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Thinking of moving from Movable Type: Template Questions (7 posts)

  1. ND
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Hi. I'm a Movable Type user but I am increasingly dissatisfied with it and am thinking of moving to WordPress.org. This seems a good time to do so, as Movable Type has -- once again -- totally reworked their interface -- in fact it looks just like WP.

    I know I can probably find much of what I need to know from the WP documentation and from just playing with it, but I would like to ask some specific questions before I invest a lot of time in WP.

    What I like most about MT is the extent it's possible to separate templates from content. I also like that its tags are, at least visually, fairly similar to HTML, which I find makes it easy to customize the templates and my published layout.

    My entire MT installation is based on customized "linked" templates, modules, and widgets, which I edit in Dreamweaver's code view, and then FTP up to my site. I rarely directly use the MT interface for real template editing -- in fact I try to avoid it. This has worked out very well, and I have the ability to turn individual page components on and off simply by using MT variables.

    Does WordPress allow the same kind of template/module/widget linking and customization?

    Another issue is, I like to compose my posts in Microsoft Word and paste them into the MT entry form. However, unless I paste them as totally plain text, MT pulls in and publishes ALL of Microsoft's proprietary-like styling code, which is bloated and excessive and creates heavy pages filled with useless code -- this doesn't affect the published page (too much), but I know it's there, and if only as a matter of principle, I don't like it. It is anything but the "poetry" referred to in WP's motto. :)

    I am about to start a new blog so this would be a good time to make the change to WP. Part of me would really LIKE to leave MT, at least for this blog. But I've still got at least one MT blog that I will need to manage, so I'm wondering if I'm better off sticking with what I know.

    I'm comfortable working with XHTML and CSS, but I know nothing about php code and, to be honest, have no real interest in learning it (occasional tweaking, of the cut and paste, or changing the name of divs, etc, is one thing, but I really don't want to "learn" php.)
    I guess I'm asking for opinions on the advisability of switching from MT to WP. I've played with WP and I like the way it feels, but I know that it's only after you've actually USED and WORKED with a software that you can know its true character.

    All thought welcomed! Thanks!

  2. WP Voyager
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Hi, ND!

    From what I hear you saying, I think you would make a perfect transition, and become a satisfied user of WordPress!

    What I like most about MT is the extent it's possible to separate templates from content.

    Absolutely the case with WordPress. In fact, that is what the PHP does: your posts are stored in an external MySQL database, not static HTML files, and PHP grabs your info and plugs it in to an otherwise-HTML-like template. The templates are completely separate from your blog entries, allowing you to switch templates quickly and easily, with no fear of loosing your work.

    I also like that its tags are, at least visually, fairly similar to HTML, which I find makes it easy to customize the templates and my published layout.

    Again, same here! A PHP document uses IDENTICAL markup to the doctype standard that you specify. All PHP does is to put in little specifics that may change from page to page, user to user, specific times, etc. PHP gives your HTML a dynamic twist.

    I like to compose my posts in Microsoft Word and paste them into the MT entry form. However, unless I paste them as totally plain text, MT pulls in and publishes ALL of Microsoft's proprietary-like styling code, which is bloated and excessive and creates heavy pages filled with useless code

    Good news for you, WordPress's Visual Editor includes a "Paste from MS Word" option, which automatically takes out all the junk.

    I'm comfortable working with XHTML and CSS, but I know nothing about php code and, to be honest, have no real interest in learning it (occasional tweaking, of the cut and paste, or changing the name of divs, etc, is one thing, but I really don't want to "learn" php.)

    In all honesty, working with WordPress as a blogger (or CMS manager), you will probably not have to work with PHP practically at all. XHTML and CSS are about all you will need for simple customization. That would include changing around basic structure, restyling divs, etc. PHP does the heavy lifting of integrating the content, but once set up, it requires very little changing. For yourself, I would recommend finding a theme that you like (primarily the site structure, since it is easier to change the look), and then play around with the XTML and CSS to make it look exactly the way you want it. The experience you have with MT variables should be readily applicable to the elegant WordPress API.

    I hope I have answered your questions, and you have a great experience with WordPress!
    --MindBlender 3D

    P.S. Check out the Codex for more information. There is a WEALTH of information out there to answer specific questions. Also, simply searching these forums offers good insight into specific problems as well.

  3. mrmist
    Forum Janitor
    Posted 5 years ago #

    The concept of linked templates is slightly different, but you are still able to modify your templates externally if you wish to do so - then just upload them to your ftp site after you're done editing.

    I moved to WordPress from MT a few years ago and haven't looked back since. I find everything to be much easier in WP.

  4. WP Voyager
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Oh well, since I haven't used MT myself, I was not familiar with the concept of linked templates. Thanks for the clarifier, mrmist! What NT was describing sounded very similar to what I knew about WP themes.

  5. ND
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Thanks for the replies. They've been helpful, and I've pretty much decided that I will do my new site with WP. It's a much faster and more sophisticated/modern interface than MT.

    I have a followup question. I'm sure there's a simple answer, but there's something I'm not getting.

    I understand, more or less, the pros and cons or static vs. dynamic publishing. But what I don't get is how Google or other search engines are able to find a site's content if the content doesn't "physically" exist on a searchable server? Does that question make sense?

    Thanks.

  6. mrmist
    Forum Janitor
    Posted 5 years ago #

    They find it in the same way you and I find it, as in it is generated when the engine visits the URL.

  7. ND
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I've been using WordPress for the last two weeks and I am thrilled with the switch. Totally. The worst thing about it is that I didn't switch sooner.

    There's not a single thing I miss from Movable Type, with one exception: I liked being able to manage more than one blog/site structure at a time. But my understanding is that this is possible with WordPress MU, and that WPMU is being absorbed into WP3, which is just around the corner. So yay.

    (I tried several times to get the current version of WPMU working on a site where WP was already installed and working, but it couldn't connect to the database for some reason. I'll try it again when 3 comes out.)

    Oh yeah. It wasn't fun importing from MT (using the WP import page) and not getting tags.

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