Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Using those new dynamic views—selectively

If you are an early adopter you may already have switched your blog to one of the shiny new dynamic templates.

But maybe you are cautious (like me), your face pressed wistfully against the glass, eyeing the sleek futuristic designs but aware of some drawbacks (and uncertain of others).

Sigh no more! You can link directly to dynamic views of your blog without changing your template.

The dynamic templates are impressive and suggest what the future of blogging might look like.

Or not. Bloggers who have switched to the dynamic templates are encountering problems and limitations. Many are switching back.

There are seven dynamic views, and especially if you have a lot of photos the effect can be really striking.

On the other hand the pages are less customizable and missing features that some bloggers find indispensable. Only a handful of gadgets are now supported, for instance. Javascript is not.

Blogger keeps adding features to these templates, so don't write them off. But you can have the best of both worlds by linking to a dynamic-template view of your blog from your regular old-fashioned one.

(Old fashioned? Yep, those layout templates, introduced with fanfare in 2010, are no longer cutting-edge. But here's is the remedy for my comrades in caution.)

To see your blog in a dynamic view, just append the following to your blog url in your browser:
Adding the above text string to your blog's url take you to the Magazine view, but there are six others each with its own unique url. (Click to get them.) One of those, Flipcard, has four subviews that you can't link to directly. (Unfortunately, because one of them is really cool.)

You can use this technique to link to any label-search page (and probably to any search or archive or other page that is not static), by inserting the text string after the root address of your blog. For example you can view all my "hints" posts on this blog dynamically with the following url:
Alas, Too Clever is too drab to do justice to these layouts. Fortunately I have another blog that I sometimes wheel out here for demonstration purposes only. It's about apples, and provides more colorful dynamic views. This layout is called Snapshot.

My favorite effect can be found by using the Flipcard layout (at /view/flipcard) and selecting the Date subview (which sadly has no direct url).

If you have a seasonal category of posts in your blog this combination will show the cyclical nature of your subject in the clearest possible way. For an example, click the Date option after clicking here.

Caution is smart, especially if you've put effort into your blog. But you can have these flourishes and keep your reliable blog layout too.


  1. Thanks, but as you said, lots of gadgets are missing and no other Dynamic Views update released yet other that the 3rd one from February..