For quite some time now, my byline on twitter has outed me as a Movable Type enthusiast, and quite frankly, I would still call myself that. It’s a great, solid platform and I’ve used it happily since I first hosted my own blog back in 2005. So it may be surprising to some that when the time came to consolidate that self hosted blog with the original hosted blog and update my theme that I made a decision to make the switch to WordPress.
The decision to change wasn’t an easy one but when it all came down the reasons were threefold.
The choice of templates or themes available for WordPress make MT pale in comparison. For someone like me, who isn’t a designer, I really need a good solid theme to be able to build my own design on. I’m useless at starting from scratch and it seems to me that there just aren’t the requisite number of themes for Moveable Type out there that offer what I wanted.
In the end I bought a theme for the WP install from Theme Forest and tricked it out with my own colour scheme and images – much the same as I did with the theme here at the Web Princess but the layout over at Singular Scene is much more Web 2.0 and extensible without me having to really get into the nitty gritty of coding it up myself, something I don’t have time for when it’s for fun, not for profit.
Now, I’ll cheerfully admit that having made the decision to switch I had no reason to go checking out whether there were plugins for MT that did what I was planning to do – but there wasn’t a single instance of googling to find a plugin to solve an issue that didn’t yield a piece of code to fit. That’s just brilliant. Because I was consolidating blogs created in two different platforms there was quite a bit of tweaking required… here are some of the examples.
Search and Replace – yes, I know MT does this out of the box. But there’s a plug in to add it to WordPress so I wasn’t missing out.
Move Comments – Once I’d consolidated both blogs I had a bunch of entries that were duplicated because in the switch over to self hosted I did a fair bit of cross posting – I wanted to delete entries but move the comments to the original and while the process was tedious, it was made easier by this plugin.
Admin Post Navigation – One of the things I’d noticed in WP was that when in Admin mode you can’t navigate between next and previous posts like you can in MT. No worries… there’s a plugin for that…
It seems as though there’s a plugin for everything – all the bits and bobs I’ve wanted to do or add to my toolbars has been completely achievable – very happy about that. If you want a list of the other plugins I’m using, let me know.
I know that Movable Type has gone open source, and while I’ve not upgraded for a while I used to get frustrated that the functionality I wanted from it didn’t come unless I had the commercial package – I could have coded up menus and so on, and maybe there are plugins for that kind of thing these days too on the open version – but in the end, they were there out of the box with wordpress – which is free across the board (there are some plugins and themes that are commercial, and fair enough) but the bulk of what I’ve needed to do hasn’t cost me a dime. And really, you can’t do better than that…
Oh, and the other reason for the switch was the fact, with 6 years worth of archives it was taking up to 10 minutes to publish every time I tweaked anything major… that just got waaay to frustrating… not an issue here at the Princess… I’d need to post a lot more often for that to be a problem!!