Blogging: Choosing a Platform, Part 1 – Typepad

by Ron on May 1, 2009

typepad

After you determine the purpose of your blog, your next step is to choose a blogging platform: Typepad, Blogger or WordPress. This post looks at Typepad. In future posts we will look at the other two.

Typepad uses a subscription model. Plans start at $4.95 per month, but the price includes hosting the blog and includes competent customer service. My by Ron Miller blog is on Typepad and I’ve had it there since shortly after I first started blogging in 2003.

You can use an existing template, which is good for people just starting out, but if you wish, you can also create your own design. I hired designer Doug Eymer to create my design earlier this year, but I used a standard Typepad template for many years before doing this.

If you are using the Basic service, you have to use a url like myblog.typepad.com. Mine is like that and I’m reluctant to change it because I’ve had it for so long, but you might want to consider a custom url. If you are using the Plus service or above you can map a custom URL like www.myblog.com.

All of these platforms take some getting used to and Typepad is no exception. Some functions are hidden or require a little bit of a learning curve to understand, but basic writing and formatting is a breeze. You can easily set up categories and add pictures. Adding video could be tricky for the less technical because it requires you to drop the sharing code into the HTML code, but it’s not hard once you get it.

I’ve used Typepad for 6 years, so I understand it inside/out, but if you are just experimenting with blogging, you might want to look at the other two platforms first before you make your final decision.

Check out the rest of this blogging platform series: Part 2 on Blogger and Part 3 on WordPress.

Photo by mil8 on flickr.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 --Deb May 1, 2009 at 8:26 am

My first blog was at Typepad and I liked it, was happy with the service, and didn’t really have any complaints. I used the middle-level of service and also registered my domain name so that I could forward people without needing the “.typepad” part of the address. It looked nice, worked well, and had no problems.

But … a year and a half ago, I moved to Wordpress because there were so many more options for self-hosted Wordpress blogs. Widgets. Extras. Designs. Toys. I can’t say I really miss Typepad. Probably because I LIKE to fidget with new, gadgety stuff!

2 David Griner May 1, 2009 at 8:38 am

I’ve been a loyal TypePad user for years, but I’ve lately grown infuriated with their bugs and lackluster customer support. The people are great, and the graphic interface is probably the best on the circuit, but I’ve simply had too many recent problems that the support team failed to fix or acknowledge.

Hopefully, that will improve, because I really do admire many of the people at Six Apart and think it’s one of the better paid services on the Web. But in the end, a paid product has to be substantially better than what you can get for free, and I just don’t believe that’s true of TypePad anymore.

3 ron May 1, 2009 at 8:40 am

Hi Deb:
Thanks for the comment and for the great post on Lie vs. Lay.

To be fair, Typepad has hundreds of widgets you can use in your Typepad blog too.

You can view Typepad widgets in the Typepad Widget Gallery.

4 ron May 1, 2009 at 8:43 am

Hi David:
I have had a couple of problems, and I hear of some folks having issues a while back, but Typepad seems to have stabilized again.

But you’re absolutely right if you are going to charge for the service, you have to really differentiate yourself and be sure your customers are extremely happy.

Thanks for the comment.

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