Go ahead… ask me how I spent my weekend….
The short answer: in a designers hell.
The long answer: I spent my entire weekend developing FOUR different blogs for 2 different clients – each of these 4 blogs developed and designed in Movable Type 4.
And here I thought that old saying went like this: “bad things happen in threes” ??
My dear friends at SixApart – that was sarcasm.. but, really – does the template engine within MT4 have to be so unecessarily complicated?
Maybe I’m just simply a spoiled WP Girl? Call me crazy, but I do sorta appreciate the ‘Presto-Chango’ convienence of WordPress when it comes to building templates and themes.
Let’s see… with MT templates… I have:
- Index Templates
- Archive Index
- Main Index
- RSD and RSS
- StyleSheets: Base Theme and Main Site CSS
- Entry Listing
- Comment Detail
- Comment Form
- Entry Detail
- Entry Metadata
- Entry Summary
- Page Detail
- Sidebar – 2 Column Layout
- Sidebar – 3 Column Layout
- Comment Preview
- Comment Response
- Dynamic Error
- Popup Image
- Search Results
- Category list (nested)
- Creative Commons
- Date-based Author Archives
- Date-based Category Archives
- Monthly archive dropdown
- Monthly archive list
- Pages list (nested)
- Powered by
- Recent comments
- Recent posts
- Search form
- Sign In
- Subscribe to feed
- Tag cloud (sidebar)
- Technorati Search
That’s a hella listing of templates — and that is just the default ‘out of the box’ MT template stuff to create an overall theme. Start getting funky with customized layouts? All I’m saying is just be ready for a LOT of code mucking!
When thinking of Widgets in an MT sense – – don’t think of those convienent drag and drop happy Widgets you find inside your WordPress administration panel. Noooo… these widgets are just code snippets, is all. So when changing and re-ordering your sidebar in MT – – you’re still dicking around with code bits. Which, for me… as long as I have my geek girl glasses on – is not a problem and I quite like mucking around in code…. but I can’t say the same for my clients.
And rebuilding….seriously? Rebuilding is SO 1990’s. I don’t rebuild with WordPress…. evah. Make a change in the template… click the update button… BOOMDONE!
So, with all those MT templates… in order to customize the layout.. you first need a complete understand of how each and every single one of those templates relate to the others in the pack. How does the Main Index template tie in with the Template Modules? Inside the Template Modules.. you’ll find includes for other Modules… so when you’re making changes to one template and the change didn’t affect what you thought it would.. you need to go dig around and find what’s included in that template – – then go check the module to see whats included in that template, only to find more includes which will take you to yet another template where you might find the snippet of code you are looking for. I need a damn flowchart!
Movable Type. It mocks me.
At the end of the day – – it’s all good. I developed 4 very nicely developed blogs that do what their owners want them to do… but not without several hours of code mucking and such. Contrary to what you may think after reading this post… I *do* like Movable Type – SixApart has a very nice blogging platform there. There are some great things they have over WordPress – – such as the ability to run multiple blogs on different domains within on administration panel is one of them. That is a super nice feature! Plus, I cut my own blogging teeth on Movable Type – – so for that reason alone, I will always have a soft spot for the platform.
However, in regards to design – – from purely an “Ease of Use” standpoint… it’s insane.
Now that the weekend has come to an end… I’m left with an empty glass of scotch and as I fall into a blissful night of sleep.. the lingering question will taunt me into dreamland……..‘Why, oh why, don’t people just use WordPress??”
Yes, I am completely biased… please feel free to leave comments telling me how misguided I am. Maybe I made it more difficult than it needed to be? Maybe it would have been easier without the glass of scotch? Maybe… if I weren’t so damn spoiled on WordPress…. it wouldn’t have taken so long?
I long to hear lovely Movable Type stories about how easy and fast it is to develop customized templates and themes… please share!