Choosing Typepad as Your Blogging Platform

Typepad is a paid, hosted platform and is one of the most popular options in the blogosphere right now.

One of the questions I am asked most often is whether Typepad is worth paying for. Even though the service is reasonably priced, many bloggers aren’t sure they want to pay for their hobby, but they like the classic, professional look of Typepad blogs. My answer is I think Typepad is worth the money if you’re serious about your blogging. Typepad is fairly inexpensive, allows you to have control over your blog design, you don’t have to get into the HTML unless you want to, and the TypePad Help files are awesome. I can usually find any answers I’m looking for in the Help files. If I can’t, I open a Help Desk ticket and a real live person answers me and walks me through whatever I need.

Commenting and responding to comments is also very easy and intuitive with a Typepad blog. Each time a comment is posted, you will receive an e-mail with the contents of the comment. To respond, you simply click the Respond button in your e-mail client and type your response and send as you would a normal e-mail. I have one complaint here: Typepad users are encouraged to use their Typekey account information when they comment. I’ve found that this makes it hard or impossible to respond to comments as I just described (via my e-mail client). I’ll admit I haven’t taken the time to figure this out, but it’s something to be aware of. Using the Typekey account instead of your name/e-mail/URL info makes it hard for me (as the blog owner) to alert winners of giveaways or respond to comments in a timely manner. I’d love it if you have some solutions for this. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

If you are looking at moving to TypePad, you should know that you must have at least a Pro level account ($14.95/month) to change your CSS. You can upload a banner and change the colors via the Design page with the Plus level ($8.95/month), but you can’t make significant changes without the Pro account or higher. In addition, you need to understand CSS and be able to make modifications yourself. There’s a learning curve there, but it can be done.

When Robin at Pensieve decided to move from Blogger to TypePad, she “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.” Robin considers these items some of the top reasons to choose TypePad:

  • Fabulous customer support
  • User friendly
  • Free design templates
  • Easy photo uploads
  • Easy sidebar manipulation
  • Unlimited blogs with a Premium Account

Lisa Hoover at DaniWeb likes the fact that Typepad offers Typepad Connect, a plugin that allows visitors to interact with each other (it works with Typepad, Blogger, WordPress, and Moveable Type):

Typepad Connect is available to all bloggers, not just those using Six Apart’s software. Readers can create public profiles, and bloggers can easily manage or respond to comments right from the site. Typepad Connect also offers a strong comment filters to help combat one of the most annoying issues surrounding blogging today — comment spam.

Further reading:

4 Responses

  1. matt January 26, 2009 / 7:23 am

    Why would you pick typepad over wordpress.org that is free. A hosting plan is not 14.95. This site is obviously designed with wordpress

  2. Melanie Nelson January 26, 2009 / 10:29 am

    Matt,

    This is site is designed with WordPress, but I have two other sites that are hosted with TypePad. I think your choice depends on how comfortable you are with HTML code and whether you intend to host sidebar advertising.

  3. Kelly July 4, 2009 / 7:47 am

    I use Typepad and love it. I am always suprised that more people aren’t using it. I find it very easy to change things and I love that I can host more than one blog – just don’t like that they are all an extension of my primary blog.

  4. Alessandro Brunelli February 1, 2011 / 3:09 am

    I googled “typepad worth paying” and I am glad I came here. Especially the information on the comments being allowed using only/mainly a typepad ID was for me very useful.

    I think Typepad is a service you pay for it, and so it must be really helpful for those who are serious about writing a blog (check “100 years of Illustration” blog which is what made me notice typepad in the first place) without the HTML coding hassle.

    I still think, I don’t have the time to run a “serious” blog (I have other websites to manage) and I prefer to use a free wordpress, google, or other blog on special subjects. I have seen an artist using a special blog for artists, too (http://www.joanahamilton.com/). But also in her case it is vital to receive comments openly without having to be exactly from within Typepad. And I got her in my “neighborhood” as a person to be in touch regularly, too, when I commented and got in touch on her pages. A thing I would have probably missed if she were with Typepad.

    My rule of thumb, when you pay for something is usually for a benefit, often in cutting time and I must see a return in the investment.

    (PS. Sorry for the side note, but in my browser, Firefox 3.6., on Windows Vista, all links are not readable easily, strike-through instead of underlined)

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