Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Faster Rebuilds

This is a handy tip for anyone using Movable Type that should make posting and rebuilding entries a little quicker. Follow these instructions, and you may shave a second or two off the time it takes to generate your templates.
There are two default templates which come with Movable Type that, by default, are rebuilt every time you publish or update an entry, even though the content of the files doesn’t change. So, to speed things up, we’re going to tell MT that we only want these templates rebuilt when we specifically tell it to.
The first is the RSD (Really Simple Discovery) file. This is a new file, introduced in MT 2.60, which tells other content management systems what you are running and what APIs your CMS supports; in MT’s case, these are the Blogger and MetaWeblog APIs, so that they know how to communicate with each other. This file only needs to be rebuilt when you upgrade MT to a new version, so we can safely stop it from being rebuilt incessantly. To do this, log into your MT installation, open your weblog and then click on ‘Templates’. Select ‘RSD’, and then clear the tick in the box besides ‘Rebuild this template automatically when rebuilding index templates’. Then click Save.
The second template is the style sheet. Now, if you’re like me, you will actually update this quite a bit, but there’s a rather cool tweak you can do that will actually rebuild it when you save it (instead of having to click Save and then Rebuild). It only works if your style sheet does not use MT template tags in it, but I can’t imagine many people will have ones that do so it’s probably not an issue for 99.9% of you.
Do the same as you did for the RSD template, but in the ‘Link this template to a file’ box, type in ‘styles-site.css‘, or whatever the filename of your style sheet is (it should match the filename in the ‘Output File’ box). Now, whenever you click ‘Save’, the style sheet will be rebuilt automatically.
You can actually do this with any template in MT that doesn’t use MT tags – there aren’t any there by default other than the style sheet, but you may have added your own. Otherwise, if you do that with pages that do use MT tags, your pages will be full of <$MTEntryBody$> tags (and the like) instead of your actual entries.


  1. Cheers Neil – I’ve done that, hopefully it will save some time and reduce my processing quotient on the server.

  2. Helpful tips, Neil. Thanks! Keep up the great work.

  3. change the extensions to .php

    I wanted to cut the rebuild time…takes forever!!! So I went for php. There are other tips to shorten the time: Faster Rebuilds…