Movable Type great for small sites on shared environments.
May 08, 2014

Movable Type great for small sites on shared environments.

Dennis Dewey | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Configuration Assistant
  • Photo Gallery
  • Page Layout
  • QuickRebuild

Overall Satisfaction with Movable Type

I was using Movable Type to set up small-medium sized websites for various clients including my own portfolio website for myself. It is a good lightweight CMS and blogging platform. I would usually choose Movable Type over Wordpress because it is more reliable out of the box. It is difficult to "Fireball" a Movable Type site because the platform creates static pages.
  • Renders one or more static pages per node/content item. Static pages are better for high traffic sites because dynamic sites do not always properly implement caching and are more likely to fail from needing a constant database connection.
  • Out of the box, the custom fields in Movable Type are much more intuitive to work with than Wordpress and other blogging platforms. The custom fields even work better than some dedicated content management systems such as Joomla. Custom fields can be defined for several different entity types such as content and taxonomy. The fields show up in the new content form and are easy to find and use.
  • The templating language in Movable Type is extremely rich and has many nice features built in. There is less of a need to extend for further templating functionality and you can also add some of your own PHP to the mix to add more features.
  • The installation of Movable Type still needs improvement. I've had to learn quite a bit about setting up my own apache servers in the past, but most of the needed modules for Movable Type come preinstalled nowadays with many server stacks.
  • The customization of the backend is much more complicated in comparison to Wordpress or other content management systems. It is difficult to rebrand the backend interface without hacking core files.
  • The licensing of Movable Type is confusing, keeps changing and now you're unable to get an open source version of MT6.x.
  • Movable Type could use its own command line utility like Drush for Drupal.
  • It works well enough on shared hosting so it yields good returns in situations where your client cannot afford dedicated servers.
Movable Type is better than Wordpress because it generates static sites that cannot be broken by losing your database connection. The custom fields in MT are superior to Wordpress because of the way the fields are presented in the new content form. You need to get paid plugins in order to get that kind of functionality in Wordpress. Most of the templates in MT can be customized with greater control because you're provided with more templates.
I am most likely to use it in situations where there is not much at stake. I have less faith in the platform because of the direction I see it going in. Movable Type never really won the blogging wars with Wordpress so its future is still a bit uncertain. Most people I know have given up on Movable Type and have moved on to other platforms so I can't recommend it in most situations.
Is your business an enterprise level business that has more than a half dozen different content types? If so, then you might want to use a dedicated CMS rather than Movable Type. Movable Type is best used on small / medium sized businesses and is not the best solution for a full-fledged CMS. If you're using your content for something other than just displaying a website, then it's probably not for you. Movable Type works great for news/blogging sites. In fact, Daring Fireball, one of the most popular Apple-centric blogs is using Movable Type as its publishing platform.