« PSA: Use Caution with this Hack, or Better Yet, Wait for the Feature | Main | Without Net Neutrality, Would Blogs Even Exist? »

John T. Unger

Links to Blog Examples of Hacks

John T. Unger April 24, 2006

MiamiGirl at The New Miamian posted a bit of a horror story today:

So there I am on the Typepad Hack's website, going step-by-step...never looking back...he says to keep going when...FREAK OUT MODE...hit me in full force.  I looked at my blog and it was a mess!  What the hell?  I thought.  Didn't I follow all of the directions? Then I looked at some of the user's comments under the hack directions and I saw it...blinking at me like a neon light...another user posted the following comment..."any idea where I may have gone wrong?" 

Of course I didn't read the part that said you may have to tweak it a little depending on your blog.  "Hello, my blog is live and LOOKS LIKE CRAP!!!"

Ouch! Sorry, MiamiGirl, that sounds like it was painful. I've collected some Hack Safety Instructions which are worth a read before trying anything new. These are not just suggestions for people who read the blog, these are the precautions I take when testing any new Hacks before posting them.

I'm not sure which Hack she was working with, but I'm going to bet that it was the Three Column  Layout Hack, since that one seems to have been difficult for several people to implement. Mike has done a really nice job of implementing it at his blog, Converstations. A few other people have tried it out and succeeded in implementing it, but I'm not aware of any blogs that are currently live with this hack. If you've successfully implemented it, let me know and I'll post a link to your blog as an example!

Dave, at Daddy Daze has a really beautiful example of the Landing Page Hack I recently posted. When I commented on how much I like the design of his blog, he shared a cool Hack that allows him to use a layout similar to one of the mixed media templates offered by TypePad while still using advanced templates. I'll write it up in stepe by step mode later, but for now you can get the gist by reading his comment here.

Trevor Cook has used the Title as Link Hack at his blog Corporate Engagement.

If you've used one of the hacks from this blog to do something new at your blog, leave me a comment and I'll post a link in the next round of examples. I know I've missed a bunch of people in this first round.

If you have a hack you've developed that you'd like to share, go to this page and read the submission guidelines. Then just leave a comment letting me know where I can see an example of the hack and I'll get in touch.

More Like This: Advanced Templates , Community , TypePad Hacks


MiamiGirl says:


First of all I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your site and have successfully used it for other "hacks". Those changes are not apparent now because I had to go back to my backup copy outside of the previous advanced templates.

Yes, I was working on the Three Column hack...I must have just missed something when ...the MESS happened. I was tediously working along, step by step. Initially my post was on top full screen, and sidebar 1 & 2 below respectively. Then I got the post to the correct size and on the full left side of the screen but I could never get sidebar 1&2 to follow up into their correct positions. Then after that...every time I went to post, I got typepad's error page. They said I screwed up something in the advanced templates...I got nervous and backtracked. All the way back to my back-up copy. I WILL do this again very soon and keep up the awesome work here!!


James Milstid says:

I've got the "Title as a Link" hack going on my site. I had to tweak a little... only because I had added some hard-code to my Main Index Template before. That other code has now become a new Template Module.

Your instructions were great! I've coded before, but just haven't taken a lot of time to learn the ropes with TypePad. Thanks to your article, it's all becoming clearer! I'm gettin' dangerous now! LOL!


john t unger says:

MiamiGirl and James,

Thanks so much for the kind words! It really feels good to know that people are getting something out of the site and appreciate the effort!

It's especially rewarding when people have nice things to say even after experiencing some difficulty with a hack. I may revisit the three column layout instructions and see if I can make them clearer.

ginevra says:

Hi there:

I'm Ginevra, the account manager here at Six Apart. I'd love to chat with you a bit about how we can help this community grow - discounts for TypePad is my thought but if anyone has any suggestions (other than implement the features already, jeez) for how we can engage yall... well, let me know!

I'm easiest to reach at ginevra AT sixapart.com.


john t unger says:

Hi Ginevera,

Wow, that's a generous offer! Thanks!

I'd like to encourage everyone to reply in the comments here, so that others can follow the discussion on the blog. I'm kind of interested myself to hear what kinds of suggestions people might make.

Not to *discourage* anyone from contacting Ginvera directly… I'm quite impressed that she posted her contact info publicly! But if you could, maybe just post a comment with suggestions in addition to contacting G.

Thanks, everyone.

James Milstid says:

I wasn't sure where to post this, but I've managed to put together a fairly simple "top menu" scheme. It requires TypePad Pro and involves creating a new Template Module, editing a couple Index Templates, and adding a new css entry in the stylesheet.

I've got a quick-and-dirty tutorial here: Jimmy the Geek

Take a look and see what you think.


john t unger says:

Thanks James, that's great! I'll post a link to it in the blog tomorrow (just about to crash and I want to try it out first. Looks good though!)

For future submissions, you might want to post comments on the following entry URL: http://www.typepadhacks.org/2006/04/submit_your_bes.html

(it doesn't matter too much since I'll repost the link as it'sown entry)

There's a permanent link to the Submit A Hack post in the sidebar, under the heading "particpate."

MiamiGirl says:

I did it! Finally I switched it all over to three columns post on left. I did do a little tweaking of the style sheet...but it worked. I do have one question and I am also going to email Ginevera and ask her....

All of my pages follow this new style except the comment pages. For instance if you click on preview or post comments...the resulting page does not follow the new style. Any idea why?

Thanks again. MiamiGirl.

MiamiGirl says:

So I changed it back because the comment/preview page looked unfinished and I didn't like how that one page came out...don't worry thought I am still hacking away...

Here is what Typepad said to me:

Right now, the comment preview/error page is just a standard format for all users. We are aware that this standard format doesn't look the best in all Advanced designs, and our team is working to make adjustments on this.

At this time, we don't have a template in our Advanced Template sets to allow Advanced Template users to configure this page. However, this is in our plans for the future, so we appreciate you confirming that this would help you.

For some people, they can control what they'd like to display on this comment preview/error page by using some CSS, so you might take a look at the classes that are used in that page, by viewing the HTML, and see if that would help you.

MiamiGirl says:


One more thing. How did the comment/preview look? Well it was two columns just like it is on my current design...but the content section did not expand to a large size...rather it was like two small sidebars.

john t unger says:

Miami Girl,

It looked to me like the comment/preview page had 3 columns with the text in the center. The righthand sidebar had a handful of typelist items that seemed to all be the automatic types… recent comments, etc. Stuff that TypePad automatically generates rather than typelists you created.

Actually, I'd be encouraged by the response you got… That they are considering adding an advanced template is better than just saying it's unsupported.

Still, I wouldn't sweat this one too much… I kinda think that having the comment preview page as bare as possible is a good thing. If there are lots of sidebar links, then there's the temptation to click one. If they click before posting the comment, they'll lose the comment and be frustrated. Really, the preview page is a sort of special case, intermediate page. It really only exists for the brief time it takes to make up one's mind whether a comment should actually be submitted. I've never felt annoyed by the lack of detail on preview pages when commenting, and I think it's a pretty common thing in most blog platforms besides TypePad.

The comments to this entry are closed.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Links to Blog Examples of Hacks:

typepad hacks is a typepad featured weblog typepad hacks is listed on Alltop social media


Email RSS Comments  
Subscribe to TypePad Hacks with email Read TypePad Hacks posts via RSS Join the conversation at TypePad Hacks via RSS (comments feed) subscriber count



Twitter Logo
    follow typepadhacks on twitter

    Read and reply to the 100 most recent comments at the TypePad Hacks Community Page



    Powered by TypePad
    Member since 03/2005

    TypePad Status

    Creative Commons License