Typepad 101: Create Custom Sidebar Lists For Pages & Categories

November 28, 2012

Welcome to Typepad 101! Whether you want to add some new features to your blog's design, or simply make your blog more functional, Typepad 101 has you covered. Topics covered in this series are suitable for bloggers at any skill level, as long as you're at Pro Plus or above. If you're at the Free Micro or Pro Basic level and are interested in upgrading to put these tricks to use on your blog, you can upgrade your account anytime.

TypeLists are a quick way to add a list of links, like a blogroll, to your blog's sidebar. You can also use a TypeList to custom order links to Pages and Category indexes on your blog. For instance, the Pages module displays links to all Pages created within your blog in alphabetical order. What if you want to only link to some Pages? Or if you prefer a different order of Page links? You can use a Links TypeList! Similarly, you can use a TypeList to rearrange the order of category links in your sidebar.

First, you'll need to create a new TypeList. Please note you'll need a Typepad Pro plan in order to create a TypeList.

In your Typepad account, open the Library menu, select TypeLists, click Add a TypeList, select Links from the drop-down, choose a name for your list, and click Create New TypeList.

Add A TypeList

After creating the TypeList, click to edit the TypeList Settings. For the Order, select Ascending, by Name and click Save Changes. The Ascending, by Name setting allows you to use hidden numbering to customize the order of the items which will be explained in more detail below.

Now, you can add the links to your Pages or Categories to the TypeList.

To get the URLs for your Categories, you can go to the Archive Index Page by adding archives.html to the end of your blog's address. i.e. http://example.typepad.com/blog/archives.html or http://www.example.com/archives.html You can right-click on the name of the category and select Copy Shortcut or Copy Link.

Copy Category Index URL

To get the URLs for your Pages, open the Blogs menu, select your blog, and click to Posts > Pages. Right-click on the View Page link and select Copy Shortcut or Copy Link.

Copy Page Link

Now, you can add the URLs to your TypeList. Go back to Library > TypeLists and click the Add Item button. (For this tip, we do not recommend using the Quick Add option.) Paste the URL for the Page or Category Index in the URL field.

In the Title field, you'll enter the number to set the order of the item in the list. As we mentioned previously, the numbering will be hidden using some code. Comment tags are used in HTML to place text or other content in the page which is not seen by the reader of the blog. In the below example list titles, we're adding 2 pages and 3 category indexes to our list in the order indicated by the numbers:

<!-- 01 -->Welcome!
<!-- 02 -->About The Chef
<!-- 03 -->Appetizers
<!-- 04 -->Entrees
<!-- 05 -->Desserts

Any content between the <!-- and --> will not appear on your blog, but the numbering before the TypeList Item Title will determine the order of items in the list.

Please note the format of the comment tag needs to be exact in order to prevent the content from being displayed:

<!-- 01 -->

The format is bracket (<), exclamation (!), dash (-), dash (-), and space ( ) followed by the text you wish to hide and closed with space ( ), dash (-), dash (-), and bracket (>).

Add Link

After you complete the item, click Save. Click the Add Item button to add the next item.

When the TypeList is complete, you can add the list to your blog by going to Design > Content, select the TypeLists category, choose the module, and click Add This Module. You can rearrange the module in the sidebar. You may also want to remove the category &/or pages module by clicking the red x icon if you are replacing any of the default modules with your custom TypeList. Finally, click Save Changes to update your blog with the new custom list.

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