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Posts from August 2011

It's Me, KP

NAME: Kelly Purkey
BLOG: It's Me, KP
WHY WE THINK IT'S ME, KP ROCKS: Kelly Purkey is a Manhattan dwelling graphic designer and scrapbooker extraordinaire, but It's Me, KP is not your typical scrapbooking blog. Created using TypePad's Theme Builder, Kelly has put her stellar design skills to excellent use to create a great looking design that showcases engaging, inviting posts and scrapbook pages that are modern, clean, and hip. Clever and lovely!


FOLLOW IT'S ME, KP: on TypePad, Twitter.

The TypePad Knowledge Base has a new look!

Last Thursday, we released a new design for the TypePad Knowledge Base. We're excited about the design as the entire Knowledge Base was created using TypePad and is a great example of what you can accomplish with an Advanced Template Set.

Highlights of the New Design

TypePad's blog search provides better results with the best matches at the top of the results page. You too can utilize the Blog Search on your own blog. Each article also has related keywords added to make sure the article appears in search results even if you don't know the exact terminology.

Hover your mouse over the Help Topics menu items to open a pop-up box with quick links to featured articles by topic.

TypePad Knowledge Base

On the Knowledge Base front page, you can get a quick glimpse of the current topics in the TypePad forum at GetSatisfaction. Click the GetSatisfaction icon to go directly to the forum to submit your question, see if anyone has the same question, or answer another blogger's question to become a champion.

The list of Top Issues and tips for resolving problems are listed on every page. Click the top issues heading to see if the problem you are encountering matches an existing topic. We'll try to include tips for resolving any browser related issues or other problems and include updates on the status of any issue in the related thread.

Brianna, who works in TypePad support, developed the site. She also works on custom design services for TypePad bloggers, and you can see an example of the work done by Brianna and other members of the support team in the blog services portfolio.

The entire TypePad support team - Laura, Colleen, Kymberlie, Jen, Melanie, and Brianna - wrote and transferred the articles to TypePad as new Pages.

Is there a tip or article you would like to see added to the Knowledge Base? Let us know in the comments or the forum.

Known Issues

  • The Knowledge Base search and a couple links in the Help section of your TypePad account are not working. While we work to resolve this, go directly to to search for articles.
  • We know some broken links in the Knowledge Base are still eluding us. We're continuing to go through articles double-checking links and making corrections.
  • Any links to Knowledge Base articles you may have saved should still work if the link includes However, old links using will redirect to the front page of new Knowledge Base. Using the Knowledge Base search, you can look up the article and get the new article URL.

Did You Know?: Adding the Search Module to Your Blog

As your blog grows, you’ll have more and more content added to your blog. While this is great – after all, your readers want to read more! – it can make it harder for them to find specific posts or content that they’re looking for. A great way to do this is to add the TypePad search module to your sidebar.

Adding the search module is very easy to do! For people with classic layout blogs, just go to Design > Content, choose the Search Module category, select Search, click the “Add this module” button, and save your changes. If you have an Advanced Template Set, you can find the code you need to add in our Knowledge Base.

Once you do that, you’ll see the search module in your sidebar, just like this:

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

Featured Friday: Let Us Entertain You!

By now, you're probably familiar with Featured TypePad, the blog where we showcase the best TypePad blogs. There are several things that can make a blog special, from design to content to narrative style - or a combination of all three. Each week, we endeavor to bring you a variety of great blogs in hopes that they'll inspire you - and become a new favorite read! This week we're featuring great blogs with a variety of topics including entertainment (music and TV), theology, design, and marketing! Read on and find your new favorite:

Music Swims Back to Me

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Note To Self

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Influential Marketing Blog

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[I] Love Life

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Bill's Faith Matters Weblog

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Eureka Unscripted

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We look forward each week to your suggestions on blogs to feature, so keep them coming! Submit your blog, or another great TypePad blog - it might just end up here!

Eureka Unscripted

NAME: Eureka Writers
BLOG: Eureka Unscripted
WHY WE THINK EUREKA UNSCRIPTED ROCKS: If you're a fan of the popular Syfy channel show Eureka, you'll love the Eureka Unscripted blog, an inside look into the show by the people who write it. From behind the scenes sneak peeks to episode discussions to glimpses into the lives and personalities of the writers, Eureka Unscripted is a fantastic way to add even more to your Eureka experience!


FOLLOW EUREKA UNSCRIPTED: on TypePad, Twitter, and Facebook.

Bill's 'Faith Matters' Weblog

NAME: Bill Tammeus
BLOG: Bill's 'Faith Matters' Weblog
WHY WE THINK BILL'S 'FAITH MATTERS' WEBLOG ROCKS: As the former Faith columnist for The Kansas City Star, Bill Tammeus is no stranger to writing on matters of religion and ethics. With a thoughtful, seasoned approach to all topics related to faith, Bill's 'Faith Matters' Weblog is intriguing, engaging, and thoroughly thought-provoking. A highly recommended read.



Keep It Simple: Try out TypePad's design tips on a test blog.

Are you interested in trying out a new design for your blog? Do the weekend project posts intrigue you? Perhaps you've thought about tackling a design project but are worried that tinkering with the look of your live blog will cause things to look funky. Well, if you're a TypePad Pro level blogger, your worrying days are over. All TypePad Pro plans allow you to create multiple blogs, so you can create a test blog specifically for developing your design. Let's get started!

Create a New Blog

Open the Blogs menu and select Add A Blog. You'll be prompted to enter a blog name and folder name. Choose a blog name which makes it easy to identify the blog as your test blog. Since we're creating a test blog for designing only, uncheck the Publicize this blog box, and click Create Blog.

You also have the option to password protect your blog. While unchecking the publicize option will keep search engines from crawling your blog, the site will still be visible if accessed directly at the blog address. Adding password protect at Settings > Basics will add a password prompt to you site further limiting who can view the site while you are designing it. See the article on setting up password protection.

Start a New Design

On the test blog, you have the option to start a new design from scratch or start with a copy of an existing design.

To create a new design, go to the Design tab for your blog and click the Create a theme button. Choose one of the left menu options to reveal the different pre-made and advanced design options. Under Customizable, you will find the Theme Builder and Advanced Templates custom design tools. After selecting a theme, click Choose to start working on the design.

Check the box to Apply the design to your blog and click Save Changes.

To start with an existing design, you'll first need to create a copy of the design. Go to the Design tab and scroll down to the list of designs in your account. Next to the existing design, open the Actions menu and select Duplicate.

The list of designs will refresh with the new design added as a "Copy of..." the original design. Open the Actions menu next to the copy and select Apply to begin using the design for your test. You may also want to Rename the design to distinguish it from others.

Now, you can edit the design to style the Navigation Bar with CSS, add a rotating banner, display recent photos in sidebar, or try out any other tips in the Knowledge Base and at Everything TypePad.

While you are working on the design, click the View Blog link anytime to see how your blog appears in a browser.

Apply New Design

Once you have completed your design on the test blog, you can apply your new design to your existing blog in a few clicks.

Go to the Blogs menu and select the blog to which you want to apply your new design. Click to the Design tab and scroll down to the list of designs. Next to the new design, open the Actions menu and click Apply. That's it! The new design is applied to your main blog. Click View Blog to see your new design applied to your blog.

[I] Love Life

NAME: Kal Barteski
BLOG: [I] Love Life
WHY WE THINK [I] LOVE LIFE ROCKS: Kal Barteski is an artist who paints, designs, photographs and writes in all sorts of media. She's a award-winning illustrator and graphic designer, and (in her own words) dog-walker, mom, poet and big-time coffee drinker. Kal writes the blog [I] Love Life, teaches a brush script workshop called Script School, and designs and sells art, paintings, posters, prints and books at [Buy] Love Life. Her gorgeous blog was created on TypePad's Theme Builder and is full of beautiful photos, engaging anecdotes, and inspiration to spare. Gorgeous!


FOLLOW [I] LOVE LIFE: on TypePad and Twitter

Influential Marketing Blog

NAME: Rohit Bhargava
BLOG: Influential Marketing Blog
WHY WE THINK INFLUENTIAL MARKETING BLOG ROCKS: The Influential Marketing blog focuses on sharing useful marketing, advertising and PR ideas to help anyone promote their business, products or services better. The topics covered by Rohit Bhargava include social media and blogs, the role of marketing in our culture/society, global marketing trends, marketing in a recession, small business marketing strategy, personality and humanity in business and general advertising and PR trends. This blog is a must for marketing professionals, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in business.


FOLLOW ROHIT BHARGAVA: on TypePad, Facebook, and Twitter

Weekend Project: Faux Columns with Custom CSS

CSS is a great tool for adding customization and flexibility to your blog's design. However, it does have its limitations. One limitation you may have run into yourself if you use the Theme Builder looks like this:


Notice how the border to the left of the sidebar stops prematurely? This is because the border can only extend as far as the content. This is the expected behavior with CSS but it doesn't look great. How can we get around that?

The solution is surprisingly simple - use an image behind the columns to fake the look of the background colors and borders extending beyond the content. A List Apart introduced this concept years ago and called it Faux Columns. Today, we're going to adapt that idea to work with your TypePad blog.

First, you'll need a background image. For reference, the image we're using for our example is available here. Go to Blogs > Design > Theme and see how wide each column in your design is. Your blocks of color should be those same widths, with borders between if you'd like. The overall width of the image should match the width of each column in your Theme added together. You can use solid colors, gradients, patterns, etc. It's up to you but keep legibility in mind!

Next, upload the image in Library > File Manager. You'll need the URL for the image later.

Now, go to Blogs > Design > Custom CSS and add this code:

#container-inner { background: transparent; }

This will remove the existing color from behind the container so your image will be able to show. You'll also need to make the existing colors behind each column transparent. The exact code for this depends on which layout you've chosen. For a two column layout with the sidebar on the right, the code would look like:

.layout-two-column-right #alpha-inner { background: transparent; }
.layout-two-column-right #beta-inner { background: transparent; }

Finally, you'll add the code to put your image behind the container, repeating vertically.

#container {
background: #FFFFFF url( repeat-y;

The result should look something like this:


Notice how the border and background behind the sidebar extend beyond the content? This concept allows for a lot of flexibility in design from simply having a border extend all the way down the page to elaborate background patterns. Have fun!