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Design a Responsive Blogger Template - Tutorial

Designing Mobile Responsive Templates has become a trending topic in web today. Mobile Technology and Mobile Traffic has evolved immensely f...

Design Responsive Blogger TemplateDesigning Mobile Responsive Templates has become a trending topic in web today. Mobile Technology and Mobile Traffic has evolved immensely from 2010 to 2013 especially in Asia USA and Africa. People now prefer reading emails on their iPhone as compared to using their Desktop computer. Fast wireless wifi connections is another reason that encouraged usage of mobile devices like smart phones (Apple and Android), Tablets, netbooks and low resolution cellphones like NOKIA. While there are security risks with using wireless connections, the rise of home VPN router technology negates a lot of this risk. Which is now widely used by visitors to your site, thus providing faster and secure browsing experience.

More of our clients today are interested in fluid and flexible Blogger templates compared to traditional Fixed width Layouts. We have received over a hundred requests for this tutorial series. We are therefore releasing the first ever complete step by step Tutorial Guide on Mobile Optimized Responsive Blogger Templates to the Google Blogger Community. You will learn how to enable your Blog layout adjust itself automatically to the Device Screen Size.

Tutorial Series
1. Design a Responsive Blogger Template
3. Hiding Widgets & Scripts in Mobile Templates [1], [2]
7. Make Blog Sections Responsive: Header Widgets, Posts + Sidebar, Footer

Note: You are reading Part 1. Read it only for understanding the theory behind what Mobile friendly blogspot templates are. We will do the coding part from Part 2 onwards which is Common Device Breakpoints.

What is a Responsive Layout?

In layman terms a responsive webpage is a flexible design that adjusts its width and styles according to user device Screen size. It will look different on a Desktop Screen and much different on a smart phone or Tablet (has two sizes: portrait and landscape) . No matter what device you use a responsive design will adjust itself perfectly to give you a Clean user interface.

For Blogspot Users:

If you have activated Mobile view for your blogger blogs then if you view your blog in a smart phone, you will find its look completely different compared to a desktop. By default all blogger blogs are made mobile optimized but those styles are too simple and doesn't represent the blog in its true form therefore we will learn to create a custom designed Mobile Friendly layout for Blogger ourselves. This will allow you to customize your mobile Template and have a better control over the display of elements such as Ads and widgets on your site.

Therefore in our case we don't need the default mobile view at all and we have disabled it completely.

Mobile view Disabled in Blogspot

See it yourself!

An example of a responsive website is the latest design of MyBloggerTricks.com. Just view it using this amazing tool linked below. Observe clearly how its Menu changes as the size of the screen shrinks. You can also test it by simply adjusting your browser window size using your mouse cursor!

MBT view in iPhone

Just insert the following URL in the Input Field


Testing Responsive Designs

Are you too late?

If your blog layout doesn't support auto adjustment of layout and loading of new stylesheets based on Device width then you don't need to worry because Responsive layouts is a new idea and it will take time till everyone applies it. You wont believe this but Giant Corporate sites like TechCrunch have not yet upgraded their theme to a responsive one and moreover Google is so slow that it has not even introduced auto-width-adjusting AdSense Ads for such fluid layouts.  So it will take time till this new terminology is well acknowledged by majority of websites and internet firms.

Update: TechCrunch is now responsive and Google now favors Mobile friendly Pages. Google now ranks Mobile friendly blogs better and give them preference in Mobile search results over sites which are not yet mobile optimized. So hurry up and save that precious mobile traffic which you might be loosing at this moment!

How are Responsive Layouts Designed?

If you know some basics of HTML and CSS then trust me you are going to find it extremely easy and you would love to play with your layout columns using just your browser. CSS3 has introduced several new techniques of achieving some frequently used functions. It is no more limited to just styles but it now supports some really interesting front-end programming functions like @import, counter-reset, animations, transitions etc. and the most popular amongst them are Media Queries (@media ) that acts like conditional IF statements used in blogger.

Normally mobile browsers emulates a desktop view by squeezing big resolutions into small screens that is often difficult to read and browse. You must be familiar that how difficult it is to click a web link in iphone unless you zoom it.. In order to tell the browser to detect the screensize we will add a META viewport tag inside <head> section of your layout.

Any Template can be converted into a flexible layout in just two simple steps:

1. Add Meta Viewport just below <head> tag

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1, maximum-scale=1"/>

Here width=device-width will detect the screen size.

2. Use CSS3 Media Queries

Update: Ignore the Breakpoints below and instead follow our detailed tutorial on Defining Device Breakpoints  discussed in Part 2 

Media Queries are conditional CSS3 queries that detects screen size and applies the relevant stylesheet to that screen. For example see these two media queries for smart phones and Tablet devices.

@media screen and (max-width : 480px) {

/* If screen size less than 480px Load these styles */

/* Done for Smart Phones */


@media screen and (max-width : 768px) {

/* If screen size less than 768px Load these styles */

/* Done for Tablets */


Here are some interesting tips that you keep in mind throughout this tutorial series:

Tips To remember:

  1. Use percentages instead of numeric values to define width of columns
  2. Create Separate Style sheets for Three Major Breakpoints  320/480/768
  3. Remember to use box-sizing, max-width and min-width properties

Need help?

This was a brief introduction of how exactly a responsive layout is designed and what makes responsive websites so important today. I just hope I did justice with the post by making it as easy as possible. Please be aware that responsive web design requires a significant amount of testing to make sure your site looks good on all devices and browsers, you may want to look into a variety of test management tools in order to expedite the process. If you are facing confusion in any part just feel confident to leave your precious comment in the comment box below and I will be at your service 24/7. Please let me know how useful was this tutorial for you and did it help answering most of your questions?

Wish you peace and blessings buddies :)



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Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups: Design a Responsive Blogger Template - Tutorial
Design a Responsive Blogger Template - Tutorial
Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups
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