What's the difference between a template and a background?
-A background is just the picture that shows up like wallpaper on the back of your blog.
-A template is a set of instructions that tells your blog what the layout should look like, i.e. how many columns, what font, etc.
Before you add a template:
1. Remove any free background you already have by clicking Layout from the drop down menu.
2. Next, back-up your sidebar gadgets. You can do this however you choose. You can make a list of all the gadgets that you currently have, copy the html on those that use html, copy the info on any other gadgets and make sure that you can upload any sidebar pictures again. You shouldn't lose your gadgets by following my instructions, but you never know what might go wrong. It's best to be safe.
(Old interface instructions: same as above)
3. If you are changing from a 3-Column template to a 2-Column template, move all of your gadgets to your right sidebar. Do this by clicking Layout from the drop down menu or left sidebar (depending on what screen you are on) and then clicking and dragging each gadget into the sidebar on the right.
(Old interface instructions: You will click on Design instead of Layout.)
4. Now, backup your template by going to your Template page and clicking Backup/Restore on the right side of the screen. Click Download Full Template and Save. Find a folder on your computer to save it to.
After you have downloaded your template, click Edit HTML. It will give you a disclaimer about editing your HTML, warning you that only advanced users should edit the HTML and that you may not be able to use the Template Designer for all of its features if you do so. If you are ok with this, click "Proceed".
Now you are ready to add a Template.
To add a Template:
1. Click on the link given in the post of the template you like.
2. Select all of the text in the white section (Hold down "Ctrl" and then "A" or go to "Edit" and then "Select All")
Copy everything on the page. (To copy, make sure all of the text is selected and then hold down the "Ctrl" button and the "C" button or go to "Edit" at the top of your browser window and click "Copy".)
Here is what you should see. The code I selected is in blue. (Click to enlarge.):
3. Go back to your Template page and click Edit HTML.
4. Erase everything in the box in the middle of the page as shown below, highlighted in blue.
5. Paste the HTML that you copied into this box by holding down "Ctrl" and "V" or going to "Edit" at the top of the browser and clicking "Paste".
6. Click Save Template.
7. This last part is important! Your blog may say, "Warning: Your new template does not include the following widgets:" and then it will list the extra widgets that you already have on your blog. It then asks if you want to keep them. YES you do! Click Keep Widgets.
8. Now, click View Blog.
If you have any problems, you can always go back to your old template by going back to the Template page ("Edit HTML" page on the old interface) and clicking "Backup/Restore" ("Upload" on the old interface). Find the copy of your original template that you saved to upload back onto your blog. Or simply choose any of Blogger's template from the Template Designer.
Don't forget to add one my buttons when you are done!!