TypePad claims greatest customization and design options for hosted blogs
Six Apart reckons that its revamped TypePad blogging platform now offers bloggers more flexibility of layout, design, and content than any other hosted blogging platform.
That’s an important distinction to make, because generally hosted blog services (such as Blogger, WordPress.com, and TypePad) offer less flexibility than own-server-based platforms (such as WordPress and Moveable Type).
New features introduced for TypePad bloggers include:
- Over 1000 professional designs
- Layout and banner customization
- Extensive TypePad Widget Gallery with unlimited widgets
- Monetization options, including AdSense
- Video and audio hosting at all account levels
- Complete customization of all CSS, HTML and scripts on a site
“We conducted in-depth research with our TypePad customers and other bloggers, and we heard a consistent message: bloggers want more flexibility and increased control over their designs,” said Michael Sippey, vice president of product, Six Apart. “We believe that bloggers should be free to express themselves not only in their blog posts, but in their blog designs as well. Bloggers on TypePad enjoy that freedom today, with the ability to customize their design, add advertising, audio, video, photos and even third-party widgets.”
The fanfare is all very well, but it’s worth noting that TypePad offers no free service at all, and that not all features are available at every level.
That’s not to dismiss TypePad’s feature set, but simply to note that it’s not fair to compare free hosted services with paid-for hosted services.
Additionally, if you are going to pay for a blog service, you then have to make the decision whether to use a service provider such as TypePad, or purchase space on a web server and host it yourself.
Andy Merrett is a London-based full-time blogger writing for several Shiny Media technology blogs and various other projects. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.
I think that is the most important statement of this entire post especially when comparing TypePad to other platforms like WordPress.com.
WordPress does have a very nice free product offering, but when it comes to freedom and control over the look and feel of your blog, then you must consider the fact that much of the control one would expect to have on WordPress.com only comes after you pay for it.
Then the question becomes, which service offers a better value for your money? So your statement, “it’s not fair to compare free hosted services with paid-for hosted services” is not accurate or correct. It is not only fair, it is imperative.
For example – you have to pay $300/month for the privilege of running your own ads on your wordpress.com blog. And then they actually have to seek their permission to do so. Where as on TypePad you can run ads for as little as $4.95/month. You don’t need our permission, and there are no restrictions placed upon you for how you wish to make money blogging. The money is 100% yours – whether it be from a premium ad service, AdSense, Amazon Associates or you name it.
Another perfect example is the use of audio and video on your blog. WordPress recently made a lot of hey about their expanded space limits – yet they exempted Audio and Video files from this limit by not permitting free users to upload those file formats. These formats are specifically the types of files that necessitate the kind of space they are giving away for free. Of course, you can always just embed your podcast in a Word Doc or Powerpoint presentation — that would allow you upload all the audio and video you want.
So on WP.com you have to pay over $7/month for 25GB and the privilege to upload rich media content. On TypePad the same costs $5/month and places absolutely no restriction upon the type of file you are allowed to upload.
Just trying to compare apples to apples…
Thanks for your insightful comments. Just to explain, when I said “it’s not fair to compare free hosted services with paid-for hosted services” I really meant that it’s a little unfair for TypePad to claim that they’re the best hosted service, when they’re on a different playing field to the likes of Blogger and WordPress.com.
Absolutely, as as blogger looking for a service you should compare what features you get through different blog platforms/models — free hosted, paid-for hosted, and self-installed/hosted.
Sorry if the statement was ambiguous. Thanks for the great additional info.
PS For the record, I’m not saying that Six Apart is being deceitful with its claims over TypePad, though I must admit I did a double-take when I first read their press release — perhaps that was the idea.
Just to clarify, it looks like at Typepad $5/mo gets me 100mb of storage, and metered bandwidth of 2gb.
For $20/yr, or around $1.66 a month, on WordPress.com, you get 8,000mb of storage, unlimited bandwidth.
Neither has restrictions on audio or video.
From what I can tell from your pricing page, that would still be more space and bandwidth than even your $90/mo version.
Is that apples to apples?
Matt, thanks for chiming in. It’s interesting you mention storage and bandwidth, because we’re not sure that’s what most bloggers really care about. Instead, we keep hearing that they care about what they can do with their blog — how it looks, how it represents them, the features they can bring their readers, and how it can grow with them over time.
We never insert our ads on TypePad blogs. And our members see their blog just as their readers do.
And finally, though the vast majority of TypePad bloggers proudly fly the “Powered by TypePad” link on their blog, we don’t force them to do that, unlike on WordPress.com where the equivalent is impossible to remove and is required even for WordPress VIP customers.