Creating an Entire Site with Movable Type

Several new insightful articles and posts have popped up recently with a common theme—using Movable Type as a content management system to manage an entire website, not just a weblog. Here they are, along with my 2 cents along the way.

Beyond the Blog, Powering an Entire Site with Movable Type is a new feature article by Matt Haughey. While it’s timely for me as I’ve recently embarked on converting my weblog to Movable Type, Matt’s article is a fascinating exploration of working with simple-to-use but feature-packed software to create an entire site, not just the weblog pages. Matt provides helpful insight about thinking through the process of setting up Movable Type for a simple About page and a simple database approach for his essay section and online portfolio section.

Last week’s post at stopdesign is also not to be missed, Adaptive Path’s MT Setup. Jay Allen explains how he set up Movable Type for site-wide control of Adaptive Path’s website. Jay explains how four Movable Type blogs are used: Appearances, Essays, News and static content. He also discusses other sites and how he implemented them for clients using Movable Type so that the clients could easily add their own content.

Brad Choate wrote about some ways to implement MT site-wide in his post Tuesday, Doing your whole site with MT. Brad recently set up a separate weblog for his static pages, deleting all the included MT templates except the Individual Archive template, and he then enabled individual archives. He also created categories for each directory in which he wanted content. Brad also provides several code snippet approaches to setting up the content within the category directories.

Addendum September 7, 2003

Comments continue below about creating an entire site with Movable Type. See also my outlined thoughts below about how I created the Attack on America section with Movable type.

08:40 pm, pdt15 July, 2003 Comments, Trackbacks (7) ·';}?>

Categories: Colophon, Development, Movable Type, Software, Weblogs


Comments, Trackbacks: 7 so far. Add yours!

  1. via brainstorms and raves Beyond the Blog, Powering an Entire Site with Movable Type is a new feature article by Matt Haughey. tried to start that for our egger-loser.ch site also, however is stalled in the middle currently ;-( but the article gives so...

    17 Jul, 2003Trackback from stuck-on-mobile-e-com ;-)

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  2. One of the things I like best about Shirley Kaiser's weblog is the way she ties important topics together along...

    17 Jul, 2003Trackback from Rodent Regatta

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  3. I’ve been pretty quite over the last few days or so, thinking about what I want to do with the site, how I could be using Movable Type a little better and trying to figure how I might add a little structure to the site. Inspired by some recent po...

    13 Aug, 2003Trackback from Growing Leaves

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  4. This is just so exciting. I’ve been racking my brain on how I would accomplish it and come to the conclusion that it would accomplished by using the Template Modules.

    What I haven’t figured out yet is whether you would need to create a seperate blog for each page you wanted to edit (in big sites this could be huge amount) or whether there was a way you could do it from just one blog.

    11:16 am, pdt 7 September, 2003Comment by Sian

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  5. Sian,
    You shouldn’t need to create a separate blog for every page you wish to edit, and I certainly don’t advise doing that. Go to the sites that I linked to in this post and you’ll get more information about how they set things up.

    I haven’t written about how I used Movable Type for other pages, such as my Attack on America section here yet, but I plan to do that in the near future.

    Quickly, though, the Attack on America section is a separate blog setup from my main site’s blog. I deleted all the template pages except for the Main Index template and the Category Archive template.

    Additionally, for the blog’s configuration settings:

    1. For the Core Setup the site path and the archive path are both the same, which is the /attack/ directory.
    2. The Preferences Configuration includes specifying 'Category' for the Preferred Archive type.
    3. The Archiving Configuration has only the Category archiving turned on, and I customized the page URLs to my liking within the Archive File Template form box, too.

    The Main Index template is used for the section’s main page where you’ll see links and descriptions to each Cagegory section and each Category section’s subcategories.

    The Category Archive template is used for each category page, such as the Images. Each subcategory on a page is actually a separate entry, such as Photos, Videos, Images on that page.

    All the Attack on America category titles and links and subcategory titles and links are generated by MT, too. I also got MT to generate the subcategory anchor tags by utilizing a dirified entry title.

    I also have mostly invisible Edit links for each entry so that if I see something I want to fix or change I can easily do that by clicking on my invisible Edit link.

    Additionally, that entire section is fully searchable by MT. Cool, huh?

    It took a little thinking to figure all that out [chuckle] but it all fell into place quite well.

    The scheme that I used for the Attack on America section, though, is NOT how I want other pages at my site, such as the new Reference section, my Colophon, my About page, etc. So that’s also why the Attack on America section is its own separate blog setup.

    Well, that’s a start. I strongly suggest reading what I linked to in my post - articles by Brad Choate, Doug Bowman, and Matt Haughey. They each have unique ideas and approaches that they used... and they explained why they did what they did, too.

    I hope that helps!

    02:00 pm, pdt 7 September, 2003Comment by Shirley Kaiser

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  6. I wish I would have discovered this earlier. It would have made my job easier. In '02 I rebuilt docsavage.org just using MT and a bit of php.

    Doc Savage was a pulp-era fictional character. The 181 plus novels from the 30s and 40s were reprinted from the 60s through the 80s. The site features information about each novel. Included are cover images, author and artist information, etc. Everything is covered using MT categories and date stamping.

    Fans add comments...which recompiles the front page to include their comment and a selection of Doc Savage novels.

    01:36 pm, pst25 January, 2004Comment by Chuck Welch

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  7. Creating an Entire Site with Movable Type - Brainstorms and Raves-...

    08 Sep, 2004Trackback from dodoskido

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This discussion has been closed. Thanks to all who participated.


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