Quick Tip: How To Add A Quick And Easy Message To Your Comment Form

How To Add A Quick And Easy Message To Your Comment Form

Do you want to let your readers know about your comment policy before they comment? By adding a small bit of CSS code to your Design Lab or Magazine Layout - Featured Cards theme you can add a message over the comment form. If you have comment moderation enabled, for instance, you can let your readers know their comments won't appear right away. Or you may just want to ask for all commenters to submit their name and not a pseudonym.

Custom CSS is a feature available with the Pro Unlimited and higher plans. If you're on a lower plan, you'll need to upgrade

Typepad offers three types of commenting options: the default comments, Typepad Connect , and Disqus comments. The CSS code is slightly different depending on the commenting system you're using.

Not sure which commenting system you have on your blog? There's an easy way to check. Click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Select the Settings tab, then Comments. Along the top, it'll either say "Typepad Connect is currently enabled for the blog", "Typepad's default commenting system is currently enabled for the blog", or "Disqus Comments Enabled". Once you know the commenting system your blog is using, you can use the correct code below.

Please note, if you're using another 3rd-party commenting system, the below code will not apply.

Here's what our example will look like: 

Comment exampleFor the default commenting system, you can use the CSS code below:

#comments-open-login:before {
content: "Comments for this blog are held for moderation before they are published to the blog.";
display: block;
margin: 10px auto;
text-align: center;
padding: 5px;
border: 1px solid #ccc;
background-color: #f9f9f9;
}

For Typepad Connect comments, you can use the CSS code below:

#comments-signin:before {
content: "Comments for this blog are held for moderation before they are published to the blog.";
display: block;
margin: 10px auto;
text-align: center;
padding: 5px;
border: 1px solid #ccc;
background-color: #f9f9f9;
}

For Disqus comments, you can use the CSS code below:

#disqus_thread:before {
content: "Comments for this blog are held for moderation before they are published to the blog.";
display: block;
margin: 10px auto;
text-align: center;
padding: 5px;
border: 1px solid #ccc;
background-color: #f9f9f9;
}

Within the CSS, you can edit the following attributes:

  • The content attribute is where you'll include the text you want to display above the comment form.
  • The margin can be increased or decreased to increase the space around the note.
  • The text-align attribute can be set to center, left, or right.
  • The padding around the text can be increased or decreased. Since our example includes a shaded box, the padding determines distance between the text and the outside of the box.
  • The border settings can be changed too. If you don't want a border, remove this attribute entirely.
  • The color code for the background-color can be adjusted. If you don't want to have a background color, you can remove this attribute.

You can also include other attribute snips — for example: font-weight: 600; — will make the text of your message bold. You can find other formatting attributes in the article on styling the post title with CSS.

After you customize the CSS specific to your comment type, go to Design > Custom CSS, enter the CSS code in the text field, then click Save Changes to update your site.

Do you already use CSS to insert a message to your readers above the comments? If so, share your tips to make it stand out or let us know in the comments how well it's working for you!


Learn How To Create An Informative 404 Error Page

Learn How To Create An Informative 404 Error Page

What do your readers see when they stumble upon a broken link? You can now create a custom 404 error page that will share the fun side of your brand and help readers find the information they need.  Let's get started!

Creating a 404 Error Page

First, you need to create your 404 error page. Click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Click on Posts tab, then Pages. Click on New Page to create your 404 error page. 

PRO TIP: We recommend you keep the title simple, like "404 Error" or "Sorry, wrong page". You can also edit the post URL to reflect the type of page it is. Click on Edit next to Permalink and update the URL. Keep it short by changing it to "404-error" or "404-error-page",

After you have the perfect 404 page published, click on the Settings tab, then Custom 404. Select the page title from the drop-down menu and click on Save Changes.  

BBQ Queen 404 Error page

If you no longer want a page to show as the error page, you can remove it. From the Custom 404 tab, select Remove Custom 404, then click on Save Changes.  

Now that you know how to create a 404 error page, let's go over what should go in your error message. We have complied a list of best practices to help you get started. 

Best Practices

 

Branding

When writing an error message or creating an image for your 404 page, keep in mind your brand's look and feel. Write in the same tone you write your blog posts and keep the images similar to ones you have on your blog. 

 

Clear Message

You want to make sure readers can clearly see they arrived at an error page but are on the correct website. Create a short message letting your readers know the URL they went to is not correct. Too much information can be distracting.

 

Entertaining Message

Your 404 page is a great place to use a little humor to engage readers. Add a funny or unique image to show the funnier side of your brand and rally your readers to keep searching your website. There is a thin line when using humor; make sure to not pack in to many jokes.  

 

Call To Action

Now that your reader is on the page, let them know what you want them to do. They can search your site for specific content or contact you with information on where they see the broken URL.

 

Search Your Site

When readers come to an error page, a search bar will encourage readers to stay on your site and find the information they need. You can add a Google Programmable Search Engine on your error page that will search just your website for posts and pages. It's easy to add the code from Google by using the Source Code button (looks like < >) on the Compose page. Keep in mind that you won't see the search box on the Compose page, you will need to preview or publish the page to see the search box. 

 

Contact Information

It's a good idea to know where readers are seeing this broken link. Have an easy way for readers to contact you and provide information on where they came from. Ask the reader to include all the information you believe you will need to investigate and correct the broken link. If you are being linked back to from another blogger, reach out to them with the correct link.

Now, you have everything you need to create a 404 page that will help keep your reader and direct them to the correct information. After you create your 404 page, share it with us. We would love to see what you create.


How To Get Your Custom Domain To Work Without The WWW

No WWW Domain
You're excited for your new blog and its new, custom domain name! You tell all your friends that they can check it out at "myblog.com" only when they do the browser says it's not found.  Why? It works if you type "www.myblog.com". Why is that www even necessary?  The "www" part of your domain name is called the subdomain.  The subdomain is critical when setting up Domain Mapping with your Typepad blog.  In your domain registry, the CNAME Record is set for the WWW alias, and is where we recommend adding your Typepad domain name (ie: example.typepad.com) so your domain name points to your blog. 

"But Many Websites Work Without Typing WWW, Why Can't Mine?"

It can! There are browsers that will allow readers to enter your domain name without the "www" and your blog will load.  This is because those browsers are set up to automatically redirect example.com to www.example.com.  Not all browsers do this, such as Google Chrome.   If you want to be sure your readers can get to your blog on any browser by just typing "example.com" without the "www", you will need to set up a Forward within your domain name registry account.  Below are ways you can do this if you purchased your domain name through Typepad or got it through third-party, like GoDaddy.

Set Up A Forward Through Typepad

When you purchase your name through Typepad, it's easy to set up a forward for your domain name.  All you need to do is check off the box at Account > Domain Mapping when you are setting up your new blog name:

Forward_domain

Set Up A Forward Through A Third-Party

If you purchased a name from a third-party, you will need to refer to their instructions for Forwarding.  Not all registries provide this service so check with them first.   If they do, what you are doing is forwarding example.com to www.example.com - NOT to your Typepad blog URL.  Here is an example from GoDaddy's Forward feature: 

Godaddy_fwd

If you use GoDaddy, we have instructions on how to set up a forward for your name in our Knowledge Base.

If you can't locate the Forward settings on their own, it may be located in the DNS Management section.  Forwards can take a few hours before it starts working, sometimes it takes longer than the mapping itself!  

If you have Domain Mapping set up for your blog, now would be a good time to check if it works without typing "www."


Help! My Readers Get A Security Warning On my Secure Blog!


SSL Not Secure Blog(1)

Every blog on Typepad has an SSL certificate included upon setup, even if you are utilizing Domain Mapping, you do not need to buy an additional SSL certificate through a third-party in order for your blog to load securely.

However, just because the certificate is included, does not mean that all of your content is loading securely.  Visitors may still encounter a security warning when visiting your blog.  There is no need to panic.  There are a number of reasons why your blog may still be loading with a broken padlock showing in your browser. The culprit is usually just as simple as updating the prefix of your URL from http to https.

Third Party Widgets

When was the last time you checked your sidebar for outdated or broken links and images?  Links to a non-secure third-party can trigger a security warning.  If you go to that third-party's website, you may find an updated code to add to your blog which will load securely.

Update Image URL

Most Typepad URLs automatically redirect from the http version to the https equivalent link.  Image URLs that get uploaded directly into a blog post, page, or sidebar may not always work and the URL's need to manually be updated.  You did not lose your image - simply change the the image link from http to https.

Uploaded Files Need Updating

If you uploaded a file like a mp3, pdf, .doc prior to when the certificate is received, like images, the URL that was generated and shared may need to have the URL updated.

Custom Domain Name Settings

Domain Mapping is available for all Pro plans and your blog will remain secure when the new name is applied to it.  The domain name needs to be set up securely with the CNAME pointing to your Typepad domain name (example.typepad.com).  If the CNAME is not set up correctly, it may display as not secure.  If you set up Domain Masking instead of Mapping, this will also disrupt the security certificate from working as expected.

A great, free, resources to use to find out what is causing the break is www.whynopadlock.com

If you have followed all of these steps and your blog is still displaying as not secure, you can reach out to the Typepad Support Team by opening a Help Ticket and we'll be happy to further assist you.


How To Build Stronger Titles For Improved Retention, Better Results

After pouring your heart out into a blog post, coming up with a post title to reflect what you've written about can be a challenge.  First impressions are so important; you have milliseconds to grab someone's attention and keep it for a bit. 

When a reader shares a post to social media, browses your blog's newsletter, or searches your blog for a specific topic, the headline is what they see first. Don't skimp on coming up with an effective title.

Now, there's help! Check out Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule.

Enter your title and click the "Analyze Now" button.  You will see a pop-up asking for your name, email, and website but we promise it's free.

Cosched_headline

We'll use this article as an example. Originally, the title of this post was going to be "Grab Your Readers With A Captivating Post Title." How did it work out? Not so well.

Headline Analyzer Results

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 11.03.04 AMWe can do better than that.  This headline type is classified as "Generic" with not enough action involved to make readers want to share this headline with others. You want to trigger an emotional response and curiosity which makes the person to want to click your headline to read more. Using effective keywords can help rank your post in search results. 

At the same time, don't overshare and make your title too long as that is not effective for SEO purposes either. Remember, milliseconds!  Headlines 55 characters, or 6 words, long tend to earn the highest number of click-throughs but there is a little room for leeway. 

Consider the types of words you're including in your title. Common words take up 20-30% of a headline while Uncommon take up 10-20% and Emotional 10-15%. There should be at least one Power word in your headline. 

Following the recommendations, and some trial and error, the headline changed to "How To Build Stronger Titles For Improved Retention, Better Results".  How did this work out?

Headline_score76

Better! We now have a clear intention with a "How To" headline where the reader will gain a better understanding of what they'll read from the title alone. We don't have "uncommon" words in the title due to length but some examples of uncommon words include "more, actually, right, awesome, actually."

What have you found is most effective in creating a strong post title?

To learn more about your SEO options in your Typepad account, click here.


Add A Drop Down Menu To Your Navigation Bar

Add A Drop Down Menu To Your Navigation Bar

Everyone loves new features and we have a great one for all our bloggers. You can now a add drop down menu to your navigation bar in all Design Lab themes. Easily group together topics or ideas for your readers to browse through. 

This new feature is currently only available to our Beta Team. Learn how to join our Beta Team to be the first to test out new features. 

Let’s get started! 

From the Design tab, click on Content. Here you'll see all the modules for your blog. Click on the pencil to edit the Navigation Module. 

In the pop up, select Use Drop Down. Now you will see folders at the end of every link. Click on the folder to open the menu. 

Navigation Bar Pop Up

Add the title you want readers to see and the URL readers will go to. Once you are done, close the file by clicking on the open file. Now you'll see the file has turned dark to indicate there are sublinks under it.

Sauces Drop Down

Click on OK, then Save Changes. Now go see your blog! There will be an arrow next to the main link to indicate a drop down. When readers click on it, they'll see your sublinks. 

Drop Down On Blog

We hope you love this new feature and would love to see it in action on your blog! Put a link to your blog in the comments and share!


Create A Word Cloud For Your Blog

Create A Word Cloud For your Blog

Word Clouds take all the words from a text source (like a blog post) and create a cloud of all the words used. They're a great way to showcase a post's main themes by highlighting the words used. The more a word is used the bigger it is in the cloud. 

Wordcloud.com is a great tool to help you create the perfect word cloud image for your post or sidebar! Let us show you how easy it is to create a word cloud. 

First, you need to add your words. If you have the post published, you can use Open URL. In the pop up paste in the URL to your blog post and the words will generate from your text. To add your text, either click on File or Wizard. 

Quick Tip: When you use the Open URL option, the URL must be published and can't be password protected.

Upload text to your word cloud

Wordcloud.com offers a few different ways to edit the image before you download it. 

Size

Select the best size for where you plan to put the image. They have pre-selected sizes or you can create a custom size to fit your needs. 

Word Cloud Size

Wordlist

View your list of words and how many times they are used in a document. Delete words you don’t want to use and change the color of the words by adding a color hex value. 

Word List

Gap Size

This is the spacing between the words. The words can be close together or far apart. 

Direction Of Words

Direction Of WordsThis allows you to pick a directions for the words. They can go horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and more. 

Direction Of Words Pop up

Invert

InvertWhen you select a shape, the words can be that shape or have the words show up around that shape

Invert your word cloudShapes

Pick what shape you want the words to take. Pick from their many different shapes or upload one of your own. 

Shapes
Themes/Colors

Here you can select the colors for your words. Themes provide pre-selected color schemes to choose from. With Colors, you can customize the colors you want on your word cloud. 

Font

Customize the font for your word cloud. Pick a font that fits your blog style and brand. 

Now that you have the perfect word cloud for your blog, you can export it and save to your computer. From the File button, click on Save As Image. In the pop up you can give the image a name and select the file type. With the image saved to your computer, you can add it to your blog post or insert it on your sidebar

Here is one we created from a recent Typepad post. 

Typepad Word Cloud CroppedShow off your word cloud by sharing your blog post or blog in the comments. We would love to see how creative you can be! 


Seen On Typepad: Pretty Edible Flowers

Seen On Typepad

Seen on Typepad highlights new and interesting posts from our community of Typepad bloggers, enjoy!

image from suchprettythings.typepad.comFrom: Such Pretty Things

If you've been following me for a while, then you know that it's no secret that I love flowers. My home is brimming with them - fresh flowers, paintings of flowers, floral china, fabrics covered in flowers, etc.... The list it infinite. So, of course, I love my food covered in flowers as well! This delicious coconut cake is a good example...

Read more at Such Pretty Things >