Chapter 5. Server Blogging with Movable Type

Movable Type is a web-based personal publishing system designed to ease maintenance of regularly updated content. This content can consist of, but is not limited to, entries in a blog or online journal, photographs in an online photo gallery, news headlines on a newspaper site, or articles in an online magazine.

The system contains features common to many other blog applications: template-driven site design, allowing you to redesign your entire site by editing a set of templates; management of multiple blogs (or projects) with one instance of the application; multiple authors posting and editing, using a task-based permission system; and automatic RSS syndication of your content.

Beyond these fairly standard features, Movable Type offers much more. What started solely as a blogging tool has grown into a lightweight content management tool that can be used site-wide. Some of the system's features include:

Data import

Imports your entries and comments from other content management systems (i.e., Blogger, GreyMatter, NewsPro), and manages those posts through Movable Type.

Entry categorization

Groups your entries into categories for your own reference, for archiving purposes, and for display in your blog. You can assign multiple categories to a single entry (for example, if an entry about a book you read belongs in both "Reading List" and "Technology").

Built-in comment system

Allows your blog visitors to post comments on your entries and engage in conversations.

Multiple archiving options

Archives your content monthly, weekly, and daily; provides individual pages for each entry; archives by category. Archive filenames are fully customizable, and you can associate multiple archive templates with each archive type, allowing you to create multiple "views" of the same archived content.

Integration of file and image uploads

Uploads files and images onto your web server, then seamlessly integrates them into your new entries. Also, you can automatically create thumbnails from uploaded images.


Implements the Blogger and MetaWeblog APIs, allowing you to use existing client tools (w.bloggar, BlogApp, etc.) to manage your blog.

Flexible template editing

By linking a template to an external file, you can edit your template in an external editor such as DreamWeaver. The system will transparently synchronize the external file with the Movable Type database.

This flexibility allows Movable Type users to build sites that go beyond the standard blog format depicted in Figure 5-1. Some examples of non-standard blog content include photo logs (such as Figure 5-2), news headline sites (such as Figure 5-3), movie/music review sites, magazine sites (such as Figure 5-4), instructional sites (Figure 5-5), and project-oriented sites (such as Figure 5-6 and Figure 5-7 ).

Figure 5-1. Classic blog
Figure 5-2. Photographic blog
Figure 5-3. News headline blog
Figure 5-4. Magazine site
Figure 5-5. Instructional site
Figure 5-6. Project site
Figure 5-7. Project site