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Posts from June 2011

Weekend Project: Rotate those Banners!

Have you ever considered having your banner change each time your blog is loaded? Ever created two or more banners you absolutely love, which perfectly fit your blog, but then had a terrible time choosing which banner you should use?

With this Weekend Project, you won't have that problem!

Here's what you'll need for this project:

  • Access to the Theme Builder feature (Pro-Plus and above)
  • Access to the Custom CSS feature (Pro-Unlimited and above)
  • Access to the Blog Description at Settings > Basics
  • Banner images you simply must have on your blog (tip: make sure they're all the same size)
  • A rotating image script

* note: this project utilizes the Theme Builder, it does not add any code via HTML or other advanced methods.

To get started, use the Theme Builder to begin building your custom theme. In the section for the banner, make certain to select the "text" option, not the "image" option. Weird, right? Don't worry, it'll make sense in the end.

Next, create your banner images, making sure to give them the same height and width so that they all fit within the same amount of visual space. If you're not sure what size to make them, then we have some tips on choosing a banner size that will help.

In the example below, I have created two images that are 960px wide and 200px tall...


Once you have your custom banner images created, and saved to your computer, upload them to your File Manager. You'll want to keep the File Manager open as it will come in handy in the following step.

Now here is the part where we setup the rotating script. Thankfully, there are numerous sites available which serve that very purpose. We're offering a link to a single resource, but you can find your own with a query for "free banner rotation generator" in your favorite search engine.

The one we're sharing has ads and pop-ups, but several users have used it with great success. The form is simple to understand, and generates the necessary script. If you have a favorite resource for this type of script, make sure to share it in the comments below!

To generate the script for the banner rotation, go to HTML Basix. Scroll down a bit, then select the following recommended settings:

  • New image with every page load
  • Open on the same page
  • The width of the banner images (for our example above, that would be 960)
  • The height of the banner images (for our example above, that would be 200)

The next set of fields will be for the image URLs, the links they should go to, and the text you want to appear should someone hover over them. You will fill each set of three fields for every image you want to appear in rotation.

To fit our example, we would enter details twice, which would look something like this...


To find the URL of your banner images, you would open the File Manager, then click on the filename for each of your banner images. The images will open in a new tab or window of your browser, and you can copy the URL of the image from the address bar of your browser.

Once complete, click the "Generate" button at the bottom of the screen. You'll then see a new window open with the code you need to use. Copy the code provided to you, then, in your blog, go to Settings > Basics. Paste the script into the Description field and save your changes.

If you load your blog at this point, you'll notice that the blog title still appears in the banner area. Mosey yourself on over to Design > Custom CSS, then enter:

#banner-header { display: none; }

Click the Preview button to see the changes, then click the Save button so that your blog reflects those changes.

* note: this tip may not work completely as expected due to theme variances. If this is the case for you, feel free to open a ticket within your account, then let us know you're trying to complete the Weekend Project for rotating banner images, and which part isn't working for you.

Featured Friday! The Best of TypePad Blogs

Here's what's new on the Featured TypePad Blog:

Royal Tunbridge Wells

I Listen To Everything

Dan Santat: Author / Illustrator

Love My Dress

Bothersome Things

Shannon Eileen

Every week we round up a great sampling of the blogs we love that were created by TypePad bloggers just like you. Keep those submissions coming! Just head over to the Featured TypePad Blog and click "Suggest A Site"!

Happiness Is...

WHO: Shannon Eileen
BLOG: Happiness Is...
WHY WE THINK HAPPINESS IS... ROCKS: Seattle dwelling singer-songwriter Shannon Eileen has cultivated an absolutely gorgeous blog that focuses on the things that make her happy. Full of musings on music, art, travel, food, film and more and accompanied by beautiful photographs both curated from around the internet and taken by Shannon herself. Happiness Is... is guaranteed to make anyone else with an eye for good design happy, too.


FOLLOW HAPPINESS IS...: TypePad and Twitter.

Bothersome Things

WHO: Eric Highland & Jeff Wood
BLOG: Bothersome Things
WHY WE THINK BOTHERSOME THINGS ROCKS: Eric (Highland) and Jeff (Wood) are gay, politically Independent & incorrect, agnostic, and pleasantly bent. They live in Asheville, NC with their two dogs, where they create a fantastic podcast full of topical, satirical conversations and discussions of bothersome current events.


Bothersome Things is a great example of how you can use your TypePad blog to its fullest; in this case, as the support site for a really fantastic podcast whose subjects run the gamut of life. Bothersome Things Podcasts are produced and posted each Tuesday and every other weekend - weather, health and sanity permitting. Also, during a blue moon and 6 days after the Briss of any second born child of a family member on Highland's side of the family who might be Jewish. The podcast isn't gay in general, but does include topics with homosexual tendencies that might be in the news. Watch out, you might be compelled to listen to all of the back issues at once, marathon-style!


Keep It Simple: Composing posts offline

It is finally summer. Time for trips on planes, trains, and automobiles to visit family, explore the world, or just relax at the beach. Finding an internet connection can be difficult when on vacation but you still want to share your adventures. There are several options for composing your posts offline to be ready to publish when you get off the plane or step out of the sun.

Use the secret email address for your blog to publish a post via email or text message. Image, video, and audio files can be added as attachments to your email and be embedded in the published post. At Settings > Post By Email, you can get the secret email address. The Knowledge Base has more information.

Microsoft Word includes a built in Publish as a blog post feature allowing you to compose and publish your post without the need to sign in to TypePad. You can compose a Word document with images and formatting, and when you click Publish in Word, the published post will retain the formatting. You can also manage previously published posts directly in Word. Information on setting up Word to publish to your blog is available in the Post to blog from Microsoft Word article.

Other desktop publishers are available to compose and publish your posts without signing in to TypePad. For Windows, we recommend the free Windows Live Writer application. For Macs, you have MarsEdit which is not a free tool, or you can check the free application, Qumana.

Enjoy your summer!

Did You Know?: Using a Banner with Your Blog

Building on last week’s theme builder “Did You Know?” post, it’s fairly straightforward to add your own, personal banner to your TypePad blog.  Using your own banner can really strengthen your blog’s brand or identity and solidify its theme with your readers.

To do this with the Theme Builder, simply go to the Design tab and click the Theme Builder link.  There, click the “Text or Image” header, select the Image option, click the Browse button, navigate to the image on your computer, select it, and save your changes.  Viola!


The Mosaic and Chroma themes also make it easy to add your own banner as well.

If you change your banner and still aren’t seeing the new one, you may be viewing a cached (older) version of your site and may need to clear browser’s cache and/or do a hard refresh.  To do a hard refresh, on a PC, hold the Ctrl and F5 keys at the same time while viewing your blog. On a Mac, hold down the Command key and click the Refresh button. We have information on how to do this in various browsers here.

If you’re a Pro Unlimited subscriber and using one of our many pre-defined themes, you can also use custom CSS to place your own banner on a blog using one of our designs.

If you haven’t created a custom banner, but are eager to make your blog as personal as it can be, we’ve got instructions on how to make your own.

We can even create a banner for you with our banner design service, if designing your own is a little out of reach.  You can see some examples of our banners at April 1886, The Nesting Corner, and Adventures in the World of Mobile Knowledge Workers.

We hope you found this useful! Check back every other week for more "Did You Know?" tips to help make your blog even better!

Weekend Project: Styling pagination links with Custom CSS

Time for another handy CSS tip! This time, we're styling the pagination links that direct readers to more posts from your main page, as well as category and datebased pages. The first step is making sure you have text filled in for those links in Blogs > Settings > Posts. The link text can be anything you wish - just keep in mind that you want it to be clear to the reader that there are more great posts to read if they click those links!

Continue reading "Weekend Project: Styling pagination links with Custom CSS" »

Getting your blog off to a great start with the Power Launch Service

Discover TypePad ServicesHave you recently started a TypePad blog or are planning to and you've realized you need a little extra help getting it up and running? Our Power Launch Service may be just what you're looking for! The Power Launch is very similar to our Tune-Up Service but is focused on new bloggers who are just launching their blogs. It's a great option if you're not sure exactly what you need to get going with your blog.

The Power Launch Service costs $349. We evaluate your brand new blog in nearly 20 areas, provide you with a report listing our recommendations for the best features to add, then implement the changes for you. All three phases are covered in the price. You can read more about the areas covered by the Power Launch Service here. Whether you would like to launch your new blog, but aren't sure where to start, or if you would like to have somebody else take care of setting up your blog design and features so you can concentrate on beginning to write great content, the Power Launch Service has you covered. Sign up now!

Did You Know?: Creating Your Own Theme

Did you know that with TypePad you can create your own personalized design? This is not only easy but fun to do with the Theme Builder.

The Theme Builder allows you to customize many elements of your TypePad blog’s design including uploading your own banner, selecting your own fonts, choosing colors that fit your own personal brand or favorites, and more. You can see a few examples of the Theme Builder in action at and

To start building your own custom theme, Pro members would first go to the Design tab and click the green “Choose a theme…” button. There, select the Customizable option, click on Theme Builder, and the green Choose button on the right side.

On the next page, select the different options you’d like to use like colors, fonts, and column widths, check the box to apply the design to your blog, and save your changes.

If you ever want to go back to one of your previously selected designs, just go back to the Design tab, find the design under the “Your Designs” section, and select Apply from the Actions drop down menu. You can learn more about this here.

We hope you found this useful! Check back every other week for more "Did You Know?" tips to help make your blog even better!

Weekend Tips: CSS for your blog

We've discussed the Custom CSS feature before, and that's because it's one of the best ways to customize your blog to look the way you want. Because of that, we've decided to compile a quick list of great CSS tips you can find in the Knowledge Base.

We hope this gives you plenty to read and learn. We'll be back with more great tips and weekend projects, so definitely keep checking the blog!