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John T. Unger

How To Change the Order of TypeLists on your "About" Page

John T. Unger December 7, 2006

Some time back, Nuthatch requested the ability to change the order of TypeLists on the "About" page.

Although there is currently no way to do this using TypePad's About Page Default Template, there are several hacks you can use to get more control over the display of your About page.

The easiest way to get around this issue is to create a custom About page as a blog post and link to it from your sidebar. You can set the post date back in time if you don't want it to display at the top of your blog right now. That's how I've chosen to do my About pages and it works pretty nicely because all the design elements match the blog exactly.

If you have a Plus or Pro account, you could create a standalone blog that functions as a landing page. I have a pretty detailed post about that here: How To: Create a Landing Page for Your TypePad Blog

If you have a Pro account and you want to control the order of content but don't want it to match the rest of your blog, you could create an additional index page and/or and additional sidebar. You can adapt my instructions for creating a secondary fast blog if you want to try it this way.

If you really wanted to use TypePad's standard About Page, there's still a way to control the order of items in the sidebar.

  1. Create a Notes style TypeList and give it the title you would like to have at the top of your sidebar.
  2. Select all the content in your existing sidebar and copy it.
  3. Paste your sidebar content into TypePad's Compose Window.
  4. Switch to the Edit HTML tab.
  5. Select the HTML code and paste it into your Notes Typelist.
  6. Save your TypeList and add it to your About page.

In most cases this will work just fine— You'll have all the title headings, all the content, etc. that show up on your regular blog. Even though you're creating a single TypeList to house all your content, you can make it look like multiple lists by using the tag for Typelist titles:

<h2 class="module-header">Title</h2>

The compose window will automatically apply the formatting for your title tags when you cut + paste.

There are a few exceptions: items like Recent Posts and Recent Comments require MT code that has to be running in the template rather than a TypeList. Some javascript items and widgets may not work using cut and paste from the browser window. If not, just copy the original code directly from the TypeList they were in and adding it to your special About Page Typelist.

Really, I think it's better to create an About page as a blog post, but when it occurred to me that the entire sidebar could be replicated in a single TypeList just by cutting + pasting twice, I had to point it out!

More Like This: Advanced Templates , Agenda Updates , Basic Templates , Hacks for Navigation , Hacks for Typelists


Tom G says:

I'm not one to fool around with advanced templates. I just figure, if I am going to pay Typepad monthly, I'm partly doing it so I don't have to fool around with code.

Instead, being a pro subscriber, I resort to using a lot of other blogs as pages for the main blog and map subdomains to them, similar to what you suggested as a landing page John. For instance, here's my main page: http://www.ballssticksstuff.com and here is my about page: http://about.ballssticksstuff.com.

john t unger says:

Hi Tom,

Yeah, subdomains are a useful way to go…

It's not so much that anyone *needs* to mess with templates, BTW. I was certainly happy enough for the first year with the built in capabilities at TypePad. But on the other hand, the fact that you *can* mess with the code is a nice feature! What I really love about Typepad is that it offers *both* possibilities! Most of the other blog platforms I tried before moving here were either all code or all design wizard.

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