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Blogging Platform Showdown: WordPress vs. Movable Type

By Edited May 19, 2016 0 0


I've been developing content for the web since the late 90s when blogging tools were just barely starting to emerge. At the time, I was still writing and coding everything by hand.

As blogging platforms became more popular, I immediately recognized their potential. However, I had no idea how to integrate them on my website. I just started a Blogger blog and linked it up.

But that wasn't enough. I was growing tired of having to meticulously code everything, and I wanted a blog displaying on the main page of my website.

Blogging Platforms
Suffice to say, this was a journey over the long haul. I started to explore the possibility of using Movable Type and WordPress, but my next challenge was in trying to figure out how to install them.

Once I did figure out how to install and run the platforms, my next challenge was in understanding how to customize them to my liking. To be honest, I'm still learning more about this process, but I find myself getting better by the day.

WordPress vs. Movable Type

Before I get too deep in to this topic, I should note that it's near impossible to be objective. Both platforms have a robust feature set and are quite straightforward to use.

The general consensus seems to be that while Movable Type is more feature rich out-of-the-box, WordPress can be tweaked and configured to the nth degree.

I have been using both platforms quite extensively since 2009 (though if anything I've invested more time into Movable Type). So let's explore how these two platforms stack up with each other.


In general, the WordPress installation can be done a little quicker than the Movable Type installation, though the process is virtually the same. Configure your database, upload the necessary files and complete the process within your browser.

While some web hosts offer one-click installation options for WordPress, I have yet to see anything similar for Movable Type.


It doesn't take much searching to realize that there is far bigger knowledge base for WordPress. Not only is there a wealth of knowledge that you can plug in to on the WordPress website, many bloggers and experts have written useful tutorials and articles about various aspects of the platform.

Contrast that with Movable Type, and unfortunately the information available leaves something to be desired. There is some documentation on the official website, as wells as blogs and articles from days past, but sadly there just isn't enough regular and up-to-date information out there.


Both WordPress and Movable Type have a variety of plugins available for install depending on the functionality you are looking to integrate. WordPress is practically built on plugins, and you will probably find that you need to install quite a few at the outset.

With Moable Type, you may find that you don't need a lot of plugins when you first launch your blog. However, even if you wanted to, there are a lot of plugins that are out-of-date, and there are fewer to choose from. The plugin installation process tends to be more convoluted as well.


Paid and free WordPress themes are available in abundance. Many of them feature a high degree of customizability, and some are even mobile ready or responsive.

Movable Type comes pre-installed with 30 or more 'styles', but many of them are merely variations on the same basic design. You can choose from two or three column designs for all style, but they aren't particularly customizable, and again a little cookie-cutter.


Chances are good that you will need to install several plugins and possibly a few themes as you get started on WordPress. It's really an ongoing process; you end up finding more plugins to add as you go.

Fortunately, all installations - including platform upgrades - are done native within the platform itself. So adding themes and plugins is neither time consuming nor complicated.

On the other hand, we have the feature rich Movable Type. I must admit that to this day I am still discovering functionality that I didn't know the platform had (a system-wide search-and-replace function for example).

However, plugins, styles and system upgrades generally require a two-step installation process in which you upload and/or replace files, and then complete the process within your browser.

The bottom line is that MT just requires a little more patience. Without using plugins you can still find web-based apps or code insertions that can play as substitutes to plugins.


It may seem like a landslide victory for WordPress, but ultimately I'm not endorsing or rejecting either. I still use my Movable Type blogs quite frequently because of the upfront time and effort I've put in to configuring them to my liking.

At times I have found it frustrating that I can't simply do a quick search for plugins to integrate basic functionality like web forms or sharebars, but as noted earlier I've usually been able to find suitable workarounds.

I've also gotten more adept at customizing the design of my MT blogs, and this is something that I'm still working on as it pertains to WordPress.

Ultimately, though, today's industry standard is WordPress. Experts like Pat Flynn, Michael Stelzner and Jeremy & Jason from Internet Business Mastery all talk about WordPress. If you try following along with what they do and you're using Movable Type, you're going to find it a frustrating process.

For the sheer amount of documentation and support that's available for WordPress, it's hard to recommend MT, unless you are an advanced web developer.


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