MarketWatch on the Future of Content
iPhone: Apple's Next Overpriced Gadget

TypePad Sucks!

OK, I made the mistake of signing up with TypePad and right now it's too much of a hassle to move my blog to another service.  For now though, the least I can do is to warn you about the poor reliability TypePad offers.

If you haven't started a blog yet but are considering doing so, do it somewhere other than on TypePad.  At this point, I'd be willing to pay twice the annual fee I pay TypePad if it would mean I could count on more reliable uptime.

The service is terrible and the features are very limited.  Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere for your blog hosting solution.  Trust me on this!

Comments

Adrian W Kingsley-Hughes - The PC Doctor

The problem with a hosted solution like TypePad isn't so much the hassle of migrating, it's the loss of the domain. You could buy www.joewikert.com and have it working in no time. Even installing WordPress is a doddle and importing TypePad data into it is no biggie - but your new blog will be just that - new. Brand new and in need of serious Google juice.

That's the TypePad trap. The only advice/consolation I can give is this - the sooner you move, the sooner you're building up your new blog.

Michael A. Banks

Thanks for the notes on this service, Joe. I started to post this before 10, Eastern time, but when I clicked “Post” I got the “Typepad is not available” page! Fitting?

Anyway, I was attracted to it because of the posting system. At my own domain ($8.95 per year through godaddy.com) I don't have a setup for posting and handling replies. So I use Amazon and http://mikebanks.blogspot.com (free), which doesn't seem to be getting a lot of attention. It works fairly well, but Google’s taking it over and there seem to be transition-related logon problems.

I suppose I will start looking at the tools available to make my michaelabanks.com blog interactive. Funny, we used to just write scripts to set up the equivalent of blogs DELPHI's VAX. Or, if one were a Wizard, just set the flags for a board on CompuServe or DELPHI or BIX and go to town. (CoSy, Alistair Mayer's conferencing program on which BIX was based, was grand; I should look around to see whether he’s modified it for Web blogging.)

I'll keep looking. Or do you hold out any hope of Typepad improving?
Cheers,
--Mike
http://www.michaelabanks.com

ggwfung

I got sucked into trying Typepad about 12 months ago with their "free month" trial. Of course, once you get started with a blog, you are loathe to quit.

I eventually had enough -

1) control panel is extremely sluggish. I could be waiting 30 seconds to get a response.

2) the "forced" upgrade path to suck money out of you

Typepad has a bad rep now. Go Wordpress as Adrian says.

ggwfung

Joe Wikert

Mike, I haven't heard anything that would indicate TypePad's service is going to improve anytime soon. You're totally right to look at other options for your blog hosting solution.

Maxine

I find typepad reasonably OK. I moved here from blogger before blogger went beta because I wanted to categorise posts. Now, blogger offers as much as typepad and it is free, so far as I can see.
I find typepad far more reliable than blogger, and the blogger commenting system is really cumbersome.
As people have said, the best solution is to have your own domain. However, not all of us are technical enough or have enough time, so we have to use one of these cheap or free providers.
I have blogs on typepad, blogger and wordpress: they all go through their good and bad periods. Wordpress was awful around Christmas but is usually quite good.

I'll probably stay with Typepad for a while becuase although you say they aren't likely to improve, they must be losing a lot of business to blogger (beta), so it seems to me they have to improve the service to survive. (I saw a graph on Micropersuasion (I think -- maybe it was Sifry's Alerts) that showed typepad growth is flat.

I only hope that Typepad isn't going to focus on Vox at the expense of Typepad and Moveable Type. I have a Vox blog but although it is all very pretty, it is extremely limited, eg you can only have a "blogroll" of other Vox users who have elected to include you in their "neigbourhood". Typepad seems to be going for the young market here, but surely they can't competed with MySpace et al. using a product like Vox? However, Vox does have some nice features for those of us too old for MySpace like me -- eg if you review a book or movie on Vox you can upload an image from Amazon as part of the automatic posting process.

Joe Wikert

Hi Maxine. I guess there's something to be said that a fee-based service like TypePad is marginally better than a free one like Blogger. But still, I don't feel like I'm getting my money's worth. Besides the reliability issues, I'm constantly pulling my hair out over simple feature limitations. For example, why can't I configure the archives link in TypePad to show more months than their current maximum (10?, 12?) -- I don't remember the maximum because I disabled it after my subscription time went past it. I didn't want people to think this blog only goes back 10 or 12 months, whatever their maximum is. How about the inability to embed AdSense in posts? What possible reason is there for that limitation? Then there are all the great widgets out there that simply aren't supported by TypePad. If their subscription rate has plateaued they ought to first look at feature issues like these so that even more people don't leave!

Maxine

All good points, Joe. I don't know which Typepad subscription you have -- I started out on the cheapest one but I couldn't read the font size on my own postings so I upgraded to the middle service so I could write bigger (a clever way to make money, don't you think?!). A blogging friend of mine, Debra Hamel, who is awesome, has the top grade Typepad subscription and I bet she would be interested in your archive point. She knows a lot of this stuff and gets some of her innovations picked up by the Typepad Hacks blog, so why not ask Debra your question? (Debra is also a book maven -- she is the person behind BAFAB (buy a friend a book) ). Her blog is the deblog -- d.hamel.typepad.com (Say Hi from me if you go over there).
You have a very interesting blog, by the way, I very much enjoy your posts.

Debra Hamel

I heard my name.... Thanks for the mention, Maxine!

Joe, what version of TypePad do you use? I don't know if there's anything you can do about your archive list on the low level of membership, but when you're using advanced templates you can change the default.

And as for putting Google ads in posts, can anyone do that? I don't know that I've seen it. With advanced templates you *can* put Adsense *between* posts. As far as I know this is the most you can ever do.

And as for widgets, are there really widgets that aren't compatible specifically with TypePad? Or do you mean that TypePad doesn't include them in their widget gallery? Because you can add all sorts of things to your sidebar using TypeLists, even if you're not using advanced templates.

For myself, I'm really happy with TypePad. I feel like I can do pretty much anything I want with it, though admittedly the only other platform I'm very familiar with is Blogger. (I moved from Blogger to TypePad in the middle of 2006 and haven't regretted my decision for a moment.)

Joe Wikert

Maxine and Debra, thanks for weighing in on this. I'm using the basic version of TypePad. I've thought about upgrading but keep wondering if an upgrade would come with a dunce cap! Seriously, I can't imagine giving these folks even more of my money every year.

You're right about Google ads; I'm talking about including them between posts, which effectively looks like they're in the post. I haven't found a way to do that with the basic TypePad subscription and I'm pretty sure it's not an option.

On the widgets front, yes, I've tried a few from the gallery. No problems there. For example, you'll notice I'm using the LinkedIn one. There was another site I stumbled across a few months ago that was loaded with great widgets. I tried plugging a couple in via TypeLists as you suggest and they looked awful. One just wasn't resizable for my 3-column layout, for example.

I guess I'm really frustrated with the layout limitations, or at least the limitations that exist with the basic TypePad subscription. I can't bring myself to pay any more than $50/year so I'm stuck...for now.

Debra Hamel

You can definitely do a lot more with the advanced templates. Then pretty much any customization is open to you.

Joe Wikert

Hi Debra. I'll have to look into the higher level subscription (sigh). Then again, I'm sure you're subject to all the same TypePad outages that I've experienced over the past couple of years...too bad they don't offer a subscription level to minimize those!

Debra Hamel

Well, to tell you the truth, I haven't been bothered by them. I know there was a scheduled outage last Friday night, but I was in bed by then. I haven't noticed there being much problem otherwise. But I may just have happened not to be computer-bound at the wrong times.

Emmanuel

I just started a site - http://www.Vistoid.com - at Typepad 2 months ago (using their "Pro" account) and am already disappointed in the reliability. There has been one announced outage already and my web monitoring which I only started 2 weeks ago (20 minute intervals between attempts to download the main page) has already alerted me twice of TWO timeouts (greater than 30 seconds to download the main page).

Unfortunately I made extensive use of customized templates for the site and fear that porting to another provider will entail a lot of work.

I half-heartedly looking into Moveable Type while well aware that they are also run by Six Apart. I guess I'm hoping they use different infrastructure but I'm not holding my breath.

Any recommendations?

Joe Wikert

Hi Emmanual. Sorry to hear that you too have fallen into the Typepad trap. If you haven't already invested too much time and effort, my advice is to get out while you can! As far as alternatives go, it seems like everyone who has tried Wordpress really likes it. I'm sure there are some problems but I can't imagine they're anywhere near as frequent and frustrating as the ones you'll encounter with Typepad.

Shelly

I HATE typepad! Biggest mistake I ever made was moving to typepad! I had a blog for 2 years on Blogger and thought I would start a new one. The Typepad blogs all looked so great and it seemed I could do so much more, but I have found it to be very difficult and the service is HORRID! Now I am stuck becasue not only do I blog I run a store from typepad as well. ;( grrr

SmartPriced

You can import your TypePad blog into WordPress directly. i suggest you do it. It is fairly simple. But you may have top buy your own webspace from a 3rd party. It ain't difficult at all. Just shift. :D

Joe Wikert

It's not so much the task of moving it to another service that causes me concern as it is the loss of momentum. Even though I have my name's domain (www.joewikert.com) redirected to go here, the Typepad URL is how it's mostly known. I've heard plenty of horror stories of others who have switched providers mid-stream and lost loads of traffic as a result. At this point I'm willing to live with the pain of Typepad instead.

The only positive thing I can say about this is that I know I've personally discouraged at least 7 people from using Typepad. I'm glad they won't have to deal with the same poor reliability, speed, etc., that I do.

kfs

Well a year+ later it's not better.

I am a mid-level PAYING subscriber and it takes them up to a WEEK to address any issue I have. Then they inevitably ask the MOST BASIC QUESTIONS I WAS CAREFUL TO ADDRESS IN MY INITIAL HELP TICKET!!!

They did offer that if I upgraded (ie. doubled my monthly nut AGAIN) I would get much prompter service. I'm already paying MORE than the average user and the response is "well if you want it to work you might want to spend even MORE money with us!" Seriously?

Right now it simply freezes up in IE. With no changes on my end my blog(s) (TWO!) will not load in IE. Period.

The response? "Try Safari or Mozilla!" As if the issue is only that I - and no 99% of the surfing world - can't load them!

Jason

My recomendation would be for you to set up your own Linux based server using Ubuntu Server 8.04 (choose to install LAMP during installation). Once Ubuntu Server + LAMP is installed, it is a peice of cake to get everything up and running. PHP is pre installed, as is MySQL, so it is quick and easy to install a free and open source copy of WordPress (Wordpress download takes about 2 minutes on a good connection.) Once you have WordPress downloaded, you can use WordPress's quite simple web based installation. (Go to your website after downloading and un packing wordpress, and it will automatically take you through installation.) I find WordPress on my server much more reliable than TypePad. I also find WordPress to be more flexible, due to the fact that you can find free third party plugins and themes all over the place to customize it for your needs, and easier to use with quicker response times than TypePad. You can check out my website, which is powered by WordPress to see what I got it to do if you would like. A link to it should be listed above this post. If you would rather not go to my website, simply go to WordPress.org and read about it.

kellypea

I found this by doing a Google search for "Typepad sucks" out of sheer frustration because I've been trying for months to export my work to my own domain using WordPress. I've exhausted all avenues: their domain mapping is a joke unless you know ahead of time that only certain hosting services are compatible with it. Even then, things aren't quite right. Yes, I switched from a hosting service I've not had one problem with in nearly two years simply because they don't recognize domain mapping. I took the time to familiarize myself with that host and their services ($$$) and then realized the whole thing was not going to work, either. Now I'm back with my former host and trying to export TypePad files. Unfortunately they're large, but because they're not exported as text files, it's a complete nightmare and I've not been able to split them yet. At this point I have two options: 1) retain my monthly fee with TypePad and write one of those little notes saying, "I've moved!" and then begin writing at my new site; or 2) cut and paste post by post (I have over 250 fully loaded with photographs...) into the new site. I'm completely FURIOUS for the time and energy I've wasted on this and hope that taking the time to write this here helps another person avoid the same annoyance.

The comments to this entry are closed.