Help me with the Moveable Type learning curve
January 8, 2005 5:39 PM   Subscribe

I'm a TypePad user, moving to Movable Type. I know that MT is much more powerful, but out of the (virtual) box, it is lacking in a lot of the cool features (book lists, photo albums, blogrolls) that TypePad has built in.

What's the best place for a n00b like me to go to start bringing MT into line with what I had in TypePad? I've been slogging through the MT Plugins site, but if there's an even easier guide out there, I'll gladly admit I'm an MT loser and just paint-by-numbers!
posted by baltimore to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Both my husband and myself just migrated from MT to WordPress. I can't necessarily answer the question you posed, but just a warning: MT is a huge comment-spam magnet, and MT Blacklist was *not* keeping it under control. With WordPress, one little plugin saved us from the Evil Spammers. So, if anything, consider WordPress as well.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:12 PM on January 8, 2005

I've been going the other way recently, as I prefer the wysiwyg interface and little handy applets on typepad over a mess of plugins in MT. Typepad always feels a step ahead of MT since they can update the central codebase easier than releasing out code that I have to install by hand. Typepad does lack a feature here and there, but for straight ahead blogging, it's my favorite over all others, and I don't have to worry about hosting or anything.
posted by mathowie at 7:07 PM on January 8, 2005

Sort of what Matt said. Baltimore, why exactly are you switching? What about Typepad was unsatisfying to you?

My experience with MT (3 years of use before quitting recently) is that it more or less trades ease of implementation for design flexibility. Do you need design flexibility, above everything else?

There are enough bloggers and CMS people here that, if you listed your exact needs, I bet somebody could hook you up with the perfect system.

If you've got your heart set on MT, though, this blog has answered a lot of my questions in the past.
posted by Hildago at 9:01 PM on January 8, 2005

Baltimore, there are a bunch of things that simply aren't as easy to implement in MT, like photo albums; you have to decide what features matter to you, and then there are ways to do them, some easier than TP, others harder, and all different. MT is a different beast.

(And I don't want to start a religious war, but rather I just want to make sure that nobody really thinks that solving comment spam on WordPress is as easy as one plugin. WordPress is safe from comment spam in the same way that OS X is safe from viruses -- it's not the big kid on the block so it's not really being targeted yet. But the plugins for WP do the same thing as those for MT, namely, they combine blacklists, IP blocks, capchas, and other sorts of things, and they have the same efficacy.)
posted by delfuego at 9:29 PM on January 8, 2005

Have you considered Textpattern?
posted by christin at 11:11 PM on January 8, 2005

I'll second the vote for trying WordPress. I've been using MovableType for several years but I'll be switching to WordPress shortly -- it appears to be more actively under development and it's free too (for any number of blogs and authors).

Medieval Maven: So what's that plugin to which you allude?
posted by Handcoding at 12:28 AM on January 9, 2005

I've found that with the newest MT Blacklist, I don't really get any comment spam now - this is in contrast with earlier versions that let more through. It's definitely more powerful than previously and can do things like auto-update blacklists. Still, it does need some setting up and that can be a hassle.
posted by adrianhon at 2:25 AM on January 9, 2005

Kitten's Spaminator . It may be a sliver bullet only until WordPress gets bombed similarly to MT, but right now, it's made my life way easier.
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:48 AM on January 9, 2005

If you go with MT, in addition to MT-Blacklist you may want to consider MT-Approval. It is a plugin that will stop automated spam before it hits the MT scripting -- your host will thank-you.
posted by cedar at 10:32 AM on January 9, 2005

For book lists, BookQueueToo is probably the best way to maintain that sort of thing with MT, and it integrates right into the app. You could also use something like AllConsuming. For blogrolls, there's a number of services to do it, like or, and those are very popular. For Photo Albums, I'd take a look at some of the options in this post:

If you're concerned about comment spam on MT, take a look at our comment spam guide:

If you follow the recommendations in that document, I'm confident that the only comment spam you'll get is from enthusiastic users of other tools. It's kind of like how you can have a problem with Windows and someone will tell you to buy a Mac.

Finally, if you can give some feedback about why you want to switch from TypePad to MT, I might be able to explain some options. TypePad can do a lot of things that might not be obvious at first.
posted by anildash at 11:02 PM on January 10, 2005

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