Welcome to The Real Blogger Status - Beta. Please note the warnings (as of 6/13: 0 active), and the alerts (as of 1/10/2007: 5 active).

Please be aware of the naming variances in this blog. You will find various references to "Classic" / "Old Template 2006" Blogger, and to "Beta" / "New Template 2006" Blogger.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Don't Stress Yourself - Convert The Template By Hand Before Converting The Blog

I just did a dry run on a Beta migration, and not my blog. This was good.

It gave me a chance to sit back and say to myself

Now, how would I convert this feature?
a few times.

And what I decided made me think.

The Blogger migration process will migrate the blog account - from a Blogger to a Google account. And that will happen for all blogs owned by a given Blogger account, simultaneously.

After the account migration, for all blogs, comes the template migration, each blog, one by one. With any blog of any size and complexity, I will have to have the Classic to Beta migration migrate the posts and comments. No question there.

Anybody who has been posting, or helping, in any of the Blogger Help Group forums has seen this query.
I just finished entering a post into my blog. I previewed it - and it looked fine. Then I published it. And now, my blog looks like crap. What happened to my blog?

Well, what happened is that you didn't test your post enough. The Post Preview wizard simply doesn't provide a valid test, for every blog.

And my guess is that the Beta template migration process won't provide a valid test, for every template, either. There will be template features, on any blog with any complexity, that will have to be tested in a live browser. Preferably, two, or more, live browsers.

Expecting that, after migration, there will likely be template features, in any Classic blog of any complexity or size, that won't be migrated automatically, I'll ask a rhetorical question.
When would you prefer to be testing your new Beta template?
  1. Now, while your blog is online and operating (as a Classic)?
  2. Or later, after migration, while your blog is down (with missing features to be patched in) (And with complaints from your readers)?

I'll bet you'll answer

in a heartbeat.

Why stress yourself? Having added various features to both Classic and Beta blogs, I'd bet that any Classic template, that originally took more than an hour or two to setup, probably won't migrate as is, with all features intact. I'll waste an evening, to reduce stress and make a more successful migration happen. Start this process before you accept the migration invitation.
  1. Before you accept the migration invitation.
    1. Be aware of current migration issues. Learn from other folks mistakes.
    2. Be aware of New Blogger 2006 design deficiencies and limitations. Learn from others disappointments.
    3. Setup a test blog.
    4. Copy the current template, and half a dozen posts with comments, from your current Classic blog.
  2. Accept the migration invitation. Let all of your blogs, production and test, be migrated to use your Google account.
  3. After you accept the migration invitation.
    1. Migrate the test blog, to a Beta template.
    2. Customise the test blog, adding template features, as necessary.
    3. Test the test blog, with the Beta template, in multiple browsers.
    4. When you have the test blog all working, so it looks like you want your blog to look, then migrate the production Classic blog to a Beta template.
    5. Finally, copy the fully tested Beta template, from the test blog, to your newly migrated production Beta blog.

The bottom line? Some planning, and extra (and redundant) effort, will make for a less stressful migration. Less stress will make for less mistakes. Less mistakes will make for a better experience by your readers. And your readers are The Bottom Line, aren't they?

If you consider this to be excessive thinking, consider my hypothetical experiences in Which Migration Experience Would You Prefer?

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