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.


Embedding Third Party Script To A Blog Post

Adding third-party scripts to a blog post can help enhance your content and Typepad allows you to add HTML and embedding in your post. You can add things like an image from Flickr, a pin from Pinterest, a tweet from Twitter, or a comment from Reddit.  When sharing any type of embedded HTML code in to a post, make sure you have switched to the HTML editor tab in the compose page:

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 12.22.03 PM
Adding embedded script in the Rich Text editor will only display the actual code as text when you publish your post.  You know you're in the HTML editor as your content will appear as plain text:

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 4.35.58 PM

When adding third party script to a blog post using the HTML editor, you may notice a couple of things.  First, you may not see your code in action in the Rich Text editor or in a Preview window.  This is normal and there's no need to worry. Some script is set up to only display once it is published.  An alternative to switching to the HTML editor is clicking the "Source code" button located between the Fullscreen and Restore buttons.

If you are adding embedded script to your blog post, we recommend not switching between the Rich Text and HTML editors when drafting your post.   Due to the nature of the coding, trying to view it in the Rich Text editor can strip some of the code so when it comes time to publish your post, it may not display properly. Just make sure you copy and paste the embed code entirely with all it's closing tags to ensure it will display properly.


Compose Tools: the Insert Menu

When we blog, we tend to find a groove in how we compose–our rhythm, if you will. That can often times lead to tunnel vision, seeing only what we are focused on, and know we need, blind to other tools that could be of use to us. In this post, we'll uncover the tools inside the Insert menu of the compose screen. There may just be a gem in there you'll find useful.

At the top of the compose screen, when in Rich Text mode, you will see several drop-down menus available.

Compose - Available drop-down menus

The menu we're focusing on today is the Insert menu, the first shown at the top left of your Rich Text compose screen. Clicking on it, you'll find several tools you may already use (e.g. Insert Image).

Compose - Insert Menu Options

As you can see, the majority of the tools listed in the Insert menu can be found in the toolbars with a corresponding icon. Those that are not on the toolbar, however, may just be something you've needed this whole time. Let's check them out.

Horizontal Line

Compose - Horizontal Line

The horizontal line option allows you to insert a line that separates content. This is great for adding bylines, designating certain areas for specific topics, and more.

Anchor

The anchor is, in short, a link to another location on the page. With the update we made to the compose editor a while ago, it's now extremely easy to insert an anchor link into your blog post or page. A video may illustrate better how simple it is, so take a look below.

Simply add your text, then place the cursor where you want your link to return a reader. Use the Insert menu to select the anchor option, then give the anchor a name. Next, place your cursor where you will insert the link that will lead readers to the anchor. Add text, highlight it, then select Insert Link (either from the menu or the toolbar; that's up to you). In the pop-up that appears, there will be an anchor dropdown menu. Use that to select the anchor you want the link to go to, then click OK. Well done!

Insert date/time

This is self explanatory, but we'll give explaining it a shot: the tool inserts the date and/or time in the format of your choice. That went really well. Good job, Team Typepad!

Nonbreaking space

The nonbreaking space, or non-breaking space if you can't stand to see that word not hyphenated, allows you to force an empty space to appear before or after text, an image, and so on. It looks like   in the code of your post or page. If you've ever tried to tap the space bar a few dozen times to increase the distance between two words or images, you know that those taps don't translate to actual space. That's where the nonbreaking space comes in.

So, did you learn something new? Figure out how you could ease the burden of some task you undertake in composing your posts? If so, tell us all about it in the comments section below!


Announcing Multiple Usernames and Password Protection for Individual Posts and Pages!

We've been working hard on a few new features that we think you're going to love and we're happy to announce that they've been released to our Beta Team members!

First of all, Beta Team members can now create unique usernames and passwords for visitors to access their site.  No more one username and password to view your site!  You can easily give each visitor their own username!  Just go to the Settings tab, enable password protection, and you'll see the option to add more usernames.

Additional_users

And once you've added all of your users, the best part is that now you can restrict access to individual posts and Pages on a per username basis!  This means that if you have a post that you want the usernames Justine and Mary to see, but not Steve, you can accomplish it easily with just a few check marks!

To do this, after the usernames have been created, simply go to the Compose page and write your post or Page.  You would then click Set Users in the right column on the Compose page.

Set_users

Check the box to each user you wish to have access to the post or page before you publish.

Userboxes

Now after the post is saves, only the users that have been selected will be able to view this post!

You can read more about this feature in our Knowledge Base.  Don't forget that it's currently restricted to Beta Team members, so if you haven't already signed up, head over to your Account tab and join!

We love this feature and can't wait to hear your feedback.  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!