New blog designer on Blogger

A year in the making, we just released the new template designer on Blogger. The announcement is at the Official Google Blog, and additional posts at Blogger Buzz and the Blogger in Draft blog provide more detail about what’s up. I’ve just updated my design, so if you haven’t been to the site in a while, go take a peek.

This is a huge step forward for Blogger, and is something we’ve been dying to release. Unlike past efforts, this isn’t a rigid set of default (ugly) templates which are hard to customize. You get sliders to update the column widths, point and click ability to select the number and location of your columns (some columns even have their own columns! Shiny!), and one-click ability to adjust things like fonts and colors.

Perhaps the biggest step up is the inclusion of hundreds of free background images licensed from iStockPhoto. We don’t support the ability to upload your own (not yet, but on the roadmap), but with some CSS tweaking (which is natively supported in the new template designer by clicking on “advanced | add CSS”) you can point to your own image. The images that are already included are beautiful – coupled with font choices, color palette switching and column widths, there are tens of thousands of variants that are available immediately. And did I mention that none of this costs Blogger users a penny?

Sample iStockPhoto background images

The video shows how easy it is to bounce between variations before picking one you’re happy with:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6haqZoivBQ&rel=0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1&w=425&h=344]

Very proud of the team who put this together (note: I was a cheerleader on this, can take no credit for the awesome results). Siobhan, Pete, Talin, Sean, Jerry, Noah, David, Wongoo and Jungshik: kudos. If you’re a Blogger user, head on over to Blogger in Draft to get started.