Thought I’d give a quick status update on how I’m doing with Movable Type, and talk about what I like, what I don’t like, and what my plans are for the site.
- Movable Type has all of the features that I always wished I had written for my own blogging software. Comments, trackbacks, categories, the ability to schedule posts. I didn’t have any of that stuff, and it’s nice to have.
- Typekey. I really like the fact that if users sign up for a Typekey identity and use it to post their comments, I can be pretty sure that they’re not sending me spam.
- Polish. Movable Type is obviously a professionally written software package. The user interface is very nice, it has features galore.
- Community. Whenever I run into problems with Movable Type, it seems easy to find solutions via Google or to just ask. There are a lot of people who’ve been working with Movable type for a long time. That’s a heck of a feature.
- It’s slow. I’m not sure Movable Type is at fault here. It could very well be the overhead from cgiwrap that’s gumming up the works. The bottom line is that it’s slower than I’d like. I also don’t know what effect having nearly 8000 entries is having. That could also be part of the problem.
- I still get Internal Server Errors here and there. This may be a problem with running a beta version of the software, I’m not sure. I don’t have access to the error logs on this server (shared hosting has some downsides), so I am having trouble diagnosing the problems. I’d prefer not to have to hack on the Movable Type code to figure out what’s going on.
- I still hate the model of publishing files. This may still be a deal breaker when it comes to me and Movable Type. I realize that Movable Type is a real content management system and most content management systems publish files, but I don’t think it’s necessary for a weblog package. I’m using dynamic publishing where I can, but even then Movable Type still wants to write out some files on its own.
- Improve comment management. There’s more comment moderation overhead than I’d like right now. If you sign in with TypeKey, your comment is published immediately, but otherwise I have to publish it manually. There has to be a better way.
- Gmail throws all my comment notifications into the Spam folder. That makes things even more difficult. I have to do something about that. (It’s tricky because the comment notifications are “from” the email address of the commenter. There’s probably a setting in Movable Type I could tweak to change that.)
- The default templates suck. Why Six Apart thought that weblogs should be published with a miniscule body font (that everyone seems to hate) by default is anybody’s guess. I still haven’t updated the templates due to laziness and lack of motivation. (Your continued dissatisfaction hasn’t proved to be the kick in the pants I thought it would be.)
To be honest, one reason why I haven’t really started hacking on the templates is that I’m not sure Movable Type and I are in for a long term relationship. I want things to work out, but it’s a bit dicey. There’s that and the fact that hacking on the templates means learning something new. Right now, I’m statically publishing the home page and dynamically publishing the archive pages, and I think that means having to learn two new things. That seems like a lot to me right this second. So we’ll see.