Is TypePad The Answer?

by Tom Bridge

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I've been a TypePad user since the beta test, and now I'm reaching my limits with my patience regarding their customer service and downtime. Today's downtime, which actually puts a week old copy of my blog up, unavailable for comment, is the latest in a string of service outages, service issues, back-end slowdowns and other frustrations that folks who are paying for a decent service just can't abide by.

How big is this outage? Well, Netcraft noticed:

Problems persist at the popular blog hosting service TypePad, with numerous users reporting that they are unable to access their blog management system. In addition, a number of TypePad users report that posts from the past three days have disappeared from their blogs. While TypePad-hosted sites are visible, service operator Six Apart says the TypePad blogging application is currently unavailable and describes the status of TypePad sites as "degraded." At one point blogs had to be restored from backup, which is why the most recent posts are missing from many blogs.

So did The Register:

But even non-bloggers will notice this outage. Postings published by the service in recent days have disappeared. High profile users of Typepad include Dilbert creator Scott Adams.

Six Apart is targeting the corporate market, where a greater value is placed on uptime and reliability.

And I'm starting to think that perhaps my blog might do well with a real Movable Type install somewhere. Yes, I'm just another blogger, and no, I'm not doing any business on my site right now, but that's going to change, and I'm going to need a blog that can stand up to the day to day issues that make TypePad an infuriating choice.

And of course, this happens a week after I paid my bill for all of next year...

C'mon Six Apart, you guys can do loads better than this.

TypePad got you down? Tell us your story.


2005-12-16 11:56:48
Completely unacceptable
As soon as I am able I will be migrating my content to a new hosting company. I'm finished with TypePad.
2005-12-16 12:54:11
How about Roller?
Free and open.

Used on high volume blooging sites like IBM and Sun.

2005-12-16 14:13:30
Bring it in house?
A friend of mine did that recently, primarily because he wanted to have his content on his own servers, rather than having any problems with his blog host (livejournal).

Blogger has been working pretty well lately after suffering multiple glitches early this fall... but even those problems didn't entail losing the last week of posts! Which reminds me, it's about time I backed up the posts again...

2005-12-16 14:35:46
Yahoo! Hosting Movable Type
This might be just the trick:

Yahoo! is now offering Movable Type as part of its hosting service. I haven't heard how it's going, but I like the idea, and the plans include upgrades and maintenance of the MT system. Smart idea.

2005-12-16 18:06:09
How about Roller?
Just installed this on my server the other day. Much easier than installing wordpad or movable type. ( mostly because I refuse to run anything in CGI mode and wordpad doesn't support mysqli yet ). To be honest it's still pretty rough in the interface design, and behind the time in features but it's fast as lightning and pretty lightweight. I'll be sticking with it.
2005-12-17 08:00:55
Expression Engine Core would work just released yesterday a free version of their excellent Expression Engine product, called EE Core.

It doesn't have all the modules of the paid for version, but this is one nice system.

I love it!

2005-12-17 10:58:15
Movable Type and WordPress
Movable Type is a great blogging system, but can get encumbered by licensing fees, depending on how you use it. It is nice in that it scales up pretty well--a great many of the web pages are statically generated, so that heavy web traffic will not bog down a CGI process or database server. The flip side is that it can sometimes take a while to post if many files need to be rebuilt, not to mention the possibility of something getting out of sync if the build breaks or gets confused.

WordPress is the Open Source blogging system that gained popularity when MovableType changed their licensing. It is quite powerful, offers easy plugins and themes, and is completely free. While the themes are a nice bit of icing, I can't say that I have seen more than one or two plugins that really wowed me. The main difference between WordPress and Movable Type is that it uses 100% dynamic pages, so there is a slight CGI and database hit for each page request, but I never found this to be an issue (even with the crazy traffic of the ilovebees moderated blog.)

Anyway, that's my $0.02. I personally tend to like WordPress over Movable Type, but that is mostly because I am much more familiar with PHP than Perl. "Your mileage may vary," as they say.

2005-12-17 12:33:37
Absolutely Unacceptable
I have been a long-time user of TypePad since 2003, and they have forced me to act upon their incompetence and leave them for good. There is only so much one can take, and my blog and my readers have suffered greatly during the past year. There is no more goodwill left in me for Mena and Anil. I am sure this is true for many others.
2005-12-17 17:01:37
Did you mean WordPress?

Thanks for the Roller suggestion, macrat. That's now on the list of weblog software to evaluate for my long-overdue site.

2005-12-18 05:26:39
TextDrive supports Moveable Type
TextDrive is an excellent host and it supports Moveable Type as well as WordPress, etc., etc., etc.

2005-12-19 00:10:23
I will not deny that service disruptions are a bad thing, but 6A has explained the outage, and now has every, apparently, up to date on their blog posts, and all data restored. This is a web service. Does your car not break down on occasion? Does your toaster not die? Do you truly expect everything in life to have 24/7 functionality for life? If I was a user of TypePad, which I admit I am not, I would take a service credit, and promises to ensure this doesn't happen this bad in future. Not even the best company can keep their servers up all the time. Everyone has issues. It's how they deal with them that is key, and I am seeing no flaw in how this was dealt with. I have worked with hosts who had a lot worse service than this.
2005-12-20 09:14:33
This is not the first time this happened this year. They made many "promises" that something like this will not happen. In fact, after many months of sluggish performance and inaccessible blogs, 6A was forced to respond to the many complaints with an explaination of why things were slow and an apology -- that's all they did. They offered a sliding scale refund a month later.

You make it sound like this was a one time event and we are over-reacting. As I said, we have been very patient, but the difference between TypePad this year and last year is night and day. I've been one of their loyal customers but now I'm completely fed up.

2006-03-18 14:50:04
i have a free site of one of the worst i have met, now they closed a deal with 6 apart, quality finds quality...