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Blog Feedback Settings in Movable Type 3.2

I’ve recently been considering moving my last remaining Movable Type blogs over to WordPress 1.5 – however I think I might hold off a little and see what MT 3.2 turns out like.

They are in ‘talk it up’ mode at the moment at Six Apart but I have to say that some of the new features look helpful. Today Anil talks a little about their Blog Feedback Settings which after the past few weeks of comment spam hell that I’ve had on both my MT and WP blogs look helpful. The ability to flip a switch and turn off comments and trackbacks all together is something that would be nice to have as a back up – especially when you know you’ll be away from your blogs for a few days (or weeks).

I’m still not convinced about MT 3.2 but am watching with interest. The main thing it has as an advantage over WP in my books is that you can control multiple blogs through one interface. With WP if you want to install a plug in on all your blogs it’s a pretty manual task – especially if you have 15 or so to get through.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • I keep reading bloggers suffering from enormous spam problems. Did you consider using TypePad? I never had one single spam problem in any of my blogs…

  • Good point, Darren. I love WP but with my plans on starting a handful of blogs I can see all the manual work I’ll have. Does MT have a steep learning curve?

  • i have used TP Josue – but to be honest it’s probably a little light on in terms of features for the blogging I’m doing. Also there is a cost to use it which I dont have with WP.

    keeping my eye on it though.

    Martin – I dont think MT has any steeper learning curve than WP. But maybe thats because I got straight into it early on.

  • I probably sound like a broken record all over the blogosphere, but Expression Engine blows MT away. You can run multiple blogs (and domains/sub-domains), turn off comments and trackbacks at your leisure, and the licensing (last I checked) is much better than MT. It would take a LOT of convincing to get me to move back to MT. A. Lot. Still, I’m also watching to see what MT comes up with, never know.

    Then again, WordPress is free. Can’t really beat that price. ;)

  • Expression Engine ha! Might check it out.

    Darren – is the reason for moving all your blogs from MT to WP because WP is free? Just would like to get to know what platform is best – especially for those of us who are looking at going professional

  • Just to follow up a bit, one of the areas we’ve specifically focused on in MT3.2 is administrating large numbers of blogs. We covered this a bit in this post, but basically you can manage comments, trackbacks, and entries across an unlimited number of blogs. And if there’s an update (adding a plugin, a security patch, changing templates) you don’t have to go and upgrade 50 installs when you want to make a change.

    There’s more, too, but you have to stay tuned to the blog to find out. :)

  • Martin,

    I started using WP for a couple of reasons…

    1. It was completely free for as many blogs as I wanted
    2. My designer was in love with (obsessed) WP :-)
    3. Ease of use. Their plugins and features just seemed to fit with where my blogging was going (except for the multiple blog in one interface thing).

    Thanks Anil – looking forward to hearing more.

  • I’d note that although multi-blog handling abilities is a positive for MT it’s a negative if you go to sell one of your blogs, certainly in the case of earlier versions of MT (perhaps Anil might like to add for the current version) not having separate databases for your blogs and blogware meant that although they might have been easier to maintain they were near on impossible to seperate: remember that MT like WP allocates a unique number to each post, and if you’re not using search engine friendly blog URL’s then its likely your URL for each post may include a number unique for that post. If you’ve got to extract the text from the group blogg setup it makes it very difficult to then put it in a standalone situation with the same post numbers, because in the new blog the post numbers are going to reflect that blog and not the group blog. (ie a post from blog A might be post 1 & 2 then blog B post 3, take blog B to a stand alone setup it becomes post 1)

    In terms of installation I’ve got no problems with running multiple copies of WP, particularly given my host has Fanstico which means no manual installation at the setup point, and even if it was manual it still only takes a few minutes anyway.

    I’d note that even if I was to go back to MT I’d still be putting up seperate install for each blog for this very reason, so I’m not MT bashing, although I have no idea whether their latest payware license would allow me to do so.

  • Although there is a lot to be said about knowing and using a lot of blogging systems if you are any kind of consultative pro-blogger, there’s also much to be said for having a standard system for all one’s blogs.

    I have used WP since the start, and as I have built up a collection of plugins, templates etc. it’s very easy to start a new blog as I just copy the plugins, templates (which I then modify) etc over to the new blog and go from there.

    Having said that, it’s still going to be a pain to upgrade multiple WPs to the next big versions when they come out. All my blogs are on 1.5.something, depending on when they were started, as I generally don’t update for minor version releases.

  • Vic

    Can someone post a link to how exactly one manages multiple blogs via one interface? I’ve wondered about this in the past… Does this mean you can manage blogs at different domains with just one login??



  • Vic, if the multiple domains were hosted on one server, you could absolutely manage all the blogs in a single install of Movable Type. We do that with sites like,,, and all off of a single install, for example.

    Duncan, Movable Type 3.0D and higher don’t use the numeric IDs for entries, so permalinks are portable. We also provide redirect scripts for migrating from numbered entries to friendlier permalinks if users desire.

  • Vic


    Thanks, but I haven’t managed to find any specifics on how to do that. It’s not a simple case of “Create New Weblog” in the MT interface…


  • “It’s not a simple case of “Create New Weblog” in the MT interface…”

    It should be, depending on how your web host has your site configured. When you create a new blog, you choose a directory to publish to. Most web hosts will let you select a subdirectory and map a separate domain to it. If you’re having trouble, we’ve got a number of web hosts who offer Movable Type preinstalled, and they can all give you more guidance on this sort of thing. Of course, our support team can assist as well.

  • You may want to look into MU or SVN for managing a large number of blogs.

    Using SVN I run a single command and it automatically upgrades every WordPress instance on the server, and merges all the changes I’ve made and doesn’t touch any config files. Commercial and propietary vendors seldom provide public access to their sorce repositories, like every Open Source project does. It gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility, but does have a learning curve.

    Your other option may be WordPress MU, which is designed for hosting lots of different people but could be used just for you. Yesterday while doing some benchmarking I automated the creation of 50,000 blogs, which took a few seconds. If you have fewer than that you should be fine.

  • Vic

    LOL! Yeah, I’m pretty sure I have fewer than 50,000 blogs.