Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Adding a gadget to a blog with a dynamic-view template

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This article is about how to add widgets (also known as gadgets) to blogs that have dynamic templates.

Things are looking up: 

Beer glasses can have widgets, and
now  dynamic-view blogs can have them too
Previously I've described dynamic templates, and how you can turn them on, and also off, on your blog.   And when people asked "how do I put a whatever gadget onto my blog", the short answer was " you can't - yet".

But now Blogger have announced that it's possible - their post also shows us how the docked widget bar works.

And if your blog already has a dynamic template, they've added a few gadgets for you.   For my test blog, this was Followers, Archive About me and Subscribe - I'm not sure if these are the only ones, or it was based on my layout before the blog went dynamic.


How to add a gadget to a blog with a dynamic template:

This is just like adding a gadget to a blog with a designer or layout template, ie:

  • Go to the Layout tab   (Design > Page Elements, if you're using pre-Sept-2011-Blogger)
  • Click Add A Gadget.
  • Choose your gadget, and configure it if necessary.
    (NB Blogger appear to be converting all the existing gadget setup screens to the new-interface-look-and-feel, so don't be surprised if the buttons etc inside the gadget parameter windows look different)
  • Preview to check it's ok
  • Click Save Arrangement.


It's not perfect yet:

The layout editor window looks somewhat strange, in post-Sept-2011-Blogger anyway:

More importantly, Blogger's announcement says
Gadgets supported in Dynamic Views currently include: Blog Archive, Followers, Labels, Profile, Subscribe (a new gadget - automatically present if either Follow By Email or Subscription installed), and Link List.


So no HTML, no AdSense, no Blogroll (except you can make your own with the Link List), Statistics, Slideshows, Polls, etc ... yet.    To make matters worse, there's nothing to tell you what gadgets you cannot add:  you put them in, but they're just not there once you save and look at the blog.

But some of them may become available, if Blogger can figure out how to place with within the type of space they're using for gadgets on dynamic views, where we don't really have a sidebar.   And until then, the following section from my original post still applies.


In the meantime:

The October announcement did show how you can customize the colors of your dynamic-template blog.

Southern Speakers has been publishing lots of how-to information about how you can format dynamic blog elements by adding CSS rules - his most recent post is about how to remove static page titles.   He has also described a way to put gadgets that you can get the code for into a page - this description is specifically for the Followers gadget, but could be applied to other code too, provided you can get the code.

And if you want, you can just switch back to using your most-recent template, and wait for the improved version of dynamic templates to arrive.

Or you could do cunning things, like put AdSense ads into your posts instead.




For history's sake:

This is the body of my original post.   It's not true any more, but I want to keep it here, in case I need to use some of this text agaon - or so you can see how much better things are now.

The Full Story:Google told us in late October 2011 that they're working on making this possible.   They haven't said when they expect to have this available.   If we're really lucky it will be "one day very soon" (and boy will I have a red face if they announce how to do it tomorrow!)
I suspect that it's not an easy thing to do, because dynamic template blogs are basically a totally different way of displaying your blog, using your RSS feed and (now) CSS rules, rather than reading all the design details from the blog itself.   Providing this, along with the level of design control that people with Designer and Layout templates are used to, might be quite technically challenging.
I've written this article because I got sick of explaining "no not yet" in the help forum:  I really want to give people there the full story, but finding the link to that October announcement every time was a pain.   Now I can just link to this.
But hopefully I'll be able to totally re-write it, very soon  :-)    Giving negative answers isn't nearly as satisfying as explaining how to do things.




Related Articles:



Dynamic templates and your blog

Options for adding gadgets to your blog

Remove your dynamic template carefully, to return to your previous design

Putting AdSense ad-units inside blogger posts

Understanding your RSS feed

How to add a CSS formatting rule to your blog, without editing the template

What type of template does your blog have?

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13 comments:

  1. Thank you! You have explained it very well. Think I'll give Dynamic Views a try again since Blogger has added some gadgets. If I don't like the way it works yet, I can just go back to my previous template.

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  2. I was waiting for it. Thanks a lot author. I will try it certainly.

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  3. The sucking of this all is that feed, when clicked on the Subscription widget to see it, appears just as a XML code...I repeat: Google engineers are still far behind from WordPress, I sorry!

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  4. The html/java script is not working in blogger dynamic tempelate. Kindly help with this

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  5. Thanks for the information, I am waiting for the HTML gadget to be applicable to dynamic views template.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The html/java script is not working in blogger dynamic tempelate. Kindly help with this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is correct: I do not currently know of any way to make HTML/Javascript gadgets appear in blogs that use dynamic-view templates. Sorry.

      Delete
  7. I've been using dynamic views for a bout a year now. Yes it's increased my traffic, but don't really know why. Most of my traffic comes from image searches, I've got a photo blog over at http://davesfotoworld.blogspot.com

    However, when I was using Mosaic view, only half of the column would appear, the bottom half was hidden by the main page mosaic. I had to hit the refresh button to get the full column to show. I'd like to know why. I'm still using Dynamic views, but the sidebar version.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same thing happened to me. I'm thrilled though. I averaged about 50/60 pageviews for most of the 3 1/2 years I've maintained my blog. I just it 500 yesterday after only a couple of weeks with the dynamic view.

      Delete
    2. I just read on the Google Help Forum that Dynamic Views register the page views to your blog more accurately. If one person visits 10 posts on your blog, that registers as 10 pageviews. Whereas, the old templates would only register that as one pageview.

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  8. Even basic gadgets (label / archive etc) are not showing up on my blog. Spent entire day trying to fix it. n dice.

    My blog - http://iwizardstore.blogspot.com/

    (submitting same comment again as last timei had forgotten to click the "Notify me" box)

    ReplyDelete
  9. is there a way to add facebook share button? :s

    ReplyDelete