Obviously something has happened to TBOTCOTW. I’ve finally switched from MovableType to WordPress. I had a lot of time invested in MovableType, but an upgrade to MT4.1 made most of that moot… many of my hacks didn’t work anymore because none of the more arcane plugins (simple comments, regex, getXML, etc.) were ever updated to work with MT4.
So I realized that the golden days for MovableType were over. There were just too many internal changes from version 2.5 to 3.0, and then again from 3.4 to 4.0, for plugin developers to keep up. Even some of the most dedicated, like Arvind Satyanarayan, had given up on immensely popular plugins like MT BlogRoll. In the comments he got request after request for a new version, and he promised it in a week or two a couple of times, but it’s never happened.
This isn’t Arvind’s fault, of course. He’s a busy young man who just started college. This also isn’t really the fault of MovableType’s developers. The upgrades they did that made plugins break were probably necessary, and I think their vision was (unavoidably) a bit blinkered because they’re developers, not plugin writers (much less plugin users). So they have different priorities than me (and other end-users like me who like to make everything work just so).
WordPress, on the other hand, is purely open source, and always has been. So there seems to be a lot more of the community’s requirements taken into account in new versions. Plus the plugin community feels like MovableType’s did three or four years ago… it’s vibrant and alive, with new plugins released daily and old plugins updated frequently.
The migration was not especially difficult, but I did have to follow these directions to make MT print the EntryIDs in the export file, and to make WP read and use them when importing. This was only because I still get hits with the old entryid format of /archives/001178.html and I have a redirection scheme that sends those hits to the correct entry (basically an extra archive template that’s just a redirect header and a series of archive mappings to each old format). That redirection scheme was very difficult to come up with in MT, but there were a couple of plugins (Advanced Permalinks and Redirection) that made it very, very easy in WP. WP also, out of the box, automatically converts from the underscore format of MT to dashes, which is nice, since I just learned that dashes are preferred by search engines.
Since the upgrade I’ve noticed several things are better. WordPress is noticeably faster than MovableType since it does everything dynamically rather than publishing static html files (it’s even faster than an MT installation with every template set to dynamic publishing). And, like I said before, the plugin selection is pretty incredible. There are several plugins that just do stats reports on visitors, pageviews, and the like. Plus the akismet plugin (which did have a MT version) is native to WP, and it works very well at stopping comment spam. And WP has several features built-in that need plugins or new templates in MT, like a comments feed per post and a blogroll management system.
All in all, I’m extremely happy with WordPress, and not just because I like having new toys to play with.
Popularity: 4% [?]