Layout Image

Why I’ve Lost Confidence in TypePad

I’ve been blogging with TypePad since a year last March, but I think we’re close to the point of parting company.

Like many people blogging for business I went with TypePad as an easy way to get started, with the techy stuff pretty much done behind the scenes, allowing you to focus on the content, then just “press and post”.

I developed the Coaching Wizardry blog from there (it’s still there), set up Confident Writing, and used it for other projects too like promoting the writing workshops we’re running in Italy (though I’ve moved it a WordPress based site now) and some personal or experimental sites too - capturing learning points, or toying with some new ideas to see how they would look and sound in a blog. (It’s very easy to set up a new site once you’ve got a Pro account with them.)

I knew the design limitations of TypePad of course which became more obvious once we started working on the redesign here (and hats off to Cat Morley for mastering enough of Advanced TypePad from a cold start to work the wonders that she did).

But I still felt safe with TypePad - like it was a safe if constraining option until the time came to make the move.

Things changed about a month ago. It was small-ish things at first. The comment feed stopped working. People mentioned they were having some problems posting comments (I know that’s not small but it wasn’t catastrophic.)

Then it got stranger.

Two thirds of my categories stopped showing up. They were still there and I could get them from a very circuitous route but they were no longer visible to readers and visitors (which is the point of having them after all).

Then stranger still.

I’d been spending some time on the old Absorbing Writing blog to take things down after I’d transferred the content to the new site. I noticed that there were about 30 categories showing when there should have been about 8, and there were several entries for “food and drink” and “travel”… which when clicked, took you direct to totally unrelated blogs, both those that were ‘out there’ like this one and some I’d just been playing with - on walks on the west coast, family history and so on.

A few days later I noticed the design from Coaching Wizardry had taken on the design from the old blog we had for the writing workshops in Italy. From my dashboard I could see the original design applied, but from outside looking in it had turned into something else.

The blogs seemed to be morphing into each other!

I finally got a ‘resolution’ and answer to this yesterday

You may have noticed some changes going on with TypePad. We are in the process of migrating TypePad, adding new features, and updating the service. The content in your account was not migrated successfully, and we had to manually correct your account which took some time. You should not encounter any further problems now that your account has been fixed.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciated your patience while we worked to resolve the problem.

I checked the blogs with the problems and all seemed to be okay.

Except…

A few hours later when I came back here I could see the design was gone.

Well I know the design is still here, I can see it from the dashboard, but it’s not what you’d see if you looked (don’t look! it’s not nice)

It’s been overlaid with another design, sidebar, set of welcoming links. There’s no archive, no comments, no categories, no information on who I am and what I do…

I know this is fixable. Hopefully they’ll fix it very soon.

But the problem for me is this: I no longer trust the system.

I don’t have faith or confidence in a system that allows this kind of contamination between separate blogs to take place. (Is there a technical word for this? Contamination is how it feels to me.)

So, for now: apologies to all of you who come here and wonder why things are missing and why the place looks so strange. I hope it’ll be fixed soon - but it’s out of my hands when that will be.

I’ll be making the switch to WordPress as soon as I can.

Meantime I hope TypePad gets itself sorted soon, not just for me, but for the many thousands of people who use it as a supposedly safe, simply and easy way to start blogging for business.

Share on Twitter

Comments

  1. Dianne says:

    No need for apologies, Joanna, the design may be missing but you’re still here so it’s still a great place to visit!

    Sorry that it’s made you lose confidence in Typepad, hope they sort it out very soon.

    Big hugs!

    Dianne :o )

  2. Scott McIntyre says:

    What an administrative headache you’ve had, Joanna. I’m sure the last thing you need is to divert precious time away from writing content in order to sort out technical issues.

    Will it be a huge task to move away from Typepad?

    As much as the thought of doing it likely concerns you, often short term pain leads to long term gain. At least, you would have one less distraction in the future :-)

  3. Brad Shorr says:

    Hi Joanna, Sorry you’re having so many issues. I’ve never had too much luck with Typepad myself. You don’t need those kind of problems.

  4. pelf says:

    I’m truly sorry to learn about the issues you have, but I do hope that they will all be sorted out soon.

    *hugs*

  5. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim
    says:

    Joanna, I know how frustrating this must be for you. I don’t mind the behind the scenes technical issues because your content is fabulous and always takes center stage for me. The good news? It all looks the same in Google Reader. :-) I always liked the ease of use of TypePad too and know that many rely on their services. I hope everything gets sorted out soon.

    Much love, Karen

  6. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Thanks everyone for your support :-)

    Dianne, you’re making me smile as always, thank you.

    Scott, it will be big but not impossible. I probably need to get some help with some of it, but you’re right, it will be totally worth it once it’s done.

    Brad, I didn’t know you’d used Typepad - with clients’ blogs?

    Pelf - hello! Nice to know you’re still there

    Karen, I know that’s one big advantage of RSS. For once I was tempted to write “don’t click through! don’t come and comment!” but I thought that would have been a sure fired way to get more attention!

    Joanna

  7. Jan says:

    I can understand your issues. I’ still with TypePad, and I’m just waiting for them to convert my account to the new composer thingie; then I will probably start to have problems too :( While waiting I’m fiddling around with WordPress (wordpress.com), which seems better at first glance, but in the end I think I’ll stick with TypePad. WordPress just doesn’t have the same look and feel to it.

  8. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Hi Jan, I think these last glitches have undermined my confidence a bit too much - plus I don’t like not having the means at my disposal to fix things, or to speak to someone quickly who can fix things for me. I’ve just set up two new sites using wordpress.org and that to me is definitely the way to go.

    Thanks for stopping by - and good luck when you get the new composer thingie :-)

    Joanna

  9. cat says:

    It’s very strange coming here to a grey design. Not that I don’t like grey, but it wasn’t expected.

    At least you have your lovely smiley face on the sidebar, so it’s still a home away from home in a way.

    And like mentioned, it’s your writing that continuously draws us in.

    (but yes, it would be nice to see you transferred over to WP)

  10. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Cat, I think it will be sooner rather than later now…

    Just need to get this one fixed first.

    Joanna