What the hell happened…

…to my website?

Its similar but it’s eerily different.

Yep, I made the jump from MovableType to WordPress.

You can compare Movable Type and WordPress on the cms matrix

There is a number of good reasons (and BTW, this is IMHO):

1) WordPress is Open Source

The biggest reason is that WordPress is Free and I can use it for what ever I want! The latest MovableType pricing is quite expensive and limited, I think. I run a site that has about five authors on it and the basic license wouldn’t cut it. Someday I hope to setup a site for a commerical product but I’d then have to get a commerical license.

Because WordPress is Open Source, it means no licensing issues, no restrictions on use and I get all the latest updates. My originally MovableType installation was starting to stagnate.

2) Subcategories

WordPress has categories like MovableType but it also has subcategories properly implemented (not some hack). In my old MovableType installation I had to use multiple blogs to simulate subcategories. A ridiculas overhead.

One critisim I would level at WordPress is that it can only manage one site per installation while MovableType could handle multiple. But thats not really a huge issue as an installation is much, much, smaller than MovableType mainly because of the next reason…

3) Templates rather than static pages

MovableType creates static pages which can fill up your webspace quote if you have a lot. WordPress uses PHP to dynamically generate pages from an SQL database. WordPress can even properly handle real future posts too.

4) The Code

I’m no PHP expert but it took me no longer than ten minutes to work my way around some of the code in WordPress. It’s nicely arranged, I think and within a few days I was writing plugins and themes. With MovableType I never got a real handle on the massive Perl code, and on making plugins, I generally hacked others work.

5) Not another template language, because it uses PHP!

With MovableType you have a whole new template language to learn and you have to build or install countless plugins to extend it. With WordPress, it’s PHP so it’s a full computer language. I’ve found it very powerful.

6) Themes

Bloodly brillant. You can drop in “themes” and change the look and feel of your site with ease compared to MovableType. I’ve even created my own Theme from scratch and with PHP could do some funky stuff (just have a look around!).

7) Stronger comment spam protection

Builtin Blacklists, User Registeration and Moderation. I know the latest version of MovableType now has some (if not all) these issues but WordPress is free! :)

8) Easier to fully backup

At least I have found it is. Because the look and feel is stored in a “theme” and content in SQL, I could backup my entire site and move it to another installation with no problems. With MovableType, not so easy, particuarly if you were using a BerkleyDB (o the problems we had with that!) and you had to copy and paste each template out of the management UI… ug.

9) Some cool builtin little features

Like Pages and paging entries, dictionary in the entry field, user levels, etc.

Of course moving over wasn’t just a walk in the park. I wrote this article on installing WordPress on Redbrick and am considering putting together an rbwiki article on moving from MovableType to WordPress.

All my content is here but many of my internal links are now broken. I created forwards for old pages that had very high hits like MT-Close2 but still there is dead links here and there. If you find any, just drop a comment.

I even wrote new plugins to help and created a new theme from scratch. But I still have much work to do, like integrating Gallery, putting something in About, finishing off MOC, etc. TBH I don’t think I’ll ever be truely finished! :)

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