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John T. Unger

Now taking Requests (More obviously than Before)

John T. Unger April 11, 2006

I've had a number of requests come in through comments and emails, which is great. That's exactly how this blog is designed to work. In a recent comment Tom Maddox wrote:

I don't understand how this blog serves as a forum. I don't see a way to start a topic or ask for help with particular problems.

You can submit questions, requests and topic suggestions in the comments on any page. I'll get an email alerting me to it, and will respond as quickly as I can. If the question relates to a specific post, the best place to leave it is in the comments of that post.

Is there a specific Hack you'd like to request? Is there an issue, idea, problem, or topic you would like more info on? Feedback you'd like to leave? This page is a good place to leave requests so that others can see if they've already been addressed. I'll do my best to find answers as soon as I can.

More Like This: Community , Dialogue , Info , TypePad Hacks

Comments

Glenn Davies says:

Hey -thanks for your blog!

Question: Are you aware of a way to password protect access to a Typepad blog?

glenn

Julie says:

Do you have a step-by-step hack for Dynamicdrive's CSS Popup Image Viewer?

http://www.dynamicdrive.com/style/csslibrary/item/css-popup-image-viewer/

john t unger says:

Glen,

Yes, you can password protect all or some of a TypePad blog. The settings are in the application following this path:

Control Panel > Site Access > Password Protection

If you need more info, read this article in the knowlege base.

john t unger says:

Julie,

I'll add that to the list of hacks to write. Really, all you'd need to do is add the CSS code to your stylesheet and then paste the html into a specific blog post where you want the effect… It's not something you can set up to work automatically with all your images.

You would want to upload the photos to your blog's file directory and then replace the URLs in the sample code with the URLs for your own images. I'll do a more detailed treatment as a stand alone post when I get caught up on the hacks I'm working on now.

Russell James says:

Hi John,

Any chance of a hack to use these arrow comment boxes?...

http://www.dynamicdrive.com/style/csslibrary/item/arrow-comment-box/

Thank you!

Julie says:

Do you have a hack to add the search box like the one you have at the top of your blog for advanced templates?

Thanks!

alfred says:

I was sort of hoping you were the guy with green hair on your contact page :-). But you seem somewhat saner than that - cowbow boots, bull horn, and a beer tucked almost in behind the speaker helps that picture :-)

I have a couple of typepad related questions. Keep in mind I am coming up to speed on typepad and movabletype as fast as I can, and that's on top of SEO and google adwords, and a handfull of other things. What a ride!

The first Q - forms and emails ... I have a client (typepad site) that wants people to fill in a form, submit it, and they they will get an email with an orphaned link. Can this be done in TP, or does the form have to point to something offsite? The landing page will be somewhere in the typepad site. Hopefully

Second Q - How did you manage to get typepadhacks.org not show typepadhacks.typepad.com? The only otherway I have seen it done is by putting the typepad site inside a frame. I thought it was a little inefficient myself, but didn't have enough knowledge to suggest anything else

third Q - is it possible to have an orphaned page in a typepad site? - orphaned in that it links to the rest of site, but nothing on the rest of the site references it.

Fourth is not a Q, but an apology if I am asking questions, the answers for whom are in typepad documents.

A

Rich Owings says:

Please add this one to the hack request list -- hacking title tags. See:

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/06/23/title-tags-and-seo-2/

Hope kicking the habit is going well John.

Michael says:

I've just had blog integration added to my list of must-do items. I've figured out an appropriate tool to use, but have reached a point where I'm a bit stumped with TypePad. I'm trying to figure out how to have the "main blog" display the last posts from a small array of other blogs. Similar to what is seen at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/. We would still have authors able to post to the main blog.

It's been hinted from TypePad that advanced templates with feedburner is the way to go, but using feedburner doesn't bring in comments/trackbacks etc. I spent some time playing with feeds and the advanced templates, but am also trying to determine if I can get the desired result by just modifying the main blog templates, or if I need to edit templates for all the blogs which need to populate the main blog. Also, do I need to fiddle with the rss feed templates to get the full post to appear in the main blog?

Forgive me if the answer is easier than it appears, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed this week!

Mike

john t unger says:

Alfred,

All very good questions. In order, here are some answers:

1. TypePad's servers do not allow forms for security reasons, so in order to use a form for email etc. you'll have to host it elsewhere and provide a link from your blog. That's what I've done myself for my email form. I'd love it if I could actually host that at TypePad as well, but, hey, it's actually not that high a price to pay in the long run. If you look at the contact page here on this blog and then follow the link for emailing me you can see how I've set it up.

2. You can use domain mapping to point an URL to your TypePad blog. The link will take you to an article in the Knowledge Base that explains how to do it. It's a wee bit tricky because it varies a bit depending on who you registered the doamin with but TypePad provides good instructions for several of the more popular registries. If yours is not listed, then you should contact the support services at the company where you register your domain and they should be able to walk you through it.

3. Yes, you can have HTML pages that are not linked to the rest of your blog. You can read about how to do that here and here.

john t unger says:

Rich,

Yeah, that's a good post from Darren. TypePad automatically generates the title tags as "Blog Name: Post Title" and I'm not quite sure how hard it would be to change that. I *suspect* that it might require the use of a new MT tag or something, in which case it may be very unlikely to change.

In the mean time, "Blog Name: Post Title" is not a *bad* model for SEO. I think that "Post Title: Blog Name" is probably stronger and it's possible that "Post Title" without blog name is stronger, but on some levels this is all guesswork unless you happen to work for google and *know* the answers.

The best advice I can give for now is to pay very close attention to your titles… Make sure that they are compelling and interesting so that people read the post and be sure to include a few well-chosen keywords for the search engines. I'm really pretty sure that the text of your headline will count a wee bit more with most search engines than the format, in the long run.

Brian Clark has four excellent posts about how to write successful headlines over at coppyblogger. Check them out from the following links:

How to Write Headlines That Work
Writing Headlines That Get Results
Link Baiting, New York Times Style
How to Get 53% More Readers for Every Blog Post You Write

john t unger says:

Mike,

I can think of several ways to bring feeds from other blogs into a side bar, but I'm not sure how to bring them in as posts to the blog automatically… I'll work on it and see if I can come up with something.

Beth B. says:

We added sidebar items with links but they are two page clicks down so some site visitors don't know they exist. I tried to create a "site map" but I could only type in text. I assume that we can't have links to sidebar items (is that correct?).

If so, is there a good way to create a site map to help visitors understand what is in the sidebars (without paging down)? We don't use advanced templates (yet).

Thanks.
Beth
www.svmoms.com

Suzy says:

Grrr.....this is getting crazy! =o) Why do I follow the instructions for creating a drop down menu and then it just doesn't work?

I'm trying to insert a drop down menu for my "Member of....=o)" typelist, so that all the websites in this blog roll aren't going all the way down my side bar. For some reason I'm just not figuring this out. I'd also like to add another typelist titled "Books I'm Reading", but since I haven't figured out the first typelist problem I haven't even started on the book typelist. lol

I know I'm pretty clueless about this html stuff, but I've spent hours on it and I still haven't gotten it right. Any suggestions??

Thanks so much!

john t unger says:

Hi Suzy,

The instructions I posted for drop down menus are just for categories and archives… they won't work for other typelist items.

But don't give up hope! You *can* create other drop down lists for typelists, you just have to set it up differently. There are instructions on how to do it at the bottom of the page here: http://colleen.typepad.com/first/2004/01/drop_down_menus.html

I haven't tried this myself, but I know it works. I'd suggest reading through some of the links that Colleen provides at the end of her page, to get a feel for which tags do what.

Debra Hamel says:

I'm trying to figure out how to add a list of categories to my sidebar, with category counts. But I only want to list *some* categories (this is in advanced templates). Really, I'd like to have the ability to list one category wherever I want it, to put as much text around it as I'd like, e.g.:

book reviews (107)
-- fiction (45)
-- nonfiction (62)

But I can't find a way of limiting the MTCategories tag the way you can MTEntries, with a category="name" variable. Is there some way to do this?

john t unger says:

Beth,

In basic templates, you can easily reorganize your typelists to place the higher priority items at the top. I recommend placing the following items at top left: about, contact, subscribe and search.

As for sitemaps, you can use google sitemaps to create a sitemap for your blog, which you can then link to in a typelist. I haven't really done more than glance at google sitemaps, but there seem to be some cool additional benefits and I think I'll give it a more in depth look some time soon.

Julie says:

I am just getting around to trying the Dynamicdrive's CSS Popup Image Viewer that I asked you about above. I copy and pasted the CSS code to style sheet and added the html code to the post like you said, but it isn't hiding the larger image, so no pop up. Just showing both the small and large image. I have a feeling I am not putting the CSS code in correctly? A few people posted this same question on the other website, but no answers so I thought I would come back to you, hope you don't mind. Any suggestions?

By the way, your website has inspired me to take an intro html/css class so I can actually understand what I am looking at. Thanks for getting me interested in something new!

Julie says:

HELP! I thought I was being really careful, but now my two sidebars overlap over my header and top navigation bar! I have no idea why. Any suggestions on what I can look for?

Russell James says:

Posting this on request as it was first posted while you were 'away'!...

Hi John,

Any chance of a hack to use these arrow comment boxes?...

http://www.dynamicdrive.com/style/csslibrary/item/arrow-comment-box/

Thank you!

john t unger says:

Thanks for the repeat request Russell! I'll try to get to this soon…

Bau says:

is there anyway I can download all images at once? I'm transferring my typepad blog to movabletype, and it seems the only way since there is not FTP access is download them one by one. Any help really appreciated. Thanks

john t unger says:

Bau—

There's no easy way to download all images at once from within the TypePad app, but you could probably speed things up quite a bit by using a download client like SimpleWget. Just enter your URL and select the file type (jpg, gif, etc). SimpleWget also creates directories, which will be a big help in making sure the files are in the same place when you upload them to your new MT blog. I find that the controls require a bit of experimentation to get the results you're looking for, but other than that it works well. There are probably scads of similar apps out there… this just happens to be the first one I found when looking for an easy way to download files en masse.

Nacho says:

Hey John! Here's something I've been trying to figure out, perhaps you've tried it already:

How do we code CSS to have short entries blurbs with titles display side by side as if on a column? I've done this with tables, but would prefer a css approach that would also not require that I enter each entry blurb manually into one post body, and align, etc.

Know what I mean?

Best,

N

Gale Killebrew says:

Hi

First -- this is a great forum- thank you.

A few questions (and I'm just getting up to speed on typepad)
1. I'm aiming to host a simple web site and blog on typepad. Through this site and other sources I was able to add a nice horizontal nav (About, Services, Contact, etc). I executed those pages by creating new index templates. The problem is this: the sidebars on all of those index pages (besides the Main Index template) are blank, as the blog is set up with 3 columns (i.e. only the middle column shows any content). Do you know how I can add content to the sidebars of those new index pages?

2. Is this a bad approach? I could easily have the web-like experience hosted with a link to a simple basic typepad blog. It wouldn't be fully integrated, but it would be easier. What do think?

Thanks much.
GK

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