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Typepad 101: Add third-party code for widgets and ads from trusted providers

Typepad offers many ways to incorporate third-party widgets, ads, and other tools on your blog. Many third-parties provide useful services to enhance your blog. However, it's always good to remember to only add code from trusted third-parties.

Recently, some Typepad bloggers learned this lesson the hard way when a previously respected website counter, Sitemeter, changed their terms of use and started adding pop-up ads and redirects via the script for their counter without warning to their users.

A third-party script is hosted by the provider, not you or Typepad, which means the script can be changed by the third-party provider any time. Hosting the script is convenient as the third-party provider is able to make improvements and fix bugs without the need for you to update your website with new code regularly. The downside is that the third-party script can be changed in a way which negatively impacts your blog, and you may not be notified in advance of the changes.

To avoid your blog from being seemingly hijacked by a third-party script, we have a few recommendations:

  • Only add widgets which enhance your blog content. Some widgets may be neat but not benefit visitors to your website on a regular basis. Also, a lot of third-party script can slow down loading of your blog. We previously published an article on making sure your sidebar content is relevant with helpful tips.
  • Add code from trusted third-parties only. Not sure who to trust? Ask the Typepad team by opening a help ticket! We look at hundreds of blogs every day and answer questions about various services that other bloggers are using. If we're not familiar with the particular widget or ad service, we'll check it out or recommend a similar service that we know other Typepad bloggers are using effectively.
  • Do some research. Use an online search, like Google, to check out the tool you want to add to your blog. Check out reviews from other bloggers to see if they encountered any issues. Look to see if the third-party provider has a contact information on their website so you can easily report a problem.

The above are just some recommendations to consider before adding code to your blog. Do you have any good or bad experiences with third-party code? Let everyone know in the comments.

If you do have Sitemeter code added to your blog, we would recommend removing it as soon as possible. Instead of Sitemeter, we recommend Google Analytics for getting advanced statistics for your blog.

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