Occasionally bloggers question why I use TypePad versus Blogger, WordPress or lesser-known platforms. It's important to know I'm tech-impaired, so processing the value of each comes painfully slow.
Like many, I used Blogger when I started writing for PENSIEVE for the same reason as most people–it was FREE! I wasn't sure how long-term my blogging interest would remain, so I certainly didn't want to pay for it.
After a year, and at the time, frustration, aggravation and inconsistencies with Blogger, it was time to move on; I weighed the benefits of TypePad and WordPress. My choice boiled down to my perception that WordPress would require more knowledge to manipulate, and TypePad was user-friendly from the get-go.
Now almost two years later, these are my top reasons you might want to consider Typepad for your next blogging platform:
- Fabulous customer support. I was shocked when a REAL person from Typepad/Six Apart saw a tweet of mine on twitter asking for help with a problem and responded within minutes. This is reason enough to choose Typepad imho:). Users also can submit "help tickets" and someone in customer service will respond in hours.
- User friendly. I have found that to be true. Without any tutorials, you can navigate Typepad with relative ease; if you have questions, they have a query bank that answers most everything.
- Tons of free design templates. If you aren't in a position to pay for custom, Typepad has a variety of pre-made templates; and for those of you with just a little savvy, you can easily change the header.
- Easy photo uploads. Choose from standard or custom sizes and whether or not to wrap text around the image.
- Commenting ease. If you feel the need to add word verification, it's available (personal opinion? VERY few people actually need it and it's a hassle for your commenter…but I digress….). Typepad's SPAM controls are effective; VERY few undesirable comments make their way through.
- View post in both rich text and html mode. Even if you know only basic html language, this is helpful when you need it.
- Categories. When I left Blogger, post categories weren't an option. As far as I know, most major platforms do allow them now.
- Sidebar manipulation. Add widgets, links, lists, text and images easily (which reminds me…mine could use some major TLC right now!).
- Unlimited blogs with premium account. You can add additional authors but I'm not sure at which level this is allowed.
While there are other things to consider when choosing your hosted platform (or whether or not to use a hosted platform at all!), I've been consistently pleased with Typepad's performance almost two years into our "relationship".
There is one feature I'd like to see not currently offered: numbered comments. Anyone who's hosted a giveaway can give me an "AMEN!" on that! Typepad/SIX APART…DO YOU HEAR ME???
What platform do you use? Are you completely satisfied or shopping around? What features are most important to you? If you've blogged on several platforms, what thoughts can you add to mine?
I didn’t know that some people pay for their blog..wow! Great info!
I hear ya loud and clear!
Now that you’re on the new platform, you CAN can do numbered comments – although it takes a little CSS magic, and support can help you with that, I bet!
Here’s an example:
If we view the source we see:
* comment being odd/even
* comment being from the blog owner
* a specific comment
We’re starting to try to figure out how threaded AND numbered commenting would work together, ideally. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this!
I completely agree! Typepad is usually problem-free, but when I do have something go wrong, their tech support is wonderful.
I certainly agree that the Typepad staffer is great – I suspect that we’re talking about the same person and I’ll save her blushes, but if anyone reads these comments they can work out who she is.
However, from there on, we’re going to be verging in different directions. The ‘QuickPost’ option doesn’t allow for HTML. This really limits what you can do – it’s not possible to add in images any longer for example, which is very frustrating because this option used to be available – it’s now been removed. The QuickPost option pops in a link to the title of the page that I’m blogging about, with a . at the end of it. This is pointless because I’m not going to limit my posting to that. Because the HTML option is no longer available it’s necessary to be very precise with cut and drag to move the link somewhere else, and if I mess it up it’s possible that everything else I write is regarded as part of the link, and (because I can’t get to the HTML) I pretty much have to start again.
If I want to blog using the main dashboard I have to remember to open a new tag, or the page that I want to blog about is overwritten by the dashboard option. At this point I can access the HTML code which gives me good functionality agreed. However, if I go to highlight some as a link I have to do it character by character since a double mouseclick *also* highlights the following space, which looks poor. It’s also counter intuitive in that I add in a link then click the X box to close the window, which is actually saving AND closing.
Spam. Typepad used to be really good at this. This has been ‘improved’ by Typepad, which means that, once again, they’ve given users LESS functionality. Try and block a particular word – can’t do it. It’s much harder to correctly deal with spam.
I’ll agree that it’s easy to add in widgets, and there’s a lot of them. However, I wish that I’d stuck with Blogger – not only is it cheaper than Typepad the functionality is as good if not better.
You can have numbered comments in Typepad – but you have to convert your comment management to Typepad Connect. And once you do that, there’s no going back without losing comments on posts you published with Connect comment management.
I can talk more with you about this if you want – just email me!
I LOVE TypePad!
I’m an online communications professional and use it to create websites and/or blogs for my clients all the time. I’ve also been using it to host my own main blog for over three years now.
I also have Blogger and WordPress blogs, but there is really no comparison between them and TypePad for ease of use, aesthetic capacity & flexibility and the range of plug-in (widget) functionality.
Wordpress has a lot going for it politically as it’s open source and free but like a lot of “free” software, you need to pay a programmer to keep it updated and maintained, or if you want to customize or do anything special with it.
I’d rather put my energy into writing great content and making my blog look fabulous. 🙂
Plus the people at TypePad are great – they’re creative and dedicated and they listen to their customers.
One thing WordPress does have over TypePad (currently) is a community of practice, forums with people who’ll serve as mentors or share their knowledge about working with the software.
I’d love to connect with other designers who use TypePad, to share what I’ve learned and help me expand what I know. Has anyone heard of this kind of TypePad community?
Thanks for this very helpful information. I am in the process of setting up a new blog and am debating whether or not to use Typepad. I now use Blogger, but I want to add other pages on my new blog, and I’ve heard Typepad is better so you won’t ever lose your past entries. Is this true? I am willing to buy a creative design – any suggestions where to go?
Thanks so much for the really great info! I have been thinking about making the change myself. It is so hard to know which is best, everyone has their own opinion. I really liked all of your reasons though. Blogger’s customer service is not so hot!