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What is Movable Type?

Movable Type is a popular and powerful blogging and content management system that combines ease-of-use with first-class development features. Before Blogger, before WordPress, Movable Type was one of the first blogging platforms that brought professional level content management to the masses. Most people didn't even know what a blog was back in 2001 when the first version Movable Type was released by web development company Six Apart.

Since then, Movable Type has been through a half-dozen releases and has become one of the most popular proprietary (closed-source) blogging and content management platforms available.

Movable Type has a strong focus on commercial and enterprise level users. It runs high-powered sites for a number of Fortune 1000 companies, including the Huffington Post.

At the same time, Movable Type can be used by smaller businesses and organizations that want a serious, well-supported content platform with feature depth and wide support.

Movable Type Development Focus

The development team behind Movable Type focuses their effort on four key aspects of the platform:

Stability
Movable Type uses server-side scripting to create static pages, combining the flexibility of dynamic content management with the performance and stability of pure HTML.
Flexibility
Movable Type has an easy-to-use templating system that is as simple as writing straight HTML, but with intuitive include and variable capabilities. Somewhat uniquely, functional code can be written in multiple languages: Perl, PHP, Ruby, etc.
Scalability
Most websites slow down as they grow, consuming more and more resources as the content expands and the user base increases. A single installation of Movable Type can power an unlimited number of individual blogs and websites with an equally unlimited number of users, all while keeping page load times fast.
Extensibility
Movable Type is a content management system with a data structure that makes sense and has been field-tested for almost 15 years. Everything else is modular. Robust hook and filtering, and a rich Data API, make the platform easy to extend for any content-driven purpose.

Key Movable Type Features

Movable Type is extremely feature-rich, designed to make content management easy for companies willing to pay for a first-class web content platform.

Dashboard and Admin Features

  • Integrated display of Google Analytics stats
  • Recent activity from all Blogs and websites
  • User stats and profile info

Content Management Features

  • Unlimited Blogs and Websites
  • Multiple Content types: pages, articles, posts
  • Custom Content Types, with custom data fields
  • Pretty URLs
  • Folders, Categories, and custom taxonomies
  • Content Versioning, with revert capabilities and diff viewing
  • Scheduled publishing and content expiration
  • RSS
  • Built-in search engine
  • Commenting

Content Creation Features

  • Content can be parallel-published in multiple languages
  • Autosave while authoring
  • Quick preview
  • Create from anywhere with browser bookmarklet
  • Batch editing of tags, titles, dates, categories, etc.
  • Post from email; accept content from public email.
  • Setup default data for fields, statuses, and format
  • WYSIWYG Rich Text Editing
  • Typographical Symbol replacement
  • Custom fields
  • Custom template tags
  • Require fields
  • Easy file and media upload and embed
  • Image editing and resizing; auto thumbnails
  • Media asset library
  • Data API: Create, Read, Update, Delete Content

Templates and Theming

  • Template files are separated from programming logic.
  • PHP, Perl and other programming languages allowed in template files.
  • Easy-to-use, but completely functional templating language
  • Tag output format modifiers
  • Template version control, with comments, revert, and diffs.
  • Publish dynamic or static pages
  • Automated backups
  • Clone and export templates.
  • Templates for archive and category pages, and other “lists” of content
  • Templates for email
  • Simple includes for repetitive content like headers and footers
  • Widgets for dynamic content
  • Parent/child template modules, and system-wide modules for sharing templates across multiple sites and blogs in a single installation.
  • Include files from multiple sources through multiple mechanisms: PHP, ASP, Apache server, Java server, external sources.
  • Complete cache control at the level of individual websites, blogs, or even specific template files.

Blog Community and Site-Network Features

Movable Type enables the creation of a community or network of linked blogs and websites, each run by a different author or administrator. Individual sites can have as much or as little control over their theming and content as the network administrator allows.

This could be used by a distributed organization. For example, a chain of retail stores could run a central website and allow each local store to run their own sub-blog. This could also be used to create a large publishing platform for independent content creators.

  • Automated setup of new blogs and sites
  • Multiple Authentication options: login with Google, Facebook, OpenID, etc.
  • Toggle most features (comments, trackbacks, theming, security, user options) at the system level, or on individual sites and blogs
  • System-wide span handling and moderation

Who should use Movable Type?

Movable Type is an enterprise-level blogging and content management platform. It isn't really the right choice for hobbyist bloggers or small groups looking for an inexpensive online presence.

It is a great choice for large, content-driven websites that generate revenue directly, like news organizations and commercial blogs.

Movable Type Web Hosting Requirements

Webserver:

Apache 2.0+ OR - Windows IIS 7.5+ OR - nginx with a CGI or PSGI executable environment

Scripting and Databases:

Perl 5.8.1+ (v 5.14 is recommended) AND - PHP 5.x+ (v 5.3+ is recommended) AND - MySQL 5.x+ - A number of Perl modules are also required

Most web hosts can be configured to support these requirements, but it may be easier to simply find one that explicitly supports Movable Type.

Movable Type Frequently Asked Questions

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