How to Edit Your Theme in Blogger

This article is about how to edit your theme in Blogger.

It supports many other articles on this site, which suggest specific theme changes needed to solve particular problems. Note that until the beginning of 2017, themes were called templates. In practice, “edit your template” and “edit your theme” mean the same thing.

In Blogger, a theme is a file that controls how your blog looks on screen when someone reads it using a browser or mobile device. Themes used to be called templates, but were renamed “themes” in early 2017.

First, I looked if it is a good idea to edit your Blogger theme/template or not. Because themes are the same thing as templates, the same principles apply to editing your theme.

For many people, editing the theme is simply something they need to do, because it’s the only way to do what they want (remove the allocation, show a gadget only on the home page, add a Facebook like button to posts, etc.). And Blogger is often preferred because it allows users to edit aspects of their theme that other blogging tools allow for changes.

Overview – how to edit your blog-theme

In general, the process for editing your theme is:

  • Make a backup copy of the theme, like now
  • Open the theme editor
  • Make the change
  • Check that it works, and if not, go back to the previous topic.

The following sections have more details on each of these steps.

How to backup your current theme

I know: it’s tempting to skip this if you’re only making a small change. Sometimes I even jump myself. And it’s not necessary if this is the first time you’ve ever customized your theme – because you can recover from problems just by reinstalling the standard theme.

Ma if you would have the misfortune to lose any change of topic that you have done beforeor if the change you are making now is no minor, so I strongly recommend making a copy before starting, just in case. To do this

  • From the Blogger dashboard, go to the Themes tab
  • Click the Backup/Restore button near the top right of the dashboard
  • Click the Download the theme button, and then wait while the file downloaded.
  • After the download is finished, find the location where your computer put download files
  • Come up with the file that was created,
  • Renaming to something sensible
    (ex Backup of the MyBlog theme before changing 31 Jan 2012.xml)
  • Move the file to in a safe place: usually somewhere on your computer is fine – or you like to upload it somewhere like Google Docs, to be absolutely sure it doesn’t get lost.

How to open the Blogger theme editor

  • From the Blogger Dashboard, to the Themes tab
  • Click Edit HTML

Now you have your theme open in the theme editor, the next challenge is to make the changes successfully – or to revert if your changes are not successful.

How to change your theme

  • Find the code you need to change:
    To see Text search in the Blogger theme editor if you need help with this.

    Note: some of the older “how to” articles say to make sure the Expand Widgets checkbox is checked off or on. This checkbox has been removed from the Blogger theme editor. If the following instructions tell you to leave it “off”, then you should just be able to follow it as it is. In any case, if you are told to disable Expanded Widgets, then you need to find the correct part of the code by looking for the widget-id or name of the section, and then “unfold” that to see the complete code.

  • Make the change (This article does not go into the basics of theme design, there are many other articles and websites about it: I guess you know what you need to do).

Your topic could not be analyzed because it is not properly formatted. Make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML Error Message: Element type “div” must be terminated by the end tag “

“.Error 500


Your model could not be analyzed because it is not properly formatted. Make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML Error Message: Element type “b:widget” must be followed by attribute specifications, “>” or “/>”.

then Blogger could not understand the change you made. Sometimes the error message gives an idea of ​​what is wrong, although it can be misleading. Check that you have made the change correctly – correct any errors and click Preview again. If that doesn’t work, ask for help from the place that suggested the change you’re making


  • Once you are happy that the preview screen looks OK, click on the Save the topic button

How to test your theme change

Some changes can be checked very easily, sometimes from the preview screen.

But if your change is not visible on the front screen, you should check it after you have applied it. What you check depends on your type, what the change was, and what other characteristics (eg the page-gadget as a menu, the archive widget, ) your blog uses. You need it decide what to trybased on all these.

At least, I always click and check these things when I make a major theme change:

  1. the home page
  2. the items in the menu bar
  3. a label value
  4. an archive widget entry
  5. personalized search engine results

And if I’m particularly focused on the reader, I’ll check those things too more than one browser: usually in the current version of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.

What to do if your change of theme is not successful

If you find that changing the theme has caused problems, then you have a choice to make:

Can you and your readers live with the problems on your blog for “a while”while looking for other solutions?


You need to remove the change nowso visitors can use your blog as it was while solving problems.

There is no right answer to this question: It is a personal decision, based on the blog and your readers. But if you need to remove the theme changer, here’s how to do it:

  • Open the Themes tab
  • Click the Backup/Restore button near the top right of the dashboard
  • Click Choose File and find the file you downloaded earlier
  • Click Load it.

It is better to restore your theme before you have changed any gadget. If you get a message about missing widgets, then it means that the widgets associated with your blog are not the ones referred to in the theme. If this happens, you need to decide whether to deepen or delete any “orphans”, and you may need to check their setting again.

Making complicated changes

If your subject may need a lot of “surgery” while understanding how to make a change, it may be a good idea to build a private test blog to get the job doneand only copy the content into your “real” blog theme when you are sure you have it correct (or correct enough).

Related articles

Advantages and disadvantages of editing your Blogger theme

Find things while editing in your blogger theme

Adding CSS formatting rules to your blog, without editing the theme

How to remove “powered by Blogger” attribution from designer theme blogs

Put a gadget only on the home page

Schedule changes to your blog – without readers seeing what you’re doing

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