Introducing an Improved Mobile Compose Experience!

Your life takes place on the go, usually with your smart phone in your hand.  Odds are there's going to be a thing or two you want to blog about. With the new improved mobile compose that we've released, this will be even easier for you to do.

Subscribers wanting to blog via their smartphones will now be able to log into their account and browse to the Compose screen and see the following Rich Text screen:

Smartphone Compose Screen

In the smartphone experience, you will have access to the majority of the compose editor features. This screen is available to all mobile devices and is not limited to operating systems (e.g. iOS, Android, Windows).

Here's a brief rundown on what's available:

  • Title field
  • Categories
    Click the icon to expand your existing category list, select one or more categories, then return to the editor
  • Rich Text editor features
    Format text, insert links, photos, and videos
  • Excerpt field
  • Meta Keywords field
  • Publish Status
  • Comment Status
  • Source code
    Edit your post's HTML by clicking the <> button

Here are a few screenshots of what you can expect to see in the mobile experience:

IMG_4637
Selecting multiple categories.

 

IMG_4639
There are several different sources you can use to add images to your post.

Note: not all devices preserve the correct orientation of photos, so you will need to use your device's built-in image editor, or a third-party app, to re-save the orientation (e.g. in iOS Camera Roll, open the image, tap Edit, rotate the image until it's back in the correct orientation, then tap Done).

For tablet users, depending on resolution, you will either see the above compose screen or the full Rich Text editor. For example, an iPad Mini may see the above screen, while a full sized iPad would see the same full Rich Text editor that desktop users see.

All subscribers should now have the new Compose experience and be able to get their blog out on the go.  If you have any questions or need any help, simply let our Support Team know and we'll be happy to assist you!


Don't delay, back up your blog!

When was the last time you saved a backup of your blog post? Oh, you didn't know you could do that? Well today is the day to learn about saving a back up of your blog content.   While Typepad backs up your content on our servers, you may want to have your own copy.   To back up your blog, go to Settings > Import/Export > Export, and click the "Export" button.

Don't delay, backup your blog!

When you click the "Export" button, a status bar will appear showing how long your export is taking; the more content your blog, the longer this will take.

Don't delay, backup your blog!

Once completed, click the "Download" link which will display a Text version of your blog posts and comments only.  You must use your browser to save the text file if it does not download automatically when clicked. Images, videos, documents and other uploaded content are not included in your Export file. If you wish to have a back up of these, you can open a Help Ticket and a member of the team can generate an Export file for you. 

Having a backup of your blog posts is handy if you wish to publish your posts in book form, and there are many third parties that publish blogs to books.  You can also use your blog backup in case you want to create a new blog but want to transfer your content over. 

How often do you back up your blog content? Let us know in the comments!


Cooking Design Magic with the CSS Cookbook

Typepad has a large number of looks and designs out there for you to choose from, but maybe there's a little something you want to change, like increasing your banner size or changing the color of your post items.

Never fear - the CSS Cookbook is here!

The CSS Cookbook has tons of CSS tips and tricks on how to make changes to your blog from the simple (changing the blog background color) to the more advanced (adding a date header ribbon).  CSS customization is available at the Pro Unlimited and above levels, so make sure your account is at one of those levels before starting.

Date ribbon
Your fancy new date header ribbon!

Your Typepad blog should always reflect your own style and the CSS tips in the CSS Cookbook are just one way of making sure that you can accomplish this.

Looking to do something that isn't covered there or maybe need some assistance getting started? The Typepad Support team has you covered! Just contact us and we'll help you out!


Add the Category Carousel Module to the Sidebar

A dynamic way to draw attention to posts is by placing the Category Carousel in the sidebar. The carousel will rotate through images from posts of the selected category.

At Design > Content, select the Widgets category, choose the Category Carousel, and click Add This Module.

Category Carousel

Name the module and choose a category. There are 10 other customization options available. You can even display an excerpt of each post below the image. Once the module is configured, click OK, drag the module to the preferred sidebar location, and click Save Changes.

On your blog, the module will scroll through the posts assigned to the selected category and visitors can click on the image to open the individual post page.

Carousel Example

After you add one Category Carousel, you can add a carousel for another category highlighting some or all of the categories in the sidebar. Learn more.

Are you using the Category Carousel to highlight posts dynamically in the sidebar of your site? Share your site's address in the comments!


Sharing Your Category Links

After blogging for some time, you may find that you write about certain topics frequently, from recipes to health advice, TV show reviews, family photos and more.    As your blog continues to grow, make it easier to show readers what you write about by sharing Category links.
 
Categories can help you organize your posts by topic. Each category will generate its own index page.  You can add new categories to your blog by going to Settings > Categories, and adding a new category with the appropriate name. When you first add a new category, it will not appear on your published blog although you can see it in your settings. Once you have added posts to the category, it will appear on the published blog. Category links will appear such as: 
 
http://example.typepad.com/yourblog/books/
http://example.typepad.com/yourblog/cooking/
 
You can always edit and remove categories from your blog.  However, changing the name of a Category will not change the category URL.  For example, you can change the name of your "Books" category to "Literature" but the URL will still say "books."

Assigning posts to a Category

 Before you publish your post, refer to the “Categories” box in the right of the Compose page above “Share This Post.”  If you have a long list of categories,  click the drop-down box on the right of the Category box  header to expand the field to see a fuller list of your categories (you can have up to 300 categories saved).  Check off the box or boxes for the categories you want to assign your blog post to.  
 
Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 3.07.26 PM
 
If you want to assign more than one post to a newly added category, you can quickly do this by going to the “Posts” tab of your blog and check off which posts are getting a new category.  Then scroll to the bottom and click “More Actions” and the "Go" button, then select “Add Categories” from the menu and check the boxes from your list of categories in the pop-up.
 
Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 3.08.21 PM
 

Linking To Categories

There are a couple of ways to share category links on your blog.  You can automatically share your published categories in your sidebar by going to Design > Content > Modules and selecting "Category Archives."   The archives can display as a list or as a single paragraph of links, or “cloud.”  There is also the "Category Carousel" which displays a slideshow of images from posts in that category.
 
Links to your categories also appear in the footer of your blog post if you have Categories turned on by going to Design > Content > Post Footer.  The name of the categories assigned to that post (which you selected in the Compose page) will appear at the footer linking to it’s own Category page. 
 
Say you have a lot of categories saved in your blog but you don’t want to display a giant list of links in your sidebar.  You can link to certain categories in your Navigation Bar at Design > Content > Navigation Bar, or create a Typelist at Library > Typelists > Add a Typelist > Links, then share this Typelist in your sidebar instead of the Categories module.   This gives you more control over what category links are displayed and linked in your blog.
 
Do you use categories a lot on your blog? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!

Nimble Design Lab - Feature Requests

Nimble Design Lab Example

The Design Lab for our Nimble responsive theme has been out to our Beta users for a while now, and we're hoping to get that out to all users later this year. As we work our way toward that goal, we invite our users to request specific features or style options they would like to see made available in the Design Lab.

Are you looking for additional font options? Are there style changes you wish to make that aren't doable without adding your own CSS customizations? Tell us all about it, either in the comments below or via a help ticket within your account. We'd love to be able to integrate your requests so that we can make the Design Lab well-rounded; and you can use it to its fullest potential for your blog.


Tips for managing blog designs

You're probably familiar with the main areas of the Design tab for your blog within Typepad. Here you can update the layout and content for your blog's design. Depending on what design you are using, and what account level you have, you may be able to upload a custom banner, choose different colors for your design theme, code some custom CSS, or access the HTML of the design templates. Here also you can create a new design for your blog.

If you look lower on the Design tab, you'll notice a section called "Your Designs". If you've been on Typepad for a long time, you have a lot of blogs, or you just like to play around with different designs for your blog, the "Your Designs" list may be a very long one.

Your Designs

Each design lists the name of the design, including the type of design it is and the blog it was originally created for, and the date and time it was created. You'll also see a thumbnail of the design and two drop-down menus to the right called "Customize" and "Actions".

All the designs you've ever created for any blog on your account are listed here, regardless of which blog you're working on. The current design for the current blog has an orange "Current" label next to it, while designs that have an asterisk by their name are currently in use on other blogs.

Current and starred designs

Looking at this list, you may notice some designs that you created years ago and that aren't in use and that you would like to remove. Locate each of these designs in the listing and click the "Actions" menu, then choose "Delete".

Actions menu

There, now the list looks a bit more manageable, doesn't it?

Maybe you have a design for another blog that you would really like to use for your new blog but you want to tweak it a bit. Locate this design in the list (remember that the asterisk by the name will help you find the active design for your other blogs) and choose Actions > Duplicate.

A new design will appear in the list with a name like "Copy of Minimalist for Recipes" (if the design you duplicated was called Minimalist and was for your Recipes blog). Go to Actions > Rename and you will be able to give the design a new name and description that will help you remember it.

The "Customize" menu allows you to edit any design, even if it is not currently applied to a blog.

Customize menu

The options you see here are what you would have if this was the active design for your blog and will vary depending on the type of design it is and your account level.

Make the desired edits to your design. You can then hit Actions > Preview to check how it looks and, when it's ready, Actions > Apply to apply it to the current blog. (If you'd like to experiment more than Customize and Preview allow, consider creating a test blog where you can see your new design live.)

Our Knowledge Base has a helpful article on managing saved designs if you'd like to learn more.

Have you ever duplicated a design or used any of the other managing design features? Let us know in the comments!


Why Use Password Protection for Individual Posts and Pages

A few weeks ago, we announced that you could now create multiple usernames for password protection and also password protect each post on an individual level so that only specific usernames can view them.

You might be wondering how this feature can be useful on your blog.  Here's just an example of one scenario in which individual password protection could really make your blog work better for you.

Let's say you sell content of some sort on your blog.  This could be anything from life coaching lessons to a recipe for a specific food dish or even a card made with stamping supplies.  You would like to make the content available to your readers, but only after they pay you to access it.

With this new feature, you can now give each of your paying subscribers their own username and password.  Once they pay you for the content (this could be done as a subscription service or as a per content item fee from a third-party service like PayPal), you would simply go to the post with the content and check the box for their username.

Userboxes

They would then be able to see the content the next time they visited your blog.  This means you to only have to keep up content on one blog, granting access to the content only to those that you want to be able to view it.

This new feature makes granting access a snap.  You can learn more about it in our Knowledge Base.  Please note that this feature is currently only available to our Beta Team members, so you'll need to become a member of the team to use it.

We're very excited about this feature and can't wait to hear how you're using it on your blog.  If you have questions or want to let us know what you'd like to see to make the feature better, just open a help ticket and a Typepad Support team member will be happy to assist you!


Planning Ahead: Schedule Posts to Publish in the Future

We've stressed the need to post content on your blog regularly to maintain and improve search rankings. Sometimes though, you may be too busy to write and publish a new post. That's okay! You can schedule posts to publish on those days where you know you aren't going to have the time.

When composing your post, open the Status menu and select the Publish On option.

Publish On Status

This will open the calendar pop-up box where you can set the date and time you wish to publish the post. After setting the publish day, click OK and click the Schedule button.

The post will be saved in the Posts list with a clock icon indicating it is scheduled to publish in the future.

List of Scheduled Posts

You can also change the date and time of the scheduled post by clicking the timestamp below the Status menu on the Compose page. Learn more.

Do you plan out publishing of your posts in advance? If so, share your tips with us in the comments!


The where and how of receiving support

Your support team is only ever a click or two away, and we take pride in being able to say that we offer support every day of the year. We all reside in different areas of the U.S., allowing us to make ourselves available across multiple time zones for all users. You can find us on social media, not just via the Help tab in your account, and we're available via email as well. It's important to us that you can reach us easily and quickly, so we do our best to respond to every single contact so that you feel heard and helped.

Here's a rundown of where and how to contact us:

  • Twitter
    Make sure you follow @typepad on Twitter so you can keep track of when we release new features, make platform status updates, and share our blog posts with tips and tricks for your own blog.
  • Facebook
    We're available on Facebook as well, and invite you to Like the Typepad page to keep up to date with the blog, help topics, and more. We recommend clicking the drop down option for the Like button on the page and setting it so you see Typepad posts first. This will help you to see any important information at the top of your news feed when it becomes available.
  • Everything Typepad
    We like writing the blog posts for you, but we enjoy interacting with you in the comments even more. Leaving a comment is a great way to reach out to us about a specific topic we're discussing.
  • Email
    On the rare occasion that Typepad is, or appears to be, down, or when you can only describe an issue by way of a screenshot that needs to be attached to your message, an email can be the best method of contact. You can always reach us by sending that email to support(at)typepad.com.
  • Support Help Desk
    We want you to contact us when you're stumped or curious. Helping you find the tool or information you're looking for, or working out how to help you with a specific idea you have, is what we enjoy doing. We don't want you to feel it's difficult or intimidating to reach out for the help you need, which is why we've made it easy to open a help ticket to reach out to us. Simply click the Help link at the top of your account dashboard, then on the "New Ticket" link that appears on the Help screen. Tell us a bit about what you need help with, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. That's it!

Short of a direct telepathic line, the above methods are the best way to keep track of what's happening here at Typepad, as well as reaching out to us for help you may need. Is there another method of contact you think would be of help? Have a favorite "I needed help and Typepad came through for me when..." story? Share it with us in the comments below! We eat that stuff up.