Design Tools: Choosing a Theme Type

Tell us if you've heard this one: great design starts from the ground up.

Any of the available themes offered by Typepad can be the starting point for a great design. There are several different theme types on top of which you can build your vision for your blog. Let's cover what those types are and how to apply them to your blog.

Theme Types

First, we have the Classic theme. It comes pre-designed, with varying layout and color options. The themes tend to be set to a fixed width and do not have adaptable style tools. You can use Custom CSS to make adjustments to tweak it to fit your needs. 

Classic theme - Loft
Classic theme - Loft

Second, we have the Classic Custom theme. It's similar to the classic theme, but offers a customization option like uploading your own banner. You can use Custom CSS with this theme type as well. An example of this theme type is our Mosaic theme.

Third, we have the Styleless theme. It's presented to users completely stripped of any CSS, but you have full access to all layout options. Without CSS, it provides you with a blank template to put your design stamp on, via Custom CSS. A true "from the ground up" option.

Fourth, we have the Theme Builder theme. It comes with a base design, with all layout options. If you're a Beta team member, then you'll also have a responsive option. The Theme Builder is a precursor to the Nimble Design Lab, and allows users to select some basic design features and upload a custom banner. Think of it as being half-classic, half-lab. It's a good choice if having too many options is overwhelming for you when you're first starting. You can learn more about the Theme Builder in the Knowledge Base.

Fifth, we have the Responsive theme. It comes pre-designed, with varying layout and color options, but with responsive widths for mobile-friendly viewing. You can use Custom CSS with responsive themes as well. An example of this theme type is our Gourmet theme.

Responsive theme - Gourmet
Responsive theme - Gourmet

Finally, we have the Nimble Design Lab theme. It comes pre-designed, with varying layout, style, and color options, and is fully responsive. Where it differs, however, is that you can customize it without needing to know any CSS. The lab portion of the tool allows you to set styles for the entire blog. You can, of course, use Custom CSS to make any additional tweaks that aren't yet available in the Lab. The Nimble Design Lab is currently in Beta, and you can learn more in our Knowledge Base.

Nimble Design Lab - Pre-Designed 'Marsala Arabesque'
Nimble Design Lab - Pre-Designed 'Marsala Arabesque'

* note: Custom CSS is available to Pro Unlimited plans and above.
Plus users will need to upgrade if they wish to use the feature.

Apply a Theme

To apply any of these theme types, you must first visit the Design tab for the blog in your account. Once there, click the Choose a Theme button to be taken to the selection menu. You will find a few different options available to you.

  • Customizable
    • This is where you will locate the Styleless, Theme Builder, and Nimble Design Lab starting points
  • Nimble Design Lab
    • You can jump right to this section to see pre-designed themes to use as-is or use as the starting point for your design.
  • Personal; Professional; Simple
    • These options will lead to classic and classic custom themes.

Building a great design doesn't need to be difficult, nor does choosing a theme type. You're not locked into your decision once you've selected a theme or type, so we recommend testing your options out on a test blog before making a choice for the design you'll launch on your blog.


Adding a copyright notice to your blog's sidebar

While copyright law automatically protects all original content you post to your blog, adding a copyright notice to the sidebar can be a good way to remind readers and visitors that your content is your own.

Typepad offers a copyright module that you can easily add to your blog's sidebar. Go to the Design > Content page for your blog and locate "Copyright" in the list of modules. When you click the "Add this module" button, a pop-up window will open. This is automatically filled with the code to display a copyright symbol (i.e., ©) and your blog's name. If that's all you need, click OK and then drag and drop the module to the place you'd like to have it in your sidebar.

Copyright module

If you would like to add more information to the copyright notice, or to replace it with different information, make those changes in the content area of the module, then click "OK" and drag and drop the module into place.

When you check your published blog after adding the module, you'll see the copyright notice in the sidebar where you placed it, reminding everybody who reads your blog that you own your content.


Setting Up Your RSS Feed

So that your readers can easily be updated about new content, we strongly recommend setting up your blog's feed. Using the blog's feed, updates can be sent to subscribers through a variety of ways, including e-mail subscriptions.  It's a great way to make sure your readers are keeping up with your blog!

On a Typepad blog, the feed is the blog's URL followed by atom.xml or rss.xml. Both of these feeds contain the same content and it usually doesn't matter which one you use. Here are some examples to get the feel for how they look:

http://example.typepad.com/my-blog/atom.xml
http://www.customdomain.com/my-blog/rss.xml
http://www.exampledomain.net/atom.xml

To turn on your feed, go to Settings > Feeds, and check the box to publish the feed for Blog Posts, and save changes. You can also turn on feeds for comments on individual posts and pages, and also posts by category.

Feeds

The feed for your blog will update immediately when you publish a new post so that your readers can come and take a look right away. You can learn more about feeds in our Knowledge Base.


Set a Landing Page for your Blog or Website

When visitors first arrive at your blog, you may want to present a single webpage which shares the purpose of your site or information you wish to highlight, instead of the list of recent blog posts. By creating a Page and setting it as the Front Page, you can make the page the first page visitors to your site see.

Why would you want to set a landing page?

  • You wish to create a more traditional website with multiple web pages, like for a business or service.
  • A majority of your existing readers receive new posts via a subscription, and you want new visitors to see options to subscribe via email, social media, and more when they find your site from an online search.
  • You want to let visitors know about a promotion or special event.

To set up a Landing Page, create a Page by selecting New Page from the Compose button drop-down menu. Once a Page has been published, go to Settings > Posts for your blog and scroll down to the Front Page section.

Front Page Settings

Select the Display a “Page” as the front page option and choose one of the published pages from the drop-down menu. Finally, click Save Changes.

If you wish to direct visitors from the Landing Page to the list of recent posts, you can include a link to the blog index in the Navigation Bar. The URL for the blog index will be listed in the Front Page settings after you save changes as mentioned above.

For more details on creating a Landing Page, see the article in the Knowledge Base.


Typepad on Pinterest: Volume 25

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 3.24.09 PM

Did you know Typepad is on Pinterest? It's true! We love pinning and repinning great content from Typepad blogs in every genre, and we're always looking for great, inspirational content. Are you on Pinterest? Drop your link in the comments, and don't forget to follow Typepad right here! If you're not on Pinterest yet, check it out - it's a great way to promote your blog and connect with others!

Want some inspiration? Check out our featured pinner, Volume 25.

Jessica is a wife, mother, and artist with three online shops where you can find her artwork. As a self-taught artist, she now has her work available on journals, notebooks, and calendars and can be found at retailers such as Hobby Lobby, Barnes & Noble, TJ Maxx, and more. "I strive to create simple, beautiful, encouraging art that will help carry you through the toughest of days."

FOLLOW: Blog | Pinterest

Want to promote your Pinterest account on your Typepad blog? Just go to Blogs > Content and add the Pinterest Widget to your Sidebar via the center menu. While you're there, make your blog posts "pinable" by adding the Pin It button to your post footers.

Want even more? Learn how to promote your blog on Pinterest and follow Typepad at www.pinterest.com/typepad.


Featured Blog: Clean

Lusa Organics

Blogger Rachel Wolf is a homeschooling mother of two, owner of LuSa Organics (an all natural, handmade baby and body care business), writer and crafter. Her blog, Clean, offers glimpses of family life, lived with the belief that "each person is walking their own perfect path". What she shares with her readers is simply her family's way of living, peaceful parenting, simplicity, homeschooling, food preservation, and crafting of all sorts.

FOLLOW ON: Typepad | Twitter


Ready to level up? A custom domain might be just the trick!

If you're currently using your Typepad domain (example.typepad.com) for your blog, but have considered switching to a custom domain (www.supercustom.com), we're here to help you get started. Whether you're blogging for fun or business, a custom domain can benefit anyone, and at around $10 per year to register, it's a fun, affordable way to make your blog even more unique. In fact, if you've been looking to catapult your blog from hobby to profession, registering your own domain can help take your blog to the next level. Still not convinced that registering a custom domain is right for you? Here are a few more benefits:

Why is registering a custom domain a good idea?

  • A custom domain lends an air of professionalism.
  • A custom domain is as unique as you are.
  • A custom domain can be great for SEO and marketing.
  • A custom domain makes you memorable!

Still need convincing? Registering a domain is super easy, and can be done right in your Typepad account. From your Dashboard, just click to Account > Domain Mapping, and enter the domain name you'd like to use. Next click Check Availability, and a list of available domains will appear. From there, you can select to register one (or more!), then proceed to checkout, and you're on your way. Read more about registering your own domain in our Knowledge Base, or head over to your Dashboard to get started!


Featured Blog: The Poached Egg

The_poached_egg

The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Journal is a website founded and edited by Greg West. A large and continually expanding virtual library of articles and essays compiled from all over the Internet, The Poached Egg features content from noted apologists, biblical scholars, philosophers, scientists, and historians. With so many resources and so much content, apologetics enthusiasts will find something new each time they they visit. Whether you are new to apologetics, or a veteran apologist, The Poached Egg is a one-stop shop for discovering vital resources that you may not even knew existed.

FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter


Typepad On Pinterest: Dina Remi Studios

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 3.23.01 PM

Did you know Typepad is on Pinterest? It's true! We love pinning and repinning great content from Typepad blogs in every genre, and we're always looking for great, inspirational content. Are you on Pinterest? Drop your link in the comments, and don't forget to follow Typepad right here! If you're not on Pinterest yet, check it out - it's a great way to promote your blog and connect with others!

Want some inspiration? Check out our featured pinner, Dina Remi Studios.

It's never to early to start planning for your wedding! Dina Remi Studios offers wedding photography with a collection of images that shares the uniqueness of your special day.

FOLLOW: Blog | Pinterest

Want to promote your Pinterest account on your Typepad blog? Just go to Blogs > Content and add the Pinterest Widget to your Sidebar via the center menu. While you're there, make your blog posts "pinable" by adding the Pin It button to your post footers.

Want even more? Learn how to promote your blog on Pinterest and follow Typepad at www.pinterest.com/typepad.

 


Featured Blog: Re:Focus

Re:Focus

Re:Focus blogger Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. Imagine a world where people wake up every day inspired to go to work, feel safe while they are there, and return home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled by the work they do, feeling that they have contributed to something greater than themselves.

Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home everyday feeling fulfilled by their work, Sinek is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.

FOLLOW ON: Typepad | Twitter