General Tips and Tricks

  • Create a Custom Feed Reader with Blogger Blog List » Have you ever wanted an easy way of showing a simple feed of your favorite sites within your blog? Blogger has a cool new feature called Blog List for Blogger blogs, and even if you are using Movable Type, or another blogging platform, you can make use of this Blogger...
  • Running Publish Queue under daemontools » In Movable Type 4.0 users had the option of offloading the task of publishing to a separate program or application called Publish Queue. This had the advantage of dramatically increasing Movable Type's performance and reliability. Most users run Pubish Queue via a scheduled task that wakes up at a fixed...
  • List Random Authors » As communities grow, so does the need to showcase your authors. Having a hefty community of authors is a great thing (content producers FTW!) but everyone wants their fifteen minutes. This handy little tip can help make sure everyone gets their fair share of the limelight. A couple of things...
  • Share This Post in Movable Type 4 » This isn't really a tutorial since I'm just advising you to install a plugin and giving you some reference html to make it look a tiny bit nicer than it does by default. However I still think this might be useful information for at least a few people so here...
  • Rotating Banner Ads in MT Using PHP » (This article is cross posted at MovableTweak.) A client recently asked me if they could have an easy-to-manage banner ad setup, with the ability to add advertisements and specify links and alternate text, while at the same time being able to manage them easily. Sounds like a job for… Movable...
  • Putting MT:MultiBlog to Work » Last week on my personal blog I discussed how to put the MT:OtherBlog tag to use and compared that tag with using PHP includes to create the same functionality. In the comments of that post J. Brotherlove reminded me of one serious advantage PHP includes have over using MT:OtherBlog: automatic...
  • How To Change the Default Image Upload Location in Movable Type 4.0 » Nearly every article for my site Correspondence Notes contains at least one image. I use Movable Type's built in upload feature to upload images and add them to entries. The process is fine except for one step. By default Movable Type will upload images to your Site Root. That's great...
  • Movable Type Firefox Shortcut » I'm constantly bringing up different client's Movable Type installs for maintenance, and typing out the full path to Movable Type gets old quick. If you install MT to a consistent location (/cgi-bin/mt/mt.cgi) as I do, I've got a little Firefox shortcut that will make your life easier. In Firefox, go...
  • Automatic Copyright Notice Year Update » Every year come January we have to start signing checks with a new date. One little site detail that often gets overlooked is the date on the copyright notice (if you have a copyright notice) for your blog. If your site is PHP friendly, you can replace the copyright date...
  • Printer-Friendly Pages » Updated April 6, 2007. Providing printer-friendly versions of your weblog entries can be useful to your weblog readers. Learning Movable Type links to printer-friendly versions at the end of each entry. There are several ways to create printer-friendly versions. I've outlined two methods in this tutorial. The first method...
  • Entry Titles Linked to Permalinks » If you are using Movable Type default templates, the titles of your entries on the main page of your MT blog are just that - titles. They look pretty but go nowhere. If you want to get from the entry on your main blog page to its individual entry...
  • Yearly Archives » Movable Type is set up for doing date-based archives by day, week, and month, but not by year. There are a few plugins and methods out there that will help you create a yearly calendar of your archives, for example, Brad Choate's Year Archives in MT Perl script plugin...
  • Google Adsense Placement After First Post » Google has some useful tips on how to optimize the use of Google Adsense on one's web pages. No surprise - the hottest "hot spot" for the best click-through returns lies right in the middle of your content. How does one place a Google Adsense ad (or any other ad,...
  • Random Entries Using PHP » There are two methods to create a random entry, pulled from your weblog database (if you aren't using dynamic publishing). The easiest is David Raynes' MTRandomEntries plugin. However, MTRandomEntries generates a random entry only when you rebuild the page on which the MTRandomEntry code is located. If you want a...
  • Querying a MySQL database with PHP - Random Quotes » If you are using a MySQL database and your blog is PHP enabled (see Converting to PHP), you can use PHP scripts to pull blog data from your database to add customizations to your blog. For example, say you would like to have on your sidebar a quote, randomly pulled...
  • Multiple Authors » This tutorial needs to be updated to include the use of the CustomFields plugin as a way to manage a multi-author site. ~Elise March 9, 2007 With MT you can have multiple authors on the same weblog, making it easy to have a friend contribute to your blog as a...
  • Combining Multiple Blogs Into One » There are several situations in which you might want to combine two or more blogs into one. You might want to create a "Portal" blog which displays the most recent entries or headlines of entries from various blogs. You might want to create a Sideblog or Linkblog (see tutorial). Or...
  • Converting to PHP » This tutorial is written by LMT contributor Sarah Hughes of Sassy (aka Maddy in the MT Forums). Many customizations for Movable Type call for using PHP scripts that require that your pages have a .php extension rather than a .html or .htm extension. PHP is a server-side scripting language which...
  • Adding a Footer » Many weblogs have a footer bar running across the bottom of the page with information that pertains to all of the pages of the weblog, such as copyright, XHTML validation, software used to create the weblog, etc. Adding a footer to your Movable Type weblog is pretty straightforward. 1....
  • Moving an Entry from One Blog to Another » For those of you with multiple MT weblogs, have you ever wanted to move an entry from one blog to another? or the entries from only one category from one to another weblog? You can copy the entries from the first weblog and paste them into the second, but how...
  • Scheduled Postings and Cron Jobs » Co-authored by Elise Bauer and Arvind Satyanarayan. Tutorial cross posted on Movalog and Learning Movable Type Future posting is a convenient new feature in MT3.1x, allowing you to create an entry and have it automatically post at a future time. But before you can use this feature you need to...
  • Creating an About Page » There are two basic ways to create an about page in Movable Type. The first is to just create it as any ordinary entry. Then use the permalink URL to link to it from your main page. Unless you want comments and trackbacks on your About page, disable them for...
  • Password Protecting Your Blog with .htaccess » One way to set up a private, password-protected weblog is by adding a .htaccess file to the directory in which the weblog resides. htaccess files can give you extra control over your server, allowing you to password protect directories, enable server side includes, generate custom error messages, and block users...
  • Making a Sideblog or Linkblog » Updated Sept 14, 2004 A sideblog is a separate weblog which appears in the sidebar of your main weblog. Sideblogs are often used as a convenient way to list out interesting links, something akin to a frequently-updated, public list of IE favorites. Rather than mixing in your "this link is...
  • Keeping an Entry at the Top » Sometimes you may want to keep an entry, or all entries within a certain category, at the top of your weblog, above all of your other entries. For example, you may want to highlight announcements at the top of your site, or you might have a site explanation or introduction...
  • Customizing the MT Edit Window » If you are creating a group weblog with multiple authors, you might want to customize the look of the Movable Type editing windows with the group's logo. MT3.1 makes this really easy to do. The styles.css file and the images folder that are in the folder you chose for your...
  • MT Keyword Search » Movable Type comes with a default search capability that your site visitors can use to search for keywords in your weblog entries. You can add functionality to the search form that people see on your site, and make adjustments to the templates that govern how the results are displayed. Keyword...
  • Backing Up Your Blog » Occassionally databases get corrupted, servers fail or web hosts go out of business. So it's a good idea to back up your Movable Type blogs. There are many methods for doing so, a few of which I will cover here. The back-up process is much easier if you are using...
  • Using PHP and MT Includes » Updated March 1, 2007. Using includes, you can modularize your template code making it easier to edit and rebuild your Movable Type templates. For example, instead of having all of your side bar and center content on the same Index template, you can set up a separate file to hold...
  • Display Code In Entries » This tutorial needs to be updated. It still works, but there are probably more and better ways to do this (including Markdown and Textile) than what has been written about here. ~Elise Mar 1, 2007 Once in a while you might just want to show actual code - HTML, PHP,...
  • Creating a Photo Album » Looking for a way to incorporate a Photo Gallery into your MT blog? Check out the PhotoGallery plugin from majordojo.com. The following LMT tutorial is completely out of date. ~Elise Feb 22, 2007 There are many ways to create a web-based photo album or photoblog in Movable Type. This...
  • Previous Entries and Lastn » Updated February 22, 2007 The default main index page of a Movable Type weblog displays the last 10 entries made. You can change this number by entering a different number in the weblog's settings. Settings > General > Default Weblog Display Settings > Entries to Display You can also change...
  • Site Statistics » Updated February 22, 2007 There are several ways to get statistics about your Movable Type weblog. Most web hosts give you access to some statistics regarding your site as a matter of course - referral logs (list of sites that link to you in which someone has clicked on the...