My main complaint with Movable Type is the overdone styling – divisions inside of divisions inside of divisions (divisionitis). It takes forever to figure out the stylesheet. I like the sidebar widgets, but they are complicated and have to be defined in HTML – there is no easy to use interface.
Last weekend, after spending three days working on the Movable Type stylesheet and widgets so I could move my “Views from the Slow Lane” blog from slowtrav.com (my old site) to sloweurope.com (my new site) I reached my limit with Movable Type. It was over a silly issue that I could have resolved – creating a page to show all entries for a category instead of their default page which shows only recent entries – but instead I stomped my feet, screamed in anguish, ate some chocolate, then downloaded WordPress. Then I spent three days setting up the stylesheet and templates for WordPress. Nothing comes easy on the web.
Yes, everyone uses WordPress, everyone loves WordPress. WordPress is free (you have to license Movable Type). Everyone has been telling me this for years, but I was committed to Movable Type. When you spend weeks learning a template system, you have a committment to the product.
Now I am happy. WordPress has a stylesheet that makes sense to me – similar to the ones I create for my sites. WordPress is written in PHP (Movable Type is in Perl) which I know a bit. I can easily read the templates. They use server-side includes like I do on my sites. Their whole system is easy to figure out and the install literally took five minutes (using their “Install in 5 Minutes” instructions).
I have a few more things to tweak and then I will be ready to launch my old blog on a new platform and a new website!
Because “nothing is perfect”, I do have a few complaints which I am documenting here for other WordPress blogers.
- Can’t see permalink pages unless you are logged into WordPress. When I imported my Movable Type blog, WordPress set the “post status” field to “Publish” when it should be “publish”. Uppercase “P” instead of lowercase. If I was logged into WordPress, this did not affect the blog. If I was not logged in and clicked on the permalink or the comments link I got a 404 page not found error. So, if you import a blog into WordPress and you cannot see your permalink pages when you are not logged in (the page with one entry and the comments), then go to the MySQL database to change the “post_status” field from “Publish” to “publish” (using a SQL query in phpMyAdmin).
- You cannot work on your widgets in the WordPress Admin section on Internet Explorer. You have to use FireFox. Some features do not work in IE.