« MT Community Search | Main | How to List Subcategories for a Single Category »

Learning Movable Type Has a New Look and Focus

Hello everyone. Welcome to the new Learning Movable Type.

We recently had a total design makeover, and oh my, what a difference. LMT contributing editor Jesse Gardner of PlasticMind Design led the design effort. Arvind of Movalog built a fancy multi-author back-end. I (Elise) picked the colors, and then got out of the way to let the wunderkinds do their thing.

For those of us with short memories, here's a snapshot of the old look:

lmt-old-look.jpg
(Click to view)

With the new site design we now have three columns, two sidebar columns on the right, with more room to highlight LMT contributors, resources, and the latest news from the Movable Type community.

Which brings us to LMT's new focus.

For the last 3 years of Learning Movable Type's life, I (Elise) have been the primary author and tutorial generator. Movable Type is a highly flexible web publishing platform. As the software has evolved, the amount of customization options have grown as well, far beyond the ability of one person to adequately follow or document. The purpose of LMT is to provide useful information for those building MT sites. The best way to do that is to open up LMT more to the community of MT experts to share their expertise with everyone. The contributor links in the sidebar highlight those in the MT community who have volunteered their time and expertise to write tutorials that benefit the broader MT community. Click on a link and you'll find more about the contributing author. If you are looking to hire an MT expert for your next weblog project, these contributor links are the place to start.

Would you like to be a contributing author on LMT? Or do you have an idea for a tutorial that would benefit the MT community? If so, please let me know at elise [at} elise {dot] com, or leave a message here in the comments.

Because redoing a site is a big and complicated task, sometimes things slip through the cracks. If you see something funky here, that doesn't go away on its own in a day or so, please let us know about it, will you?

If you too would like a gorgeous new design for your site, you're in luck! Jesse Gardner designs websites for a living. You can reach him at PlasticMind.

If you would like to implement a multi-author environment on your site like what we have done here, Arvind has promised a set of tutorials on how he did it.

That's it. Enjoy the new site. Many many thanks to my partners in crime, Jesse and Arvind, for doing here what they do best.

~Elise

Comments (17)

Looks lovely. Well done all!

I'd like you to know, some of us are just now learning MT, and we hit the archives pretty heavy. Most of what I'm doing is still trying to figure out how to put the right template tags in the right places.

Most of what I'm learning in Movable Type falls under the "trying not to screw up the entire server," so anything more advanced than that is welcomed advice.

Beautiful! Congrats on the re-launch, Elise, Jesse and Arvind.

Congratulation on your new design... Success for all team... It's the resources for MT user... Thanks...

Warm greetings from Jakarta, Indonesia...

Cheers,

Viking KARWUR

Great redesign !
Wondering if template files and .css could be released to the public ?
With best wishes,
Victor.

Bel:

Lovely. Very nice indeed.

Nick:

Congrats, it looks fantastic.

Hey, I love it!

Well done!

As a MT user, I've been reading your posts for more than 4 months. Now, it is time to congratulate you and your team for your hard work and content available here.

The design looks nice.

Congratulations!

Sara:

Good work all of you.

Chris:

Thanks so much for your tutorials. Your site has been indispensable for me.

Also, I really enjoy the new layout, especially with two columns to the right. I was considering doing something similar, but was concerned about how adding the extra width to the site could affect users (I have a wide monitor set to 1280x854, but not everyone does).

Would you ever share how you chose the dimensions for your columns?

Hi Victor - I think Arvind and Jesse may be planning some posts on how we did the redesign, so you may get some hints there on the code. The template code itself we will likely not release, though obviously, the CSS code is available from viewing the source of the page. The new site is highly customized with lots of plugins and PHP includes. So unless you have all of that running on your site, the template code won't be that useful.

Hi Chris - The decision of whether or not to have a wide format depends on the type of visitors you typically have to your site. In the case of my recipe site, the visitors are mostly non-techie consumers. Many of them are still using a monitor with at 800x600px resolution. For that reason I keep the width narrow on that site. With LMT, I'm assuming that most of the users of the site will be more technical and have screens of higher resolution that can handle a wider format.

Hey Chris: After looking over our visitor stats, we discovered that an overwhelming majority of readers were using 1024px or higher, so we went with Zeldman's recommendation of 960px. Also, because we've got the two sidebars, even if someone hit's the site with 800px resolution, they'll only lose that second sidebar; and we've tried to put the most pertinent information on the first sidebar for that very reason.

Hope that helps!

kate:

Lovely reboot! Job well done!

The site looks beautiful. LMT has been my go-to source for MT for a couple years now. Looking forward to the next couple. Thanks for all you do here.

Elise:
Thank you for the answer and explanation, Elise.

Elise and friends, This is just a minor annoyance. Your feed in Google/Reader does not indicate which of you is the author of an article.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, your comment may need to be approved before will appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)