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Posts from July 2011

Mommy Shorts

WHO: Ilana Wiles
BLOG: Mommy Shorts
WHY WE THINK MOMMY SHORTS ROCKS: Ilana Wiles is a working mom from NYC who is, in her own words, totally exhausted. She lives with her husband Mike and their delightfully adorable daughter Mazzy in downtown Manhattan, where she pens Mommy Shorts, a fantastic blog that delivers anecdotes, interviews, and advice - with plenty of wit! This is not your average "mommy blog" - Mommy Shorts is bold and bright, and we're not just talking about the content. Ilana designed Mommy Shorts using our Theme Builder on Basic Templates, adding some serious character and design mojo and making it a stellar example of what can be done with TypePad. No need to look further for your next favorite read; Mommy Shorts is the total package - a great looking blog with entertaining, engaging content.


FOLLOW MOMMY SHORTS : on TypePad, Facebook, and Twitter.

enJOY it

WHO: Elisa Blaha
BLOG: enJOY it: A Personal & Craft Blog by Elise Blaha Cripe
WHY WE THINK ENJOY IT ROCKS: enJOY it is the personal blog of Elise Blaha Cripe, a crafter, dreamer, and adventurer extraordinaire. Here, she shares her projects, thoughts & aforementioned adventures, and rather delightfully, too. Her blog is absolutely packed with gorgeous photos, excellent tutorials, and features stellar advice on running a small business, taking a great photo, DIY-ing just about anything, and how to enJOY it! Elise lives in San Diego, California with her husband, Paul. She makes beautiful things, has an online shop, and hosts online craft workshops. Her blog is a fantastic example of how a personal project can turn into a business and become a great community for like minded people.


FOLLOW ENJOY IT : on TypePad and Twitter.

Keep It Simple: Speed Up Your Blog

What’s your attention span when waiting for a website to load? This is a question to keep in mind when designing your blog. With some small changes to how you arrange content, you can speed up the load time of your blog.

Before making changes to your blog, get an idea of how quickly your blog loads using Stopwatch or Pingdom.

  • Use a two column right or three column right layout. By placing the sidebars to the right of the main content column, your new posts will load quickly and be the first thing visitors to your site see.
  • Keep widgets to a minimum. Widgets are cool but take more time to load on your site. Only use widgets which you feel enhance the content of your blog and place the widgets in the far right column. See our list of recommended widgets.
  • Add a page break to longer posts. The split extended entry feature allows you to break up your content and display an introduction followed by a Continue reading… link to view the full post. Place images and videos below the fold for quicker loading of your front page.
  • Insert image thumbnails. Large images take longer to load, but you can insert smaller thumbnail images in your posts which link to the full size image in a pop-up window. Also check out the thumbnail gallery feature available in beta.
  • Reduce the number of posts displaying per page. At Settings > Posts, you can limit the number of posts displaying on the front page of your blog.

If you do see your blog loading slowly out of the blue, pay attention to the content not loading on your blog when the page is seemingly stalled. A third-party script or image may not be responding preventing your blog from loading completely. You can watch the status bar in your browser to see what website is showing as “Waiting…” for a long time. Also check which module should display after the last item to load and remove it at Design > Content.

For more tips, see the article in the Knowledge Base on improving your blog’s load time.

After updating your blog, go back to Stopwatch or Pingdom to compare the load time. Even an improvement of a second can keep someone from navigating away from your blog.

Weekend Project: Displaying Recent Photos in Advanced Templates

Warning: geekery ahead! If you're an Advanced Template user and want to add even more fun stuff to your blog, this post is for you. If you're a Basic Templates user and want to display the photos recently added to your blog all in one spot, you already have this functionality available as part of our Mixed Media layouts.

When you add an image in a post in TypePad, the backend generates a whole slew of image thumbnails that you can access via special TypePad tags. In this tutorial, we're going to use those tags to display a small gallery of image thumbnails in the sidebar of a blog. The special tags will generate a squared thumbnail of the first image inserted into each post, which link back to the associated post's individual archive URL. Below is an example on a live blog:

The last image in this example is a placeholder that links to a post that doesn't have an image associated with it. Your placeholder image can be anything you'd like, you'll just want to make sure it's the same dimensions as the thumbnails you're generating.

The code for the above example:

<h2 class="module-header">Recent Photos</h2>
        <ul class="sidebar-thumbnails">
            <MTEntries lastn="10">
<li class="thumb"><a href="<$MTEntryPermalink$>"><img src="<$MTEntryPhotoURL spec="115si"$>" alt="<$MTEntryTitle$>" title="<$MTEntryTitle$>"></a></li>

<!-- Posts without images show a placeholder -->
<li class="thumb"><a href="<$MTEntryPermalink$>"><img src="" alt="<$MTEntryTitle$>" title="<$MTEntryTitle$>"></a></li>

And the CSS used to style the thumbnails:

.sidebar-thumbnails {
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
list-style: none;

.thumb img {
margin: 0 5px 5px 0;
border: 1px solid #000;
float: left;

You can, of course, use CSS to style the images however you wish. The thumbnail size is determined by the <$MTEntryPhotoURL spec="115si"$> tag. In this case, the thumbnail is 115 pixels wide and 115 pixels in height. There are eight different thumbnail sizes available so you should be able to find one that fits your blog's design.

Bloom Blog

WHO: Bloom Design
BLOG: The Bloom Blog
WHY WE THINK THE BLOOM BLOG ROCKS: Never underestimate the power of good design. Bloom is fanatical about brands and the single minded ideas that drive them. The Bloom blog is a platform for their strategic and design teams to share their thoughts on design and interesting or unusual brand and design trends. The content is stellar, and the blog itself is gorgeous - a superb example of what can be done with the TypePad Theme Builder. Design enthusiasts will love this blog.


FOLLOW BLOOM DESIGN : on TypePad and Twitter.

The Wide-Eyed Legless: Mermaid Blog Makes a Splash


LaWanica has a real eye for style, and a passion for mermaids. Her blog, The Wide-Eyed Legless shares art, fashion, and other mermaid-related creations. LaWanica had a design idea that would make The Wide-Eyed Legless the blog of her dreams, but she didn't know how to make it work on TypePad.

Enter the TypePad design services team. Working together with LaWanica, we took her mock-up and the images she had created, and implemented the design on her blog. Now The Wide-Eyed Legless has a gorgeous new look.

Got a design idea of your own? Contact our design services team and tell us about it. You may be surprised at what's possible on TypePad. And be sure to visit The Wide-Eyed Legless for a daily dose of mermaids.

P.S. You can view this and many other great blogs in our portfolio.

Teaspoons & Petals

WHO: Alexis Siemons
BLOG: Teaspoons & Petals
WHY WE THINK TEASPOONS & PETALS ROCKS: Alexis Siemons knows a lot about tea. As a tea enthusiast, she blogs about her culinary and stylish adventures with tea on Teaspoons & Petals. Her line of haiku teaware has been featured in DailyCandy, and she recently launched a series of culinary tea classes. She also consults with tea companies and guides their creative marketing strategies. Her blog is informative, detailed, and gorgeous, full of exquisite photographs to spark inspiration, and more information about tea than you ever knew existed! Alex has managed to pair this sweet sip with her chic style, all wrapped up in a lovely package.



Google +1 For TypePad Blogs

At TypePad, we work hard to make it easy for you to share your blog posts with various social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. In addition to these great services, you can now easily add Google +1 to your TypePad blogs!

All you have to do is go to Design > Content, click the pencil icon for Post Footer, check the box for Google +1, and save your changes. You’ll then see this in your post footer:


When your readers click the +1 button, their Google Circle will be able to see these links under the +1 tab of your Google+ profile (if you've shown this tab on your profile, that is). Right now these aren’t showing up in your activity stream, but we suspect Google will have many ways of sharing this information to your Circles in the future.

You can read more about the Google +1 button in our Knowledge Base.

Did You Know?: Adding a Background to Your Blog

In our Did You Know? series of posts, we’ve given you some great ideas on how to customize your blog. If you’d like to take it to the next step and add a background to your blog, there a few different ways you can do this.

If you’re a Pro Unlimited subscriber, you can use Custom CSS to add an image to your blog’s background. While using CSS may sound intimidating, it’s really not that difficult and we even provide you with the code you’d need.

If you’re not a Pro Unlimited subscriber or have seen one of the many Blogger backgrounds offered and would like to add one to your TypePad blog, that’s a pretty straightforward process too.

For example, let’s say you like one of the Shabby Blogs backgrounds. Just click the button to get the code for the background you’d like to add and copy it from the box that opens up.

You’d then go to Design > Content within TypePad and select Widgets. Choose the “Embed your HTML” option and click the “Add this module” button. You would then paste this code into the new pop-up window. Since the code is all javascript/CSS, nothing will actually show up in your sidebar, so it won’t interrupt the flow of your blog’s content.

In addition to Shabby Blogs, there’s more places to find backgrounds 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!

Chotie Darling

WHO: Chotie's Daughter
BLOG: Chotie Darling
WHY WE THINK CHOTIE DARLING ROCKS: Chotie kept every letter from her sweetheart Richard ('Dicker') Williams - they tell their story of World War II in the time that it happened, 70 years ago. Chotie's daughter writes this compelling blog of love letters, posted in real time, accompanied by real life historical background. You don't have to be a history buff to love this blog; the letters are an amazing window into a relationship - and a time - long passed.


FOLLOW CHOTIE DARLING : on TypePad and Twitter.