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.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Planning The Migration To Beta - Multiple Blogs, Two Stages

It appears that Blogger Support has thought the migration process thru just a bit. There are two key processes involved in migration.

  • Account migration - from a Blogger account, to a Google account.
  • Template migration - from a Classic template, to a Beta template.

Each of the above processes will go better, if planned properly. Dividing the migration into two steps, if you have multiple blogs, makes it easier to plan.
  • Your Blogs are migrated, together, from Blogger to Google authentication.
  • Each blog is migrated separately, from a Classic to a Beta template.

Barbara, aka Flounder, makes a very useful migration description in Blogger Help Group: How Do I? Can I Sign for Blogger Beta.
What we do is upgrade them one at a time. I'm working here from a defective memory, but here goes, I will try. I have upgraded 7 so far and have 3 to go. Yes, each one needed work, but at least they didn't all fall apart once they crossed into Beta. They were intact, and I could work on them one at a time starting with my old classic practice blog which is loaded with stuff. It was a good workout getting used to changing it into the new Beta toys. After I felt better about my ability, I started with another one - the easiest one. And so it went. And here are the steps as best I remember.

I made copies of all the templates into NotePad and dated them in the titles, which gave me copies of all the latest Classic templates in my own familiar old NotePad territory. I had recently, in anticipation of the move, copied all the posts in their Edit HTML form. I know, probably didn't need to do all this, but I was headed for the unknown and wanted to be prepared. Later there is opportunity to download copies to your computer. I did that too - ha! added a belt to go along with my suspenders - you never know when something might break! Screen shots of the first page of each blog turned out to be helpful later.

Once your account is switched -
Go to your dashboard. Find the blog you want to start with. Click on 'Template'. Once there look in the row of tabs. There is one labeled 'Customize Design'. If I remember correctly, clicking on that is The Point of No Return that takes that blog into the New World.

Read the paragraph 'Give Your blog a whole new look!'. Click on 'Blogger Layouts Customization' - a page of instructions comes up. Read that then minimize it so if you need to look back at the instructions during the process, they will still be there.

Then click: UPGRADE YOUR TEMPLATE . There is a small window within the large one. Slide the small one up and down to see all 16 templates available. (It's much like looking through a keyhole.) The one like you have will already be selected, but you can change to another one, if you'd like, by clicking in the tiny circle that looks like a hole punched. Then Click: 'Save Template'.

You will then be on the screen where you can add to and arrange the layout of your blog. If you want to go back/revert to your old template look near top of screen and click 'Edit HTML'. In that screen look at bottom left-hand side for options. As you know by now, as everyone is preaching, if you revert you will not have the benefit of the new features.

So, here's the bottom line.
  • You migrate all blogs, at once, from Blogger to Google accounts. That's the simple part, where you surrender control to the Blogger migration process.
  • Once the account migration is done, you can migrate each blog, separately, from a Classic to a Beta template.

With the template migration isolated from the account migration, you can let the account migration proceed at will. Account migration will be a homogenous process - all Blogger blogs currently use Blogger authentication, and all Blogger blogs will use Google authentication.

Onve the account migration is out of the way, proceed to the template migration. This is a heterogenous process. Each blog has a different template, with some templates containing custom code that won't be retained by the migration process. If you have any concerns about migration of the template, proceed with my two stage template migration process.

There's good news, and bad news, here. The good news? Almost all custom Classic code is plain old HTML / Javascript, and can be migrated by copying the code straight from the Classic template, into another HTML / JavaScript page element. The bad news? Some Classic code involves HTML in two places in the template - you may have to search for variable definitions at the top of the template, to support JavaScript at the bottom. This is where you will definitely benefit from a testing period!

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

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