This guest post comes from my best buddy in the blogging biz, Cris Stone of Kiss My Tulle fame (or is that infamy?). Cris loves Typepad so much she took time from her busy schedule of planning her wedding, blogging, working at a "real" job, and dry-humping office furniture to put her Typepad adoration into words. Take it away, Cris!
I didn’t plan on loving Typepad. In fact, I didn’t even start with it as a blogging platform. Originally, I was a Blogspot whore. It was free and simple to use and everyone else was doin’ it. So I used it. For years. And I did like it. The design was simple and it was easy to blog with.But eventually, I needed something more. Something with a little more gloss, a little more flexibility, and little more maturity. And God said, "Let there be Typepad."
Quite a few of my favorite bloggers had already made the switch to Typepad and I loved the look of their blogs: Cathy Zielkze, Elise Blaha, Craftyminx, and Jen Lancaster . So I signed up for a free trial and was hooked. FINALLY! I could host my images on my own server without paying a fortune. I could easily mess with the style sheet. I had more layouts to choose from and at just a click of the button! Sweet.
Oh Typepad, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
- Easy to start blogging. There are no complicated uploads or buying your own server requirements. Sign up, pay the fee, choose a layout and design, start blogging. Done.
- You can buy your own domain if you wish or use a free one. It’s up to you. I started with a free one and then purchase a domain later and assigned it to my blog in just a few easy steps. But Typepad won’t require you to spend the money on a fancy schmancy name if you don’t want one.
- Typepad is your server. This is fab. With my old blogging platform, I had to host all my images on a third party site (I used Photobucket) and code them into my posts. This was a pain and left me without ultimate control over the formatting of my images. With Typepad, I’m in charge. I upload my images right to the site, add alt tags, and formatting in one simple step. Boom!
- Easy to use account settings and design set-up. Want to add your Google Analytics code? With Typepad, you don’t have to mess around with templates or hidden bits of code. They have a fill in the blank spot for it right in your account settings. Want a three column design instead of a two? Just pick that option in the design section. Want to make your menu images instead of words? You can do that right in the navigation edits.
- Pretty simple coding. Typepad is nice because it does use some more complex coding (i.e. php) in its backend but pretty much everything used by bloggers in either HTML or CSS. Unlike some other platforms (Wordpress, I’m looking at you), if you’d like to alter your header or menu design slightly you can accomplish it through a bit of HTML editing or alterations to the style sheet. No messing with the original template or wading through three different php templates to change one thing. It’s basically all there and ready to use.
- Multiple FREE Blogs. If you buy the PRO version of Typepad it gives you an unlimited number of blogs for free. I currently have 3: Kiss My Tulle, At No. 64, my wedding blog, and a blog I use to test out coding. I love this because it means that all I have to do is assign a new name to a new template and start creating. Again, no messing around with uploading and assigning. Just get in there and get started. It’s also really cool that I can have a free blog to mess around with when I’m experimenting with new layout designs and bits of coding. That always me to keep my regular blogs mess-free and working cleanly.
One of the biggest pluses for me when learning to use Typepad was an amazing workshop class from Elise Blaha. This class was really the turning for me and my full-on dry humping of Typepad. In it, Elise uses simple and straight forward lessons to teach you about web design, basic HTML coding, and simple SEO and analytics. She’s doing the class again starting April 30th (you can sign up now!) and I strongly, strongly encourage anyone interested in Typepad to sign up (it includes a lifetime discount code!). You’ll learn so much and love Elise (and no, I’m getting nothing for this – I just super loved the class and know you will, too.). See y’all on Typepad!