Movable Type Free

Well it was bound to happen, no longer can you do massive blogs on MT for free. This cements my decision to move away from MT for the UB blogs initiative. I’ve been playing with WordPress and it has me worried. I’m doing a moderately complicated page layout, and the use of a single template for much of the display, along with a lack of flexibility in what is displayed and how, makes me very worried about how well students will be able to customize their own blogs.

Don’t get me wrong, you can do whatever you want in WordPress. It basically provides the heavy lifting for the blog process, and I like what I see. But for some things, you basically need to be prepared to write in PHP. For example, I want to have a chunk between the first and second entries. To do this, it seems I have to write in a little counter that keeps track of the main loop and conditionally includes a chunk. OK, I’m no PHP wizard, but this is not a big deal–for me. When it comes to students, I’m a bit more concerned.

I guess the worst case is that they will have to live with the basics, maybe adjusting just CSS. It might motivate some to pick up PHP, which wouldn’t be too horrible a thing…

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  1. Posted 5/14/2004 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    don’t discount drupal either… it does multi-blogs very simply and it allows for interesting customizations.

  2. Posted 5/14/2004 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Anil assures me that there will be very reasonable educational pricing/licensing announced in the next day or two, so I’m hoping that it will continue to be a viable option for the kind of project you’re doing. We’ll see…

  3. Posted 5/14/2004 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    J: I definitely do hear you on Drupal, and I’ve just had a chat with one of my advisees who lives it. My thought is, though, while it may be fine for dozens of seperate blogs, and for tying these together in a community, is it going to be a bear to administer as we scale to hundreds? What I really want is something that is as close to fire-and-forget as possible, and something that students can go in and customize as they like. So, for now, I’m pretty much moving for WordPress.

    My additional hope is that I can create an installer that allows colleges/departments/etc. to do an extremely intall of a WordPress administration tool. As a final product, I think this would be a real bonus. I can do this in WordPress without much (if any) alteration of the core WP setup.

  4. Posted 5/14/2004 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I must say I’m very disappointed that Six Apart does not offer a free version of MT anymore.

    An educational discount would help, but if it’s gonna be an Adobe type discount where you still end up paying way too much in the end I may just move away from MT for good.

    Should’ve just stuck with b2 and then upgraded to wordpress…

    I dread the thought of having to search for my ideal blogging tool again.

  5. Posted 5/14/2004 at 4:30 pm | Permalink



    I may still look into a fully free product though.

  6. Posted 5/17/2004 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    What about ExpressionEngine? ( overview | features) It’s not free ($150 for non-profit institutions), but it looks like a great tool to manage multiple blogs, and it’s very flexible.

One Trackback

  1. By on 5/16/2004 at 5:19 am

    Moveable Type limits the number of authors allowed for free blogs
    … this decision attracted a lot of flak and to their credit the Moveable Type team reacted promptly with a cheap (though still not free) multi-author license scheme.

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