Previous month:
February 2014
Next month:
April 2014

Posts from March 2014

Loft -- Now with two column layout options!

After receiving requests from our bloggers to see Loft with layout options, we're giving you what you've been asking for! The popular theme now boasts two different two-column options, looking gorgeous with a sidebar on the right or the left. 

Go on, tell it it's pretty.

Loft - two column layout

With both a two-column-right and a two-column-left option, it's now easier than ever to keep the look of your blog in place while reducing the need to scroll to view sidebar content. Loft remains clean, swank, and a bit too hipster for its own good, which is why we all love it so much.

Note: The Loft theme in a two-column layout automatically hides the reblog, digg, and delicious buttons in the post footer in order for the alignment to remain intact. Other than that, everything else is the same.

Go to Design > Layouts, and preview your blog with one of the two-column options to see how your content looks. Did you fall in love? Then click to apply the theme and save your changes! 


Back to Basics: More Advanced HTML

Back to Basics HTML

Welcome to our special series on getting to know HTML! Every other week, we've debuted a new article full of valuable tips and tricks that will start you on the path to being an HTML pro. We'll cover everything from the very basics, to tricks with images and headers, to advanced HTML. Miss anything? Check out the other posts in our series: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.

We have covered some of the basics of HTML over the last few weeks, but there are many, many more HTML tags. Here's a quick introduction to some more advanced HTML elements and how you would use them:

Anchor tags are added within the content of a webpage to allow readers to jump to various sections of the post. We use this element often in the Knowledge Base as you can see by visiting this article and clicking a link in the list. Additionally, we have a great tutorial on Anchor Tags in the Knowledge Base.

Script tags are seen in widgets and ads and other dynamic elements added with HTML. For example, if you were to configure the Twitter Timeline widget, you would be provided with a block of HTML including script tags that you can copy and paste into the custom sidebar module. You likely won't need to write your code which includes script tags, but you may see it frequently when adding third-party content to your blog.

Embed tags are commonly used to embed audio and video players. Example: <embed src="http://example.typepad.com/weblog/files/video.mov" height="315px" width="460px" autostart="0"></embed>

Iframe tags are also used to embed content, and if you embed YouTube videos, for example, the share code uses iframe tags. Example: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1FNL_iIp5c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

In our next special series of posts, we will be discussing the basics of CSS to make changes to design elements. CSS uses HTML tags to group together a section of content which can then be formatted using CSS, so it's helpful to understand div and span tags and their associated attributes.

Div (short for division) tags are used to group a large block of content. The content surrounded by div tags is block-line which applies paragraph like formatting with a line break above and below the content.

Span tags are used for small blocks of content typically within a larger paragraph. The content surrounded by span tags is in-line, or inside a paragraph.

The attributes for span and div tags are id and class.

The id attribute is used to identify one element.

The class attribute can be used to classify multiple elements.

Like all HTML tags, it is important to make sure to open and close all div and span tags. An open div tag can cause major display issues on your blog, so make sure every <div> has a corresponding </div>.

Here's an example of how you would use div and span tags:

<div class="author-quote">
<p>To read well, that is, to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise, and one that will task the reader more than any exercise which the customs of the day esteem. <span id="author">Henry David Thoreau in <em>Walden</em></span></p>
</div>

In the next series on the basics of CSS, we'll explain how to then use CSS to make formatting changes to the elements in the div and span containers.

We have certainly not provided a complete list of HTML tags in this series, and we've only touched on some of the tags. A wealth of information is available online, and you'll also find HTML generators that will guide through the process of getting the proper HTML without the need to hand code it. Let us know if there is some HTML you want to learn about in the comments, and we'll write up additional tutorials.


Featured Blog: Dina Remi Studios

NAME: Dina Remi
BLOG: Dina Remi Studios
TYPEPAD MEMBER SINCE: 2011
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Dina Remi is a talented photographer who focuses on lovely visual storytelling in wedding, lifestyle, and family photography. She uses Typepad in a unique way, showcasing her blog, portfolio, and a complete package of information about her services, all in one place; the perfect example of how well running a business on Typepad can work.

Dina's site design is clean and modern, and with the addition of some clever coding, rather fancy too (take a look at her gorgeous portfolio, here). Make sure to take a look through the stunning photography on her chic, simple blog as well - it is absolutely enchanting.

Dina_remi_studios

FOLLOW: Typepad | Facebook


Typepad 101: Making SEO Work For Your Blog

You've heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but maybe you're not sure how to apply it in your blog posts. We all want to connect with new readers and SEO is a way for others to discover your latest posts.

In addition to your SEO blog settings, we have some more tips and tools to keep in mind when putting your post together on the Compose page.

Blog Post Title

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 2.13.29 PM

Search engines look at your post title and its URL for keywords.  Your Permalink is generated either by what is written in the Title bar so choose your words wisely.   "SEO In Your Blog" may work better in a search than "Get Seen By A Lot Of People".

Your Permalink

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 2.13.40 PMWe know sometimes you can't think of a title right away so you start writing your post and the title will come to you later.  When saving your draft this way, your permalink will be the first several word of your posts so remember to go back and edit your Permalink!  The keywords in your link are also scanned in searches so avoid using vague link names to your post (ie: Monday_jan142014.html)

Body Content

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 2.14.00 PM

Think about your topic and what type of search one would use to find your blog.   How you begin your blog post is important because the first 100 words will be used as your post excerpt if you do not write one separately in the Excerpt field.

Keywords

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 2.15.25 PMDon't pass this up!  Your keywords should reflect the overall subject of your blog posts plus a little extra that can still be related to your topic.  To best utilize your keyword, it should appear throughout your post.   Keywords and excerpt text are saved as meta data which help categorize your post and is what search engines use when seeking results.

Excerpt

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 5.07.01 PMThe Excerpt field is optional but as mentioned previously, this is generated automatically using the first 100 words in your blog post unless you have your settings changed under Settings > Posts, under Auto-Generated Excerpt Length.

We hope this gives you a better understanding of how SEO works and how you can apply it to draw traffic to your blog.

Settings > Posts & Pages, under Auto-Generated Excerpt Length. - See more at: http://help.typepad.com/compose_overview.html#sthash.jvyCINj8.dpuf
or the number of words you have set in Settings > Posts & Pages, under Auto-Generated Excerpt Length. - See more at: http://help.typepad.com/compose_overview.html#sthash.jvyCINj8.dpuf
or the number of words you have set in Settings > Posts & Pages, under Auto-Generated Excerpt Length. - See more at: http://help.typepad.com/compose_overview.html#sthash.jvyCINj8.dpuf

New for Beta users: A Responsive Design!

We have a very special and exciting new feature that we hope all of you Beta users will try out: a Responsive blog theme! This is for all of you folks who have asked for blog designs that look great at any screen size, from tiny mobile phones all the way up to giant widescreen monitors. Oh yeah, it's awesome.

Snap

There are a lot of technical details around responsive design but all you really need to know is that your blog will look good at any screen size, without the need for a separate mobile version of the blog or the theme. It's all in one - the design itself adapts and responds to the size of the reader's screen.

Because this is a brand new thing for us, we wanted to start with a simple theme that Beta users can try out and put to the test. If you don't want to use it on your blog, we understand! We have instructions for creating a test blog so you can see the design in action before making a committment.

To use the theme, just go to Blogs > Design: Choose a theme and look for Snap in the list of all themes. Then take a look at your blog on your computer, your mobile, your tablets, your microwave ovens - anything you can use to get online.

Here are some notes to keep in mind:

We're mostly testing for functionality at this point. We'll be adding fancier looking responsive themes soon but we need to get the foundation in place first. You can still jazz the current theme up with Custom CSS, if you're so inclined.

Some features are different with the responsive theme:

  • The navigation bar has four options for where it shows (sticky at the top or bottom of the page, above the banner or below the banner) but you won't be able to use Advanced coding there. We think the enhanced positioning is worth the trade off. Plus, something neat happens at the smallest screen size, so you'll want to check that out.
  • We've streamlined the post footer sharing options and styled those to look nice.
  • Images in blog posts are responsive, too! They'll scale down at smaller screen sizes automatically. It works best if you insert your images at the small, medium, large or "full" settings, rather than a fixed pixel width.

With the above points in mind, we really, really want you to try the theme out and give us your feedback and findings. You'll be helping us build a solid foundaton for future responsive themes.

If you see anything that looks like it doesn't belong or isn't quite right, just open a help ticket and tell us what you're seeing. Please be sure to include browser/device info, the link to your blog that's using the theme and if you have a screenshot, that's helpful, too.


Featured Blog: The Engaging Brand

NAME: Anna Farmery
BLOG: The Engaging Brand
TYPEPAD MEMBER SINCE: 2006
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: The Engaging Brand is an award-winning business blog written by Social Media and Business Maven Anna Farmery, an industry powerhouse and veteran Typepad blogger who is a master of creative ideas for developing both businesses and business people. Energetic and engaging, Anna spends much of her time speaking and delivering workshops on branding, social leadership and social media. She runs a popular podcast and offers up a veritable cornucopia of free ideas and resources for growing a successful business.

The Engaging Brand

FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter


Join the Typepad Advisory Panel!

6a00d83451c82369e2017c3733d795970b

Last year, we developed the Typepad Advisory Panel (TAP), a group of Typepad bloggers who helped us to make decisions throughout the year about Typepad's features and future. It was a fantastic team and a big success, and now it's time for an all new Typepad Advisory Panel for 2014. Interested in having your voice heard? Read on:

Is this you?

You have an active Typepad blog where you communicate with your readers on a regular basis. You love blogging on Typepad, but there are one or two things that you feel could be just a little bit better, and you think you might know how to make it happen.

Get on board:

We all know that Typepad is the best blogging service around, and in order for us to develop and grow (and remain the best), we need your help. That's why we're forming a new advisory panel for 2014 made up of Typepad bloggers like you, powered by enthusiasm, dedication, and the zeal to get things done.

So, if you are:

- Enthusiastic about blogging with Typepad
- Full of ideas and the need to share them
- Building a decent following on your blog and Twitter/Facebook Fan Page

Then TAP may be perfect for you. If you don't meet all of the criteria above, don't worry! Enthusiasm, consistent blogging, and a desire to make Typepad the best it can be are the most important factors.

What's in it for you?

As a dedicated Typepad blogger, joining the advisory panel provides you with the opportunity to continue to shape and improve Typepad. Other benefits include a better blogging experience, the opportunity to have your voice heard, and a special place on the Typepad Team. You'll also receive Typepad swag, discounts, and maybe even some free service time on us.

Sounds good, right? If you're interested in joining or just want more information, send an email to hello@typepad.com - making sure to include your blog URL - and let us know! We'd love to have you on board.


Back to Basics: Understanding and Using Tables

Welcome to our special series on getting to know HTML! Every other week, we'll debut a new article full of valuable tips and tricks that will start you on the path to being an HTML pro. We'll cover everything from the very basics, to tricks with images and headers, to advanced HTML. Miss anything? Check out the other posts in our series here.

So far in our HTML series, we've covered the basics, HTML for images, and lists and headers. Today, we're going to learn how tables work and how to use them in blog posts.

It's likely that you've used a table in a spreadsheet or other document - they're great for laying out information in an easy-to-read format. The HTML for tables can be a little tricky to grasp, though. So let's break it down into bite sized pieces.

Let's start with a very basic table, like this:

Name Age Location
Bob 25 California
Lisa 35 New York

First, we'll use a table and a tbody tag to get the table started:

<table>
<tbody>
....
</tbody>
</table>

All of the table elements will go within those tags.

Continue reading "Back to Basics: Understanding and Using Tables" »


Announcing Disqus Integration for Typepad

Today, we're excited to announce that we're making even greater strides in improving the Typepad blog commenting experience by partnering with Disqus, one of the biggest and best out there when it comes to commenting systems.

We here at Typepad have been working hard at combatting spam on your blogs.  This has greatly improved commenting for you and your readers on the backend, so we're happy to use this partnership to improve the front end.

Disqus is the #1 "Distributed Content Platform" on comScore and the most expansive comment discussion network on the Internet, now reaching 1.4 billion unique visitors each month. You're not alone when you add Disqus comments to your blog! Check out how Disqus can even help drive more traffic - and maybe revenue - to your blog.

Integrating their service with your blog will make commenting even easier for your readers. They can even get notifications of new comments, helping your blog's conversations  remain active and engaged. We have easy to follow steps that should make it a breeze to integrate Disqus into your Typepad blog. You can learn more about this in our Knowledge Base.

Please note that enabling Disqus is completely optional; Typepad commenting itself is not going anywhere.

We're rolling out the Disqus integration to our Beta team subscribers first, so if you want to integrate Disqus sooner than later, go to Account within Typepad and sign up!  Everyone else will see it once we get feedback from our Beta team and start rolling it out.

We hope that this new partnership with Disqus and our previously announced one with Akismet stress how important your comments and your experience at Typeapd is to us.  We're always here to help!