MT versus WordPress

Sparklette announced on Twitter that Movable Type 4 is out. That’s the software I use for this blog. I’ve been using MT for most of my blogging life. Would you believe I started out with Blogger in its early days, actually found it too difficult to integrate on my own website, and went back to manual updates until I finally made the bold move to install MT? It was difficult as I had no background in programming, but I managed to figure things out. With each MT upgrade things got easier, especially with MT3.
I’ve also tried WordPress. There was the temptation to switch to it, especially when MT’s parent company Six Apart started charging for support rather than relying on donations (which I made, anyway). But I stayed on. The only time I did contact their Tech Support, the response was fairly quick and professional. So it gives me the assurance that things can get fixed if I need help.
However, I’m reluctant to learn WordPress in detail, so apart from fine-tuning a bit of design elements and installing other people’s themes, I haven’t done much.
I found MT’s interface more user-friendly. When I log in and see the landing page, I can do what I want in one click, whereas with WordPress it takes an extra click or two. I’m used to the MT tags and like the fact that I don’t have to update my .htaccess file when I change the way my blog entry pages should be named. MT also works in other platforms. For enterprise blogging-related projects, I’ve considered either MT or Expression Engine, which at least doesn’t incur more cost when adding new user licences.
Having said that, MT has also learnt a lot from WordPress. With MT3 there was dynamic publishing, calling from the database. More modules started appearing (though they still screw up my blog templates, which were adapted from MT2). WordPress has made MT sit up and take notice, which is good. If I wanted my website to be mostly a blog with several other web pages, WordPress would be ideal because it lets you manage pages that are kept within the same template as your blog.
In MT, more hard coding is required – but I’m fine with that. It’s cleaner. With WordPress, if you copy and paste your entry from Microsoft Word, the formatting is copied over as well. [Update: See Sparklette/Veron’s clarification below.]
So, for now, I’m still sticking with MT. Anyway my schedule is jam packed, I’m no longer that interested in coding, and so this website is not going to be revamped this year. I hope you like yellow and white.
Disclaimer: I have not tried out MT4 but it has new features, such as a redesigned interface, WYSIWYG editor and standalone pages. The last two features I’ve singled out are again things that WordPress had first. I totally encourage competition because it raises the bar for both sides.


  1. Veron

    You’re right. Editing the .htaccess file can be a real bitch. I can’t count the number of times I panicked and hyperventilated when I messed it all up and couldn’t access my blog.
    I remember having tried using MT once. Back then I was using the rather embarrassing Greymatter and decided it’s time to make a switch. I migrated to MT initially, but then had severe problems importing my blog archives over. It was a breeze to move my Greymatter archives over to WP. I do recall liking the clean interface of MT very much.
    Oh, one small thing to clarify about WP. To avoid having all the formatting copied over from Microsoft Word, just turn off the rich text editor. Like you, I find it to be a pain in the arse so all along I simply stick with using plain text editing.

  2. Ryan Lin

    WordPress for me too. For being written on PHP and of course being an OpenSource. MT has just begun the process of open sourcing.
    For developers, WP API is much better and earier to write plugins and tweak.
    My first blogging platform was on MT, then I switched to WP due to lacking of dynamic publishing in MT back then. MT has a different templating language (for advanced templating) unlike WP which is in plain PHP.

  3. James

    I use WordPress. I found it easy to use. It may be my first impression. I am just too lazy to try anything else.

  4. Jason ho

    ooooooooh…you are on MT eh? was trying to figure out what kind of software you are using..keke..
    I like WordPress tho…kinda simple’ish…and lazy to learn the I am sticking to what I am comfortable with..think you made the right choice by sticking to MT tho.. 🙂

  5. Ronnie

    I have tried several blogging software.. tried both MT and WP. After some looking and trials, I decided to go with ExpressionEngine. Very flexible and customizable, suitable for those who wants a little more control.

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