Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sidebar Trauma

I see a lot of posts in the Blogger Help Center about sidebar issues. Most of the templates have pretty narrow sidebars - about 240 pixels on average. If you know you want to host video unit ads or showcase large pictures without using default Blogger widgets, you will need to edit your template.

It is important to increase the overall width of the template and the sidebar. Sketch a little diagram of your template on paper with the measurements if you are a visual person like me. Check the properties of the images or video players to discover the minimum width the sidebar should be to display them effectively. Then subtract that number from your current sidebar width to find out how much to increase the overall size of your template by.

Login to your blog and click layout or navigate to the Template tab. Click Edit HTML then save a backup copy of your template. Now you're ready to experiment. Increase the overall template width and sidebar width by the result of subtracting the current sidebar width from the desired sidebar width. Save the template then view your blog in Firefox and other browsers, and at different browser widths. Try uploading one of those pictures that did not fit before. Now you have a custom fit for your sidebar content.

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