Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Goodbye Melody, Hello WordPress

Leeds Station

It is with something of a heavy heart that I’ve decided to abandon Melody and move the blog to WordPress.

Long time readers will find this as a surprise – in the past, I’ve defended Movable Type when I’ve felt it under attack from WordPress ‘zealots’. Back then, WordPress was the new kid on the block, whilst Movable Type was much more established. Today, however, the situation has changed, and this is why I’ve made the change.

I left Movable Type earlier this year for a few reasons. Firstly, after trying Movable Type 5, I found it was aimed at large, professional blogs and not personal blogs like mine. The 4.3x line is still being maintained with security updates – MT 4.36 came out last week – but not with new features.

I hoped that Melody would provide a good continuation of MT 4.3x. Unfortunately I’m not that impressed – whilst it has improved some aspects of Movable Type, it hasn’t been the major step forward that I’d hoped it be. Furthermore, a number of plugins that I found really useful in MT didn’t work properly (or at all) in Melody, and as some of them were several years old and seemingly abandoned by their authors there was a slim chance of this happening.

It’s well known that the past few years has seen Movable Type stagnate. When I first started using it in 2002, there was a very active community developing plugins and themes for the platform. But this community has all but died out, and despite the best intentions of the Open Melody group it hasn’t re-ignited. The MT community is, basically, dead.

WordPress is where the community is. Whilst blogging in general is past its prime, WordPress still has a large number of themes and plugins which work with the latest version, plus active support forums. The documentation has even improved.

I’ve also changed. I don’t revel in spending all night adding new features and installing plugins. I want a blogging system that just works.

What made me choose WordPress is taking over administration for the web site for one of the student groups that some friends are involved in; this previously used WordPress and rather than try to shoe-horn it into Melody I decided to stick with it. The system proved to much easier, more manageable and more slick than MT or Melody ever was. Upgrades, in particular, were very easy. So having used it for a while, a few hours ago I decided to migrate this blog too.

Getting the blog up and running in WordPress has been pretty easy – the import process from Melody was quite straightforward and work fine. I’ve then spent no more than a couple of hours trying some themes and getting the configuration in place. Despite being a completely different system, migrating from Melody to WordPress has taken about the same time as Movable Type to Melody.

The current theme is somewhat temporary – I haven’t yet decided on a final one. In the meantime I’d welcome any comments you may have.

3 Comments

  1. I wish you luck. I’ve contemplated doing the same many, many times. But two things have always stayed my hand… 1) Having to re-do all my templates for WordPress. 2) WordPress security is tough to maintain. Even with hack-resistant plug-ins, regular updates, and all the security precautions I can find to implement, my WordPress blogs STILL get hacked.

  2. Wow, nice one for taking the plunge. I’ve contemplated doing the same, and even tried it, but the wordpress importer borked my paragraph breaks on all my old entries and I didn’t fancy going back and fixing them πŸ˜‰

    I look forward to your future blog posts about plugins for wordpress and seeing what you come up with for your templates. I’m far too lazy to re-code all my non-blog pages (action-stream, photos, code, about etc) to really consider moving at the moment. But who knows down the road?

  3. Wow! As one of your longtime readers, I *am* indeed quite surprised to see this change. Like you, I used MT in 2002, and switched to WP in 2004. I’m genuinely surprised to see you’ve made the switch. But I definitely understand the desire to have community around your blogging, even if it is much reduced from the way it used to be.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve had none of the security issues Dave2 has. I’m on Dreamhost, for whatever that’s worth.