How Do I Install a Custom Blogger Template?

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A sharp and yet easy-to-read design can give your Blogger blog the extra oomph it needs to keep up with the millions of other blogs out there. While Google does supply you with a handful of free templates to customize your blog, you can also upload templates designed by third-party designers -- or maybe even by you! Upload new templates to your blog from the Blogger Dashboard.

Templates come in a wide variety of colors and layouts.
(Image courtesy of Google)
Step 1

Log in to Blogger and visit your blog. Select "Design" from the toolbar to access the Blogger template options page.

"Design" link at the top of a Blogger blog.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 2

Click on the "Backup/Restore" button.

"Backup/Restore" button on the template customization page.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 3

Select "Choose File" and locate the template file on your hard drive. Click on "Upload" to install your new template.

Template upload pop-up window.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 4

Visit your blog and check whether the new template properly displays each element on the page. It it doesn't, simply download a new template and install it or select an official Blogger template from the template options page.

Blog after applying the custom template.
Image courtesy of Google

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Tips & Warnings

  • Do not forget to test your new template on your smartphone as well to make sure that your blog displays on mobile devices. If a significant portion of your audience uses mobile devices to connect to your blog -- something you can determine using Google Analytics -- you should opt for a responsive template. Responsive templates are designed to look good on most common screen sizes, from tiny cell phones to gigantic 34-inch monitors.
  • While there are paid templates out there, you can also download plenty of freebies from websites such as BTemplates, MyBloggerThemes and PBtemplates.
  • Unlike other content management systems, Blogger relies on a single text file in the XML format to store its templates. You therefore do not need to upload additional files to your blog to change its look and feel.
  • Blogger templates change only the color scheme, fonts and layout used by your blog. If you need to customize your blog further, such as to add new features, you may want to consider transferring it to the WordPress platform, which offers further customization options including the ability to install plugins and rich themes.

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