Not a screen-writing question, I’m afraid — more a “Geek Alert” one.
I’ve got a blog on blogger.com at the moment, and am thinking of
moving to a different blogging tool. I’m a techie by background
(computer science degree) now working in film visual effects
(currently on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and would love to
have much more flexibility than blogger.com gives.
How have you found WordPress vs. Movable Type? They are the two that I
am currently thinking about switching to, and would love to get your
take on the two. How flexible are they, and do they allow you pretty
much any access to the data that you would want?
– Hugh Macdonald
In another post, I’ll talk about blogging recommendations for the not-so-technically inclined.
It sounds like you, Hugh, are geeky enough that either WordPress or Movable Type will work fine for you. WordPress is done in PHP, while Movable Type is (mostly) Perl, so if one of those languages is more your strong suit, let that be your guide. And if you don’t feel like climbing under the hood, the default installs of either WordPress or Movable are pretty powerful, and both have plug-ins that let you do a lot without touching a line of code.
There are some technical and philosophical differences between the two systems as well. WordPress generates each page on-demand (at the moment someone requests it), which allows more flexibility in design and upkeep, at the cost of a slight delay in page loading. Movable Type, on the other hand, stores static pages that can be loaded very quickly — but can slow down when you make a change that ripples throughout the site. In recent revisions, both WordPress and Movable Type have taken on some of the other’s strengths — MT can generate certain page on the fly, while plug-ins for WP allow it to cache frequently-requested pages.
Both in terms of pricing and spirit, WordPress is “more free” than Movable Type. Movable Type is an honest-to-goodness company, with the goal of making a profit. For a single user, the MT software costs $70. WordPress, on the other hand, is open-source, and free. Both platforms have active support forums, but in my experience, the basic documentation on Movable Type is better.
I found WordPress much easier to install, however. The trickiest part is setting up the MySQL database, and the instructions do a good job explaining that. Movable Type has a much better exporting system, which ironically makes it a lot easier to move from MT to WP than vice-versa.
In summary, they’re both good. My gut tells me you’ll pick WordPress. But if you really want to impress the geeks at the FX bay, also check out Ruby on Rails, which is very much roll-your-own, but allows for immense customization.