Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

It had to happen someday

Over at Scrapie I’ve moved the site backend to Movable Type. Although the existing CMS was still working okay, there were some features that it really lacked that would have required much coding on my part. With next term looking awful in coursework terms, and the small matters of exams, holiday jobs and my final year next year, it was probably best that we moved to something that had the features we’ll need already implemented.
It’ll now allow us to add images to articles much more easily – rather than me having to FTP the files manually (since I’m the only one who knows the FTP password). The site is now much faster too – fewer database calls and less preprocessing mean the pages appear more quickly. And we finally have Google-friendly URLs.
Exporting entries wasn’t too difficult – I only had to modify one of the scripts to output entries in a form the MT’s Import system understands, and I was away.
Probably the only downside to using MT is that there’s currently no separate field for ‘author’. In our case, individuals write the articles, but usually only one person (ie me) uploads them to the site, so it wouldn’t make sense to have 30-odd user accounts. I actually only set up 2 – an admin account for me and a restricted account for everyone else. I’d like to think that we can now have more people adding content instead of it falling on to me.
The latest issue is partially uploaded – there’s just a few final music reviews to go up there.


  1. Did you actually consider something like “Mambo Open Source” or Typo3: they seem more suited for an online newsletter type thingymegig.

  2. Interestingly enough, I didn’t 🙂 . They do look interesting but I think MT is fine for now – I know how it works and I was able to recreat almost all of the functionality of the old system.

  3. What do you mean by google friendly URLS?

  4. In the past, we had URLs like main.php?section=news&id=32 . Google tends to ignore URLs like that (particularly those with lots of ? and &), and indeed none of the article pages appeared in the index. They’re now /articles/news/2004/name_of_article.php which it likes.