Previous month:
April 2013
Next month:
June 2013

Posts from May 2013

Typepad 101: Cross-Posting from Instagram to Your Blog

Welcome to Typepad 101! Whether you want to add some new features to your blog's design, or simply make your blog more functional, Typepad 101 has you covered. This tip is suitable for bloggers at all levels - no special tricks or upgrades needed!

If you're on Instagram (the convenient, fun way to share photos with friends and family), chances are you've wished for a way to cross-post your photos to your Typepad blog. Instagram hasn't yet added an option to publish directly to your blog from the app, but thanks to IFTTT and Gmail, cross posting from Instagram to Typepad is not only possible, but hassle-free.

IFTTT is a service that lets you create connections between other services where no connection previously existed, using their special blend of channels, triggers, and actions (read more here). Just create an IFTTT recipe, add your ingredients, and boom: you're photo blogging.

To get started, either log in to IFTTT or start an account (it's free!), then click Create a Recipe:


The next steps are pretty obvious! Just start clicking:


And then!


Woo, easy! Next, choose a "trigger," the thing that makes the cross-posting magic happen. If you want to have any new photo you post to Instagram appear on your blog, just choose "Any new photo by you". Want to have only specifically tagged photos post to your blog? No problem! Choose "New photo by you tagged" - you'll specify which tag during the next step.


Then just click Create Trigger, and IFTTT will take you here:


Next, choose an action channel - in this case, we'll want to choose Gmail, so make sure you already have a free Gmail account. Click the red Gmail icon, then click Send an email and enter your information, starting with your Typepad Secret Email Address (make sure to use your own - it will not look the same as the one in the example), which you can find at Blogs > Settings > Post by Email (read more here).

Next, you'll want to customize the rest of the fields or leave them as is - for instance, you may want to edit the Body field if you'd prefer for your post not to say "via Instagram".


Click Create Action, and you're almost done!

Finally, give your recipe a name, and click Create Recipe. That's it! IFTTT will take you back home, where your new recipe is on and ready to go. There, you can turn your recipe off and on, delete it, share it with others, and edit, check, or view it.

IFTTT runs triggers about every 15 minutes, so if you don't see your next Instagram photo on your blog right away, don't worry! It will appear there in short order, automagically!

Want to see Instagram to Typepad cross-posting in action? Just check out my test blog, right here! And be sure to leave us a comment (or post in the community) telling us your favorite ways to cross-post to Typepad!

Spotlight: Family Friendly Summer Projects

Each week, we scout for great posts in our Typepad Showcase that fit a particular theme and are guaranteed to inspire. Summer vacation is right around the corner, which means school's out, and cookouts are in! This week, we've rounded up some great posts that will help you get your family ready and rocking with plenty of projects - just click through the photos to check 'em out!

Let's get to work!

Over at Family Bites, Jan has put together 29 Secrets to Simple Summer Entertaining, covering everything from cooking to decorating to making it fun, easy, and kid friendly!


James is cooking up some fresh, homemade ketchup that's sure to knock the socks off your cookout guests! Head over to Bleubird Vintage for the goods:


In a gardening mood? Join us over at The Wearwithal, where Stephanie is teaching us how to DIY our very own Wood Scrap Planter:


And Jean at The Artful Parent brings us the how-to for pretty, super kid-friendly "stained glass" flower crowns and necklaces!


We hope you enjoyed this week's roundup of fantastic Typepad blogs! Check out more great blogs right here. Interested in joining the Typepad Showcase? Submit your blog today - you might just see yourself in the spotlight!

Typepad 101: This or that?

Typepad offers a lot of features - this we know - but sometimes you may not know which of those features to use for what you're trying to accomplish. We're here to help!

Post or Page?

PostvspagePages are used for static content - contact pages, biographies, lists of links that you don't want to include in your sidebar, etc. You might update or correct it on occasion but it's not timely like a blog post. You can use Pages for supplemental information for your blog or use a series of Pages to create a traditional site, all on Typepad. We've used that concept to build our Knowledge Base - everything you see uses Typepad's Pages feature.

Posts are timely, so they're included in your blog's RSS feed, while Pages are not. Another benefit to Posts is that you can organize them using the Categories feature to help your readers find related topics more easily. Pages stand alone and aren't linked to one another so we recommend using categorized posts if you have a group of articles you want to link together, like recipes or book reviews.

Notes TypeList or "Embed Your Own HTML" Module?

TypeLists are great if you think you'll be using the content on more than one blog or if you want to have several items all together in one list under one heading. You can create and manage TypeLists via the Library link at the top of any page.

The "Embed your own HTML" module is associated with an individual blog's design, via the Content page. You can add any code you'd like and come back to the Content page to add/edit/remove that code later. The module does not show a header on the blog, just the output of the code you've entered.

We have more information about adding custom sidebar content in our Knowledge Base.

Basic or Advanced Templates?

In almost all cases, we recommend using Basic Templates. You have acess to features, like Custom CSS and the head module, that will allow most users to customize their design to their heart's content without getting into template code.

There are times when Advanced Templates are the better option - if you want to create a non-traditional layout, have special formatting you need to use, etc. However, because Advanced Templates are coded by hand using HTML, CSS and Typepad tags, we strongly suggest seeing if Basic Templates will work before committing to Advanced Templates. You can always reach out to us to check!

Have you ever wondered which feature to use? Let us know in the comments and we can lend a hand!

Featured Blog: Eating Dirt

NAME: Heather Knape
BLOG: Eating Dirt
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Eating Dirt was originally meant as a way to record what grew in Heather Knape's garden and how her family liked to eat it. Over time, it has morphed into a robust blog that links the seasonal produce from Knape's garden and CSA box with recipes and books. On any given night, you can read about what her family is eating, where the recipe is from, and how it turns out.


FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter

Wanted: One Support Superstar

You're an active, happy Typepad blogger with a passion for helping other bloggers. When it comes to engaging your audience you've got all the right moves, with stellar communication skills and plenty of experience with social media. Your customer service skills are bar none, and you dig making other people happy. You love design, HTML, and CSS, and you're pretty good at it, too.

Sound familiar? Then have we got a job for you.

The Typepad Team is looking to grow by hiring one new Community & Support Administrator. It's a part-time position, which is perfect if you're looking to fill your extra time with a fun, challenging job that will net you the camaraderie of a great team - oh, and some cold, hard cash, too.

Check out our official listing below, and if you think the job is for you, head over and apply right here.

Typepad Community & Support Administrator (part-time)
Customer Service | US - Remote, United States

We are looking for an active blogger who has a passion for helping others blog with Typepad by responding to questions from the community. The right person will elegantly answer questions from bloggers with a wide range of product expertise. Issues can include helping users sign in to Typepad, troubleshooting code errors, providing recommendations for updating a blog's design to name a few. This is a remote position and equipment will be provided.


  • Prioritize incoming inquires from the Typepad community
  • Answer questions about getting started with and using Typepad
  • Troubleshoot and resolve customer issues


  • Extensive knowledge of the Typepad blogging platform
  • Excellent customer service service skills and desire to delight
  • Ability to provide instructions for both new and experienced bloggers
  • Excellent communication skills - email, social media, forums, chat, etc
  • Experience with Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Experience with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari browsers
  • Familiarity with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media tools
  • Availability to work Saturday and/or Sunday for at least 8 hours each week
  • This is a part-time position for 20 hours per week

Preferred Skills:

  • Previous experience in web or email based customer support
  • Experience with CSS, HTML, and website design
  • Knowledge of mobile platforms - iOS, Android, etc.
  • Knowledge of SEO
  • Actively blog using Typepad
  • Availability to work evenings and weekends

Typepad Release Notes: New Theme and Beta Feature

Today's release is all about a new theme and bringing back our Beta team. We'll have an email out to all of you beta team members in a bit, but we didn't want to hold back on sharing the news with everyone until then. Before we get more into the Beta feature, let's discuss the theme.

Raising the Bar

The latest theme is Highbar, which features the sidebar content pulled up to the top of the browser window, even with the banner and blog title.

Blue + Cherry Gray + Orange Purple +  Pink Green + Teal

With four color variations to choose from, you're sure to find one that fits your blog's style. You can make it even more suited to your blog by customizing it with Custom CSS if you're an Unlimited subscriber or higher.

Beta Feature

Now available for Beta users, who are also Unlimited subscribers or higher, is a Head module! Found at Design > Head, there is now a customizable field that is similar to how the Custom CSS feature works. Any content you add into the Head section will be inserted into your blog's HTML, but, and get this(!), it is placed directly within the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags.

How the Head is used
Adding content to the Head at Design > Head

Custom Head content in the source code
Custom Head content showing in the HTML source of a blog

The Head section is a feature that's been asked about for a while, and we're ready to deliver! What's more, we're ready for the Beta team to test the feature with everything you've got. Throw your custom meta tags, jQuery scripts, and more at it. Report anything you think is a bug with how the feature works.

To avoid any issues, make sure to use the Head module with a test blog until you're confident that what you're adding works. Now, if you go and break your test blog because you added something that doesn't belong in the Head section (check out the sidebar tips on the Head page to find out what those items are), then your first step should be to review your code and any instructions you're following. If, after that, you're not sure why the code broke, your second step is to open a ticket and direct us to the blog in question, followed by detailed information on what your attempting. We'll be happy to take a look and provide assistance.

If this sounds awesome and you're NOT a Beta user, then go to Account > Summary and opt into the Beta team. We look forward to hearing from you.

Zemanta Automatic Recommended Links & Posts Feature Live For All Users

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to the Zemanta Automatic Recommend Links & Posts Feature which we've been rolling out to our subscribers.  As of today, everyone should have this feature.

In case you missed it before, this allows you to it automatically add related posts from your blog to the bottom of each your posts. The above link has more details on the feature, but this video helps explain what's in it for you and your readers:

Have any more questions?  Our Knowledge Base can help you out or you can click the Help link within Typepad to open a new help ticket.

Typepad 101: Insert Large Photos In Posts

Welcome to Typepad 101! Whether you want to add some new features to your blog's design, or simply make your blog more functional, Typepad 101 has you covered.

With the release of the additional column width options yesterday, you can include larger images within the body of your post using the custom image options.

To display 850px wide photos in your posts, for example, you can select a 900px width for the main content column at Design > Theme Builder. If you are using another design, the Custom CSS feature available with the Unlimited plan can be used to increase the column width.

Click the Insert Image button when composing your post. In the pop-up box, select Custom and choose Custom from the Image Size drop-down menu. Enter 850px in the text field.

Insert Image
Typepad Beta bloggers will see a slightly different layout
for the Insert Image box with similar custom options.

The width of 850px is chosen to accommodate for the 15px of padding on each side of the main content column and selecting a width with a 50px increment to maintain image quality. (See the post on maintaining image quality for more tips.)

You may wish to center the image within the column as it will be slightly narrower than the column. After inserting the image, you'll see the wide image embedded in your post. Double-click on the image to open the Edit Image options, select the center alignment option, and click Update Image.

Now, you have the tools you need to create a great blog to highlight your photos!

Typepad Release Notes: Theme Builder updates!

Today we are happy to announce some much needed updates to the Theme Builder. We have even more updates we'll be providing this year, but this first batch of changes were a bit overdue.

First up, a brand new default style to build from or use as-is. With a light gray background, and uniform font and color selection, the Theme Builder is light years away from its original "earth" form.

Theme Builder - Original Style
Original Style
Theme Builder - New Style
New Default Style

When comparing the two styles above, take note of how much wider the new default is now compared to the previous. It's the voodoo that we do to bring stuff to you, du--de (we admit that fell a little flat, but we're not Salt 'n' Pepa).

Okay, not really. It's not magic of any kind, but it's still our favorite of this release: new column widths (*arm pump*)! Before today's release, the Theme Builder had only a handful of widths to choose from for both the Main Content and Sidebar columns. After today's release, however, there are two whole handfuls--no, really! No longer are you forced to choose between narrow sizes or Fluid for the Main Content column; nor shall you be limited to small sidebars. 

Check out these screenshots of the new options:

New column widths for the Main Content column
Choose from 300-1000px or Fluid for the post column!

New widths for the Sidebar Column
Choose between 150-400px for the sidebar!

These changes mean great things for all users, but here are some examples that we're stoked about:

  • Plus subscribers have even more control over the look of their blog and aren't forced to upgrade just to change the column widths;
  • A variety of widths means that the Theme Builder is a fantastic fit for all types of blogs, particularly now for the photographers, scrappers, crafters, and, well...everyone(!);
  • The new sidebar widths mean there's room to allow for wider content and a better fit for advertising, images, videos, and other secondary content.

There are so many things to enjoy about these updates, and we hope that everyone is as excited about them as we are. It's definitely been a long time coming, but what's thrilling is that these are only one small chunk of all the updates and new features we've got in store for Typepad.

Want to stay in the loop for when those new features are released? You know what to do--keep checking back here for more news! You can also join the Beta team to help test new features (hint: we've got something ready for Beta testers soon, so sign up!). And, as always, we'd love to discuss everything having to do with Typepad with you and other bloggers, so hop into the community forums if you're not already an active participant.

Combating Comment Spam: An Update

Today, we want to address the recent spam attack that caused many of our bloggers to experience a sudden and very unfortunate influx of comment spam. We were just as frustrated as you were by the situation, and fixing it was our top priority.

Last week, we worked closely with Impermium to fix the problem.  They quickly made several changes to limit the number of comments that were getting through the filter.  Additionally, we changed some default behaviors on our end which should also help reduce the spam you receive.

If you're noticing legitimate comments are being caught in the spam filter, you can publish those via the Comments tab by selecting the "spam comments" in the drop down menu.

We're working hard to figure out why this is happening, and we need your help. If your legitimate comments are being caught, please publish them and open a Help ticket that includes a link to the comment. Essential information like this will help us get to the bottom of things more quickly.

We appreciate you sticking with us as we continue the good fight against spammers!