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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Upgrade to New Blogger template from old classic template

I would recommend bloggers still using old classic Blogger template to a New Blogger template. They are so much easier to use, especially for those not comfortable with HTML, CSS, etc., more robust, etc. I will try to discuss some of them below:

Advantages of New Blogger templates compared with old classic Blogger templates

Publishing a post is much faster. New Blogger templates uses dynamic pages versus static pages for old classic template. New Blogger templates have drag and drop LAYOUT with which you can easily customize your blog without having to get into the actual template and wade through long list of codes and perhaps not knowing where to place some codes for some customization or hack. You can easily add and move Page Elements (widgets) like New Blogger Link List (blogroll) or Label List, advertisements, etc. Below is a screenshot of a New Blogger LAYOUT:

New Blogger LAYOUT with cross cursor highlighted with red arrow

If you want to add something, just click "Add a Page Element" and select from a list of various Page Elements. If you want to move something, just hover your mouse over the Page Element you want to move, the normal "white arrow" mouse cursor normal white arrow mouse cursor will change to a "cross arrows mouse cursor" cross arrow mouse cursor (highlighted by a pointing red arrow in the screenshot of the LAYOUT above), and all you need to do is to right-click on the mouse, drag and drop the Page Element to wherever you want it, click "Save" at the top right of the LAYOUT. No need to edit the template. No need to know anything about HTML, CSS, widget codes, etc.

And Google Blogger is increasing the number of list of Page Elements with time plus other third party developers are adding more widgets (same as Page Elements) for you to use. I will publish another post regarding the advantages later as this post is about how to migrate from old classic Blogger template to New Blogger template. If you are worried about losing your customizations, I will write about it later.

How to upgrade blog using old classic template to New Blogger template

Go to, sign in to Dashboard, click TEMPLATE for the blog you want to upgrade to New Blogger template. This will take you to the template editor. The very first thing you should do is to backup your template. Click on the inside of the template editor window, right-click and choose "Select All" (or press ctrl+A) to highlight the whole template, right-click again and select "copy" (or press ctrl+C) open a Notepad file, paste the old classic template into the Notepad file by right-clicking and choosing "paste" (or press ctrl+V), save it in a suitable folder with a descriptive file name, including as much details as possible, possibly including the name of the blog plus the date, etc. Make full use of the ability of Windows to use long file names. This will save whatever customization you may have done and help you put them back into the New Blogger template plus give you the chance to get back to your old template if you changed your mind. Actually this may be a superfluous step if you just want to revert to the old classic template as Blogger save it for you, but if you choose to continue with the New Blogger template, this backup template can easily help you extract various customizations you have like visitor counter, advertisements, etc., if you can recognize them.

Next step - at the top, you will see some tabs and sub-tabs:

upgrade to New Blogger template

Click the "Customize design" sub-tab, then click UPGRADE YOUR TEMPLATE. You will then see a list of New Blogger templates. If you can decide on one, fine. If not, choose anyone and don't worry. You can always change later. Click "SAVE TEMPLATE". Don't worry. You can easily change later.

Sources of New Blogger templates

If there is no standard Blogger templates you like, there are third party New Blogger templates at FAQ: 3 column New Blogger templates.

If you want to know why I use this template for all my main blogs, surf over to Best template for my blogs. Template choices are obviously a very personal thing, so you may not agree with me. However, you are free to choose from the templates tested and demonstrated in FAQ: 3 column New Blogger templates and more will be added as I have the time to add them.


  1. Hi Peter, your tips have been very useful to me. Thank you very much. Can you help with the following:
    When a reader clicks on a label, a list of posts for the selected label is generated.

    How do I make it so the label name itself automatically becomes the heading for the list of posts generated for that label?


  2. Hi Mistery,

    I am afraid I do not understand. When I click on the label "backup template" for example, what appears at the top of the page is:

    "Showing posts with label backup template. Show all posts"

    Do you mean you want it to display just

    "backup templates"


    Peter Blog*Star
    Searchable Blogger and AdSense Help File

  3. Hi Peter, thanks for your speedy response, much appreciated.

    Yes, what you describe in your response is exactly what I want. I would be happy with either:

    "Showing posts with label backup template. Show all posts"


    "backup templates"

    Currently, in my "mumbo jumbo" blog, for example, the label widget is called "palimpsests: select one". If I click on the label "armchair philosophy" a page comes up showing the titles of the twelve posts under that label.

    However, the heading says "palimpsests: items selected". I want the heading to read "Showing posts with label "armchair philosophy". Show all posts"

    or simply,

    "Armchair Philosophy".

    The current heading ("palimpsests: items selected") was put into the template by me between the relevant H2 and /H2 delimiters. But I would like the heading to be dynamic, ie, reflecting whatever label is selected by the reader.

    I have tried including things like "" between the H2 and /H2 delimiters but it does not work.

    Hope you can help.


    Steve Schwarz

  4. Hi Steve,

    Looks like I wouldn't be able to help. Even if I think I might have a chance, I doubt I have the time to try it out.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Digital Candlelight Vigil

  5. Hi Peter,
    I'm running a blog with a custom HTML template. I would like to convert it into a new XML blogger template. Do you now if the process is easy. Have you ever heard about a tool ?

  6. Hi Papa,

    I am a retired scientist with no IT or programming training except for a short exposure to now disused Fortran. I learned HTML, CSS, etc as I went along. I am no expert in templates though I know a trick or two. Someone have indicated that she will soon be doing a series of posts on xml templates and will publish an update here as soon as she start with link to her posts. So do bookmark this blog or subscribe to the feed of this blog or my main blog Blogger Tips and Tricks.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Digital Candlelight Vigil

  7. hi...i am wondering if anyone can help me with this. I have got a nice classic blog template. However, i need the label feature that's only available in the new blog blogger template feature. Can i still add this "label" feature if i want to continue using my old classic template? Thanks.

  8. Hi, I'm a bit confused as where it says "Tempelate", it says "Layout".
    What do I have to do?
    Do we have to wait to get an upgrade?

  9. Hi HugeAndRoll,

    It says "Template" in Dashboard because you are using a classic template. If you want LAYOUT, you will have to upgrade to the New Blogger XML template as per instruction in this post.

    Peter Chen Blog*Star
    Dream Driven Life(TM)

  10. Hi Peter, I was going to change over to the new template but then I noticed I CANNOT add any new page elements. It's a very limited template of my old there something I can do so I can get that function where you can add page elements like I see in your example..

  11. Peter,

    I am confused.. mine says Layout tab... but when i click on it there is no labels, etc. thing to edit... there is only add gadets, followers, blog archive, and about me...

    how do i put in labels?


  12. Do you get what you see at Blogger gadgets when you click "Add a gadget" in the LAYOUT? Also refer to What is label list and how to use them

  13. Hi,luck to see u.
    I gt a question need ur help,

    I changed the old template to classic one edy,but i reli cant find the Page of element that page.I saw ppl said go to the dashboard-->layout-->upgrade? rite??
    but i cant find out the word of LAYOUT in my dashboard.
    My blog's picture dunnoe how to add picture,cbox,html,and many now.

    Thx first for help me settle my problem.Hv a nice day!

  14. Why did you change to the old classic Blogger template from the New Blogger xml template. If you want LAYOUT, you have to upgrade to the new Blogger xml template.

  15. Anonymous5:14 PM

    Great template! Thanx for sharing it with us
    I like it! Simple and pretty More templates easy to download

  16. I think, you have a business & idea generator mind. yet you could have been done more.

  17. Hey I just have a quick question. I have a one column (on the right) template, and I've been trying to find out how to add a vertical divider between my blog posts and sidebar. I just feel like it would be visually pleasing if there were some sort of dividing line between the sidebar content and posts. Here is an example of what I am looking for:


  18. I am loooking for this label widget, cant find it. How will I know if I am using new or old template?

  19. Refer to New Blogger xml template or old classic template?. Also, old classic template does not have LAYOUT (now called DESIGN) tab.

  20. I'm trying to go from classic to new templates. However when I click on Templates as directed on this page, there is no choice of Customize Design offered. I just end up back at the old classic template choices.

  21. Richard, I tested it out with my Blogger classic template store and you can see me reporting the results at test changing from classic to new Blogger xml LAYOUT template and you can see I did not encounter any problem. Without access to your Blogger account, I cannot do anything more than this.

  22. Hi! Thanks for the post. Is there a way to keep the LOOK of the old blogger template in the new blogger? I really like the Classic Blogger template look. So simple! Thanks, and regards

  23. Thank for posting
    Very usefull

  24. can i convert a old classic .txt blogger template to .xml

  25. can i use it on the new blogger after conversion

  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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