Saturday, June 2, 2007

Typepad's New "Pages" Feature

One of the features I have admired (envied) on WordPress blogs is the ability to create separate pages connected to the blog. The pages are usually accessed via tabs in the top menu bar. The blogger might have an About page, a Links page, etc—the sort of info that can really clutter up a sidebar. Moving this info to a separate page makes for a cleaner, more readable blog.

Here's an example of a WordPress blog that uses pages for organization. There's the home page, the about page, and the links page.

Well, TypePad has now added a Pages feature too. Hooray!

You'll notice the "Create a new page" or "list pages" options in your Typepad user panel, next to "Create a new post" and "list posts."

There are endless ways to use pages to organize your blog. I'm in the process of setting up a "Best of Bonny Glen" page, where my best posts will be organized by broad category. Right now I have a Bonny Glen Highlights typelist in my sidebar, but I think having these links on a separate page will work better (and hold more information). I'll put a link to the Best Of page at the top of my sidebar, next to my Archives link.

I also created a page for recording our ongoing list of family sightseeing adventures now that we live in Southern California. Again, I put a link to this page in my sidebar.

Other page content ideas:

• Booklists
• Photos
• Homeschooling plans
• Recommended resources
• Prayer lists
• Used books for sale
• Family bios

The sky's the limit!

To allow your readers to access your pages, Typepad lets you add a Pages list to your sidebar (in the same way you add a list of Recent Posts or Recent Comments; simply go to "Edit Content" to select the Show Pages option). Or if you want a more customized link, you can put it in a Typelist, as I did with my "San Diego Sights" page—I wanted to include a photo button to make the link more eye-catching.

You can even create a top (horizontal) menu bar like on WordPress blogs—if you're comfortable working with Advanced Templates in TypePad. TypePad Hacks explains how.

UPDATED TO ADD: I did it! Created the top menu bar, that is. I followed the simple instructions in that first link, and it worked perfectly. A caveat, though: in order to install the menu bar, you've got to convert your template to Advanced Templates. And TypePad widgets don't work with Advanced Templates, just FYI. I had to go in and manually insert all the code I had formerly installed as widgets: "subscribe to my feed" links, mybloglog, sitemeter, and so forth.