Template Customization

Customizations to the blog template can take many forms. Some change the blog’s overall design and layout; others are primarily focused on adding new content to the page, such as a blogroll. We’ll focus on the latter type of customization in this chapter, because discussions about design can literally fill books, and the customization basics are the same for both categories of change.

First, as a precaution, always make a backup of your blog template before you modify it in any way — even simple modifications. You can do this by selecting the text and copying it into a text file. Additionally, if your changes are fairly significant, you’ll want to make a second copy after the modifications and before saving them. Problems can occur when transmitting text across the Internet and if you don’t have a local copy of the changes, you could lose them and then have to reedit the template.

Adding a Blogroll

Adding a blogroll isn’t a customization to the template as much as it is an addition. You’re not changing the underlying format of the template — just adding a bit of text to one side.

To demonstrate adding a blogroll, we’ll modify the Essential Blogger blog, created in Chapter 3. After opening the Template view page, find the occurrence of the <$BlogArchiveFileName$> template tag within the template. You’ll add the blogroll just above the archives and contained within the same div block (class name of “links”) to take advantage of the CSS styles applied to the block. ...

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