Typepad just recently announced a host of new features and enhancements to the already robust platform. Here’s my take on some of the more important improvements.
They’ve literally doubled storage and bandwidth limitations. Typepad has the best handle on photos of any platform available in my opinion, at least the ones I’m familiar with. With increased use of photo albums came the need for more storage and bandwidth capability. I’m glad to see they’ve met the challenge.
Improved comment management
This was an area where Typepad, heretofore, had been sadly lacking. They’ve had the option of using the Typekey system, but comment moderation was virtually non-existent. That problem has been solved and comments can be moderated across the board. Further, comment moderation has been included in the email notifications as well. You can choose to delete, edit, and approve comments from direct links included in the email.
New and improved templates
I’ve never been excited about Typepad’s default templates. Some of them were very amatuerish and "cheesy" looking. They demanded customization. Now, they’ve come out with 15 new templates putting them on par with Blogger, a competiting platform. Some of the new templates remind me of ones I’ve seen available for WordPress too.
Copying advanced templates
Advanced templates are ones that allow full control over the style sheet and look/feel of the site. Now, advanced templates can be duplicated for use in building new TP blogs. This is great for those of us interested in using Typepad for developing blog networks and channels.
Custom CSS with basic designs
Up to now, if you wanted to make custom changes to the style sheet you had to upgrade to the Pro level, then create an advanced template. No more! While still a feature only available to Pro level users, you can customized the style sheet while still using the basic design.
Enhanced design area
The design interface is easier to use and more intuitive. I really like this feature.
Publishing and configuration
One bane of Typepad and Movable Type’s existence (MT is Typepad’s elder sibling) was that you constantly had to rebuild the blog, or at least a portion of it, to see changes. Now, publishing is more automatic, which means less rebuilds.
These are just a few of the many changes to the platform, all of which I think were needed and definately appreciated. Though Typepad is primarily targeted to personal use, these enhancements put it on par with many of the platforms available for more professional or business applications.
There are two enhancements that I think are sorely needed: One is stats tracking. I’ve never been enamored with their version of it, and always employ a third-party application on TP blogs I develop, most notably StatCounter. The other is pinging service options. Typepad defaults pinging to blo.gs and weblogs.com, but I’ really like to see them allow the option of pinging Technorati and Pingomatic. You can add them per post, but that’s a hassle.
I have always appreciated how easy Typepad is to use in terms of uploading and configuring photos in blog posts, as well as the fact the platform has spell-check onboard. Though the WYSIWYG editor can sometimes be troublesome, I would suggest that if you want a free-standing blog to associate with your business, Typepad is the way to go!