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Comparative: WordPress versus Movable Type


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#1 Seth

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 01:42

With the recent outcry over Movable Type's decision to move to a paid model for version 3.0, I thought I would briefly review one of the viable free alternatives for bloggers fleeing from Movable Type. I used Movable Type on my blog until this weekend (the new version has not yet gone public, however) but switched to WordPress after Six Apart's announcement.

Having spent most of this afternoon playing with WordPress 1.2, I feel fairly comfortable with its features... some of which are pretty nifty. It has both pros and cons compared to Movable Type 2.661. Following is a breakdown of the different areas of each software package. 150 points possible.

Installation (10 points)
Movable Type's installation is fairly annoying, as installations go. Not only did I have to change all sorts of config variables by hand before installing, I had to figure out the syntax for said variables, which wasn't immediately obvious (the criteria for "immediately obvious" being whether or not I have to resort to documentation). Then, I had to CHMOD all sorts of files, thanks to MT's Perl roots. Not to mention running mt-check.cgi to look for a dozen Perl modules... phew. WordPress' installation is almost fiendishly simple. Run a script to set the database config, run another to install, and be entertained by silly messages along the way. If they would combine the two scripts, it would be nicer, but still— it doesn't get much easier than this.Winner: WordPressi>Initial configuration (30 points)b>
Both systems are equally helpful while setting up users (authors). When starting a template, however, Movable Type shows its static structure to be more helpful. Rather than have to constantly worry about one's <?php tags, MT allows the use of onesided <$MT> tags. These tags simplify the structure of the document and make it easier to separate content from markup.

If PHP is your game, WordPress is far more flexible, however. At the cost of slightly less readablity, it's far easier to alter the way elements are displayed and to include some of your own. For example, I modified the comment script to alternate background colors on comments. With MT, I wouldn't have known where to begin (but for the Flip Flop plugin).Winner: Toss-upi>Posting (30 points)b>
MT has loads of custom fields that can help you segregate parts of your posts on your site. It supports the Blogger API, and most custom tools (such as Bloggar) support it. There's even a bookmarklet for quick publishing. But wait... WordPress supports ALL these features and e-mail publishing to boot! It can eschew the bookmarklet in favor of a sidebar— a boon for we Firefox users[/u:D] :D

After posting, Movable Type sits happily and gurgles at you as it "[url="http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/2004/05/move_away_from_movabletype/"]chugs" through EVERY one of your entries, "rebuilding" it to show updated recent entry links &c. I have fewer than one hundred blogposts in the few months I've been keeping this blog, and MT already starts to take a noticable amount of time in this process. I shudder to think what larger sites have to deal with. WordPress is instant. Since chugging is done on the user's end,is more server intensive... but would you rather spend the server's time, or your timWinner: WordPressComments and Maintenance (20 points)
Everyone knows that one of the big problems with more popular blogs (those with a hefty Google PageRank) is comment spam. Spammers take advantage of said Google karma to boost their own sites' PageRanks. While neither package has preventative tools in place au naturel, it's easy to install blacklists for both. However, just one heavy attack— one with 20+ comments left— and you'll fall in love with the no-chugging delete WordPress gives you.

Winner: WordPreMultiple Blogs and Authors (20 points)nts)
Well, you know Movable Type had to win SOMEWHERE. (What am I, biased or som;)hing? ;)) WordPress only supports multiple blogs through multiple installations. And boy, can that get messy. With MT, a new blog is only three clicks away... at most. However, WordPress can take the place of a sideblog with its Links feature. Many users create a second blog in MT to showcase sites they've recently found interesting: the sideblog
blog. With WordPress, you can create Link lists that can be included anywhere on your website. Still, multiple blogs can't be beat. (Both blogs can use multiple authors... but remember those restrictions on blogs and authors coming in MT 3.0!)

Winner: Movable TyCode cleanliness and usability (10 points)nts)
Even though Movable Type's tags may be kinder to the eye, the default template shipped with it is sheer horror. I didn't even attempt to rewrite the thing; I just started from scratch. WordPress made it easy to simply change a bit of code and have a fully XHTML 1.0-valid page.

Winner: WordPreResource and Support Options, Documentation (30 points)nts)
WordPress is new. Very new. So new that it doesn't have a lot of either plugins or support. What's there is great, but there's not much. Movable Type, with its far more widespread user base, is much easier to get help with. Plus, the documentation is quite a bit better. Caveat blogger: WordPress people tend to be friendlier, and you can always get help in #wordpress on their server. Beware acting too noobish around Movable Type support forums... usually you can find the answer to simple questions just by searching.

Winner: Movable TyFinal scorecore
WordPress 100
Movable Type 80

While both packages have lots of great features, WordPress' ease of use and speed give it the victory over the Perl-based MT. Both packages promise to address some of the bigger issues affecting their features in later releases (1.3 and 3.0, respectively); WordPress will offer multiple blogs from a single installation and Movable Type will reduce chugging and the pain of having to delete comments one by one. Don't forget that WordPress is released under the GPL, making it free now and forevermore. Fall in love with MT 3.0? You'll have to pony up.

================
I'm sure I've missed something important as this is my first time doing this review thing. Feel free ;) bash ;)

Seth

Edited by SethandCheese, 22 May 2004 - 19:23.



#2 sfd

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 21:13

MT 3.0 seems to be out already... As it seems, there are not too much features added. Most remarkable of the bunch is probably the TypeKey-thingie, which is quite a pointless thing actually...

However, I'll try out Wordpress soon enough. I like its admin interface a lot more than MT's. And the possibility of writing PHP directly into the templtes seams appealing too.

#3 djgramma

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 20:10

Wordpress looks slick. I like how intuitive it seems, so I'll give that a whirl. MT was always my choice but lately I've been working on a small blogging script (lil ones usually work for me and my small website)

Cheers

#4 Daniel F.

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 09:49

congrats you made the front page - http://www.neowin.ne...4&category=main

#5 Nuphor

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 11:11

Give us a look at your template :)

#6 moloko

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 11:12

I have messed around with Word Press. I like it. Easy to use and change. It got beat out by cutenews for now..but we will see about future releases.

#7 Chad

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 11:42

The web address for movabletype is .org, not .com

Secondly....you don't need to pay to use MT. The current setup with 2.661 will be almost exactly the same as the free version of 3.0. The only difference is the free version of 3.0 doesn't come with Typekey, and has a limit on the number of blogs/authors you can have. But if you are just an enduser with no more than 3 different blogs (which makes up the largest percentage of bloggers), you won't see any changes, aside from all the extras 3.0 has over 2.661

#8 Foo Fighter

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 14:07

Interesting review. :) I'm thinking of going back to a blog format on my web site. Since MT began charging $70 for their plublishing system, I'm beginning to wonder if NOW might be a good time to rethink my choice in blog tools. Truth be known, I've never liked that fact MT is based on CGI/Perl rather than PHP. And I absolutely cannot stand the way it rebuilds EVERY bloody one of my entries when posting. My God! What will it be like 3 years from now when I have 1,000+ entries? :blink:

Another blog publishing tool that looks promising is pLog. I haven't had time to test it out myself, but it looks as good...perhaps even better..than WordPress. Anyone tried it yet?

#9 vetgiga

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 14:33

Another blog publishing tool that looks promising is pLog. I haven't had time to test it out myself, but it looks as good...perhaps even better..than WordPress. Anyone tried it yet?

Wow that looks pretty nice. I usually use WordPress but I might give this a try. :)

#10 RedDwarf

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 15:49

Personnaly I use Pivot. I've tried using MT and WP, but did not find it as easy as Pivot.

#11 xxdesmus

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 15:57

i've using MT 3.0 Free and i love it. rebuild times are Significantly quicker. TypeKey is a beautiful thing for comment spam. And you can't even come close to the multiple blogs in wordpress. What about Expression Engine? anyone try it yet?

#12 Simon-

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 16:01

I think that I'll give WP a good look the next time I set up a blog (last time I used e107.... ugh)

btw RedDwarf: I'm loving the name.... Hint Hint my Name ;) ;)

#13 OP Seth

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 16:40

Interesting review. :)  I'm thinking of going back to a blog format on my web site. Since MT began charging $70 for their plublishing system, I'm beginning to wonder if NOW might be a good time to rethink my choice in blog tools. Truth be known, I've never liked that fact MT is based on CGI/Perl rather than PHP. And I absolutely cannot stand the way it rebuilds EVERY bloody one of my entries when posting. My God! What will it be like 3 years from now when I have 1,000+ entries? :blink:

@Superfula: I realize that there is an MT Free. My reasons for wanting to switch are more closely related to FF's, though. The switch to the limited blogs and limited authors just provided the impetus for getting me to finally decide that it was worth the trouble ;) Also thanks, fixed link :p

Voodoo! Thanks for picking my review ^_^

#14 vetTim Dorr

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 16:49

No one's using Write2Left? ;) :D

#15 Premgenius

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 17:23

I'm moving to Word Press soon, have to get round to making a nice template for WP somthing that matches my site.



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