Monday, January 14, 2008

Download Neo Template For Blogger

[Haven't heard about Neo before? Read this post.]

Neo in other languages:
Spanish (thanks to Ayreonauta): Demo blog, Translated javascript file
Chinese (thanks to Guradian, GG): Installation instructions, Translated template, Demo blog
French (thanks to Nym): Translated Template, Demo blog
Portuguese (thanks to Ricardo Santos): Translated Template, Demo blog
Indonesian (thanks to Bikin Blogger): Installation instructions
Vietnamese (thanks to YHT): Installation instructions, Dang's translation
Norwegian (thanks to Laila): Installation instructions, Demo blog

As I had announced earlier, I will now explain how to install Neo and move your widgets without losing them (sorry it got delayed a bit). I moved the widgets myself for those who paid for Neo but for the free version, you have to do it yourselves. Here's something you need to understand about new Blogger. For any widget in your blog, only the code for the widget is in your template. All the data belonging to that widget (for example, all the links in a link list widget) are not part of the template. So, if you just move the code from your old template to Neo, Neo will pickup the data and all your widgets will work as before.

Another nice feature of new Blogger that comes handy is the unexpanded template (the template code that shows up when "Expand widget templates" checkbox is not checked). Here is an example of how it looks.

In this example, any line that starts with b:widget refers to a widget and each widget has an id. Widgets are contained within sections (lines that start with b:section). They could be present within sidebar or footer sections as highlighted in the image. So, all we need to do is to pickup all the lines starting with b:widget and add them to Neo (I was quite happy when I got this working first time). Let me go through the steps for installation in detail :

Disclaimer: Please note that you are taking the responsibility to copy your widgets to Neo. If you follow these instructions, everything will be smooth. So, read these instructions twice before you start.

Step 1: Backup your current template (Very important)

Step 2: Goto Template tab and click on Edit HTML link. Copy all the lines after <> tag that start with Right click here and save the template code. Open this neo.xml and find the portion of code shown below. Copy/paste all your widgets to the place indicated below (between and ). Save the file.

<div id='newsidebar-wrapper'>
<b:section class='sidebar' id='newsidebar' preferred='yes'>
<b:widget id='Posts' locked='false' title='Posts' type='HTML'>
<b:includable id='main'>
<div id='LabelDisplay'>
<div id='LabelTitle'>
<div class='widget-content' id='LabelPosts'>
<script language='javascript'>fetchLatestPosts('<data:blog.homepageUrl/>', '');</script>
Add all your widgets here...

Step 4: In Edit HTML tab, browse and upload this file to Blogger. When you do this, you should not get the error shown in this image.

If you get it, DO NOT click on Confirm & Save. If you do so, you will lose those widgets permanently. Instead, click "Cancel". This error indicates that you have missed some widgets from your old template. In this example, Label1, HTML1, HTML2 are the ids of the widgets that you missed. Go back to the unexpanded template and pick up these widgets. Once you add them to Neo, your template will be accepted without error.

Step 5: Now if you goto the Page elements tab, you will see 3 columns as shown below. Leftmost column has the Labels widget and the second column has the Posts widget at the top. These two widgets come with Neo by default. Though they are better placed at the top, you could move them wherever you want but if you delete them, you will lose the Neo functionality (asynchronous loading of posts). Rest of the widgets in second column are the ones you copied over. You can now drag and drop them wherever you want.

Step 6: There are some final settings to be in place for Neo to work properly. Goto Settings/Site Feed and if you are still in basic mode, switch to Advanced mode and save. Goto Formatting tab and set it to show 1 post in main page (Neo will just replace this post whenever you click on another post's title. If you have many posts in main page, it will be wierd if only the topmost one changes).

It is a good idea to add Archives widget to your blog while using Neo because Neo uses javascript links to make your blog faster and these links will not be indexed by search engines. But Archives widget will still use normal links in Neo too. Just having monthly archives will ensure that all your post pages are indexed. I have been using Neo for several months now and all my posts are indexed by Google.

Some possible modifications to Neo are described in the Neo FAQ. Make sure you read that too. Good luck for your transition to Neo!

Testimonials: by Bobby, by Paula, by Waz

Here are some Neo Mods (modified versions of Neo) available for you to try out!

Neo wears denim by Mosi, Rounders with Neo by arephyz

EboNeo and NeoColors by diddy

NeoKubrick and iNeogle by 阿倫


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