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February 24, 2005

How to make your TypePad blog searchable - add a search box to your blog

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As I create more posts, I've realized that my blog can be difficult to navigate for the newbie.  I wanted to add the ability to search through all my posts (why is this not a built in feature in TypePad??), and, through the help of Jamie Jamison, finally implemented search on my site.

Want it on your TypePad blog, too?  Here's whatcha gotta do.

  1. go to Google Free Site Search and create an account
  2. in the customize section, enter the domain of your website (in my case, blogging.typepad.com)
  3. click Update to get the code that google generates for you
  4. Now you'll need to make a few modifications to that code so that it displays properly in your TypePad blog: 
    • Change the line of code that reads:
          • <INPUT TYPE=text name=q size=31 maxlength=255 value="">
    • to instead read

        • <INPUT TYPE=text name=q size=20 maxlength=255 value="">
    • AND change the line that reads:
      • <input type=radio name=sitesearch value=""> %(domain)s <input type=radio name=sitesearch value="blogging.typepad.com" checked> %(domain)s
    • to instead read:
      • <input type=radio name=sitesearch value="blogging.typepad.com" checked> yourdomainnamegoeshere
      • (obviously, replace 'yourdomainnamegoeshere' with your actual domain or site name)
  5. create a typelist called search and paste the modified Google code for the search box right into the notes section of the only item in the list.
  6. Make sure the notes are set to display as text,
  7. add the typelist to the sidebar of your blog in the regular interface wherever you want it to appear (In the design section, first go to content and check the typelist, then go to order and position the searchbox where you want it to go.

People can now easily search all of your posts for the info they're looking for, rather than having to hunt through your archives.  Nice.  Thanks Jamie!

It's funny -- TypePad itself gives you the ability to search through all of your own posts when you are managing your weblog -- don't they realize the usefulness of this feature for blog visitors as well?  If I worked for Six Apart, I'd be making blog search a standard part of the template set, AND add a radio box for searching other typepad blogs, rather than forcing people to use a third-party tool (Google) to do it -- this would keep visitors on TypePad sites and promotes other TypePad sites as well.  Oh well -- thanks to Jamie and Google, at least we now have a way to add a search box to our blogs even w/o the help of Six Apart.

February 24, 2005 in TypePad, Weblogs | Permalink | Email This Post

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UPDATE: How to Blog has MOVED! Please update your bookmarks and feeds! The new address is :
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and all new posts and post updates will be made there! Comments and trackbacks at this location are now closed -- please visit the new How to Blog site in order to add a comment or a trackback and see updates to existing posts as well as all new posts from this point forward!