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40+ Essential Resources for Google Blogger

Posted by on 17th Feb 2008 | 25 comments

While Blogger may not be seen as the most powerful blog management system, it certainly has a loyal following. Beginners and advanced users alike appreciate the simplicity of Blogger, the free hosting and ease of customization.

So for those of you who choose Blogger as your publishing platform, here is a selection of essential templates, tools and resources to help you build a better blog.

Free Blogger templates

There are two systems available for Blogger templates: the “Classic” HTML based templates, and the newer XML based “Layouts” templates.

Don’t know which style of template you are using? There’s a simple way to find out: if you have a layouts section in your Blogger dashboard where you can move widgets around, you’re using the XML based layouts templates. In cases where you have to edit the HTML to change the content of your sidebar, you’ll be using a “Classic” template.

For either template system, there are loads of great, free templates available to use. Here is a selection of some of the best resources, organized by template type:

XML/Layouts Templates

  • Blogger-Templates: A resource point for some of the best Blogger templates around, which also includes some tutorials for template modifications.
  • Blog and Web: A great resource for decorative templates which have been converted from popular WordPress themes.
  • SuckMyLolly: looking for some unique, feminine templates? The free selection from this site are as candy sweet as the name suggests!
  • Better in Pink: A stylish selection of feminine designs.
  • Final Sense: A huge selection of free templates available here, though these are often simpler and image based variations.
  • Jackbook: Features a good selection of WordPress conversions. Jacky is also on a mission to showcase 365 templates from various authors over the next year.
  • Zona Cerebral: this site features some of the most beautiful Blogger templates I have ever seen!
  • Blogger Buster Designs: A selection of unique two and three column templates designed for Blogger.

Classic Blogger templates

  • Isnaini: A huge selection of two column templates and unique designs
  • BloggerTemplates.org: A small but great selection, including some which have ajax-powered menus
  • Gecko and Fly: Original and highly functional templates with a professional appeal
  • Blogger Templates by Caz: here you will find some useful and utterly beautiful templates!
  • Templates for Blogger: Another useful selection of classic templates, featuring both professional layouts and zany designs.
  • Pannasmontata Templates: Stylish and unique templates for free download.
  • PsycHo: A free layout generator to create compliant classic templates with ease.

Blogger Tools

Looking for useful tools to enhance your blogging experience? Then look no further! Here is a selection of useful tools you could use for posting, publishing and customizing with Blogger:

  • Blogger Mobile: Start a MoBlog, or post directly from your mobile phone
  • Mail-to-Blogger: You can also post to your Blogger blog via email (great for iPhone users too)
  • BlogThis! Bookmarklet: Have you ever found a post or site which you wanted to write about straight away? Install this nifty bookmarklet in your browser, and you can post with just one click.
  • Blogger in Draft: Test the latest widgets and developments of Blogger before they are released to the public.
  • Redirect your feeds through Feedburner: Now there’s no need to use auto-discovery tags to help visitors find your blog feeds. Simply redirect them through Feedburner with the one-click installation!
  • Blog via Flickr: You can post your Flickr photos directly to your blog, and can even post directly from your camera phone (great for those whose mobile phone network is not covered by Blogger Mobile)
  • Haloscan: By default, Blogger doesn’t allow you to send trackbacks when you post. By using the free service from Haloscan, you can send trackbacks to other blogs, and also display the trackbacks which have been sent to you. Other free features for Blogger users include external commenting and ratings systems for your blog posts.
  • w.Bloggar: a free Windows based application which you can integrate with your Blogger blog to post remotely. One version allows you to install on a pen drive to post while you are away from home.
  • Blogger for Word: Using this free download, you can publish to your blog, save drafts and edit posts from within Microsoft Word.
  • Blogger Developers Network: Information for developers interested in creating applications, templates and widgets for the Blogger framework.
  • Blogger Javascript Client Library: Create Blogger applications and mashups that can read and write data from your Blogger blogs with no server-side programming required!

Useful widgets for Blogger layouts

Those who use the Blogger layouts system can now add widgets to their template with ease. Here are some of the most useful widgets for Blogger blogs:

  • Recent comments: this widget is so easy to configure and install. Simply enter your the details for your blog, choose how many comments and the excerpt length to display, then click the button to add this widget to your blog!
  • Recent posts: Display extracts of your most recent posts in your sidebar.
  • Tag Cloud: now Blogger users can feature their categories in “Tag Cloud” form. Slightly more complicated than your average widget, but a great display once installed.
  • Archive calendar widget: Fancy having a WordPress-style calendar in your sidebar which readers can click to read your post for the day? Phydeaux shows us how this is possible to achieve in Blogger too!
  • Random post: Adds a link to your sidebar which, when clicked, will take your reader to a random post from your archives
  • Table of contents: Use this widget to list all of your posts in an expandable widget above your content.
  • Tab View widget: I love the widgets in some WordPress templates which allow you to view posts by category. Here Hoctro shows us a method which could be used to display your Blogger category posts in the same way.
  • Simple search widget: add a search box to your sidebar for readers to easily find the content they need.
  • Flickr Badge: Using this generator, you can easily create a photostream of your latest Flickr photos to display anywhere in your blog.
  • Widgetbox: find a whole host of widgets here which can be quickly added to your blog layout.
  • RockYou!: Social widgets, including noteboards, slideshows and talking avatars which can be used in Blogger blogs.

Yet more resources for Blogger!

For more general information about Blogger, you may want to take a look at some of these resources:

  • Blogger Help: The official site for Blogger-related assistance
  • Blogger Help Group: Ask questions and get help from other members of the Blogger community.
  • Blogger Buzz: The official blog about Blogger, featuring news, recent features and noteworthy information for those using this platform.
  • Blogger Status: Stay informed about developments, upgrades, outages and related issues.
  • Known issues for Blogger: The latest news about Blogger problems, what’s getting fixed, and what’s been taken care of, direct from the Blogger team.
  • Blogger Hacks Wiki: Want to find out if a particular hack is possible in Blogger? If it is, then most likely you’ll find it listed here.

Amanda is a freelance blogger and web/blog designer. She writes about Blogger at www.BloggerBuster.com and maintains several other blogs on various subjects.

25 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Collect on 17th Feb 2008

    I'm just starting my life as a blogger. I choose blogger.com, and like it so far. Your list of resources will be a big help to me, while I'm setting up the blog. Thanks!

  • Posted by Jordan Pearce on 17th Feb 2008

    Thank you. Too much info about WP out there and not enough on Blogger.

  • Posted by Fitz on 17th Feb 2008

    This is sooooooo helpful. Thank you very much!

    My only problem is I’m not very good at Spanish, maybe I’ll ask my friend to translate them for me.

    Thanks again.

  • Posted by Stephan Miller on 18th Feb 2008

    Cool list. Google bloggers need all the help they can get, but it's a good way to get your feet week before you move to your own WordPress installation.

  • Posted by Francisco on 18th Feb 2008

    Hi Amanda Fazani,

    Thanks a lot for the mention. Just now, i made a new section for the templates more accessible.

    Great compilation!

    Cheers

  • Posted by Amanda Nicole on 18th Feb 2008

    Thanks for such a helpful post! I'm a Blogger fan because of it's sweet simplicity, like you say, but I'd been feeling a bit bored with some of my current layouts. Now I have my reading for the week cut out for me!

  • Posted by marti garaughty on 18th Feb 2008

    Hi Amanda, that's quite a comprehensive list of stuff. With so many new gizmo's, gadgets, widgets & resources being added each day, it's difficult to keep track of it all.

    I'm sure the newbies and the "olbies" will appreciate your list. Thx…

  • Posted by Steven Finch on 18th Feb 2008

    This is a really comprehensive list. I look forward to more lists like this.

  • Posted by Iván on 18th Feb 2008

    Hello Amanda! Thank's for include my blog to this excelent post. I think you make a really nice work. Regards from Spain ;)

  • Posted by Sharnee on 19th Feb 2008

    Hi,

    Thanks for listing my site (www.suckmylolly.com) and saying nice things. Sure Blogger isn't for everyone but I definitely like it.

    Cheers,

    Sharnee

    xx

    :grin:

  • Posted by Jenny on 20th Feb 2008

    Blogger is evil. But Blogspot users seem to have better rankings then self hosted bloggers.

  • Posted by jake on 23rd Feb 2008

    i have seen some very good blogger blogs although more than half of the blogs there are like a spam.

  • Posted by Nesher on 26th Feb 2008

    Thank you for the provided tips. I have to admit that the Blogger capabilities are quite limited, but for the new blogger, with some blog monetization plans, there is nothing better than Blogger is.

  • Posted by mac on 1st Mar 2008

    i started to become a blogger with google blogger. Its easy to learn basic from it for all the noobs. All tips above is definitely going to help you on building an interesting blog. Just a step towards being a great bloggers. Happy blogging!

  • Posted by Colin Campbell on 3rd Mar 2008

    Great list of tips. I have used blogspot for over two years and it works well for me. So easy to use and an effective tool. I have used many of these and have had to cull some to allow the blog to load reasonably quickly.

  • Posted by Mobile Tips on 16th Mar 2008

    Thank you very much amanda….

  • Posted by gofree on 16th Apr 2008

    Great resource. Bookmarking…

    Thx :twisted:

  • Posted by Fight Videos on 12th May 2008

    You have a wide resources for blogger. Thanks. I am sure to come back for more. Keep on posting more info for us bloggers out there.

  • Posted by space code on 20th May 2008

    I love how blogger allows you to play around with their code. I don't really like the new XML template as compared to the old blogger code but at least it allows more freedom than other free blog sites

  • Posted by rake on 21st May 2008

    Your source really help me much! i have been using blogspot for a period and your source do really effective work for me, thanks!

  • Posted by Georgia on 5th Jun 2008

    After Bill Gates was bashing Blogger a few years ago saying how 9 out of every 10 accounts was spam, i thought Blogger would die out and WordPress would take over. I guess Google stepped up the moderation.

  • Posted by HR Blog on 21st Jul 2008

    Amanda,

    This is a great list. I never knew about "Blogger in Draft".. It actually makes a lot of sense now to have many people testing out new features before they come out and are buggy. I second your recommendation for FeedBurner, it is a great tool while it remains free.

  • Posted by Amol on 25th Jul 2008

    Your site is a precious resource. :smile:

    Thank you for all those great resources.

  • Posted by Flash Drive on 20th Aug 2008

    Your site is a precious resource. :smile:

    Thank you for all those great resources.

    :razz: :razz: :razz:

  • Posted by brian on 26th Sep 2008

    the blogger.com doesnt allow template editing…do they?