try customizations before applying them to your main blog. 

I hope this helps...

Feel free to contribute or ask questions using the comment form below.


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  1. Anonymous2/10/2012

    I have a template, but have no idea how to upload it to blogger.It comes in a .zip format. How do i go about it? Thanks.

    1. You will have to unzip it. After unzipping the zip folder, you will see the .xml file which you will have to upload to your blogger blog. if you don't know how to unzip, right click on the zip file and choose" extract files". Choose a destination you want to unzip to. That's all.

  2. Jide,
    You are real a master in blogging. Thanks for your information. Fresh knowledge.

  3. Good job, keep it up, i am always proud of you.

  4. where can i download a template from


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