Is it worth it yet to upgrade from Movable Type 2.661 to 3.14?
January 10, 2005 4:38 PM   Subscribe

Is it worth it yet to upgrade from Movable Type 2.661 to 3.14?

I currently use Movable Type 2.661. I am a single author, single weblog guy. Is it worth it to upgrade to MT3 now that they're up to MT3.14? This hasn't been discussed since it was still 3.0D, and I'm wondering if things have changed for the better. I just realized they have a free license version for single authors. A few notes:

1) I wouldn't know how to install it. For my original install, I paid Six Apart to do it. Is the upgrade process difficult?
2) The one feature I'm really looking for is the ability to show category archives that are also dated. Some of my categories are getting big, and I wish I could have them be monthly pages.

Most of the advertised changes don't make much sense to me, so I'm guessing most of it is too technical for me to use anyway. Have there been any major additions to justify making the leap? Thanks in advance.
posted by swank6 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I upgraded my site to from 2.65 to 3.1x around Christmas to take advantage of MT-Blacklist 2.x's auto-updating feature.

The upgrade is pretty painless, as long as you follow directions. If you're comfortable uploading files and changing their permissions, it's a pretty easy task.
posted by kickerofelves at 5:20 PM on January 10, 2005

I upgraded to MT 3.1 from 2.6.

And started to weep at how it still sucked.

We've since moved to Textpattern, an excellent little PHP engine.

Mind, it requires a little installation and work. If you're finding MT too technical, I point you towards the good folk at Blogger.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 5:29 PM on January 10, 2005

MT is a hard nut to crack (I HATE the documentation and am the only one in my circle of friends who can decipher it with any degree of competency), but I personally love it. I still have 2.661 on one of my sites, and 3.14 on my personal site - the difference to me is amazing. I like the comment management better (though spam is, of course, ever a problem), I like that I can (though I don't) use a different archiving method, and even though it took some work, I can do future postings and whew, loving that.

Plus - and I am shallow, I am I am - it has a cleaner look to it and I love that I can access my plugins from the main menu. Brilliant.

I've monkeyed with other systems but I always come back to MT, and since 3.14 my love only grows. I always thought it was worth the upgrade - though the license snafu gave me a case of the twitching angsties, I confess - and even the license fee, would that I could afford it (I use the free version).

I think perhaps part of my love for the system is that I love a puzzle?
posted by angeline at 8:13 PM on January 10, 2005

I did it last week. The upgrade ate my timestamps, which sucked a lot, but I had an export of the main blog (but not the linkblog, my bad), so it was a matter of deleting all the posts and importing anew.

I like very much the way MT-Blacklist works now, and integrates tightly with the MT interface.

I'm not impressed with their pricing, but I don't have any other active authors or enough blogs to merit going beyond the free 'version', although I'm planning a new group weblog project, and I'll have to use Wordpress or something, 'cause I be poor.

The new features are good but not essential for my site, by any means. The interface improvements are nice ('cause I love me the eyecandy) but not revolutionary.

Worth the upgrade, sure. But make sure you have exports of everything (including your templates, I'd recommend) before you take the plunge, just in case.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:05 PM on January 10, 2005

Best answer: Disclaimer: I work for Six Apart.

I'll try to nail down a couple of these points in the order they're mentioned. First, upgrade is basically the same as it's ever been. If you want, you can pay us to do your upgrade, too, but that requires the paid license. (In your case, that's the $69 license, I think.) If you want to do it on your own, it essentially involves uploading files, checking permissions, and then running the upgrade script.

By default, category archives are not split into individual pages. That's doable either through some template trickery (our support team can point you at tutorials on how to do that) or by using some of the plugins that are available. It's not built in to the app yet.

Some of the changes (stuff like dynamic pages) are largely of interest to techies, but here's a couple non-techie things that I really like in recent versions of MT:

* The interface is a *lot* better. Besides being cleaner, as people have mentioned, defaults are smarter and a lot of pages have subtle but significant improvements.

* It's faster. Even if you don't use dynamic pages or PHP, almost every task is faster in MT3.

* The output is better. The permalinks are of the /2005/01/15/post_name format, not the entry ID. The default template markup is simpler, and RSS feeds default to full posts, not excerpts. Plus, I like the new default templates.

* Plugins can do a *lot* more. There's a lot of new options coming out (MT-Workflow is super cool), and the plugins can have their own UI within MT to let you configure and customize them. It sounds like a little thing, but it makes working with plugins in MT much more pleasant.

* Scheduled posting kicks ass. It's not a revolutionary feature, of course, but having a built-in way to set the time that a post appears is a nice thing.

And to address some of the other points:

Yep, we do have a paid licensing structure. If you haven't looked at it since the big blowup last May, read it for yourself. We vastly improved and simplified it, and I think it stands up really well to scrutiny now, especially given the quality of our support team.

If licensing cost is really an issue, either for a community site (Stav, feel free to email me) or for technical/development users, we have options. Non-profits can get free or discounted licenses, members of our Professional Network get free commercial licenses, and in general we're just pretty flexible. As always, the free version doesn't have any limitations and is identical code to the paid licenses, if you want to try the app out.

If the tech of it is too much to handle, there is the TypePad option. It cleanly imports from MT, uses the same template language (at the Pro level) and usually costs the same or less than MT users are paying for hosting. Again, the support is excellent, and there's some niceties like TypeLists, Photo Albums, and the WYSIWYG editor.

Feel free to shoot me an email at anil at sixapart dot com if you have any more questions, but things have changed a *lot* in the year+ since 2.661 was released, and despite all the hand-wringing since then, I think MT's still a fantastic app. I also forget all the little niceties we've added since 2.x, and they might only be visible if you make the jump.
posted by anildash at 10:42 PM on January 10, 2005

Best answer: Stav, feel free to email me

Thanks, Anil, I may, if the planned group weblog does happen. I appreciate it. [/offtopic]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:27 PM on January 10, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the tips guys - perhaps I will try this after I get back to school.
posted by swank6 at 4:02 PM on January 11, 2005

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