Strong opinions, weakly held

WordPress, for now

Today I reluctantly migrated the blog from Movable Type to WordPress. There are many things I like about Movable Type, especially in version 4.0, but for whatever reason it was very slow and seemed to keep getting slower. I installed FastCGI but wasn’t sure if it ever worked, made sure the database was properly indexed and that it wasn’t slowing things down, and tried to tweak other things where I could. Eventually I decided that I was tired of dealing with slow performance, and didn’t have the energy to take the debugging to the next level.

Anyway, it was relatively easy to move my content into WordPress, so I took the plunge. Right now I’m using a slightly modified version of the Cutline theme, but I expect to make it more my own soon enough.

Getting the old links to blog posts to work was somewhat difficult. When I migrated my posts from Movable Type to WordPress, neither the ID numbers nor the Movable Type basenames made it into the WordPress database. My Movable Type permalinks were based on the basename. I hacked the 404 page in my theme to look up the posts in the Movable Type database by basename, and then use the post title to look up the post in the WordPress database and redirect to the appropriate page. There will be problems with the really old untitled posts, and with any posts that have the same title, but the approach works well enough for now.

I also had to install FeedBurner FeedSmith and PHP Markdown to get things working. Markdown does still work in comments. I’ve also installed WP-OpenID, so you can sign in using your OpenID to comment.

Sadly all of the tags on my posts failed to make it over in the migration. I doubt I’ll go back and tag old posts.

I’m sure there are dozens of other problems that I haven’t found yet, but I’ll iron them out over time. If you see anything obviously broken, please leave a comment and I’ll try to get it fixed.


  1. I’m wondering if WP-OpenID works well enough to install on my new WordPress weblog. I don’t see it here right now but I’m sure you’re working on slowly getting everything working.

  2. I think the new template looks very nice, FWIW.

  3. Thanks, Howard!

    As far as OpenID goes, I hadn’t added the field to the comment form. That’s fixed now. I think I’m going to whip up some JavaScript to make the OpenID field a bit more usable, though.

  4. Not sure why so much hand-wringing over moving from MT: did I miss a stock option announcement?

    I have to say I am amazed that the speed/performance issues have not been addressed from v.2 until now. I moved to WP when 3.0 came out and haven’t regretted it for a moment. I don’t see the volumes you do, I expect, but it seems to work for me.

  5. I don’t know, I just like Movable Type. There are a number of things I like about it both from a UI and architectural perspective. And I think some interesting things will happen with MT now that it’s gone open source.

  6. You might want to read Garret’s blog post about moving from WordPress to Expression Engine.

    A lot of people migrating from MT are doing so because of the slowness issue and the CPU hogging behavior. I’m pretty agnostic about my blog software choices, but recognize that all of them have their pros and cons. No solution is perfect.

    Note that Matt Haughey just moved from WP back to MT 4.0.

  7. I should also say that one of the reasons I didn’t want to move to WordPress is that I like being able to make things work, and I’m a bit frustrated that I was not able to get Movable Type to work.

  8. I am definitely investigating Expression Engine, but what I like about WordPress is that it’s more bloggish out of the box, and that there is so much blogging-specific development coming out of the WordPress community. I’ll be interested to see how it shakes out, but for now I’ll just be happy to not get alerts from Monit about CPU usage.

    I think the real test for WordPress will be in how easy it is to migrate to new releases as they arrive.

  9. nice new look, Rafe! party on . . .

  10. Hi Rafe! I hope the move to WordPress works out well for you…

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