How to design a website | How to add Google Gadgets using Blogger Layout Tools
What is Blogger Layout Tool?
Blogger Layout Tool is a kit of tools provided by Google for users of their blogging platform so that the users can create their own style of blogging platform suited to their tastes and skills.
This article intends to explain how to use the blogger layout tools provided by google blogger for customizing the features and outlook of your blog or your own custom domain. This is not to be confused with the building and designing of your website using the google template designer.
In this article, I am going to provide some simple guidance on how to customize the blog or your linked website using the Layout Buttons and Layout Tools that are available on Google Blogger.
- Layout Tool allows you to customise your blog appearance by defining the number of posts and comments to be shown on your main page and by adding the read more button for presenting short snippets of articles on the main page instead of full-length articles.
- It facilitates easy navigation and handling of your blog by adding features like popular posts, blog archives, reading list, etc.
- You can create pages and categories and menu buttons for your visitors to browse very easily on your blog and find articles and content of their choice in lesser time.
- You can create sharing buttons also for sharing articles easily on social media.
- There are many more features that can be incorporated with the help of this Blogger Layout Tool which is discussed in details below.
Blogger Layout Page image with all its tools and gadgets
How to customise your Blog Header and Menu bar with Blogger Layout Tools
When you click the layout button from your blog administration page, the layout format opens up and you can manage all your blog features from there (as evident from the above screen shots of Blogger Layout page). The above images show you the various features available for customising your layout.
I will discuss here each one of the features that are available for managing the "layout" that are visible in the above images.
- The first one is the 'navigation bar' which is not of much use as viewers can easily skip to other blogs with the help of it leaving your blog. So, you better keep it off.
- Next is the 'Header' tool for customising your header background with any nice background image and a good description of your blog theme. You will be customising everything in layout, with the help of edit buttons available to their right-hand side.
- The 'Cross Column' below the Header is better for incorporating your Adsense and another cross column for creating your page buttons and category buttons (which is also known as the menu bar for your blog).
- In order to customise menu bar, you first need to create pages and categories by clicking the pages button that is visible above the layout button as shown in the above image of blogger page tools.
- When you click the pages button below the posts button or above the layout button, a page opens up which tells you that there are no pages. There is a highlighted text reading "create new page" to the side of the information. When you click the create pages button, a new page opens up which is similar to the posts page. In the top title bar, type your page name and in the body of the page, you can describe contents to be included in your page. A page can be a stand alone page giving some specific information. Or, it can be relevant to a particular category of your blog posts so that it can act as a category page. In that case, you will link all of your article URLs with suitable titles related to that particular category to that page whenever you post a blog. So, pages are either stand-alone pages or categories. I have described the whole entire process of creating pages or categories already in my another prior article at this link. http://hubpages.com/technology/How-to-Create-Pages-on-Google-Blogger
- After customizing your Header and adding the pages or categories to the menubar, your blog may look like the below-posted image.
Layout of a blog with Header and pages/ categories in the menu bar
Customising Blog Posts (main body) Layout
How to customize your google blogger 'main body' features
When you clicked on the edit button at the below right corner of the Main Blog Posts section (at the center of Layout Page as shown in above top most images), the "configure blog posts" page opens up in front of you. In this configure blog posts screenshot as above, there are three parts - main page options, post page options and arrange items options. At the bottom is the save button.
- Under main page options, you can choose how many posts to appear on each main page and whether you want to insert the "read more" button or not after a snippet of each post. Otherwise, you can allow whole posts to appear on the same page without 'read more' enabled.
- Coming to post-page options, the first box is for selecting the style of the appearance of the posting date of your article.
- Next is the style of giving credit to author or writer. You can mention, for example, posted by/ contributed by or simply by and the name.
- Next is for the appearance of the posting time - whether to show only hours, minutes or along with the date.
- Next option is for how many comments to show on the page.
- The other boxes are for enabling links to the post, for enabling labels, for enabling reactions by viewers of the post (interesting, funny,etc.).
- Then comes the option for enabling quick editing facility so that you can edit it from the published post itself without logging into editing mode from Blogger account.
- Then, there are options for showing email post links, for showing share buttons below post and location.
- You can further enable author profile to be shown below posts and also to insert ads in between posts.
- After choosing all above mentioned options that you might want to incorporate on your blog pages, you can check the appearance of the main page.
- The 'arrange items" section is for reviewing your page configuration and to change its format (if you think it so) by dragging the items up or down to suit your tastes.
- When you are satisfied with the appearance of your page and decide it to be good, don't forget to click the "save" button below.
- When you click save button (at the bottom of "Configure blog posts" page) inside, the configuration page gets disappeared and all your settings options saved on your blog.
Your opinion on building your own blog
Why do you like blogging?
Blogger Layout tools for sidebar and footer page
How to customize blogger layout for sidebar and footer
Your blog or website layout for sidebar and footer space can also be customized using the blogger layout tools smartly. There are many types of gadgets and options provided by google blogger for this purpose.
The sidebar and footer are installed depending upon your template design selection. You can choose either one sidebar only option or many sidebar options by clicking on the template designs provided at the time of creating your blog. Similarly, there can be more than one footer options as per your liking.
The above images are provided based on one sidebar and one footer options. The same procedure applies for incorporating the features - whether it is for one sidebar or multiple sidebars and whether one footer or many footers.
For incorporating the features, you should click on the button add a gadget each time you want to add a new feature. The button "+ Add a Gadget" appears there always on the Layout page of your blog.
Whenever you click the "add a gadget", a page opens up showing a list of all Gadgets available for you. (There are 28 gadgets on the list and some more will show up when click "more gadgets". Or you can add your own gadget with HTML).
In the above screenshot, I have used the following features.
- The first feature on my sidebar is a "featured post". I clicked Add a Gadget and browsed down to that particular button of Featured Post and clicked on the "Add" button against it. A window opens up showing the URL titles of all your posts, and you need to select one among them to be featured at the top right-hand side of your blog.
- Next, I added the gadget of My other websites, by selecting Link list Gadget, to show a list of my websites to viewers.
- Then, I added Follow me by email Gadget.
- Then, I added Adsense gadget, for showing ads in the sidebar.
- Next, I added Google+ followers gadget for showing my followers on Google Plus.
- Then, there is the Labels gadget to show Labels so that viewers can select articles by clicking a label. You can choose how many labels to show.
- Then, there is the Blog stats gadget to show page views, popular posts gadget to show most viewed posts, blog archives gadget (to show month-wise old articles) and the HTML gadget for incorporating Disqus code to show comments on Disqus platform.
- Coming to Footer of the page layout, I added another Adsense gadget at the footer.
- But, you can add as many gadgets as you want on multiple sidebars and at footer also to suit all your needs.
Different features of Blogger Layout and their benefits
Uses and benefits
Template is for designing the main format of your blog and for designing it artistically
Layout is for customizing the body and appearnce of your blog and for incorporating various navigation and sharing features
Settings tool is for setting some definite norms and standards like no.of posts and comments to be shown on each page and for allowing rights to author or administrator to manage blogs and for linking custom domain with blog