another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Monday, October 31, 2005

Sidebar 101

I posted this as a reply on Amber's blog, but I'll put it up here too. This is how-to add links to your sidebar in Blogger. Some people have had their blogs for a while and still have "Edit-Me" links in their sidebar (cough-cough-Ellen).

Oh hell, cough-cough-Matt too, though I suspect he knows how to do the HTML -- he's just too lazy. Read more if you like long, boring, pedantic descriptions.

1. Click on the Blogger logo in the upper left-hand corner. That should take you to the Blogger Dashboard.

2. On the line with your blog name, click the gear under "Change Settings".

3. Click on the tab near the top that reads "Template". You should then have a text box with your current template in it (lots of scary looking HTML - even I'm scared of a lot of it).

4. Assuming you're using Windows, click on the Start button in the bottom bar and start Notepad.

5. Click in the template text box, type Ctrl-A, then Ctrl-C to copy all your template text.

6. Click back in the Notepad and type Ctrl-V to paste your template in there.

7. Save the template text from Notepad to a file somewhere on your computer, in a name you'll remember. That's jusst for safety so can get back to a sane place if you mess up.

OK, the next part becomes a bit more tricky because it may be different depending on what template you use. Fortunately, you still have the "Edit-Me" text in your sidebar, so you can look for that. If you do this in Notepad you can search for "Edit-Me". Just don't change the template and save it to the same place you put the old one. If you save again from Notepad, choose a different file name.

8. OK, somewhere in the template there will be text that says "Begin #sidebar". That's all the HTML for the sidebar, where the links are.

9. You can now look for the "Edit-Me" text (or other links that you know if you no longer have Edit-Me, but if you don't you probably already knew how to do this.

10. OK, the lines in the links all have a pattern. They start with the tag <li> and end with </li>. Those tags just mean this is a list item. (the list actually started with the tag that says <ul> for unnumbered list.)

11. Inside the <li> tags are another set of tags that say <a href=...> and </a>. That the tag that indicates this is a link. The part after the href= that's inside the quotes is the URL for the page you want to link. So, I just created a new line on mine and put inside those quotes. Make sure the closing quotes are before the >.

12. Finally, the part after the > and before the closing </a> is the text that will show up in the side bar. So I put in "Meows and Bows - Amber and Rob" on that new line.

13. Do that for as many links as you want to add.

14. If you did this in Notepad, save it as a new file, but also before exiting Notepad copy all the text (use Ctrl-A Ctrl-C as you did before).

15. Copy all that text into the template text box in Blogger (you should still have that page up, or get back to it as before). The easy way to do that is to click in that text box, type Ctrl-A to select all, then type Ctrl-V to paste in the newer stuff as a replacement.

16. Now click the button that says "Save Template Changes".

17. Finally click the block box that says "Republish", and you're done. Then you can go back to you blog and see that everything worked.

18. If it didn't work for some reason, you can go get that old template file you saved and copy that in. Then try again.


  • eh....your right that I could do it if I felt like it. I could just delete the Edit-Me links if it would make you feel better, but I don't really feel like linking anything real.

    By Blogger Matt, at 10/31/2005 9:36 PM  

  • Eh, it doensn't bother me. I just think it's funny that you come to my blog to get all the links.

    (and, yes, I cleaned up the other comments that you meant to delete)

    By Blogger Tim Tjarks, at 10/31/2005 10:30 PM  

  • Mom had me fix up the links on her blog, because my instructions were too complicated for her.

    I also put up her picture.

    By Blogger Tim Tjarks, at 10/31/2005 10:32 PM  

  • thanks. your instructions made a lot more sense than blogger's and now I have links and they all work!

    By Blogger Amber, at 11/01/2005 4:37 PM  

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