Time for a Blogging Change

After nearly three years of using Movable Type as the engine for my personal blog I have decided to change direction. It is not that I disliked Movable Type or that I found it incapable of doing the job. It just seemed like whenever I needed to change something it took longer for me to do than it really should. Although I am a card-carrying geek that doesn’t mean I want to spend all of my time learning and relearning how to get something done.

If I were to pinpoint one aspect of Movable Type that caused me angst it would have to be the template system. When I first started with the software it was the feature that drew me to using Movable Type. I loved the idea of creating templates to make my blog just a little bit unique.

What I did not fully comprehend was what impact that would have in the long run. Whenever Six Apart would introduce a new version of Movable Type, they would upgrade the default templates. I took that to mean that my site would immediately benefit from the new features built into the templates. Unfortunately I was wrong in my assumption.

In order for me to take advantage of the new templates, I would have to incorporate the changes into the “theme” that I was using. Initially I had selected a theme that would give me the look and feel I wanted. As my needs and ideas changed I would “tweak” the theme to include a new feature here and there. The result was a theme that worked for me but now deviated dramatically from the default templates.

This deviation meant that I was unable to take advantage of the newer default templates without having to do a full rewrite incorporating my changes into the new templates. That wouldn’t be so bad except I had to do that with each new version. I soon found that I was spending more time managing templates than I was actually writing which is never a good thing.

So after three years of this never ending cycle I came to a cross roads of deciding whether to again update the templates to my blog or find an alternative. Since I had a few days to kill with my family out of town I chose to move to a different platform.

I selected WordPress as the new platform for my blog. It seems quite robust and offers many of the features I had come to rely on with Movable Type. I’m now evaluating the engine and making a few additions where necessary to see how it will handle what I am trying to accomplish. So far I have been impressed with the software overall.

The key is going to be how does it handle the migration of data from Movable Type. Without a good migration utility this exercise will end quickly and I will be back to using Movable Type. As I progress down this evaluation I’ll try to note what I’ve found in case anyone should attempt what I am about to do on their own.

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