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Posts from February 2014

Back To Basics: Lists and Headers

Welcome to our special series on getting to know HTML! Every other week, we'll debut a new article full of valuable tips and tricks that will start you on the path to being an HTML pro. We'll cover everything from the very basics, to tricks with images and headers, to advanced HTML. Miss anything? Check out the other posts in our series here.

Over the last few weeks, we've been showing you some of the building blocks of HTML.  Today, we're going to look into lists and headers.

Lists can be used for all kinds of things - what books you're reading; your favorite movies; where you want to go on vacation.  It's a great way to make information pop and be easily readable at the same time. You can use either an ordered or an unordered list.

Ordered lists are exactly what they sound like - they're ordered by number.  This is great if there are steps you want to lay out for your readers, songs you want to rank from best to worst, etc.

Ordered lists begin with the <ol> tag.  Then each item within the list starts with a list item tag - <li> - then the item and a closing list item tag - </li>.  Once you've entered all of your items, you end with a closing </ol> tag. Here's an example of my favorite movies, ranked in order:

<li>Singin' in the Rain</li>
<li>Sense and Sensibility</li>
<li>The Blues Brothers</li>

And this is what it would look like when rendered on your blog:

  1. Singin' in the Rain
  2. Jaws
  3. Sense and Sensibility
  4. The Blues Brothers

Unordered lists are exactly the same except they use the <ul> tags instead of the <ol> tags.  Here's an example of how an unordered list of some of the recent movies I've seen looks:

<li>My Neighbor Totoro</li>
<li>Big Bad Wolves</li>
<li>Scott Pilgrim vs. the World</li>

And this is how it looks when rendered on your blog:

  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Nebraska
  • Bg Bad Wolves
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Now let's talk about header tags.

While some people use header tags to make text bold or to stand out, this isn't actually how they should be used.  Header tags should not be used for style purposes but rather to help search engines index the structure and content of your blog.  The headers use the <h1> through <h6> tags.

Typepad uses the first three of these - <h1> though <h3> in its structure.  Let's see where each one is used.

The <h1> tag is used in the banner header for your blog's name.  Your blog's name is the first and most import structural element.  It looks like this when you view your blog's source code:

<h1 id="banner-header"><a href="" accesskey="1">Everything Typepad</a></h1>

The <h2> tag is used in three separate locations within your blog's structure.  These are for the blog's description, the date headers on your posts, and the sidebar headers for Typelists, modules like Recent Comments, search, and more.

Here's some examples of the <h2> tag in use:

<h2 id="banner-description">This is my blog's description.</h2>

<h2>Recent Comments</h2>


Finally, there's the <h3> tag that's used for your post titles. Here's a typical example:

<h3><a href="">Blockquote with Centered Block Image and Text</a></h3>

As you can see, while header tags are used in various ways on your blog, all these tags follow the same structure as every other HTML tag.  If there's an opening tag - like <h1> - you must have the corresponding closing tag - </h1> - to complete the tag.

You can read more about header tags and how to use them for SEO purposes here.

We hope you found this useful!  HTML is an exciting language and we're happy to help you learn more about it.

Out of Beta: Excerpts

We recently announced that we were beginning to roll the excerpts feature out of Beta.

We're happy to announce that the rollout is now complete and all users should have this in their accounts. You can find this feature by going to Settings > Posts. 

As always, our helpful Knowledge Base can help you get started using excerpts on your blog.  You can also get personalized help from one of our Typepad experts by clicking the Help tab and creating a new ticket.

A New Partnership to Take the Fight Against Spam Even Further

As you probably know, spam is one of the worst things about being online.  It's pervasive.  It's annoying.  We all hate it.

No doubt you've noticed that you no longer receive nearly as much comment spam on your Typepad blog.  This comes from changes we've made on our end, tools that we've given you so that you can also participate in the fight, and more.

In our next step to elimintating even more comment spam, we're excited to announce that we're partnering with Akismet - one of the best in the spam fighting business - to help safeguard you and your blog.

The best part is that this is all taking place on Typepad's backend over the upcoming weeks, so there's nothing you need to do to take advantage of Akismet's spam protection.  Just sit back and enjoy commenting with your readers.

In the off chance that you do see something funny, simply open a help ticket and one of our experienced support staff will be happy to assist you.

Spotlight On: Moms

There are so many great blogs on Typepad, covering every subject you can imagine from pets to parfaits, decor to Downton Abbey. We regularly scout for great blogs in the Typepad Showcase that fit a particular theme and are guaranteed to inspire. Today, we've rounded up some of the best of Typepad's veteran mom bloggers, seasoned writers and photographers who know just how to captivate their readers. Click over and visit, stay awhile, and soak up the atmosphere in these great Typepad blogs.

Let's get started!

Megan Teitz - Sorta Crunchy. Sorta Crunchy began in 2006 as a place for Megan to share her enthusiasm for natural family living, but over the years it has evolved into a community space; a coffee klatch of the virtual variety where readers can get together and talk about pop culture and kids and God and marriage and music and life and love.

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Shannon Brown - Find Joy in The Journey. Beginning on September 1 2005, for Shannon blogging quickly became a creative outlet, a place to share the things that excite & inspire her, to share her family's journey, and to tell stories about the extraordinary and everyday.

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Gwen Priestley - Barn Raising. Gwen's days are spent mothering, crafting, walking in the woods or on the seashore, celebrating and dreaming. She shares the captivating stories and photos of this lovely life on her blog.

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Alicia Paulson - Posie Gets Cozy. Alicia Paulson loves to make things. She loves making dresses, garden parties, crocheted dog sweaters, and model horse tack. She loves making twig fences, rock borders, and cozy guest rooms. She loves cooking dinner for friends and making pretty baby presents. She lives with her irrepressible husband, Andy, a sweet Cardigan corgi named Clover Meadow, a crazy calico cat named The Bee, and the most awesome baby girl in the universe, Amelia Jolene Beatrix.

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

Out of Beta: Sidebar Image Uploader and Author Photo Configuration Options

We recently announced that we were beginning to roll the sidebar image uploader and author photo configuration options out of Beta.

We're happy to announce that the rollout is now complete and all users should have these options in their account. You can find both of these features by going to Design > Content. 

As always, our helpful Knowledge Base has more information on both the sidebar image uploader and the author photo configuration options.  You can also get personalized help from one of our Typepad experts by clicking the Help tab and creating a new ticket.

Did you know? Typepad is on Pinterest!

Do you love Pinterest? We do! We also love following our Typepad Bloggers on Pinterest so here's a friendly reminder to give us a follow!


Do you have a pinboard dedicated to your blog on your Pinterest? If not, then you should! This can work if you usually include eye-catching images with your posts.  Every time you update your blog, pin it.  Having a pinboard for your blog is a good way to gain exposure and new readers.

Sharing your post on Pinterest is easy to do if you have a Pin It hover image set up for your blog. If you rather not use this feature, you can use the Pin It button in your post footer, which you can enable at Design > Content > Post Footer.

Don't forget to add the Pinterest Widget to your sidebar! It's a great way to share your pins with your readers, right on your blog.

We'll be sharing more pins from our bloggers and adding more boards for different topics and interests, so keep a look out!

Do you have a Pinterest account? Leave your link in the comments so we can all check it out!

Typepad Master Class: Highlight the blogside search

Welcome to the Typepad Master Class! If you've ever wanted to delve into more advanced trickery with your blog's design, the Master Class is for you. Topics covered in this series are for the adventurous or advanced blogger, so an intermediate to advanced level of knowledge of HTML and CSS will come in handy. Additionally, these guides will often require Custom CSS or Advanced Templates, so a Pro Unlimited account is necessary to access those areas and achieve the look and effects we cover. Interested in upgrading? Just head over to the Account link in your Dashboard and click on Billing Info to get started.

blogside searchTypepad offers great built-in features for helping readers navigate your blog. One of those is the blogside search form, which you can enable in Blogs > Design > Content. We recommend placing it near the top of the sidebar so it's easy to find.

A great way to draw attention to the search form is to make it a color that stands out. You can then take that code one step further and use a fancy background image to really draw focus to the search form. It's also a nice way to add visual interest to your sidebar.

This tutorial uses the Custom CSS feature, so it's geared toward our Pro Unlimited and Premium subscribers. Let's get to the code!

First, let's remove the "search" header:

.module-search .module-header { display: none; }

Next, we'll set a background color, a font color, and a font size.

.module-search input[type="search"],
.module-search input[type="submit"] {
background-color: #ffcccc;
color: #000;
font-size: 10px;

The #ffcccc is light pink with #000 for black text. You can set those colors to anything you wish. Here's how that code should look in action:


Looking better but it's not there yet. Let's set a narrower width so the search field and button are closer together, remove the border around each element, add some padding so everything looks nice and make the "search" button text uppercase just for fun.

Continue reading "Typepad Master Class: Highlight the blogside search" »

Featured Blog: We Know Stuff

NAME: Daniele H. Anderson Stringer and Denine M. Anderson-Regan
BLOG: We Know Stuff
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: We Know Stuff is a parenting and lifestyle blog focused on the importance of togetherness. Bloggers Daniele and Denine believe that the foundation of strong, solid families starts from the ground up; that the more time you put in to building your family, the more wonderful the results will be. The blog focuses on spending time together with your family, cooking, crafting, gardening, playing, exercising or volunteering. It doesn't matter what you do with your family, it just matters that you do something with them.


FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter

Rolling Out of Beta: Excerpts

A few weeks ago, we announced a new feature for our Beta Team to try out that let you easily display excerpts on your blog.

We're pleased to announce that testing has gone well for this feature and we've started rolling it out to all of our bloggers.  Expect to see this new, exciting option in your own Typepad account soon (if you don't already have it)!

If you'd like to get first crack at features like this in the future, simply go to the Account tab and sign up for the Beta team!