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Posts from June 2011

Gastronome Tart: A Design That's Good Enough to Eat


Amy has a passion for food, and her blog, Gastronome Tart, is a delightful read for everybody who shares her passion. But with so many food blogs out there these days, how can Amy make sure Gastronome Tart stands out from the crowd? One way is with a stunning design, and that's exactly what she has.

Amy provided the gorgeous photo for the banner image and worked collaboratively with our design services team to create just the right look for her blog. The result is a design you won't forget.

Like what you see? Check out more of our design work in our newly launched TypePad Blog Services Portfolio. And be sure to visit Gastronome Tart for a tasty read!

Keep It Simple: Adding Custom Sidebar Content

Sidebars are a great place to add all types of interesting content, and the Embed Your Own HTML module makes it easy to add ads, widgets, badges, text, and other content to your sidebar.

The Embed Your Own HTML module is available with almost all design configurations. With the Chroma Theme, you can use the Custom Sidebar option on the Design tab. For Mixed Media Layouts with the recent photos module, you'll need to use a Notes TypeList. The tips below work similarly with the Custom Sidebar and Notes TypeList.

In the Knowledge Base, we have several articles on adding specific content to your sidebar, and we've added some additional quick tips below:

Include an Email Link

TypePad has a default Email Me module which can be added to your blog at Design > Content.

However, you may want to use the Embed Your Own HTML module to add a custom link if you want to use a different email address or just include different text in your link. Below is an example of the code you can use to display a custom email link in your sidebar:

<p>We want to hear from you! <a href="mailto:[email protected]?subject=Blog Feedback">Send us an email.</a></p>

You can also generate code to secure your email address and prevent the email address from being scraped using an encoder. While securing your email address is not a bad idea, it also makes it difficult for readers of your site to copy your email address.

Once you have configured the code for your email link, go to Design > Content, select Embed Your Own HTML, and click Add This Module. Enter the code in the pop-up box and click OK. After rearranging your content, click Save Changes to update your blog.

Add text

The Embed Your Own HTML module makes it easy to add text to your blog's sidebar. You may want to add text for a brief introduction to your blog, a bio, or a copyright notice. At Design > Content, select the Embed Your Own HTML module and click Add This Module. Type the text you want to display in the pop-up box. You may want to surround your text with some additional HTML to have the formatting match other sidebar modules. For example:

<h2 class="module-header">About</h2>
<div class="module-content">
<p>Cooking With Tofu is a blog about my passion for turning blah tofu into wonderful meals both vegetarians and carnivores will enjoy. Thanks for visiting my blog!</p>

Twitter widget

Hundreds (if not thousands) of Twitter widgets are available, including the official Twitter widget, which allows you to display a list of recent tweets in your sidebar. After configuring your widget, you'll be provided with HTML code to add to your blog sidebar using the Embed Your Own HTML module at Design > Content.

Ugly Like Me

WHO: Jamie Tripp Utitus
BLOG: Ugly Like Me
WHY WE THINK UGLY LIKE ME ROCKS: Jamie Tripp Utitis writes about her life, and her battle with Multiple Sclerosis, in such a thoughtfully compelling way that it will make you want to learn as much as possible about Jamie herself, and the illness that she is fighting. In her own words:

What began as a blog about living with Multiple Sclerosis has evolved into something that most of the time has very little to do with MS. Strangely enough, most of the responses I get are from people who do not have MS. I've thought and hard about this and I've come to this--not everyone has MS, but everyone has something.


Ugly Like Me is a wonderful example of the great personal blogs that make up the heart of TypePad.

FOLLOW JAMIE : on TypePad.

Recent Frequently Asked Questions

We receive hundreds of inquiries from TypePad bloggers each day, and we wanted to highlight some of the recent frequently asked questions from our community.

Are you having problems uploading images, rearranging content, or publishing a post? If you are using Internet Explorer 9 as your browser, you can resolve all these issues by switching your browser to compatibility mode.

To switch to compatibility mode, click the broken page icon to the right of the browser address bar as shown here:

Internet Explorer 9

Do you wish to connect your TypePad blog to a Facebook Page? FaceBook only allows you to connect to a personal account. You can use the Facebook Notes or other options mentioned in the Knowledge Base. You can add a Facebook Page badge to your blog's sidebar too.

Are you missing a column on your blog or has your column has been displaced? You likely have an error in the code on your blog - either in a post or sidebar module. We have tips for correcting any code errors to restore your blog in our troubleshooting display issues article.

Do you need an invoice for your TypePad Pro subscription fee? At Account > Billing Info, you can review the transaction history for your account and view and print an invoice for each transaction. Additional information is available in the Knowledge Base.

Do you want more information on who is viewing your blog? TypePad makes it easy to take advantage of Google Analytics detailed statistics tool. Just go to Settings > Add-ons for your blog and enter the unique UA number from your Google Analytics account. Once you enter the UA number and click Save Changes, TypePad automatically adds the Google Analytics code to all the pages of your blog for tracking. See the Google Analytics article for more information.

If you need answers to any other questions, you can search the Knowledge Base, submit a question in the GetSatisfaction forum, or submit a help ticket.

Joe Wikert's Publishing 2020 Blog

WHO: Joe Wikert
BLOG: Joe Wikert's Publishing 2020 Blog
WHY WE THINK JOE WIKERT ROCKS: Joe Wikert is the General Manager & Publisher at O'Reilly Media, Inc. O'Reilly spreads the knowledge of innovators through books, online services and conferences. Joe Wikert's Publishing 2020 is a blog about a book publisher's future visions of print, online, video and all media formats not yet invented. This award winning blog provides fascinating insights into the publishing industry.


FOLLOW JOE WIKERT : on TypePad, Facebook, and Twitter.

Weekend project: 15 super quick CSS tips

We love the Custom CSS feature and we think there's even a lot fun to be had with it. Some of these tips come from help tickets and others you might not even know you wanted to try until now. These will work with most themes and can be adjusted to the colors you want to use.

1. Set a custom line height for text
The theme builder allows for standard sizing - normal, loose and tight. If you want to customize that, you can use:

body { line-height: 130%; }
.module-content { line-height: 120%; }

2. Round the corners of the blog container
You might want to add some space above and below so the rounding stands out.

#container {
margin-top: 15px;
margin-bottom: 15px;
border: 20px solid #FFF;
-moz-border-radius: 10px;
-webkit-border-radius: 10px;

3. Round the edges of the banner background color while you're at it

-moz-border-radius: 5px;
-webkit-border-radius: 5px;

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 5.12.06 PM

4. Hide Page titles

.entry-type-page .entry-header { display: none; }

5. Style the featured post

.entry-featured .entry-content {
background-color: #EFEFEF;
padding: 10px 20px;
border-bottom: 1px solid #CCCCCC;

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 5.14.15 PM

And you can hide the featured post's title and footer:

.entry-featured .entry-header,
.entry-featured .entry-footer { display: none; }

6. Set a default border around images in posts
This will apply to ALL of the images you include in your posts by default. This works best if you know the style you want to use and keep that consistent across all of your posts.

.entry-content img {
border: 1px solid #999;
padding: 10px;
background-color: #FFF;

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 5.15.20 PM

7. Add a fancy divider between posts
You'll first upload your image and then copy the URL so you can use it in the following code.

.entry-footer {
padding-bottom: 60px;
background: transparent url( bottom center no-repeat;

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 5.16.09 PM

8. Style every other blog comment

.comment-odd {
background-color: #EFEFEF;
padding: 10px;

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 5.16.42 PM

9. Style your author image in the sidebar

.module-photo .module-content img {
border: 2px solid #999;
background-color: #efefef;
padding: 10px;
-moz-border-radius: 10px;
-webkit-border-radius: 10px;
margin-bottom: 15px;

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 5.31.44 PM

10. Style the "email me" module

.module-email .module-content {
font-size: medium;
background: #EFEFEF;
text-align: center;
padding: 10px;

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 5.32.15 PM

11. Remove the extra space between items in the archive and categories sidebar lists

.module-archives .module-list-item,
.module-categories .module-list-item {
margin: 0;

12. Fancify the RSS "subscribe" sidebar link

.module-syndicate .module-content {
font-weight: bold;
border: 1px solid #000;
background: #EFEFEF;
text-align: center;
padding: 10px;

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 5.32.50 PM

13. Customize the search results highlight color

.search-results .search-results-highlight {
background: #88dddd;

14. Style the "Powered by TypePad" module

.module-powered .module-content {
background: #88dddd;
text-align: center;
padding: 10px;
font-size: 14px;

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 5.33.23 PM

15. Add some pizazz to your TypeList thumbnails

.typelist-thumbnailed { margin: -6px 0 20px 0; }

.typelist-thumbnail {
    min-width: 50px;
    width: 50px;
    margin: 6px 18px 0 0;
    text-align: left;
    vertical-align: middle;

.typelist-thumbnail img {
margin: 0px;
border: 1px solid #000000;
padding: 4px;

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 5.33.47 PM

From the SAY blog: There is No Muse


The act of creation is surrounded by a fog of myths.

Kirby Ferguson

We hate to be the ones to break it to you, but there is no muse. While we mythologize the creative process with images of lightning bolts and beautiful goddesses inspiring the divine act of putting pen to paper, chisel to stone or finger to tablet, the reality is a bit more prosaic. Creativity isn't delivered from above, it comes from hard work...and a good set of pre-existing materials.


This week's "This Week in Venn" over on the SAY blog sparks a discussion on the nature of creativity and what it means to be truly original.

Is everything a remix? What does it mean to be original in a world full of reblogging and remixing?

Seems like good fodder for a Friday afternoon... :)

A Stunning Banner Image - We Can Help You With That

We've been posting a lot about banner images recently (how to add a personalized banner to your blog, a fancy trick for displaying a different banner each time your blog loads) - and with good reason. The banner image is the main focus of your blog's design. It's the first thing people notice when they view the blog and what they'll most remember about it.

Many people are creative and artistic and can make their own banner image. But if you're like me and you're not, TypePad Blog Services is here to help! Our banner designer, Melanie, can create a stunning, professional banner image for your blog.

The Banner Design Service costs $300. We create several banner proposals for you. You pick the one you like best and we adjust it to look just right for your blog. Then we upload it for you and make sure it fits in with your blog design. It's a terrific value and costs much less than a full blog design service.

Take a look at some recent banners we've designed:



Like what you see? If you're interested in having us design a wonderful banner image for your blog, sign up today!

Pots & Pins

WHO: Nan Slaughter
BLOG: Pots & Pins
WHY WE THINK POTS & PINS ROCKS: The delightfully crafty and clever Nan Slaughter writes children's books, creates beautiful quilts, and cooks up tasty dishes. Luckily for her readers, she also keeps a blog about her adventures, serving up relatable, personable, and entertaining slices of life. Pots & Pins features recipes, step by step instructions, and helpful advice, all wrapped up in a well-designed package. Bon Appétit!



Meet Some of Our Get Satisfaction Champions!

You might remember a few weeks back when we said we’d be looking for Get Satisfaction Champions to make the TypePad community an ever better place. Since then, a couple of you have answered our call, so we wanted to introduce you to our newest TypePad Champions!

First up is David Ewart. David blogs over at Holy Textures. David became a Get Satisfaction Champion by pointing out an issue Adobe was having that impacted .pdf files. Thanks for keeping everyone apprised of the situation, David!

Next up is Cookie. Cookie blogs over at Shut Up & Knit! Cookie has helped out in several topics, but she first came to our attention when she helped a new user with their registration issue. We appreciate you helping out the newbies, Cookie!

Not only did Cookie and David get a spiffy little Champ icon for their avatars at Get Satisfaction, they also got credit applied to their TypePad accounts!

If you’d like to help out your fellow TypePad subscribers in Get Satisfaction, remember you can do so by not just answering questions, but by making suggestions to improve a blog, starting a discussion on a useful topic, or anything else that comes to mind. The TypePad support staff closely monitors (and participates) in the forum, so we’ll keep an eye out for anything useful!

Head over to TypePad’s Get Satisfaction page and help make the community better!