Next we move on to the Design and layout of your chosen Template. From the Blogger dashboard, click on the Design tab. You will then be in the ‘layout’ area (referred to on Blogger as Page Elements) of your chosen Template showing all of the separate areas that you can edit or add Gadgets to such as the sidebar. The bottom area is called Attribution and you can use this area to include a copyright name to your blog if you so wish. You do not have to add any Gadgets in the top area or the lower areas if you don’t want to use those areas, you can use just the sidebar for your gadgets if you prefer. If you do not add any Gadgets to those areas, they will simply be invisible on your blog page.
For this how-to, I am going to change the order of those default Gadgets in my sidebar, add some more Gadgets and alter the colour of the top Navbar. To move any of your Gadgets around all you have to do is click and drag each Gadget box (darker shade) either up or down, or if you want to place it in one of the lower (dotted) boxed areas or the one underneath your title area, simply drag it over to your chosen area and then ‘drop’ it in the (dotted) boxed area. I have also added my name to the Attribution area as copyright to me. You don’t have to do this of course, the choice is entirely yours.
Note the yellow message that appears to inform you that your changes have been saved. This notice occurs every time you change any aspect of your page layout and then Save it. You can click on View Blog to go and take a look at how the changes that you have just made and then return to this area to continue changing the layout of the page. You can also Preview your changes that you have made so far by clicking on the Preview Tab, or if you change your mind about any changes you have made so far, you can click on Clear Edits. If you are happy with how everything looks so far, then click on SAVE.
Next let’s add some more Gadgets from Blogger. To do this, click on Add a Gadget from the top of the sidebar area. For this how-to I am going to firstly add the Search Box Gadget which will allow my visitors to search my blog posts, my links that I include in any of my posts and also to search the web itself. You can choose to have the Search Box gadget only search your blog, or any links that you have incorporated into your blog posts or the Web. I have chosen to enable all three.
After adding the Search Gadget and placing it right at the top of my sidebar, I will also be adding the Slideshow Gadget for my photos on Flickr and also the Blog List Gadget so that I can make a list containing other peoples blogs that I enjoy reading. Any of my visitors can go and read them as well if they wish to do so. With most of the Gadgets, you will need to insert some information for it to work correctly. For example, the Slideshow Gadget requires your flickr user name if you decide to show your own photos in it, and the Blog List Gadget requires that you insert the URL’s of the blogs that you enjoy visiting and reading.
There are absolutely loads of really useful Blogger Gadgets to choose from, you will probably be really hard pressed to make up your mind which one’s to leave out! As you choose another Gadget don’t forget to place it into position wherever you prefer it to be on the Page Elements page.
Another useful edit you might like to do is to the Navbar itself that runs across the top of Blogger. This is the bar where you can access just about everything on Blogger. It allows you to Follow other blogs that you read, Share, Report Abuse and or browse other users blogs. It’s also here on the right hand side where you can also access your Dashboard, make a new post if you are using the online Blogger editor, access Design or sign out. You can alter your Navbars appearance from the Design page. To do this select Edit in the Navbar and then choose the Navbar look that blends in with your particular Template colours and looks. Here’s my altered Template now that I have changed things in my Page Layout. I think it looks better and I am happy with my new sidebar Gadgets and their order. Also the Navbar now matches my chosen Template.
TG Next post, I’ll take you through adding a cool Gadget from elsewhere made by a third party developer, and we will add some pages to that horizontal ‘Menu’ area underneath our Title..