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Date Based Category Archives in Movable Type

Originally published at majordojo under the title "How to increase advertising revenue with Movable Type."

cute-kitten-picture-in-the-grass.jpgEvery once in a while a plugin is created for Movable Type that makes you wonder, “why hasn’t anyone created this until now?” And the most recent plugin that I have installed on majordojo is no exception. Andy Yako-Mink, inspired by a ProNet conference call, created a plugin named “Cat Calendar.” But before you start imagining a 365 Cat-a-Day desk calendar for your blog, let me dispel any preconception you might have about this plugin. Simply put, Cat Calendar paginates Category Archive pages by date.

But why do I think this is so significant?

First, one of the consequences of Movable Type’s archiving system is that over time as you accumulate more and more content (which for a product that has been around for 5+ years is not completely unlikely) rebuilding specific pages becomes a very expensive operation. Category archives in particular because over time they only get larger. Rebuilding a single Category Archive page for example requires Movable Type to load a large number of entries into memory to be published to a single file. This results in a large memory foot print for Movable Type during the rebuild process; and for others that host more popular blogs it becomes a point of instability.

By paginating Category Archives, Movable Type’s publishing process not only becomes more stable, but it also gets a nice performance boost as well because the amount of content that gets rebuild at any given time is significantly reduced. Think about it: do you ever really need to rebuild entries from November 2005 in February 2007? Most of the time, no. Cat Calendar optimizes Movable Type’s publishing process to publish only what it needs to.

There is another benefit of Cat Calendar that cannot be overlooked: more page turns. By breaking really large category archive pages into multiple pages, you create greater potential for readers to browse multiple pages of your site by encouraging them to explore more posts within a category. As they browse and explore your blog, they generate more page turns, which if you are familiar with advertising is directly related to the earning potential of your blog; no mater which way you cut it, greater page volume results in higher ad impressions which in turn results in higher advertising revenue.

Installing Cat Calendar is easy and Andy has good instructions on how to do so. In fact, it is refreshing to see a plugin integrate so cleanly and completely into the Movable Type user experience. I encourage all Movable Type users: get Cat Calendar now, and throw some scratch Andy’s way. He deserves it.

Comments (1)

Wow, Elise, congrats for the beautiful relaunch of LMT!!!!

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