Posts categorized "Tips and Tricks" Feed

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!


Add new voices to your blog with guest authors

Many blogs, especially those run by individuals rather than organizations, have just one author and that works well in many cases. But sometimes you may find that a friend or colleague has a lot to offer your audience and you would like to bring them on board as an additional author.

The ability to invite additional authors to a blog is available on the Pro Unlimited account level and above.

To invite a new author to your blog, go to the Settings > Authors page. Enter the name and email address of the desired author. You can also personalize the message to be sent, or go with the default text. You'll want to select the right access level for the author. A Junior Author can write posts but not publish them, while a Guest Author can both write and publish posts to your blog. If you are on the Enterprise level or above, you will have the option to add at least one Blog Administrator to your blog who can help manage the design and settings and edit posts by any author (depending on your account level, you may not see the Blog Administrator option until the author has already been added to your blog).

Invite authors

The invited author will receive an email message with a link to sign up for Typepad and accept the author invitation.

Once the author has accepted the invitation, you will see them listed along with yourself at Settings > Authors. From the listing on this page, you can change the access level for any additional authors, or remove them from your blog if they are no longer contributing.

The Settings > Authors page also allows you to turn on author archives for your blog. Each author archive will display all of the posts written by that author. You can also choose to display the author's profile photo and one-line bio in the sidebar of the author archive page.

Author archive settings

Have you invited additional authors to your blog? Share your experiences and tips in the comments!


Domain Mapping Made Easy with Typepad

When you browse the Internet, there are a lot of sites to visit and sites to go to.  One of the easiest ways to remember a site you want to revisit is when it has a short and simple or catchy URL.

Your Typepad blog has its own URL associated with Typepad (like example.typepad.com), but it might be kind of long for your readers to remember.  Wouldn't www.example.com be even easier for them?

You can use your own domain with Typepad through a process called domain mapping.  To make this process even simpler, you can order your domain from within Account > Domain Mapping and follow just a few simple steps.  Voila!  Your domain is now mapped, and you readers can find your blog at the custom domain you chose!

You can read more about registering your domain with Typepad in our Knowledge Base.

As always, the Typepad support team is here to answer any questions, so if you'd like to know more, just reach out to us!


Can I Display Recent Comments On My Blog?

We love getting comments! Sometimes we love them so much, we want to show them off right on the front page of our blog.  We have received requests asking if there is a way to display comments under blog posts as part of the front page of the blog.   There is a reason why you don't see this more with blogs, because it is not recommended.  It may appear fine if a blog post has up to 5 comments, but the more comments a blog post receives, the longer it will take your blog to load.   There are other options to show off your wonderful comments.

If you are using Typepad, Typepad Connect, or Disqus comments, you can easily display your most recent comments in your sidebar by going to Design > Content, select "Recent Comments" from the Modules box and click the "Add this module" button: 

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 10.58.08 AMIf you use Disqus for your comments, there is a separate option which displays more of the comment along with the the commenters thumbnail image. We have a quick and easy way to add a similar feature to your sidebar which involves adding a small piece of code to your sidebar.   In this case, you would go to Design > Content > Embed Your Own HTML and paste the following code:

<div id="RecentComments" class="dsq-widget">
 <h2>Recent Comments</h2>
 <script type="text/javascript" src="http://example.disqus.com/recent_comments_widget.js?num_items=5&hide_mods=0&hide_avatars=0&avatar_size=32&excerpt_length=100"></script>
</div>

Replace "example.disqus.com" with your Disqus URL (ie: everythingtypepad.disqus.com). You can also change the number of comments display.  This code is set up to display 5 recent comments (num_items=5).

Because this a module and not a Typelist, a title for this module will not display unless you include it in the code like the example we provided:

 <h2>Recent Comments</h2>

Here is an example of how Disqus Recent Comments will appear in your sidebar using this code:

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 11.21.07 AMDisplaying comments on your blog invites other visitors to leave comments in your posts and is a good way to share previous posts on your front page.


Add custom sidebar content with the Embed Your Own HTML module

One of Typepad's most versatile features is one that's been around awhile so you might have overlooked it. It's the Embed Your Own HTML module.

Have ads you would like to display on your blog? A third-party widget? Text you want to display? The Embed Your Own HTML module can handle all of these and more.

Go to the Design > Content page for your blog in Typepad and locate Embed your own HTML in the listing of modules. Click the "Add this module" button. This will open a pop-up window.

Custom HTML module

We recommend that you give it a unique label so that you remember what content is in the module. The label will not appear on your blog so you can call it whatever you would like.

Copy and paste the code or write the text that you want to display into the "HTML" field, then click "OK" and drag and drop the module to the place you want it to appear in the sidebar.

Have you found a clever use for the Embed Your Own HTML module on your own blog? Are there other highly versatile Typepad features you feel are often overlooked and would like us to highlight? Let us know in the comments!


Google and Your Website - More SEO Tips

Frequently, we receive questions about a website's listing in Google search results. You can go straight to the source and utilize Google's webmaster help site, which has a wealth of information.

To start, we suggest reading through Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Specifically focus on the guidelines for content, as Typepad takes care of the nitty-gritty, technical details, including sitemap, title tags, HTTP header, robots.txt, and more.

Next, check out the steps to a Google-friendly website.

From the article:

Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do.

We completely agree! Typepad provides you with the tools you need to focus on creating great content. We update Typepad behind the scenes regularly to make sure all sites are optimized as Google makes changes, so you don't need to worry about the ever evolving search engine requirements.

There are many other helpful articles in Google's help site to review for more tips.

A few more items to check off the SEO list:

Sitemap

By default, all public Typepad blogs will have a sitemap created and updated automatically, so you should be all set! You can go to Settings > SEO for your blog in Typepad to confirm that is the case. Learn more.

Meta Description

Meta data is used by search engines to better categorize the webpage in search results. The meta description is important to search engines and appears below the article title in search results. The meta description is pulled from the beginning of the post or page body. However, you can create a custom description by entering a summary in the Excerpt field when composing your post or page which we recommend.

Meta Keywords

When composing your post or page, think about keywords and short phrases which might be used to search for the article you are writing. Include the words or phrases separated by commas in the Keywords field.

Meta data is not seen by visitors to your website, but it is seen in the page source when search bots crawl your webpages. You can also add meta data for the index pages of your blog at Settings > SEO.

Finally, Google has details on specific no-nos for your website in their quality guidelines.

What steps have you taken to improve your website content and improve SEO? Let us know in the comments and share your site's address so we can check it out.


Revisiting the Signature Module

It's been a couple of years since we released the Signature module, so we feel this is as good a time as any to refresh your memory and explore the different ways in which it can be used.

What does the module do

The Signature module is a Content tool that allows you to automatically add information to the bottom of your posts. Once enabled, it inserts itself into all posts, both new and old.

Where to find the module

You can locate the module at Design > Content. It's located above the Post Footer module on the Content screen.

Signature module on the Content screen

How to configure the module

As seen in the image above, the pencil icon indicates that the module is configurable. Clicking the pencil will open a pop-up window with an empty field. This is where you add your content, using HTML or scripts provided to you by third-parties.

What can be added

There aren't many limitations to what can be added; and most limitations will be due to third-parties (e.g. the Signature module isn't ideal for Google ads, since there's a limit to how many Google ads can appear on a page).

Here are some ideas on what to add:

  • Image or CSS-styled signature (e.g. name)
  • Third-party ad script (note: only if there are no limitations to the number of times it can be generated on a page)
  • Custom advertisement (e.g. promote your own sales, books, videos, or similar)
  • Shop carousels (e.g. Reward Style or similar)
  • Email subscription widget (e.g. so readers are reminded to subscribe via email if they haven't already)
  • Custom bio (e.g. formatted photo, author bio credit, social accounts to follow)
  • Image widgets (e.g. Instagram, Flickr, or similar)

Share with us how you use the Signature module, or how you think it could be better. We're always looking for great new ideas to improve Typepad.


Blog Navigation

When a new visitor arrives on your website, you want to make sure it is easy for them to navigate to your archives. The Navigation Bar module is great way to highlight categories and place special posts front and center at the top of the page.

At Design > Content, click the pencil icon next to the Navigation Bar module to add or edit links.

Navigation Bar

We recommend including a link back to the Home page for your blog, a link to the Archives, and link to a page or post which lets visitors know a little about you and your website.

The Archives index for your blog is available by adding "archives.html" to the end of your blog's address. For example:

http://everything.typepad.com/blog/archives.html

You can also use the Archives to grab the URLs for any category indexes you wish to highlight in the Navigation Bar. Learn more.


Where Is My YouTube Video?

Inserting videos in your blog post is a popular way to tell your story and sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Vine  help make it easy to share video clips in your blog post.  There may be times when you insert a video in to your draft and you won't see it in the Rich Text editor or in Preview.   Don't worry!  Not all browsers will display the embedded video in preview-mode but it will appear as expected once you publish your blog post.

Another thing to keep in mind is Typepad's Insert Video tool does not support YouTube's shortened URL (ie: https://youtu.be/nWJQvsZ6kT0). Instead, you can insert your YouTube video by using the full URL (ie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWJQvsZ6kT0).

Last, you will want to make sure the YouTube video allows sharing.  Just because you can view the video in YouTube, does not mean that the owner of the video wants you to publish this video elsewhere. The owner of the video can turn off embedding to prevent sharing for copyright purposes.  If you attempt to share a video that has limitations placed where the video can be embedded, the video will not display on your blog.

Another option that gives you you more control over how the inserted video appears in your post is by selecting "Embed" instead of URL.

Inserting a video

You can find the embed code in YouTube by going to "Sharing" and select "Embed" where you can copy the code and paste it in Typepad's Insert Video pop-up window.

If you insert a video to your post and it is still not showing, even after you publish it, open a Help Ticket and we will be happy to help.