Sunday, April 02, 2006

[Blogger] Templates & Backgrounds

Two questions. The first is mostly an opinion question. When I started a blog on Blogger I chose a black background because I thought it was more eye catching. Now I wonder if black backgrounds are also more difficult to read. Any thoughts?

The second question is related. Has anyone changed to a new template/background on a Blogger blog? I know you can do this through the control panel, but that wipes the template clean and starts with a new one. Does anyone know how to switch to a new template just by fiddling with the code? I guess it would also help to know the code for each of the preset templates.

This Post was written by Bill from Tea Guy Speaks


Derrick said...

I personally find the white on black very hard to read. So does my wife. So that's two opinions for the price of one.

As for your other question: Yes, changing templates wipes away your old one (I did it a long time ago, and practically speaking there wouldn't be a good way to do it otherwise).

What I'd do is set up a new blog with the new template, and then slowly migrate changes to your "practice" or "staging" blog (which everyone should have if you're going to play with templates). This will be tedious and annoying, so hopefully someone has another suggestion.

Kalyn said...

I also find the white on black very hard to read. For anyone over a "certain age" I would guess it's hard to read.

Another option is to save a copy of your entire template as a text file. Then you can make the switch on blogger, and compare to see where to add back any modifications/additions you have made. You would have to know how to read the html for the various sections of the template. I'm not sure I could do it myself, but it could be done.

Catherine said...

I find the white on black very hard to read and off-putting.

I think Derrick and Kalyn have good suggestions re templates. Always keep a back-up copy! It's definitely worth learning the basic CSS HTML so you modify whatever template you choose.

crumblepie said...

Well I'm a blog designer, so I have definitely changed my own blog templates over and over again. You should save your templates if you are trying to set up a new one because something will almost always go wrong (have backs ups!!) and yes in general people do not like white on black text but it still comes down to personal preference.

Andrew said...

images on black on the other hand always look good in my opinion

plum said...

Yup, I am also considering switching templates but was put off by the fact that I would lose any modifications. So much work! But I'm going to have a fiddle and see how it goes.

Pille said...

I started with white on black last summer, and got friendly hints that this is difficult to read for some people. About a month ago, I changed the background to white, processing pretty much like Kalyn suggests. I created a temporary blog with a white background, then copied both templates to a text file and compared them bit by bit, changing relevant sections. Luckily, it worked, although I'm not sure I knew what I was doing all the time:)
Encouraged, I then decided to change the font style and colour as well. I used the preview blog function a lot when doing that, which helped.
Overall, it was easier than I thought it would be. Or maybe it was just beginner's luck..

the chocolate lady said...

Tea Guy,

Funny you should ask.

Yours is a blog that I have wished I could read for a long time. The black background gives me a headache in just a few seconds. If you can change it I will be visiting frequently and linking too.

William I. Lengeman III said...

I guess that settles it, for me at least. I'll assume the general public generally feels the same way as this small sampling and forge bravely and boldly ahead.

William I. Lengeman III said...

I've gone ahead and made the switch, mostly without incident. If anyone more clever than I with html would care to suggest how I could get my sidebar back to the top of the page I'd be forever indebted.

Alanna said...

FWIW on the topic of readability: (1) fonts/backgrounds with little color contrast are also hard to read, say light green background with gray font and (2) very small fonts are also an issue in some blogs - I don't mind increasing the font size in my browser one notch but when it takes TWO, whew! (Luckily, both of these are negated by reading in through an RSS reader.)

Cindy said...

The french verdion of my blog is written white on black, the english one written black on white. Personally I think both look good. Perhaps black on white is easier to read but I'm not sure.

William I. Lengeman III said...

Regarding the "sidebar creeping to the bottom of the page" issue that I experienced when swapping Blogger templates.

A number of resources suggest that this has to do with images in the sidebar not being sized right. Another blamed it on italics in the posts, which actually was the source of my problem. Got rid of the italics and all was well.

Just an FYI, should the issue surface for anyone else.

juliebean said...

I was thinking of changing my blogger template also, but I am not sure which ones are best. I also find the black on white hard to read and sometimes the white on black looks emptier...I guess the best thing to do is switch templates on dashboard, but make sure you save and publish the final selection. Good luck...

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