Disadvantages Of “Blogger Template Designer” Templates

A new feature that is getting very popular and is being commonly used by newbie bloggers getting very popular is Blogger Template Designer. But also a question asked even today by many bloggers using templates provided by Blogger is that: “Should you use the Blogger Template Designer provided by Blogger to design templates?” The most logical answer to this question of you guys is that what seems attractive from outside doesn’t necessarily have to be attractive from the inside also. The beautifully designed templates that many bloggers have started using though seem good in look and feel and are really easy to edit using the “Template Designer” functionality in Blogger but there are some serious drawbacks and problems linking to them which you must know before using this. The beautifully designed templates that many bloggers have started using though seem good in look and feel and are really easy to edit using the “Template Designer” functionality in Blogger but there are some serious drawbacks and problems linking to them which you must know before using this.

Before having knowledge of CSS and HTML even I used official blogger templates and used the “Template Designer”. The template surely seemed good in look and feel but when I started to implement HTML and CSS tricks on the template by Edit HTML option, I found horrible codes in my template that in no way related to normal HTML and CSS codes. This is how this blog looked at that time.

It’s is hideous as blogger templates are but have a much better look than Official Blogger Templates. This is the outside now what about the inside. I have listed all below.

Excessive Use Of Dynamic Coding & Variables

As you all know that Blogger Templates are designed using CSS and HTML and programmed with XML and JavaScript. All unofficial and official templates use these basic languages to create a blogger template. These codes are easy to edit, understand and can be played with. Every MBT tool and tutorial is based on this basic coding. The new Blogger templates are however using a bit more difficult and complex dynamic language which is the reason behind why blogger provided this new feature to its users for easy editing options i.e. They can easily edit the font colors, sizes, link colors, background colors, etc using the Template Designer Tool. Though it may sound good the drawback of these auto options is very serious and your entire template CSS properties are declared variables.
  • A variable links several parts of your style sheet or CSS together and if you change that variable value, the effect will then be applied to each and every CSS class linked. In short for Newbie bloggers and even for us, editing the template becomes really tough as you don’t see any constant values rather weird symbols like the ones in my template:
.header-outer {
  background: $(header.background.color) $(header.background.gradient)
repeat-x scroll top left;
  _background-image: none;
  color: $(header.text.color);
  -moz-border-radius: $(header.border.radius);
  -webkit-border-radius: $(header.border.radius);
  -goog-ms-border-radius: $(header.border.radius);
  border-radius: $(header.border.radius);
}.Header img, .Header #header-inner {
  -moz-border-radius: $(header.border.radius);
  -webkit-border-radius: $(header.border.radius);
  -goog-ms-border-radius: $(header.border.radius);
  border-radius: $(header.border.radius);
}.header-inner .Header .titlewrapper,
.header-inner .Header .descriptionwrapper {
  padding-left: $(header.padding);
  padding-right: $(header.padding);
}.Header h1 {
  font: $(header.font);
  text-shadow: 1px 1px 3px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.3);
}.Header h1 a {
  color: $(header.text.color);
}
.Header .description {
font-size: 130%;
}
The above class is the CSS code for styling the Header.  You can clearly see the variables are indicated by the dollar sign ($) Now suppose if you wish to edit the background image or color of your header, how can you change or set the values when everything is in variables and everything is almost the same!! I am not saying no one can edit that. Of course, you can do it if you have some prior knowledge of web languages but this would be difficult for new bloggers and even us!
  • Also, the widget code is also programmed with a lot different tag i.e, the Macro: param tag. See this code of the sidebar of my blog,
<aside>
          <macro:include id='main-column-left-sections' name='sections'>
            <macro:param default='0' name='num' value='0'/>
            <macro:param default='sidebar-left' name='idPrefix'/>
            <macro:param default='sidebar' name='class'/>
            <macro:param default='true' name='includeBottom'/>
          </macro:include>
          </aside>
This way the sidebar can be easily edited directly using “Template designer” but really difficult to understand for us as the widgets are programmed with <b: section> tags which was easy to understand and replace as compared to Macro: param tag.
  • Furthermore, even the simple tags like <body> had been messed up into something like this,
<body expr:class='&quot;loading&quot; + data:blog.mobileClass'>
In all blogger tutorials, we and all others always mention <body> tag and it had turned a headache for new bloggers to find the same <body> tag in the new template designs.

Conclusion:

These were the reasons which led me to switch towards a custom blogger template. This is why in a nutshell as a web designer myself, I can only advise you all to kindly stick to custom templates which are far better coded and optimized compared to official blogger templates. With custom templates coded by third-party designers, you have complete command over your layout coding and don’t have to rely on the Template Designer Tool to do the designing for you. Moreover, you can apply all blogger tutorial tricks to your custom templates easily and can better implement them. I really felt it important to discuss this topic as most of you were facing problems in applying the tutorials and tricks. Hope this post makes things more clear to you. Good Luck!

 

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