Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

What MT plugins do you use?

Yesterday I mentioned that I have 39 plugins installed in my Movable Type installation. Jake asked which ones they were, so here’s a list:

  1. BanPing2OldEntry – a plugin which increases the junk score of trackback pings to old entries.
  2. BigPAPI – a meta-plugin which enables other plugins to alter the MT administration interface.
  3. CatEntries – lets you display entries from particular categories, or exclude specific categories.
  4. Collect – useful for generating statistics like the number of links or images in a post.
  5. DateTags – adds some extra date related tags – for example, you can show entries from the past 5 days exluding today.
  6. Markdown – a text formatting plugin.
  7. SimpleComments – shows trackbacks and comments as one. Currently just use this for the MTSimpleCommentCount tag which shows the total number of comments and trackbacks combined as I no longer mix pings and comments together.
  8. UpdateAuthoredOn – adds an ‘Update’ button next to the Date field on the entry edit screen to set the entry to the current date or time.
  9. WeblogsActionMenu – provides quick links to the main screens in the MT admin interface.
  10. Acronym – adds definitions for abbreviations and acronyms.
  11. MT-Gizmos – a variety of useful template tags and global tag attributes.
  12. MT-RelatedEntries – lists other entries in the same category or with the same keyword.
  13. MT-WordCount – counts the number of words and images in an entry.
  14. MultiBlog – allows the combining of content from two blogs on the same installation and the triggering of cross-blog rebuilds.
  15. PHP-TypeKey – a plugin of my own that I’m working on that replicates the function of TypeKISS but using PHP instead of Server Side Includes. The Perl bit is done but I haven’t released it because I haven’t been able to get a version that works with dynamic publishing done yet – if anyone wants to take up the baton here I’d really appreciate it.
  16. MTEntryIfComments – lets you display different content if there are no comments, or just one comment. Version 2.0, which I upgraded to today, now also works for trackback pings.
  17. MTWordStats – no longer available from its author. This plugin lets you count words, syllables, sentences and paragraphs in both individual entries and globally. I don’t use this anymore however and it’s disabled.
  18. SmartyPants – adds fancy quote marks to your entries.
  19. MTCountdown – adds template tags that let you count down to a specific date or time. Currently disabled but I may re-enable it in a couple of months for a birthday countdown.
  20. MTIfEmpty – adds a couple of conditional tags to test if specific fields are empty or not. Useful for all sorts of things.
  21. MTKeywordList – expands the keywords field for use with tags.
  22. LJCrosspost – cross-posts new entries to LiveJournal.
  23. MTMacros – lets you specify HTML macros, so that when I type ‘Hari’ it gets underlined with a tooltip saying ‘Neil’s girlfriend’.
  24. SafeHref – makes sure that any non-valid URLs in entries are fixed so as not to break HTML validity.
  25. MTOnThisDay – displays entries written on that day over previous years. Used on the home page.
  26. MTBlogPings – counts the total number of pings on a blog and other trackback-related stuff.
  27. MTRandomEntries – displays a given number of random entries.
  28. MT-Notifier – allows readers to subscribe to new comments on entries.
  29. RightFields – lets you modify the display of existing fields on the edit entry pages and add extra ones.
  30. Template Backup and Refresh – built-in plugin for restoring templates back to the defaults.
  31. Nofollow – built-in plugin for adding ‘rel="nofollow"‘ to links in comments and pings.
  32. OpenID Comments – lets commenters sign-in using OpenID or their LiveJournal accounts.
  33. TypeMover – facilitates the moving of content between one blog and another, and provides better backups. Currently disabled as I don’t need it right now.
  34. PowerRebuild – makes rebuilding stuff easier.
  35. Real 😉 Comment Throttle – improves MT’s built-in comment throttling in the case of a major spam attack.
  36. SpamLookup – the built-in spam prevention powerhouse.

“But that’s only 36!” you may be thinking. Well, two of those have been removed altogether since yesterday since I can’t think of any reason why I’d need to use them in future or have been made redundant by a new version of another plugin, and the other is one that I’ve written myself but it doesn’t really do anything yet.
And even though I have 30 plugins enabled, MT still works pretty well – a testament to Six Apart’s quality control.
So, since everyone likes a good meme, how many plugins do you have in your Movable Type installation? Swap ‘Movable Type’ for ‘WordPress’ or whatever if you don’t use MT.


  1. Amputator
    Converts stray ampersands to entity references to help my pages validate as XHTML.
    Probably one of the best plugins ever written for Movable Type.
    Fixes a bug where the entry basename is incremented when saving from Preview. Fixed in the next MT release.
    Adds a link to each individual archive page so I can edit the entry easily.
    Adds a Globally Recognised Avatar to each comment.
    Caches MTIncludes to speed up rebuilds – I’m not entirely sure this makes a whole lot of difference.
    Better File Uploader
    Increases the options available when you upload files via MT.
    Power Edit Feedback
    Allows you to edit comment and trackback status from the Power Editing screen.
    OpenID Comments
    Allows commenters to sign in with OpenID to comment. Not actually used on my site, yet.
    And of course the Six Apart defaults:
    Template Backup and Refresh

  2. In my ExpressionEngine install I have a total of 8 plugins that I use:
    EE Gravatar: which allows the use of Gravatars in comments. Wrote it myself though it’s been supplanted by EE’s native support of avatars added awhile back. I keep it for folks who don’t want to register an account.
    Magpie RSS Parser: Used mainly for EE’s plugin manager, but also used on my reviews site to pull in RSS feeds from elsewhere.
    Word Limiter: Comes with EE. Allows you to truncate output to X number of words. Used in my Recent Comments list.
    Amazon API: Used on my reviews site to pull product info from Amazon.
    XML Encode: Comes with EE. Used in the RSS feeds.
    XML Entities: Comes with EE. Used in Atom feeds.
    HTML Stripper: Strips HTML from output. Used with my Recent Comments list.
    HTML Formatting Buttons: Puts buttons on the comment entry form to allow easy use of boldface, italics, underline, and creation of links.
    Additionally I have installed three extra modules to EE:
    File Manager: Adds a file manager functionality to EE. Useful for simple file maintenance tasks that don’t require FTP to do.
    IP to Nation: Included with EE. Adds little flags on comments based on the IP address of the user.
    Link List: Blogrolling functionality.
    EE also supports Extensions, but I’m not currently using any of those. So, total, I’ve got 11 add ons to EE running. Most of the functionality of the plugins you’re using are already part of the core package with EE so that eliminates the need for more.

  3. Why do you have both Acronym and MTMacros? It looks to me like you’re using both of them to do the same thing.

  4. It’s much easier to define Acronyms use acronyms, and other stuff like emoticons with MTMacros. Acronym also comes with a large database of acronyms that work out of the box, whereas with MTMacros you have to start from scratch.
    I used to use MTMacros to define my acronyms but I just found Acronym to be easier.

  5. MT Pick n Mix

    Neil, the little scally-wag is asking the world what MT Plugins they have installed. As i’m a earth-bound MT using person I guess I should join in… BigPAPIAllows other plugins to run-amock all over your MT interface.MT-EnclosuresFor podcasting. Scans…

  6. I prefer to use MTMacros, even though it’s slightly clunkier to use, as it allows you to specify if it’s an acronym or an abbreviation — call me pedantic but I think these things are important ;).
    Here’s a selection of the others I use in MT:
    AcceptCommentsPings – Accept or unaccept comments and pings on multiple entries at once.
    Compare – Display a section of template code conditionally, based on various types of comparisons of two or more values.
    mt-archive-dateheader – Group archives by date.
    MTBlock – A dummy tag that can be used to apply filters to any block of text in a template.
    MTSpeling – Adds spell-checking to comment posting.
    Validable – Fixes broken HTML (not just URLs, e.g. unclosed tags) in entries and comments.

  7. does anyone know where i can find a list of dynamic publishing compatible plugins?

  8. Thanks for sharing, I’m going to play with MTOnTHisDay. If you ever have any spare time I must find a way to get you smarten up the coding in my MT blog!

  9. There are some good looking plugins there that I had never thought of using. Thanks!
    My list:
    -SimpleComments (but, like you, just minimally):
    -MT BlogRoll Pro
    -MT Notifier
    -MT Moderate
    -SpamLookup (old version just to fix my comment form’s line breaks — I’m just too lazy to update my templates)
    However, on a few other MT sites, I’m using stuff like RightFields, as well as EnhancedEntryEditing (with BigPAPI).
    And that’s it. Nothing really exciting, and I don’t really give a rip about standards-compliant code (as you’ll see looking at my code). But will have to take a look at your list and see if I can use any of them.