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I have a ton of things that I need to share with you all! Some of it is information that you have heard before, other things are brand new. Here goes!


I love helping others, but have found it impossible to keep up with all of the requests that I receive for free blog help. If would like for me to help you with your blog, here's what you need to do:

* Find a related tip and read through the comments section. Also, check out the comments left in my Help Me! post. I answer all blog help questions with reply comments so that many can benefit from my answers. Very often you will find exactly what you're looking for down there. I sometimes think that my comments section is far more informative than my posts!

* Leave a comment on any of my posts, preferable one that is related to the topic that you are needing help with. Make sure to check the 'subscribe to all comments by email' box. If you have left a question, I will respond in a reply comment within a few days or so. Once you have seen my reply, you can easily unsubscribe to future comments left on that post by following the directions in the email. When leaving a comment, please include a link to the URL (web address) of your blog.

* If you need technical help and wish for me to actually go in and fix something on your blog, please send me a detailed email describing the problem along with your url and I will send you a quote. I charge a very low $10/hour (1 hour minimum) to diagnose and fix problems. Most problems can be resolved within an hour. Please note that I do not respond to questions for free help via email, as I would literally be on the computer all day. If you want free help, please leave a comment on my blog and I will respond in a reply comment.

* If you'd like to order a custom makeover, click here to visit my makeover blog. I offer makeovers from $35-$100 and can create individual blog components, no makeover purchase required.


Never want to miss a tip? Sign up to have my tips delivered straight to your email! To do so, simply click here or on the envelope with the little orange icon in my sidebar.

You can now follow this blog on Facebook and Twitter! To find my Facebook page, click here or on the little heart in my sidebar. To find me on Twitter, you can click here or on the little birdie next to the FB heart.


Do you host a feature (meme) on your blog that encourages your readers to write a post on their blog and link up to yours via Mr. Linky or MckLinky or the like? I will be including a list of blogs with features like these in an upcoming post on the benefits of participation and would love to include yours! If you would like for your meme to be listed, please let me know by leaving the name of your meme and url to your blog in the comments section below.


Have a family friendly blog or business that you'd like to bring attention to? Consider becoming a sponsor of this blog! Top spaces in my sidebar run for $10/month. Lower spaces are only $5! This blog gets about 10,000 page views per month. The ads on my blog get the same exposure! It truly is a great deal! For more information, click here to email me directly or here for my email address. :)


Need help with all of the recent changes to Blogger? I have written a few tips that you may find helpful:

About the New Templates and Finding your Page Elements page
Changing the Fonts and Colors on Your Current Template
HTML Gadget Title Issues
Finding the Older Templates


When leaving a comment, please include the url (web address) of your blog. The one thing that absolutely drives me crazy about using Disqus is that it does not automatically give me the url of the commenter's profile like the Blogger system does. I enjoy visiting the blogs of my readers, but can only do so if the url (web address) for your blog is left on your comment. Thanks so much!


Last but not least, I will be away from my computer from June 27-July 5th. Time for a little bloggy vacation! I will not be replying to comments or responding to emails until I return. To all of my American friends, I hope you have a safe and happy 4th! :)

HTML Gadget Title Issues

I recently tried to add a html gadget to my sidebar. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I could not save the gadget without adding a title. Leaving the title field empty is a must when it comes to many of my html gadgets, like navigation bars and custom sidebar titles.

I don't know if this is just a glitch that Blogger will fix or if this quirk is here to stay. The good thing is that there is a way around it.

Simply type <h2></h2> in the title field as a place holder, as shown in the image above. You will be able to save the gadget and the characters will not show up on your blog. The one thing that stinks (aside from having to do this in the first place) is that you'll have to do this EVERY TIME you open the gadget. Small price to pay to have a title free gadget, I guess!

Please do not copy and paste my words and images into your own posts. I work hard on my tips and wish for everything to remain on this blog. Want to share this tip with your readers? Feel free to link to this post: http://sneakymommablogdesign.blogspot.com/2010/06/html-gadget-titles.html Thanks! :)

Where Did the Fonts and Colors Section Go?????

Have you tried changing anything on your blog by using the Fonts and Colors feature since Blogger started this new template business? You were probably as shocked as I was to find that the Fonts and Colors tab is no longer there.

The good news is that the fonts and colors section can be found by clicking on Template Designer New! (underlined in pink above) on your page elements page.

Then click on Advanced at the bottom of the menu on the left. You can change the fonts and colors of the new and older templates (like minima) here.

When you have everything the way you want it, click on APPLY TO BLOG and then Back to Blogger. Both of these can be found at the top of the page.

Of course, if you'd rather do things the html way, you can always read through this tip to find out how to change your link colors manually. :)


What do you think of the new templates so far? The more I explore, the more I like them. Anyone have a really good experience they’d like to share????

Have a question about the new changes? I have found the Layouts and Templates section of the Blogger Help Forum to be very helpful. As always, you’re more than welcome to ask anything in the comments section below. Please be sure to include your url (web address) in your comment.

Special thanks to Katney and Late Night Guy for their help!

Related Posts:
Where Did the Option for My Favorite Template Go?
Do I Have To Change My Template?????

Please do not copy and paste my words and images into your own posts. I work hard on my tips and wish for everything to remain on this blog. Want to share this tip with your readers? Feel free to link to this post: http://sneakymommablogdesign.blogspot.com/2010/06/where-did-fonts-and-colors-section-go.html    Thanks! :)

Where Did The Old Templates Go????

Thankfully, nowhere! The option for an older template, such as minima, rounders, etc., has been moved from the top of the edit html section to the very bottom. Whew!

Unless you have a classic template from before 2006, you will want to click on 'Select Layout Template' (circled in purple above) to get to the templates that you were able to choose from before.

If you have accidentally chosen a new template and wish to go back to your old one, you can do so by going to your page elements page and clicking on 'edit html'. Scroll to the bottom as mentioned above. Your customization will be lost and you will have to start over again. This is why it is important to have a copy of your current template downloaded and saved to your computer. Downloading your template backs up the changes you have made to your template, while backing up your blog backs up your posts. You need to do both!

The fact that Blogger still allows people to choose from the classic templates (which were the choices before 2006) is a very good thing. That means that we will probably have access to the minima template for a long time.

The newer templates are a lot easier to use (I've heard) and offer simple ways to get advanced options, such as a three column layout. I will be exploring the new templates in the weeks to come!

Please do not copy and paste my words and images into your own posts. I work hard on my tips and wish for everything to remain on this blog. Want to share this tip with your readers? Feel free to link to this post: http://sneakymommablogdesign.blogspot.com/2010/06/where-did-old-templates-go.html Thanks! :)

New Blogger Templates

Blogger is so determined to introduce us to their new templates that they have put them front and center on the first page when you log in. At first glance, it looks like you have to change your template in order to proceed.

The good news is that you can click on 'back to blogger' at the top of the page and you will be taken back to your normal dashboard/page elements page.

If you have no clue what I am talking about, then this has not affected your account yet. I'm sure it will soon. :)

A word of caution: If you have had your blog worked on by someone else in the past, I WOULD NOT switch over to one of these new templates unless you are ready to risk losing your look. I do not think you would lose it entirely, but it may look funny. Once you change the template, the html of your layout will change which may possibly interfere with your signature, separator, and background, among other things.

If you are starting a new blog and would like to enlist a blog designer's help, select the old minima template, if given the choice. A designer will most likely change the template back to minima before working on your blog, as that is what they are most familiar with.

That being said.....

The new templates are very nice and I've heard that they are user friendly. They are great for the DIY blogger (like most of you!) who want to do everything themselves. I'd give them a shot!

Before you do so, keep in mind that most existing blog tips (mine and others') are based upon minima templates and will not work with the new templates. Definitely something to experiment with on a practice blog first!

Weird Things Are Happening - BACK UP YOUR BLOG!

A couple of days ago, Blogger would not allow me to publish posts or make any changes to my blogs for an entire day. I wasn't even able to view my dashboard. Thousands of others were dealing with the same issue at the same time I was. Eventually the Blogger peeps figured out the problem and everything returned back to normal. Those hours were so frustrating....and scary, too!

Today, my friend published a post about how she received an email from Blogger stating that her test blog had been removed. She opened up her family blog and discovered that it, too, had been closed. There is absolutely nothing on any of her blogs that would be considered to be spam or offensive. Thankfully, she was given the option to restore her family blog, but, man, what a close call!

Did you know that there is a SUPER EASY way to back up your blog? I have shared this with you guys in the past, but it's been so long ago, I thought I would bring it up again. When you back up your blog, all of your posts will be saved in a file on your computer so that if your blog is removed or if you accidentally delete it, you will be able to create a new blog and upload all of your posts to it. It doesn't take very long to do (fast connections should take less than 5 minutes) and it is super duper easy. Click here for detailed instructions on how you can back up your blog just in case something terrible happens.

I haven't backed up my blogs in a very long time, but you can bet I'll be doing it straight away! I'm hoping that my friend's blog is an isolated incident, but I am not taking any chances. If it happened to her, it can happen to anybody. Backing up your blog is so easy. Spread the word! Better safe than sorry, in my opinion!

Please do not copy and paste my words and images into your own posts. I work hard on my tips and wish for everything to remain on this blog. Want to share this tip with your readers? Feel free to link to this post: http://sneakymommablogdesign.blogspot.com/2010/06/weird-things-are-happening-back-up-your.html      Thanks! :)

Before/After Mouseover Photos - Advanced

If you like to show before and after photos on your blog, you're going to LOVE this tip!

Take a look at the above photo of me and my husband on our wedding day. Wait a few seconds and then move your mouse over it. Roll over it and off of it really fast to see a head butt effect. Cool!

Want this feature for your posts? It requires that you add code to the html of your template, which makes this an advanced tip. I highly recommend trying this on a practice/test blog first. Be sure to download a copy of your current template before putting the code on your real blog.

I wish I could say that I came up with this awesome feature, but I did not. You'll have to head over to Tips for Bloggers for the codes that you'll need to put in your template. I'll tell you when. :)

How to put before and after photos in your posts:

1. Upload the two photos that you'd like to use to Photobucket. I recommend using photos that are the same size and orientation (vertical or horizontal). Make sure that the size of the photos do not exceed the width of your post section.

2. Click here to view to the tip by Vin over at Tips for Bloggers in a new window. Copy the code in the first gray box.

3. Open your template (be safe and use a practice blog first). Scroll down to the very bottom and paste the code immediately before </body>. Save.

4. Create a new post or open an existing one.

5. Click on 'edit html'.

6. Click here to go back to the tip by Tips for Bloggers. Scroll all the way down to UPDATE and copy the code in this section. Paste it in the html of your post.

7. Replace DIRECT_LINK_IMAGE_1 and DIRECT_LINK_IMAGE_2 with the direct links for your images on Photobucket. The first image will be displayed on top when you publish your post. Add <center> before the code and </center> after the code to center the photos.

8. Enjoy your mouseover/before and after photos!

A couple of things:

*Your blog must fully load before others will be able to see the hidden photo.

*Not a fan of Photobucket? Go to Vin's tip and follow the original instructions (not the update) to use photos uploaded via the Blogger uploading tool. I tried this once and was unsuccessful. The PB way worked for me the very first time. If you choose to forgo PB and get stuck, scroll down to the bottom of Vin's tip and read through his comments section.

Related Posts:
Put A Border Around Your Photos
Protect Your Photos
Get A Practice Blog

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Want to share this tip with your readers?
I would be honored for you to link back to this post!

Please do not copy and paste my words and images into your own posts.
I work hard on my tips and and wish for everything to remain on this blog. 
Thank you for your cooperation! :)