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MovableType: An Increasingly Cruddy Pile

MovableType has become a pile of crud lately. Like Khoi, I've seen an increased number of 500 type errors. I've seen server loads of 25 or higher multiple times the past few days, oftentimes simply because mt-speak.cgi and mt-tb.cgi are pounded on by spammers (the whitelist functionality I mentioned awhile ago may help solve that!).

I can deal with it here at NSLog();, but it pains me to use it at The Sand Trap.

I'd gladly move to another (better) blog package if:

  1. I can convert my entries - their comments, their formatting, their permalinks, etc. - easily.
  2. It allows for similar functionality in some key areas (primary and secondary categories, author archives, email notification of comments, and some others.)
  3. It publishes rather static pages. I'd rather not have PHP and MySQL hits for every page view - we do quite a few.
  4. Can handle TrackBacks (we use them for "related articles"), even if I have to update the entire pinged_urls table with new TrackBack URLs, hopefully via an automated process.

I'm not sure any blog package (ExpressionEngine, perhaps??) does this. #1 is the tough one. I'd be willing to pay a good amount ($500?) for someone and/or something to do or help with this.

MovableType is on its last legs with a lot of people. A lot of people. I haven't read anything good about MovableType in a year.

8 Responses to "MovableType: An Increasingly Cruddy Pile"

  1. WordPress is really well done but I don't know if it answers all your needs (either stock or with plugins).

    I know it answers your #1 because I did it on my blog (I was using MT before WP).
    Not sure about all your points in #2
    Unless a plugin does it, It doesn't answer your #3. It's all driven with PHP and MySQL.
    It does handle trackbacks (#4).

    I've also been using it (WP) on a blog that has multiple authors and it works great for that too.

    All in all though, it might not do the job for you (but at least, now you know it).

  2. I'm sure you're aware of wordpress, but have you ever looked at using it with one of the caching plugins available? This article convinced me it was a viable solution: http://www.johnnysthoughts.com/2006/09/17/handling-the-digg-effect-with-wordpress-caching/

  3. The move to WordPress from MovableType was fairly easy, though the import of posts caused a couple of issues:
    * All of the greater than signs in the markdown formatted posts were replaced with the HTML entity.
    * I had to split the list of posts up into several files to get the import to work at all.

    WordPress does support (with plugins) all of the features listed in #2. (HawkWings has email notificaition, but not sure about which plugins are used.)

    There are several different caching plugins which claim a speedup on serving.

    Trackbacks work (and imported) fine.

    There are also a couple of plugins that are useful including one to change WordPress to use underscore permalinks so that they won't have to change.

  4. I moved to WordPress about 4 months ago or so and couldn't be happier. I think Six Apart put MT out to pasture when they saw they could be successful selling Typepad blogs. Then, they decided to make a grown-up version of LiveJournal with Vox... and MT with it's one time sales is just the old and broken to the new hotness that is their constant revenue generating services.

    WordPress has made leaps and bounds over the past year or two. Check into the caching info others posted. You'll be happier.

  5. WordPress has plugins for caching most pages (and designating 'live' parts, like your random picture) if that yanks your chain.

    Something interesting about WordPress that's often forgotten is that it allows *arbitrary metadata for any page or entry* (something I use to prefix site-referring entries in the feed with "this is about the site, you probably want to go there"), and that its plugins can hook into tons of places (like MT). The API still scares me, but the potential seems pretty big if you were to exploit it.

  6. I switched to WordPress when the commercial version of MT was announced, since the free version didn't suit my needs. WordPress can easily import posts from MT and plugins can add new functionality.

  7. I agree with you on the static pages thing. You'd think it would be a common approach.

  8. Highly agree with the consensus here...WordPress is excellent. I'd recommend installing it on your own machine, play around with it for a bit. I moved from LiveJournal to WordPress, and haven't ever looked back.

    There are so many little things about WordPress that make me happy to be using it. In fact, that why I'm on a Mac, too. I think their approach and their vision is what the world should be following...and every piece of web software I use could probably benefit from taking a good look at WordPress.

    Definitely worth a try, at the very least...I do hope you check it out (you might be pleasantly surprised).


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