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Posts from July 2013

Typepad 101: The Dos and Dont's of Custom CSS

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. The tips here are suitable for bloggers at varying levels, from basic to intermediate. Need tips on how to make something work for you? Leave a comment! Your Support team and fellow Typepad bloggers are always here to lend a hand.

The Custom CSS feature is a great way to make style changes to your blog without starting from scratch with a design. It allows you to make changes to font styles, design colors, widths, positioning, backgrounds - the options are almost limitless. We know that code like CSS can be a little intimidating but we think it's worth the effort and it can be really fun.

We introduced you to the Custom CSS feature not long ago to get you started. Here are some more basic tips we want to share for using Custom CSS. Add your own in the comments!

Do have a solid place to start
We've created the CSS Cookbook as a resource you can use to find copy and paste code to get you started with using CSS. There are also lots of tips in the Knowledge Base and right here on Everything Typepad.

Do start small
You might be tempted to go whole-hog and drop in a bunch of CSS to see what happens. That can be a fun adventure but you might waste time with unwanted changes. Instead, try adding in one bit of code at a time and using the Preview function to take a look at the results. You can also create a test blog for trying out new design ideas before using them on your live blog.

Don't use the Custom CSS page for code that isn't CSS
We sometimes see JavaScript, HTML, and other content in the Custom CSS area and that will prevent the CSS after it from working properly. Try the Embed your own HTML or Head modules for that type of code instead.

Do keep your code organized
It's helpful to group code in sections by area of the blog, such as putting all of the navigation bar code together, all of the post code together, and so on. This is also helpful for Support if you reach out to us for help with your code - it's easier to see issues if your code is organized well.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes
Sometimes you just can't get something to work the way you want and that's not a big deal. The Custom CSS page makes it easy to drop code in or take it out whenever you want without having to go through a lot of files. It's all on one page.

Featured Blog: Artifact Girl

NAME: Artifact Girl
BLOG: Artifact Girl
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Artifact Girl explores beauty, health, culture, travel, and design, amongst other things! Run by the founder of Artifact Skin Co. and focused on bringing together forgotten natural beauty traditions from different cultures, her vision is for people to discover new methods of cultural skincare from across the globe. Get ready for a skin-tastic journey!


FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter

From Say Daily: Annoying Ads Are a Dying Breed – And It's About %$#*ing Time

image from

Don't accept the old order. Get rid of it.

Johnny Rotten, Sex Pistols

Since the very first banner ad debuted in 1994, online ads have been designed to be disruptive. Early banner ads were blinking, jumping, screaming distractions that were a necessary evil to subsidize great (and awful) content. It's now 20 years later and obnoxious banners continue to bumble along at the top of our screens. More elegant solutions have added slicker graphics and video footage to capture eyeballs. Meanwhile, high-impact screen takeovers, which just a few years ago were 'the future,’ are now just another irritating distraction that we all can’t wait to bat away. Let's face it: Who wants their screen to collapse into an ad when they’re halfway through a piece of content?

As content and commerce have become ever more intertwined, the Holy Grail for brands is to find a more natural place alongside editorial content – a more seamless flow between the two.

Which is why disruptive online ads are living on borrowed time. IAB has set up a taskforce dedicated to finding more natural ways in which to integrate ads into editorial content with the Native Ad Task Force (full disclosure: Say Media is a member company on the force). While IAB seeks to establish some best practices around this emerging style of custom content, more traditional ads are starting to jump out of their boxes and embed themselves more naturally alongside editorial content. At Say Media we've created a bold bold new ad experience on ReadWrite, one of the most widely read and respected technology sites. It’s the first media brand to ever feature Adaptive Ads, which are responsive brand messages that exist within the flow of content – on any device. You can experience it here (click and scroll down). It's like a full page ad appearing as you flip through a magazine.

In a nutshell, Adaptive Ads are big, beautiful and content-rich. And they're the future.

Read More at Say Daily.

New theme: It's a celebration!

Summer is the time to celebrate so many milestones in life - birthdays, graduations, new babies, weddings, the list goes on and on. In fact, we think it's a great time to celebrate just for the sake of it. Why not throw some confetti at your blog with the new Celebration theme?


Celebrate-silver Celebrate-gold

You can try the new theme by going to Blogs > Design > Choose a new theme. If you want to try it before you commit, we recommend setting up a test blog and applying it there.

What are you celebrating this summer? Leave a comment and let us know!

Improving the Spam Problem for Blog Authors

We know that several blog owners have been impacted by an issue where your own comments on your blog have been misidentified as spam.

Spam is our top issue and we're happy to announce today that we've made some changes to the system to help combat this.  Blog authors should no longer see their comments caught by the spam filter if you're signed into your Typepad account when commenting.

To make sure you're signed into your Typepad account, you should check what you see when commenting.  If you see the form that asks you to enter your name, e-mail address, and URL, then you're not signed in.  You need to click the Typepad link above the comment box and login before commenting:

Once you've clicked this link and signed in, the name, e-mail address, and URL fields will disappear and you'll see that you're logged in:

LoggedinGo ahead and make your comment and you should see it posted to your blog (unless you've enabled comment moderation) and not caught in the spam filter.

We appreciate everyone's patience while this was being worked on. We know that this was an inconvenience.  This is a just a first step in plans we have to continue to improve the spam filter so that all of our users can have an improved commenting experience.

Typepad 101: Utilizing Your Blog's Feed

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.

All Typepad blogs include RSS and Atom feeds that contain the latest posts. Immediately when you publish a new post, the feed is updated with the post and shared to anyone who subscribes to your feed. But a feed can be used to share your posts in other ways as well.

  • Add Email Subscriptions! Make it easy for readers to subscribe to your blog and receive updates via email. FeedBlitz uses your blog's feed to send out an email to anyone who subscribes. By adding their email subscription form to your blog's sidebar, visitors to your site simply enter their email address to sign up.
  • Share your posts on another website! You can use your blog's feed in conjunction with an RSS to Javascript to display your latest posts on another website. You can find details on setting this up in the Knowledge Base.
  • Use your blog's feed to share your latest posts almost anywhere with! IFTTT (short for "if this, then that") makes it easy to manage your social media sites. We have tips for sharing your posts to your LinkedIn Profile and Facebook Page, and you can do so much more.
  • Set up category feeds to display posts on a specific topic! At Settings > Feeds, you can enable category feeds. Then, you can use the Feeds Module at Design > Content to display the latest posts from the category in your blog's sidebar.

How else do you use your blog's feed to share your latest posts? Let us know in the comments. Maybe there's something you want to set up with the feed and you're not sure how - post a question to the Typepad forum.

Featured Blog: Feast of Music

NAME: Pete Matthews & Co.
BLOG: Feast of Music
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Pete Matthews is a Brooklyn based blogger who put down his roots in music during college, when he was program director for a radio station which played everything from classical to jazz to indie rock. Now he goes to shows and along with contributors Michael Cirigliano II and Nicholas Fernandez, writes about New York City's robust local music scene.


FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter

Typepad 101: Adding Password Protection

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.

While one of the biggest parts of blogging is sharing your posts and stories with other people, having your blog and all of your thoughts out in the public eye might not be what you're looking for.  Maybe your blog is about your family and you prefer to give them anonymity. Maybe your blog is about something that you're struggling with and you'd prefer to make that private.  Whatever the case may be, Typepad has you covered (literally).

When you enable password protection, only those people that you supply the username and password to will be able to view your blog. Everyone else will get a prompt to enter the username and password and, if they don’t know it, won’t be able to view the blog.

You can choose to password protect only specific blogs and Photo Albums or you can password protect your entire account. To password protect  entire account or specific blogs or Photo Albums, go to Account > Password Protection. You can also enable password protection on individual blogs by clicking through to Settings > Password Protection.

On a side note, if you add content to your blog from other sites that are password protected, you'll receive a prompt that will require that sites username and password.  This can happen if you link pictures from other password protected blogs, for example.  If you get more than one password prompt on a blog, you should check that you haven't accidentally done this.

You can read more about password protection in our Knowledge Base.

Spotlight: Four Great Blogs by Women Writers

Each week, we scout for great posts in our Typepad Showcase that fit a particular theme and are guaranteed to inspire. This week, we've rounded up four fantastic book related blogs written by women, from author blogs to book reviews to writers writing about writing that are sure to spark your own writing muse - just click through the images to check 'em out!

Let's go!

Novelicious is a bright and passionate website dedicated to Women's Fiction readers, writers and aspiring writers

Whatever your women's fiction tastes, visit Novelicious for up to date news, reviews, exclusive author interviews, writing tips and competitions!


Jennsylvania's Jen Lancaster is the New York Times best selling author of several fantastic books, including Bitter Is the New Black, If You Were Here, Jeneration X, and The Tao of Martha.


Charlotte Rains Dixon is a writer who runs the robust community at, welcoming writers, would-be writers, wanna-be writers, creativity junkies, spiritual seekers, artists and entrepreneurs. If you have any interest in writing, creativity, personal development, or spirituality, you'll find much of use here.


Girly Girl is the blog of Kristin Billerbeck, the author of more than 30 novels, including "What a Girl Wants" and the Ashley Stockingdale and Spa Girls Series. She is a fourth-generation Californian, who loves her state and the writing fodder it provides.


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!

The Business of Blogging: Best Practices


Welcome to our series of posts on the business of blogging! Each Thursday for 6 weeks, we'll debut a new post designed to help you build, market, and successfully create a small business with your Typepad blog. Late to the party? Check out our other posts about the Business of Blogging.

When making the decision to start a blog, you're embarking on an endeavor which is new to you. There are many things to consider when you get started, and you can take advantage of the experience of those who have gone before you by adhering to some of the best practices for business blogging.

Use Your Own Domain Name
Typepad allows you to use a unique and professional domain name for your site with the Domain Mapping feature. This allows you to present a professional blog to the world without in your blog's address. Some things to keep in mind when choosing a domain:

  • Make it easy to read and remember. Say the domain out loud to see how it sounds. Make sure you are using easy to spell words.
  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Avoid numbers and special characters.

Some good examples of Typepad blogs using mapped domains:,,

You can set up Domain Mapping any time without breaking links to your existing content, but we don't recommend changing your domain after you have established your blog. Need a shorter URL for your site? Consider registering a short domain which is easy to share and forwarding it to your blog without breaking any existing links.

If need help setting up Domain Mapping, the Typepad community and support team can do the set up for you. Click the Help link in your account and open a New Ticket with your request.

Less Is More
If you choose good, relevant advertising for your blog, your readers won't be overwhelmed and turned off by the ads. With well chosen ads, your readers will actually see the ads and potential advertisers will notice.

Use No Follow Links
By adding a small bit of code to your sponsored links, you can prevent Google and other search engines from clicking through those links on your site and giving a higher page rank to the sponsored website. If you do not use no follow links, your site may be penalized as it is seen as one way sites can buy a higher page rank.

The rel="nofollow" tag can be easily added to your links:

<a href="" rel="nofollow">Sponsor</a>

When composing a post, click to the HTML tab to edit the link tag. For sidebar modules, you'll want to use the custom sidebar module or Notes Typelist, instead of Links Typelist, in order to edit the link tag. (See the article on adding custom sidebar content for more information.)

For the Google explanation and more technical details, see the Webmaster Tools article on the subject.

Don't Steal Content
This seems pretty straightforward, but you see a lot of posts around the web which are simply copied from another site. Readers will be more likely to come back to your blog again and again to read original content. Instead of taking the lazy approach, take inspiration from articles you enjoy. Ask permission of the author to use a short quote on your own blog and give credit where credit is due. Then, add your own take to make the article your own. The same goes for using images and other multimedia you do not own. We previously published an article on photo use and attribution.

Don't Overlook The Design
Your writing may be spectacular, your photos beautiful, but if the design of your blog makes it hard to read or is unappealing, visitors may not stick around to read your posts. Put your latest content front and center. Carefully consider ad placement to prevent the ads from overwhelming readers. Limit your banner height to less than 300px to make sure your recent post appears above the fold and visitors don't need to scroll down to start reading. Add navigational links in a prominent place, like the Navigation Bar below the banner, or at the top of a sidebar column. Make note of other sites you visit regularly and see what about their design stands out to you as a plus and be inspired!

Looking for help with a new design? Typepad services can help you with a new design. Check out the portfolio and find a service that best meets your needs.

What other best practices have you found for blogging? Share your tips in the comments or the forum.