When I created my first blogger blog some years back, I don’t know anything. But I needed to customize my bog; insert new scripts, codes and other hacks. What happened eventually is not good to hear, I messed up with my template, every effort to recover things to its former position proved futile, I had to sadly delete that blog.
I need not slip on the same road more than once so I Set Up A Test Blog On Blogger which could help me try premium templates, codes, new hacks, and tweaks before actually transferring or implementing them on my real blog. I thought it wise to share with you how I set up my test blog here in Blogger so that what happened to me will not hit you!
What Is A Test Blog
A test blog is a site where you do all your testing especially if you are unsure of the outcome. It could be installing a new premium template, adding a script or codes, trying out new hacks and tweaks and many more. It could really be risky to apply updates directly to your live blog especially if it’s a major change. If you’re installing a premium template on a Blogger blog that has existing content and is a live blog, I strongly recommend you first install the template on a test blog, set up and tweak your blog and then export your new setup to your live blog.
The Benefits Of Setting Up And Using A Test Blog
A test blog will help you with testing templates and codes before making changes to your live Blogspot blog. By doing this, you won’t mess up with your blog by uploading a corrupt template. Always use a test blog when testing templates, scripts, and other hacks before implementing or updating the changes on your real blog.
Regarding Premium Template Installation, A Test Blog will help you test the template on your content prior to installing it on your real live blog. You will be familiar with set up instructions, so installing on your live blog will be quicker with less disruption to your live blog. You will be sure and have confidence when implementing some changes to your real blog because you have tried and tested it on your test blog.
How To Create A Test Blog On Blogger For Testing Templates Codes And Hacks
SECTION 1: Setup Your Test Blogger Blog; Create A New Blog
- Sign in to your Blogger Dashboard. On the main dashboard page, at the top left, you will see the name of your current blog. Click on the down arrow to open the drop-down list.
- At the bottom of the list is the option New blog…
- Click on this link.
4. Create a new blog window will open.
5. Give your test blog a Title and enter an Address for your blog. You don’t need to worry about selecting a specific default template, just Choose one of the default templates.
6. Click the Create blog! button to create your test blog.
7. After you have created your new test blog, you will be directed to the main Blogger Dashboard page for that blog.
If you used a similar name to your live blog, you might end up updating the wrong site so be sure to add an indication to your test blog’s name that it is a test blog. I suggest that you use a URL that you can easily identify as your test blog.
SECTION 2: The Blogger Test Blog Settings
Since test blogs are used only for experimental reasons, we need to set them up in a way different from the way we set up our main blogs. First of all, we need to ensure that they are not listed in the public listing of Blogger.com, and not visible to search engines. Under the Permission section, we may also set the Blog Readers to Only blog authors. If you plan to use external apps to test your site, set it to Public instead to allow access.
The Blogger Test Blog Basic Settings
After creating your test blog, then go to Settings>> Basic
There 4 main headings there, the “Basic“, “Publishing“, “HTTPS” and “Permissions“. Under the Basic section, there are 3 settings there, Title, Description, and Privacy. You may change the Blog Title if you wish, as for the blog Description, leave it don’t give any blog description as it would not be visible to search engines. Next to Description is Privacy, By default, it is set to “Visible to search engines”, Click on “Edit” and set it to No “Not visible to search engines”
Under the “Permission” heading, there are 2 settings, Blog authors and Blog Readers. You may Add authors, that is if you’re not the only author on the blog. Set the Blog Readers to Only blog authors. If you plan to use external apps to test your site, set it to Public instead to allow access. Congratulations, you’ve just created your blogger test blog, where you’ll be testing codes, templates and try new hacks and tweaks. Let’s continue the tutorial, we need now to export data from the live blog.
SECTION 3: Export The Data From Your Real Live Blog
So that your blogger test blog will look as much as your real live blog as possible, you will want to export all your posts, images and pages to use for testing with the test blog you’ve created in Sections 1&2.
Go to your Blogger Dashboard And select the blog which you’ll like to export data from to your test blog. This should be the blog that you’ll be doing the testing for.
SECTION 4: Backup And Export Your Real Live Blog Template
Now, if your want the template on your blogger test blog to be the same as your real live blog for which you will like to do the testings for, then you need to export your real live blog template to the test blog. This way, you’ll be sure and certain on any update because whatever update or test you carried on your test blog, so will it appear on your live blog because the template, posts, and other contents are the same.
If you want to export your current template and install it on your test blog, go Go to your Blogger Dashboard And select the blog which you’ll like to backup or restore. So that the backup can be used to install on your test blog. In this case, the blog you have chosen in SECTION 3 above.
A download dialog box will open on your computer.
Save the file to your Downloads folder, desktop or file of your choice.
The file will look something like: theme-#################.xml.
You can then upload this theme to your test blog like any other theme from the Themes page.
SECTION 5: Import Your Real Live Blog Posts And Pages Into Your Test Blog
Prove you’re not a robot.
Then click on the Import from computer button.
Find the file you downloaded in SECTION 1 above. (blog-##-##-####.xml) Select this file to upload to your site. Your content will begin to automatically upload. When the upload is complete you will be directed to the Posts page and existing posts from your live blog will now populate your Test Blog.
SECTION 6: How To Install Template or Theme Into Your Test Blog
Under the “Upload a theme from a file on your hard drive.” option, click on the Choose File
Find the downloaded template in SECTION 4 on your computer (theme-########.xml) and select it. Click the Upload button. Your template will be uploaded. A yellow success message will flash on your screen when uploading is complete.
SECTION 7: Export Your Test Blog Setup To Your Live Blog
1. Download your test template setup
Once you have finished setting up your gadgets and customizing your test blog, you can export your setup to your live blog. Go to the Theme page on your Blogger Dashboard. Click on the gray Backup/Restore button at the upper right corner of the window. See SECTION 4
Click the orange Download theme button.
A file save popup box will appear (depending on your operating system). Chose the option to save the file to a location of your choice on your computer or to your designated downloads file. On your computer, open the folder to which you downloaded the template file. You will see an XML file named theme-############.xml (the # symbols will be replaced by a long string of numbers. This is the file you will be uploading to your live blog. See SECTION 4
Install your test setup on your live blog
Install the XML file you downloaded in the previous step onto your live blog. See SECTION 6
A few notes about what will be installed on your live Blog when you use this method:
- Social media icon settings will not carry over. You will need to add your links to the live blog.
- Some gadget settings do not carry over like settings in the Labels, Popular Post or Archive gadgets. You will have to re-adjust those settings.
I have tried so much to cover everything in this tutorial, How To Create A Test Blog On Blogger For Testing Templates Codes And Hacks. If you follow the tutorial strictly, I don’t think you’ll encounter any issues, however, if you encounter any, comment it at the comment section below and I will attend to you! Happy blogging! And don’t forget to share, thanks!