Wordpress v. Movable Type

Wordpress v. Movable Type

Disclamer: We’ve had a bit of an ongoing debate on this one with Anil fanning the flames as he tries to support the MT cause. I should disclose that I’m a member of the Six Apart Professional Network and also a 6A partner for the Paris office just so’s you know…

While I’m a long-time Movable Type fan and user, I remember the first time time I installed Wordpress. What a treat, the thing was completely painless and took no time at all. I was way impressed and have been since. Added to functionality, the open-source community around Wordpress has spawned a huge templating and design resource with hundreds of very high-quality designs for the lay blogger to chose from. In fact, for many a year I considered switching to Wordpress and was only prevented by the thought of having to maintain security on a php installation and how I would handle any serious load should one of my client’s projects really take off.

Now I’ve pretty much stopped worrying about this in much the same way as I’ve given up on the flash/no-flash, mac/pc, tomato/tomahhto arguments—they seem a bit pointless and on average both options/solutions have their merits.

I had an experience of doing some migration and configuring last night which brought to light some issues I hadn’t yet come across in any Wordpress v. Movable Type discussions. I was trying to replicate behaviours from an MT installation into a series of WP ones and came across the following difficulties where Wordpress let me down:

  • I couldn't perform a search and replace of strings across blogs and their pages, entries, comments and templates. To get the job done I had to edit template and entry data outside of the WP environment
  • I couldn't use my global templates. I use these to configure global variables that several blogs can then share (in particular, I use primarily to manage root path across different systems and to avoid multiblog-calling-itself errors)
  • I couldn't re-use my user configurations across blogs and if I wanted to set up an admin to cover more than one blog I couldn't re-gen their password
  • Cutting and pasting, or generally moving data between templates across blogs was very unproductive (ended up jumping between Firefox tabs)
  • There were two other things that got up my nose and I'll get them down here as soon as I remember them...

Before the WPfanboys jump on me, YES, I understand there are workarounds, upgrades, plugins and other fixes to the above and of course I’m going to struggle working in an environment that isn’t my first choice. I simply wanted to list these experiences as I hadn’t seen them outlined anywhere else.