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This week in updates: Commenting, Themes, and more

5 Elements of Professional Looking Blog Design

Here's the recording: (PDF of slides and a bonus PDF from Niya):

Answers from the Q & A we didn't get to during the call.

Typepad vs Wordpress and SEO

Niya: I don't find that Wordpress optimizes SEO more powerfully than Typepad -- as is the rumor. I personally find wordpress more complex for design. The reason is because the template/design support is independently controlled by the designers who create the templates. So while in one template you can add a custom header or adjust the CSS easily, another could cause you to need to get involved in forums and long trails of answers and trouble shooting. You sometimes need to think like a programmer vs. a designer depending. Typepad on the other hand has consistent services, template options and support. Once you get the hang of it, it opens many creative avenues. (after a second question about TP/WP) I personally find wordpress more complex. The reason is because the template/design support is independently controlled by the designers who create the templates. So while in one template you can add a custom header or adjust the CSS easily, another could cause you to need to get involved in forums and long trails of answers and trouble shooting. You sometimes need to think like a programmer vs. a designer depending. Typepad on the other hand has consistent services, template options and support. Once you get the hang of it, it opens many creative avenues.

Andy: Another benefit of TypePad is our Update Stream that directly channels your post into the search engines the second you publish it. Here's a comparison table of TypePad and the other top platforms.

TypePad Savvy Designers

Does SixApart have a list of designers (Sf Bay Area) that one can retain as consultants?

Niya: Yes, go to: http://www.typepad.com/one/typepad-services.html

Andy: That link also profiles our excellent TypePad One support/services team that can help you.

TypePad for a Full Website

Will you be addressing using blogging software -TypePad as the basis for your more "static" Website as well

Niya: My opinion of this question is that it is a fabulous full hour topic. It raises a lot of questions about branding, readability, context etc. It's an art form unto itself but a very valuable production.

Andy: Here's the recording from a call we did on this topic. http://everything.typepad.com/blog/2009/02/create-blog-site.html

Font Sizes and Styles

Rules of thumb for font choices and sizing?

Niya: Generally: Post Font Header size: 16 pt. Sub-head 14 and Body Text 11 or 12. Some fonts are naturally larger than others like clothing brands. So be aware of that. Your blog title can be as large as you like but not smaller than your Post Header font size. The general rule is, one serif and one san serif font. For example if you use a serif or even a script font as your title, use a san serif and sub dominant color for the sub title. And serif is generally good for body text. Also if you can pull an accent color from your logo or header graphic into the subtitle font that is a nice visual balance to the page.

Andy: Jakob Nielsen, usability guru, has done a lot of testing on this as well. Here are his essays on font size. Also, Smashing Magazine did a great post on web typography.

Using the 'Read More' Link

Any stats on readability of full long post fully on top level, v the read more and asking users to click?

Niya: GREAT Question. I'll be looking into that.

Andy: Usually it helps 'tease' peopel towards a certain topic or category.

A second question: The more bar leads me to ask should I be using categories on my blog or pages?

Niya: Good one. Yes. It allows people to dial into your content more efficiently. And category clouds show your priorities.

Andy: Use categories so readers can view by topic - use Pages for more 'website-y' type content like About, Contact, etc.

Adding a Calendar in TypePad

How do you add the calendar in TP?

Andy: Design > Content - add the calendar module... Don't spend too long looking - be sure to open a help ticket if you have any questions... the support team are the experts!

HTML Skills Are Optional

Do I need to know HTML to use TypePad?

Niya: No. You can copy and paste from your source into a notes typelist.

Andy: Nope - if you can send an email you can write a blog.

Different Sidebars on Different Page Types

Does Typepad now allow you to select certain typelists for some pages and leave off other pages?

Andy: Not currently no - the sidebars are the same for all pages - unless you use Advance Templates

TypePad vs iWeb

My website is on iWeb and there is a built-in Blog page feature...is that OK to use for starters?

Niya: I have an iWeb site: www.curlyredstories.com. The thing that I don't like about iWeb is that you can't domain map. So your url is very long. You can shorten it with tools out there but not that great for branding. Its a fun start point because its object oriented but limited and no widget galleries that I know of. I've needed to do some work arounds for things. It's like the difference between a VW bug and a Mini. ; )

Blogs for Artists, Filmmakers, Writers and Other Creatives

Niya: http://www.storyculture.com/blog/2008/12/wisdom-book-film-andrew-zuckerman-video-trailer.html and http://www.wisdombook.org/ - Although he breaks the rule of user control on the first page, he earns it given how visually accessible the page is. Nothing extra.


Session description: Learn design do's and don'ts to add visual polish to your blog to create a friendly, professional maximize results and make every post count. Join us for a free 1-hour call with blog design expert Niya Sisk.

This free call is part of our webinar series for small business. Complete schedule...

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