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Design Lab: Posts and Sidebar

Design Lab_ Posts and Sidebar

How do you like our new Design Lab? Enjoying all the customization options it has to offer? We have more to come!

We are continuing our series on our new Design Lab. Previously we wrote about how to customize your fonts, how to add a banner, and modifying your navigation bar. Now we are going to go over all the options you have for the body of the post and your sidebar. There are a ton of ways to mix and match settings to fit your brand.

PostsPosts

Click on the Blogs tab, then click on the name of the blog. Click on the Design tab, then click on Style. On the right, click on Posts. Here you can customize the posts for your blog. You can change the design to match your business branding. There are many combinations you can use by changing the color, font and size of your Post Title, Dates, Text, and Footer. You can also change the background color and the link color.

There are four different alignment types for you to choose from: left, right, center or justified. You can customize the line spacing to be tight, normal, or loose.

The last cool feature is to add a border to your blog. You can add a border to one side or all the sides. Click on Border to view all the options. First, click on Change to customize the border (color, width, line type) then click on the X to close the window. After you design the line type you can choose where to place it (left, right, top, bottom).

Sidebar

The Sidebar works very similar to the Posts. When you click on Sidebar on the right of the Style page you can customize the fonts, size and color of the Header, Links, and Text. You can change the background, text alignment, and add a border. It has two extra settings for you to choose from: Fill Column Height and Collapse Margins.

If you select Yes for Fill Column Height it will expand the background color you choose from the sidebar past the last module to the bottom of the blog. If you select no, the background will end after the last module (default setting).

Collapse Margins controls the space between the Posts and the Sidebar. If you select Yes, it will remove the margin between them. By default it will have the space between the Posts and Sidebar.

Sidebar Option

As you make changes to the Posts and the Sidebar you can see the changes reflected in the preview window.

How have you customized your blog using the Design Lab? Link to your blog in the comments and let us know how you like using the new Design Lab so far. We will approve it and post your comment. 


Rolling Out of Beta: Sidebar Carousel

Last week we began rolling the Post Carousel out of Beta, the start of our releasing several Beta features to non-Beta subscribers.  This week, we've started rolling the Sidebar Carousel out of Beta as well.

If you're not familiar with the Sidebar Carousel, it 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! Our Knowledge Base article has more information on this topic.

As of right now, this is out to 25% of our non-Beta subscribers, but everyone else should see it over the upcoming weeks.

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.


Design Lab: Navigation Bar

Design Lab_ Navigation Bar

Thanks for joining us again as we explore more features in our new Design Lab. Previously we showed you how to customize fonts and add a banner to your blog. Now let's focus on the navigation bar. 

Your blog should be easy to navigate. There is nothing worse than getting lost trying to find information. Great blogs make it easy for readers to find information no matter how they came to the blog. Our Design Lab is here to make it easy to customize your navigation bar so readers can easily find the correct information.

Click on the Design tab, then click on Style. On the right, click on Navigation. Here you will be able to customize your navigation bar.

Display Type

We have three options to display your navigation links: Text, Icon, or None.

Text

Make it clear for your readers where they can go in the navigation bar. This will display the text you used when creating the navigation links. When you select the text option, you can change the font, color, and alignment of the text. You can show the name of the blog in the navigation bar or pin the navigation bar to the top of your blog.

Text Navigation Bar

Icons

When you select Icons from the drop down, you will remove the text and have icons on both sides of your blog. On the left there will be a Pancake (yes, that is a technical term, lol). When you click on the Pancake it will show a drop down of all the links in your navigation bar. On the right, will be all your social media sites. Click on Yes/No to add or remove the blog’s name from the navigation bar. You can also pin the navigation bar to the top of your blog.

 

Icon Navigation Bar
The three bars on the top left is a Pancake icon.

None

You can select None if you want to put links on your sidebar. We offer many different sidebar modules for you to add to your blog. The Page Module allows you to link to pages created in Typepad. You can also add a Link Typelist to share other sites you love.

Display Position

The navigation bar position will depend on what type of banner you select. If you have a text banner, you can select to have the navigation bar above or below the banner image. With an image banner, you can only have the banner above the image.

Tip: You can add links to your blog by clicking on the Content tab, then click on the pencil next to Navigation Bar. This will open a window to let you put the text in and the URL. 

Make sure to check back with us for more information about our new Design Lab. Stay in contact through our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

 


Rolling Out of Beta: Post Carousel

It's the new year, but that doesn't mean that we here at Typepad are done giving out gifts! We're releasing several features out of Beta over the next month and this week we started with 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.

As of right now, this is out to 25% of our non-Beta subscribers, but everyone else should see it over the upcoming weeks.

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.


5 Things To Do For Your Blog in 2018

5 Things To Do For Your Blog in 2018

It is a new year and everyone is thinking about what to improve. You can improve many things, but we recommend you focus on your blog. We complied a list of five things you can do to take your blogging to the next level!

Go Mobile

In 2018 more and more people will be on their phones (they are pretty amazing after all). You want to make sure your blog is easy to read on a mobile device. Typepad is here to make it easy to switch over to a mobile theme. You can use our new Design Lab to customize one of our mobile templates. We recommend you create a test blog and design a new mobile theme. Once your design is complete, you can apply it to your main blog.

Custom Domain

A domain should be simple and easy for your readers to remember. You want a domain that tells your reader exactly what your blog is about. Typepad lets you purchase a unique domain and map it to your blog. To purchase a domain, click on the Accounts tab, then Domain Mapping. Under Domain Mapping, type in your domain and click on Check Availability. If your domain is available you can purchase it and apply it to your blog.

Blog Goals

Goals can  give you focus for the year. Create three goals for your blog; one short term goal, one intermediate goal, and one long term goal. Creating the goals may be the easy part. The next, and maybe the hardest part, is breaking the goal down into steps that you can keep track of. The steps should have measurable results and a time frame. Our best advice for you is to write down your goals and your steps. Use a program like Wunderlist to keep track of your progress.

Learn New Things

When you are comfortable with your blog that is when complacency kicks in. It is important to learn new things to help grow and get out of our comfort zone. Learn something new about your blogging subject or learn something new about blogging (like adding an image gallery to your blog posts or create a YouTube channel and start posting videos through Typepad). Use what you have learned and share it with your readers. Show them you are an expert and they can trust your blog.

Read A Book

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” -Stephen King

When you read you increase your vocabulary and cognitive skills. Reading books will greatly influence your writing. You can read a book about writing, blogging, or whatever you want. The point is to read. Reading helps you get inspiration for your own writing. After you read something you gain knowledge you can use in your own writing. Two great books that come highly recommend to help with writing are Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and Everybody Writes by Ann Handley.

What is on your 2018 checklist for your blog? Share in the comments to inspire others! 


Design Lab: Adding A Banner

Design Lab_ Banner

We are continuing our series exploring our new Design Lab for our mobile themes. Previously we walked through how to apply fonts to customize your blog. Now, let's focus on the banner for your blog. 

Your blog’s banner is the first thing readers see and a visual representation of your blog. You want a custom banner that clearly shows your blog’s name and logo. When you are using the Design Lab you have two choices. You can use a banner image or a text banner.

Adding An Image Banner

To add the image banner, click on the Blogs tab, then click on Design. Click on the Banner tab on the left. Upload your image. You have two options for the span of the banner:

Span the width of the blog:
Recommended image dimensions
Width: 1140px Height: 250px
Span the width of the browser:
Recommend image dimensions
Width: 1400px Height: 250px

 


Banner options with imageAfter you upload the image and select the span, click on Save Changes.

Next, click on the Style tab, then Banner (on the right under Fonts). When you add your own image you can change the color of the top strip above the navigation bar (if you do not want the Top Strip, change it to be the same color as your background color). You can also decide if you want to show the banner from the blog.

Tip: Don't have a banner image? Read our article about using Canva or Picmonkey. These are great online image editor that help you customize or create the perfect banner for your blog. 

Customizing Your Text Banner


Text BannerIf you do not add an image, your blog banner will be your blog title and the description. From the Style page, click on the Banner tab (on the right, under Fonts). Here you can change the text font/color and change the background color. You can also decide to hide the text and description from the blog.

Tip: You can update the Title and Description of your blog under the Settings tab.

 

 

 

Banners are a great way to show off your creativity and represent what your blog is about. If you have additional questions about our Design Lab please contact our support team. We are always happy to help! 

Make sure to check back with us for more information about our new Design Lab. Stay in contact through our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

 


Design Lab: Adding Custom Fonts

Design Lab_ Adding Custom Fonts

Our Design lab is now available to everyone who is using a responsive theme. There are a plethora of options to customize your blog to fit your brand. In the coming weeks we will continue this series to help familiarize our bloggers with all the customization tools our Design Lab offers. Make sure to check back with us through our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

The font you pick is very important. Fonts affect the readability and the perceived level of professionalism of your blog. When you are in our Design Lab, you can customize the fonts to fit your branding. Using the preview window you can also see how they look with other font choices. You don’t have to make everything the same font. 

To use the Design Lab you need to have one of our mobile responsive themes. Check out Mobile Themes Rolling Out Of Beta to learn more about switching to our mobile themes! 

Selecting and Applying A Font

Click on the Design tab, then click on Style. On the top right in gray you will see Fonts, click on it to expand your options.

You can choose between many different fonts. We have them organized based on Style.

Handwriting: These fonts are made to look like you wrote them yourself. They have fluid strokes that gives a personal touch. Use this sparingly, as it can be hard to read.  

Display: These are large fonts that are great for headings. They are eccentric and have a variable design to help the text stand out.

Serif: These fonts have a line at the end of every stroke. This is great for bulk text that needs to be read clearly. 

San Serif: These fonts do not have a line at the end of every stroke. It is great for bulk text for easy reading. 

You can select any one of these fonts and apply it to your blog. After you have selected the font you want to use you will see it is the Active Font. Select the tab for the area you want to customize. In this case we want to change the Title Text. Click on Banner, then next to Title, click on Apply Font. You will see the font change in the preview window and under Title.

Selecting a Font
Selecting a font.
Applying Fonts
Applying a font

Importing Fonts

Import A FontWe have a wide selection of fonts for you to choose from. If you need more options you can import from Google Fonts. Find the font you want in Google Fonts and then upload into the Design Lab. Then you can apply it to any section.

From the Style page, on the top right in gray you will see Fonts, click on it to expand your options. Click on Import. You will see where you can import fonts. Click on Google Fonts to view the selection in Google Fonts. Here you will have many different fonts to choose from. Once you have found the perfect font (in this case Roboto), you want to highlight the name of the font and copy it. Go back to your Style page and paste in the name of the font (the font name has to match exactly), then click on Import. To make it an active font you need to click on the name of the font. Then you can apply the font where you want.

Fonts are a great way to brand your business. We have made choosing the right font quick and easy. Have fun and see you soon with more about our Design Labs. 


Mobile Themes Rolling Out Of Beta

Mobile Themes Rolling Out Of Beta

Users spend on average 69% of their media time on smartphones. (Source

A mobile responsive site looks professional and shows you care about your reader's experience on your site. Also, Google loves mobile responsive sites. So much so, they are prioritizing sites that are mobile responsive sites in search results.

We are excited to announce we are rolling out our Nimble Themes (mobile responsive themes) from Beta! They will now be available for everyone. We have 19 Nimble Themes for you to make your own. If you do not see the themes right away, you can join our Beta Team

Create A Test Blog

We know you are excited to get started and we've made it as easy as possible to get going. Before you jump in feet first for your main blog, we recommend you create a Test Blog. This will allow you to personalize one of our Nimble Themes before you apply it to your blog. Take your time with all the cool features and apply it when you are ready. No rush!

View Our Nimble Themes

Click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Click on the Design tab, then Choose Theme. On the left, click on Design Lab (Responsive). Here you will see all our Nimble Themes. Select the one that works best for your blog, then click on Choose.

Customize Your Theme

Style Tabs
Click on a tab to customize

After you have selected your Nimble Theme, click on the Style tab. Here you can customize your blog with your brand colors and fonts. There are many things you change about the design. When you select a color or font it will automatically apply to the preview design of your blog. 

What it looks like when you change the background colors.

 

After you personalize your blog, click on Save Changes.

Apply To Your Main Blog

Once your theme design is complete you can apply it easily to your main blog. Click on the Blogs tab, then click on the name of the blog you want to add the design to. Click on the Design tab. Under Your Design, find the design for your test blog. Click on Actions, then click Apply. Your new design will instantly be applied to your blog. Click on View Blog to see your new mobile responsive blog.

Resources

Below are resources from Everything Typepad and our Knowledge Base.

Make your blog mobile with these great templates!

What Mobile Designs Exist For Me to Use?

How Do I Switch to a Mobile Design?

25 Mobile Design Principles from Google

Design Lab: Adding Custom Fonts

Design Lab: Adding A Banner

Design Lab: Navigation Bar

Design Lab: Posts and Sidebar

Design Lab: Blog Footer and Background

Design Lab: View Collections

 

Nimble On Different Devices

Mobile Example 2
Mobile Example 2
Mobile Example 2

 After you have updated your blog to our new Nimble Themes, post a link in the comments! We would love to see what you have done! 

 


Out of Beta: Easily Add and Upload YouTube Videos to Posts and Pages

YouTube Roll out banner

We are so thrilled to announce that all Typepad subscribers should see the new option to add and upload YouTube videos directly to their post.  With the brand new Image Gallery's recent release, that's two great new Typeapad features in just a few weeks!

To recap, this lets you both upload your videos directly to your own YouTube channel and add them to the post and also search YouTube to add other videos to your posts.

First we'll cover uploading your own videos.

To start, click the Upload Video to YouTube button to switch to upload mode.  You should see it here:

Uploadvideo
You're on your way to uploading your video!

If you are not already signed in to a YouTube account, you will be prompted to sign in to Google. You will also be asked to choose which YouTube account to use if you have multiple YouTube accounts associated with your Google account.

After doing that, simply click the Browse or Choose File button to locate the video file on your device and open the file. YouTube supports the following video formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, WebM

Now just click the Upload Video button. It may take some time for the video to finish uploading. Once done, the progress bar will reach 100% and the video thumbnail will appear when the video upload is complete. You can now add a Title and Description which will display at YouTube.

Click Insert and Close to embed the video in your post or page after the upload is complete. Easy as pie!

Now we're going to show you how to search for videos and add them directly that way. Here's the section where you do this:

Searchvideo
Finding a video for your post.

To search for your own YouTube videos, click My Videos, select the video you wish to embed, enter a title, and click Insert and Close.

To search for any public YouTube video to embed, enter the search terms, select the video to embed, edit the title (optional), and click Insert and Close.

What do you think of this new feature?  Is there anything else you'd wish we had included or done differently?

Have any questions, want to give us some feedback, or need more help? As always, the Typepad Support team is here for you!


Out of Beta: A Brand New Image Gallery

Image Gallery Beta Roll Out (1)

We're so very excited to announce that the brand new Image Gallery has rolled out of Beta and is now available to all of our subscribers!

To quickly recap, with this feature you can now add image galleries to you posts and Pages.  There are several options for the galleries, like adding a description and choosing row and column sizes, that allow you to find the perfect way to showcase your photos.

Gallery_exampleCreate your own by going to the Compose editor and clicking the Insert Image button.  You can read more about using the Image Gallery in our Knowledge Base.

We hope you love this feature as much as we do!  Please let us know any feedback you may have either in the comments section here or by opening a help ticket.