2020 is not only the start of a new year, but a new decade, and we heartily believe in fresh starts and fresher looks. We've been hard at work building a new Magazine-inspired layout for the Typepad community to enjoy and use with their blogs. Keep reading for more information and to see a snapshot of our new Featured Cards layout, now available to Beta users.
We've heard from users that a Magazine-inspired look for their blog would be a welcomed addition to Typepad. In response, we wanted to provide a content-driven layout that focused on the ability to beautifully display text and photos in a way that was clean, organized, and–okay, we admit it–a little showy. Unlike previously released themes and layouts, this new option allows you to easily change the look of your blog as you update your content, using a feature you already utilize!
Let us present to you... Featured Cards.
The Front Page
Do you run a shop, a podcast, have an event coming up, or a new piece of art you want to showcase? Insert a clear photo of at least 1000px wide, an excerpt-worthy first paragraph as a call-to-action, and check the "Feature This Post" box on the compose screen. With no true banner in the Featured Cards layout, you will be using the Feature This Post tool to promote your latest content that you don't want your readers to miss. You can see an example of this in our screenshot above.
Next, you'll notice two cards below the Featured Post. Those are the two most recent posts published to your blog. The positioning isolates those two posts so that they stand apart from the rest of your content and readers will focus on them as their eyes scan the page. The remaining content will be displayed per usual, in chronological order by default, and we highly recommend turning on the Featured Image option for post excerpts at Settings > Posts for a clean, image-focused display.
Another feature of this layout is that you can highlight any module by placing it to be the first item in the sidebar. In our example above, we use a Notes Typelist to display text we want readers to focus on. Only the first module in the sidebar will be auto-highlighted by way of a light gray background and padding, so if there's something in the sidebar you want to feature, place it at the top at Design > Content. All remaining modules will display as seen in the example above.
Deeper into the Blog
The front page serves as a showcase, whereas the individual posts, pages, and archives within the blog are solely about the content. You won't see the Featured Post or cards at the top of those pages. Your readers will be taken directly to the content they want to see and read, as shown in the screenshot below.
What is new, however, is how the layout handles pagination. Links to your posts immediately before and after the post your readers are visiting are now displayed as cards as well. If there is an image in the post, a thumbnail version of it will appear below the post content.
We're very proud of the Typepad community and we hope this new layout helps get that across to all of you. As we said earlier, this is currently in Beta but we'll be releasing it to all users after a period of testing. If you can't wait, then we recommend becoming a Beta member now, then browsing to Design > Choose a Theme, and select the Beta option! Just remember that the layout being a Beta feature means it's not 100% yet but, with your help, we can get it there and out to the rest of the community sooner rather than later.