Geek Love

Geek Confession…

I have a confession. As much as I adore Matt, there are many things about WordPress that feel are over my head or I just don’t have time to figure out. I am this close (*pincy fingers*) to moving back to Movable Type. I miss working with something that I know like the back of my hand. I miss the community of MT users (even though I still have MT running for some things, I’m not using it for the main site). I just … I miss it. Maybe if Matt was still here and available to help like he was when I first decided to switch over, I might feel differently. Maybe if there wasn’t such a sense of a rift among WP users – the hard core geeks that demand standard complaince and the general users that just want something that work well. Sure, you encounter that all over the web, but … it’s not the same. I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s just because I still have a lot more ties to the MT world than I do to WP (ironic, considering the fact that I helped with the name, huh?)

I don’t know. The one thing that is holding me back is the fact that it is SO easy to moderate comments in WP. I deleted 123 comment spam messages that WP caught and put in to moderated mode in a matter of a second or two. From what I’ve seen of MT Blacklist, that still isn’t an option. (I could be wrong though, and if I am – I apologize.) But really – is it wise to stay on a blogging platform that I still just don’t “get” after using it for 4-5 months? Wouldn’t it make more sense to use what I know? I’ve wanted to redesign this site for 3 months at least, bringing back skins … and the thought of trying to do it in WP has stopped me from moving forward at all.

I miss templates. Oh, how I *really* miss templates.

I miss MT. I can’t deny it any longer. I just … I want to go home. WP is *perfect* for Pixelog, and working very well there. But it’s not working here. I’m not happy.

I want to switch back. I want to use what I know and what I love.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

27 replies on “Geek Confession…”

I don’t reall like the “support” forum for WP. I used b2 originally when Michel V was just starting with it. and they used a normal message board for support – so much easier and the community was wayt more friendly. I don’t like how the “elite” people over at WP seem to look down on us simpler people who don’t always understand the geek speak. 🙁 I never used MT, only because I liked b2 when I first installed… and so made the natural migration to WP.

dammit I’m rambling.

It’s ok Fiona, I rambled too. I’ve been talked down to more than once there, and … it’s just annoying. Also, in the support forum for WP, it is always so hard to find threads that are helpful for what I need. On top of that, I wish you could “subscribe” to a thread … well, much like you can subscribe to comments on a WP site. I like to know when people respond to something I post.

Christine, I’m not sure how in-depth you’ve explored the community — but it seems that those things you’re looking for aren’t THAT far away.

I won’t spam you with links and whatnot… for Spam, there’s Kitten’s Spam Words, Spammer Tar Pit, and Spaminator… and WP-Blacklist, oddly enough.

For the skins and themes and whatnot, there IS a theme-switcher available, though I can’t recall it offhand. I think that when WordPress 1.3 comes out, themes are going to be easier to mess with and design… if you’re playing with a nightly release (I am) you can see it all coming together.

I’m not tellin’ ya to stick with WP over MT, I truly didn’t hate MT at all — I used them for the first 18 months I was blogging — but all in all, I like WP better. The support forum IS a little intimidating (and not the best thing on earth), but I got past that in no time flat.

If you’re feeling semi-adventurous, join the Hacker’s mailing list and you can get a feel for what’s in MT’s future.

No, spam issues in WP are fine – I said that it was the one thing that kept me from leaving WP. No need to send me the links.

It’s the template issue, the CSS that makes me want to scream, and … well, simply a general UI issue that I seem to have that is prompting me to want to go back to MT. I’ve seen the theme-switcher – to use it, I would have to do some MAJOR code changing to my old designs to make them work. In addition, I’ve seen the themes in 1.3 already … and they tie in to my whole UI issue that I already have. It’s just so confusing. Plus with almost no documentation, I feel so “on my own” to figure it out.

I’m already on the developer’s mailing list (a perk of Knowing Matt – I’ve been on it since the beginning) – so I know what is coming in the future. I also know that there needs to be a lot more. True support would be a good start. A more user-friendly forum. (Wikis suck, by the way.) I’ve seen enough in-fighting among the hackers to make me not want to join the mailing list.

Maybe that’s part of it. I don’t want to be a hacker. I just want to use it and have it work just like I want. I miss that.

Christine, as far as what you want to use, it’s your site, use whatever you want! 🙂 I do, however want to tell you that the combination of MT Blacklist and the new version of MT has gotten a lot better, and is more flexible at handling spam comments. Even on my little “other” site where I use MT, MT Blacklist has either force moderated or blocked completely over 2000 spam comments in just the last few months, without one of them ever making it to the live site. I expect now that Jay is working for 6A that MT Blacklist will only get better. On the other hand if the licensing requirements of the new version kept you using 2.661, not much has changed.

No, the license issue wasn’t an issue for me. I actually own a key for the Unlimited Personal License – so I can have unlimited blogs with unlimited authors. I switched because Matt was so excited about WP and had offered to migrate me and give me support. Now he’s too busy for individual support, which I can truly appreciate – but … I’m lost.

OH! One more WP perk! Having my blogrolls stored *right here*. However, they’ve never worked the way I want them to, so not sure how much of a perk that is! (They have never shown updated sites. No idea how to fix it.)

My problem was after I solved the login issue, I got the infamous WordPress equivalent of the BSOD — the blank screen. Didn’t matter which browser I was using, which version of WP. This pretty much rendered the entire WordPress site non-functional. So what else can I do. I’m checking out Pivot and TextPattern, which is driving my web design site. So we’ll see where the chips fall. The one thing that WP and MT have going for them, IMHO, is how easy it is to skin a site. It’s not possible with Pivot and not as easy with TextPattern. Or maybe I’m just lazy and WordPress has spoiled me. We’ll just have to wait and see. But thanks for giving voice to something I was only keeping inside my head until now.

MT just simply won’t work on my new host, so that rather made the decision for me. I adore WP’s moderation and general editing functions — a lot better than MT’s back end options, but I sympathize with you on wanting to just have it work.

I prefer WP over MT for a number of reason. Most importantly it is all MySQL based not .cgi which means my site, pages, etc., all load faster.

The downside is definitely the support community. They are not as friendly as the MT community and they are hard on “newbies” needing help with the platform.

I guess in the end Christine, you need to do what is best for you. If that means MT, then I say switch back.

Christine, you knew I had to say something about this, right? If it makes you happy, then switch back. I really don’t visit the support boards any longer (WP boards) as no one really is being supportive. I have asked questions there in the past and I did subscribe to the feed on Bloglines, but there haven’t been any replies in weeks. 🙁

The program is great though. I love having instant entries and no rebuilding. I switched long before WP to b2 and loved that too. 🙂 I’m not ever going back for a few reasons.

-Rebuilding is a pita.
-MySQL takes up tons less bandwidth than CGI and I have more room for other things, like images, instead of HTML archives.
-It’s easier for me to understand PHP than it was for the templates in MT for some reason. I guess playing with it long enough got me to a point where I “get it”.
-I can have as many blogs as I want for FREE! That’s one of the top reasons.

Now that I have skins on my blog and have for a while, I really don’t see a need or even think about switching back. Never even crossed my mind.

Do what you want girlie, I will still read you no matter what you use. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!!

The speed thing is a big issue that is also holding me back. But MT has a dynamic option now too, so I would think that has improved? Maybe? Hmmm…

I also like that “Subscribe to Comments” is easy to do in WP. Not so easy in MT.

glad to see other people who feel divided between using MT and WP – I’m currently using WP, and I like it, but that doesn’t stop me installing MT on my test site

who knows, I might change back, or I might just leave it the way it is.

Well, I gotta weigh in on a couple of things. I can’t really say anything useful about which tool “feels” right to you, since I’m obviously biased. But, as always, it’s other people’s comments that make me comment. 🙂

“If you’re feeling semi-adventurous, join the Hacker’s mailing list and you can get a feel for what’s in MT’s future.”

Actually, I’d say the Professional Network mailing list that we’re running is the best place to get a feel for what’s in MT’s future. That’s kinda what it’s for. 🙂

And I’m not sure I follow this: “I prefer WP over MT for a number of reason. Most importantly it is all MySQL based not .cgi which means my site, pages, etc., all load faster.”

MySQL is a database server, one of a couple that MT supports. (I believe it’s the only DB you can use with WP?) It doesn’t really have anything to do with the “speed” of the application. As far as page loading time goes, static pages load faster. They’re the default in MT, and they’re always going to be faster than any other type of page.

That being said, most people with personal weblogs don’t care about performance *that* much, so they’re fine with dynamic pages, which saves them from having to wait while each individual page is rendered. That can be done any one of several ways, and MT’s dynamic pages are PHP output that’s generated and cached using the Smarty template engine. So, you get access to all the hundreds of Smarty plugins as well.

In the same way, “MySQL takes up tons less bandwidth than CGI and I have more room for other things, like images, instead of HTML archives” is kind of combining a few different issues into one sentence. MySQL, again, is just the database, and almost any of the common blog tools can work with it. It’s a fast database, to be sure, but that’s almost certainly not what’s affecting a perception of speed.

Now, in regard to bandwidth, I’m not sure if that’s actually meaning bandwidth or disk storage space. If it’s the latter, storage space on most hosts is usually even cheaper than bandwidth transfer costs, so I’m not sure how cost-effective it is to worry about disk storage. (It’s cheap enough that Google can give away a gigabyte per account on gmail.)

I think that “CGI” here is referring to using Perl to generate pages? The language you choose, whether Perl, PHP, java, or any other language, really doesn’t affect either how much bandwidth or how much disk storage you use. Whether pages are saved as static pages on your server could affect that, but static pages are a technique that can be done with any language.

In short, we tried to make MT let you choose whatever you prefer. You can choose the combination of speed of publishing vs. speed of page loading that fits your preferences best. (So, you can pick either static or dynamic pages.) And you can choose the programming language you like best for plugins or customization, either Perl or PHP. And you can choose between operating systems, databases, and everything else as well.

So, if you don’t like a particular combination of tradeoffs, you can try a different one. And there’s a plugin for doing notifications to subscribe to comments, MT-Notifier. I think it’s terrific work, and it actually won a prize in our plugin contest, too.

Anil, one thing I know about WP is that it was built for PHP and MySQL. MT wasn’t. I like having everything PHP instead of the way MT works. Just my opinion.

Christine, I love the subscribe to comments feature. Everything is so easy to do with WP. I just moved my recipe blog from one database to another and set it up in WP, didn’t lose anything. And I’m in the process of moving my blog to a new address. MT made everything a headache for me when I used it. I hated it locking up on me and I couldn’t stand the long wait for rebuilding. Why rebuild when you can use PHP and get it done quicker?

I think you need to use whatever you’re most comfortable with. I think there are lots of pros and some cons for every CMS. 🙂

I’m having enough trouble with WP myself and have been for months now. PHP is not making things quicker for me on my site, that’s for sure. My WP is working so badly that I have to do most things through the phpMyAdmin interface as I can’t find any way to fix it through the help forums and I can’t use any plugins because they won’t work.

Ooops that’s enough about me complaining about my own WP powered site. This is your weblog after all. 😉

“If you’re feeling semi-adventurous, join the Hacker’s mailing list and you can get a feel for what’s in MT’s future.”

Actually, I’d say the Professional Network mailing list that we’re running is the best place to get a feel for what’s in MT’s future. That’s kinda what it’s for. 🙂

Eh, I meant WP, and I think Christine knew it. :p

I’ve recently installed the latest MT on my family site and am using dynamic archives – they are much, much kinder on CPU resource on rebuilds. On my personal blog I use b2evo – multiple blogs is so easy plus you can restrict access to certain posts to members only very easily (great since my colleagues discovered it). On my book blog I was using pMachine, which I never fell in love with. I tried MT and the MTAmazon plugin but abandoned it because the plugin won’t work with the new dynamic archives and so have just installed WP and it’s fabulous Amazon plugin. Each site has different requirements met by different blogging tools. I used to feel that I should stick to one blog tool and was a huge MT fan (still am) but there are some things it doesn’t do so well. I have to say that in terms of support, friendliness and the willingness to share expertise the MT forums are second-to-none. b2’s are pretty good, pMachine ok and WP rigght at the bottom. Given that WP’s documentation is so dire and that Wiki thing is a nightmare this seems a shame – I know several people who have abandoned WP because of the lack of support. Choose the tool that fits the job and fits you and don’t feel guilty about it.

I’m probably biased since I’ve been using MT for eons, but 3.1 and MT-Blacklist are a great combination. Other packages are still playing catch-up in a lot of respects.

After the 6A licensing uproar, I was mildly worried that MT would drop off the map in favour of Typepad, which doesn’t seem to be happening. In the end I’d wager that we’ll end up seeing more features faster as a result of the business. Plus, when 6A hires people like Jay Allen, you know that good things are coming.

Having said that, I’ve played around with WordPress pretty extensively. I can’t put my finger on it, but it feels somehow ‘unpolished’ as compared to MT. I don’t care much for the interface, and as others have mentioned, community support is ‘strange’ at best. Maybe I’m just not up for too much change in my old age. 🙂

I was wary of switching from MT to WP, so I started out with a lesser used blog. I had some big install problems and was ready to scrap the whole project because I wasn’t getting any help or finding any answers on the Support Forums, but after a few days, I did get it running. After the initial problems, I was pleased with WP. For the first blog, I totally ignored WP’s templates and CSS and forced the blog into my own CSS and design, and it worked out just fine.

When I decided to move my main blog, it was because I was fed up with the spam comments. I was running 2.6x and MT-Blacklist, and I was still getting hit with up to 1000 spam comments a day. Even though you can delete multiple spam comments at once through MT-Blacklist, it could still take 10 minutes to delete everything because of the rebuild time.

The static archives and rebuild time are what made me switch from MT. I’ve been blogging for over 4 years, so any time I wanted to make a template change, it could easily take 10 minutes to update all the files. And if I didn’t like the end result, then I’d have to spend another 10 minutes rolling back. I also wasn’t very happy with the amount of disk space all the archives were using. I love how with WP, I can make a design change and see it instantly. After I was done with the conversion, I deleted my MT archives and cleared up something like 60 MEGS of space.

I still have some little things to fix with my code, because I’m trying to go fully CSS for the first time. Then I plan to work on converting my old designs and making my site skinnable again.

Even when I get frustrated with WP or its (lack of) support forums, I haven’t yet wanted to go back to MT.

Well, that’s my rambling. WP seems to meet my needs better than MT, but you need to work with what’s best for you.

For several months, I’ve been considering WordPress as a potential substitute for MT. Factors in its favor include numerous plugins, built-in membership, and dynamic archives, which would address my issues with outdated MT plugins, TypeKey dysfunction, and frequent rebuilding delays. On the other hand, I find myself agreeing with your concerns. I really don’t care for the user interface and the forums are difficult to find exactly what I’m looking for to fix or understand a problem. WordPress seems to offer features that could work well for my course blog when I teach ENGL 102 online, but so does Expression Engine. If I understood more about PHP, I think I’d feel a lot better about using WordPress. Even pMachine’s tags are easier to use!

Oy, decisions… I’ve wasted much of the past two days, downloading plugins, trying to understand code and installation, only to shove everything into folders for a time when I can really go slowly and try to figure this stuff out. I still can’t get the embedded Asides to work! Grr.

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