New for Beta Users: Blog Welcome Message

August 08, 2014

One of the great things about having a blog is that it will always be new to someone.  New readers will find you in a variety of ways (search engines; shared links; social media platforms; etc.) and it's nice to be able to welcome them to your blog. For our Beta team members, we've just introduced a way to easily do that with our Blog Welcome Message.

The Blog Welcome Message allows you to add either an embedded or a popover message to first time visitors to your blog. This can include HTML to format the message or just text. You can also include code for links and images.

Welcomepage
An Embedded Welcome Message.

To add this to your blog, go to the Settings tab.  Select if you'd rather have the popover or embedded option, enter your welcome message, check the box, and save your changes.  Now, the first time a visitor comes to your website, they'll see your welcome message.

Do you have something new or noteworthy that you'd like to share with both your new and returning visitors?  Simply come back to the Settings tab, update your message, check the box, and save your changes.

You can read more about the Blog Welcome Message in the Knowledge Base.

Beta Team, we'd love to hear what you think about the Blog Welcome Message or any of our other great features still in Beta!  Please open a help ticket with your feedback so that we can make this the best feature possible.

A brand new theme just for food lovers!

July 25, 2014

Are you into food? Like really into food? Then our newest theme is for you. It's called Gourmet and it has two style variations - Spicy and Sweet.

Gourmet Theme - Spicy Variation
Gourmet Theme - Spicy Variation

The theme is available for all account levels and it's built on our very cool Repsonsive framework, so it'll look great on any device. Give it a try by going to Blogs > Design > Choose a Theme and look for Gourmet in the listing.

Gourmet Theme - Sweet Variation
Gourmet Theme - Sweet Variation

Do you want your social media icons to show in the navigation bar, the way they're shown in the theme examples above? Just add your social accounts in Account > Other Accounts and then enable those for display in Blogs > Design > Content: Navigation Bar.

We're going to be adding more variations to the Gourmet theme soon, so we're wondering - what types of foods would you like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

New For Beta Users: Widgetpalooza!

July 22, 2014

Adding widgets is a great way to easily and quickly implement features on your Typepad blog.  With that in mind, we're very pleased to introduce several new and exciting features for our Beta Team subscribers: Take a look at our Sidebar Carousel widget, Spotlight Posts widget, and the Copyright and Introduction widgets!

Let's break down what each of these features are:

The Sidebar Carousel places a slideshow of the images from one category of posts to your blog's sidebar. These pictures will then rotate, based on the various settings you can choose.  It's a great way to highlight specific categories or images on your blog in an eye-catching way. You can even add more than one Sidebar Carousel if you'd like.

Postcarouseltheme
Example of the Sidebar Carousel in action.

To add the Sidebar Carousel to your blog, simply go to Design > Content, find the Carousel option under Widgets, select the options you'd like to use, and save your changes.  Easy as pie! See the Knowledge Base article to learn more about the available settings for the Sidebar Carousel.

Next up is the Spotlight Posts widget.  It displays a list of posts from a category in your sidebar, and even gives you the option to show the thumbnail for the first image in the post along with the post excerpt.

Top-excerpt_spotlightAs you can see, it's a pretty nifty way to highlight a specific category in your sidebar.  This can be useful to highlight text, images, or both! Learn more in the Knowledge Base.

Finally, we have the Copyright and Introduction widgets.  When you add either widget, they'll come pre-loaded with some text that we think is useful: the Copyright widget contains the HTML code for the copyright symbol and your blog's name and the Introduction widget contains some simple text to welcome and invite users to visit your blog.  The text for both of these widgets can be edited as you like.

Want to give these widgets a go but aren't a member of our Beta Team?  It's easy to join!  Just go to the Account tab, check the Beta Team option, and save your changes.

Beta Team, we'd love to hear what you think about these features!  Please open a help ticket with your feedback so that we can make them even better.

New Feature - The Signature Module

June 19, 2014

Today we've released a new content feature that we know a good few of you have been asking for--the signature module! This feature is available to all Pro plans, and is ideal for signature images, sign-offs, advertisements, or anything else you want to have automatically inserted into the bottom of each post.

example: inserting an image sign-off in the signature module
example: inserting an image sign-off in the signature module

Available at Design > Content, all you need do is insert your code into the module, save your changes, and you're done! The module will automatically add itself into each post.

Note: Blogs with excerpts turned on will only see the module on the permalink page for the post.

Example
One example of how to use the module is seen above. We chose to create an image, using our preferred font, because this specific font isn't available on all computers and we wanted to make sure all readers would see it exactly the way we envisioned. Once the image was saved, it was uploaded to the File Manager, and we copied its URL.

Once the URL was in hand, we went to Design > Content, enabled the signature module, then clicked its pencil icon to configure it. Inside the field available, we added the following:

<img src="URL" title="until next time" />

signature configuration

After that, we clicked OK, previewed our changes, then saved them. Pretty simple! And much more efficient than manually adding it to each new post we create.

Things to take note about the module:

  • it accepts HTML, scripts, and plain text
  • it has a 1000 character limit (you will be alerted by a pop-up if it the limit is reached)
  • there is no default styles set for the module, so it will fit with all themes
  • images or embedded content will scale up/down in responsive themes only

In our Knowledge Base article for the signature module you'll find examples of how to style the content, as well as the type of content you can add. It's really almost limitless, so we hope you give it a try! If you have questions beyond what the Knowledge Base can provide, remember we're just a help ticket away at Help > New Ticket.

New For Beta Users: Post Carousel

June 11, 2014

We are very pleased to introduce a new and exciting feature for our Beta Team subscribers: The Post Carousel!

You may be asking yourself what exactly is a Post Carousel and why should you add it to your blog? Let us tell you!

The Post Carousel adds a slideshow of the latest posts to the top of your blog. Photos from the most recent posts will rotate through the carousel.  It's a great way to catch your reader's eye as they visit your blog.

Slider-example-3
You can see a live demo of the Post Carousel hard at work here.

The Post Carousel can be customized in many ways. You can set the maximum number of posts to display and restrict it to just a specific category.  You can choose the title position, automatic start, add a pause button, and much, much more.

To add the Post Carousel to your blog, simply go to Design > Content, check the box for Post Carousel, select the options you'd like to use, and save your changes.  We have more information on this in the Knowledge Base.

Want to give the Post Carousel a go but aren't a member of our Beta Team?  It's easy to join!  Just go to the Account tab, check the Beta Team option, and save your changes.

Beta Team, we'd love to hear what you think about the Post Carousel!  Please open a help ticket with your feedback so that we can make this the best feature possible.

New for Beta Users: Display Edit Post Links on Your Blog

April 17, 2014

Late last year we retired the Blogside Toolbar in order to address some minor security issues, loading time, and the like.  Several of you were saddened that this removed the ability to edit your posts on the fly, so we've added a new feature that brings this back, available today to our Beta Team.

To enable this, go to Settings > Posts and make sure the "Edit Links" option is set to On.  Once you do this, you'll see an "Edit Post" link under your blog title like this:

Edit_links

Now, you can click on that link and the Compose page for the post will open in a new window.  You can make edits without hunting for the post on the Posts tab.  We have more information on this in the Knowledge Base.

If you'd like to add this now, sign up for the Beta Team and you can start using it right away.  Otherwise, expect this to show up in your account soon!

A New SEO Feature and a New Account Level

April 10, 2014

We know that search engine optimization is important to all of our Typepad subscribers, so we wanted to let everyone know about a neat little feature we've recentally released - meta descriptions for Pages. We've had meta descriptions for posts already, but now your Pages have the same option.

When composing your Page, the Excerpt field can be used to generate a short summary of it. If you do not write an excerpt yourself, one will be generated automatically from the first 100 words of the post or the number of words you have set in Settings > Posts & Pages, under Auto-Generated Excerpt Length. This excerpt will also be used as the Meta Description for the Page and picked up by search engines like Google.

It's just another great way that Typepad helps your and your blog get the attention it deserves.

We've also added a new account level, Enterprise. Enterprise is aimed at small companies and other organizations who would like to add a blog administrator to their blog but for whom Typepad Business Class has been out of their budget. You can sign up for the Enterprise level here.

Announcing Disqus Integration for Typepad

March 06, 2014

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!

New For Beta Users: Easily Displaying Excerpts on Your Blog

January 30, 2014

A feature that we've often had requested is a way to easily display excerpts of your post on your main and archive (date-based and category) pages.  While you can set up an excerpt on a post-by-post basis with the Extended Entry option, we've created a new way to do this automatically.  Our beta team will be the first to get to see this!

If you're a member of our beta team, to find this new feature, go to Settings > Posts and scroll to the "Auto-Generated Excerpts" option at the bottom.  First, set the number of characters you'd like to use for your excerpt.  After doing this, check the "Display excerpts instead of full posts on index and archive pages" box.  You'll then get another option that - if there is a thumbnail within the post - will allow you to show a 200 pixel thumbnail of the first image in the post floated to the left of the content.  If you'd like to do this, simply check this box as well and save your changes.

Now, on your main and category pages, you'll see your posts displayed as an exceprt with a link that your readers can click to read more.

Excerpt

You can find out more on this in our Knowledge Base.

These features will be rolled out to all Typepad subscribers over the next few weeks. If you want to get in on it now, simply go to the Account tab and sign up for the Beta team!

A New Tool in the Fight Against Spammers

January 23, 2014

We hate spammers.  You hate spammers.  And we here at Typepad spend a lot of time fighting the good fight against them.  Our next step in this battle is giving you a new tool that should significantly cut down on the amount of comment spam you see.

This tool can be found by going to Settings > Comments and looking for the "Require readers to have Javascript enabled to comment" option.  By default, it will have been set to Yes.

With this enabled, readers will be required to have JavaScript turned on in their web browser.  The vast majority of people will have this enabled by default and this should impact very few of your readers.  Non-JavaScript sources, on the other hand, are mostly spammers, so this change means that most of the comments you'll receive from here on in will be from actual humans.

If you'd prefer to turn this option off, you can select the No option, but we do highly discourage this.

Please note that this settings does not apply to Typepad Connect comments since it requires JavaScript to be used.

We've made huge strides in dealing with spammers over the last year and we'll continue to keep improving and offering more tools to help.  We might hate spammers, but we love you.

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