Best MovableType Plugins
My personal list of the Best Movabletype Plugins will be the first article to kick off a new category on ProfitPapers reflecting my love of everything development. The aptly named Dev category will serve as a receptacle of all things related to: Unix, Apache, PHP, SQL, Movabletype, and other geeky subjects. As always I will be paying special attention to SEO/OLM tactics throughout these pieces.
First off Movabletype is server based blog software. In fact, I would say it is hands down easily the best blog software available today – for a few different reasons:
Maximum SEO potential – My entries normally appear well ranked in Google 48 hours after posting them.
Movabletype can be configured to spit raw .html or non dynamic pages.
There is a free non-commercial version, although I recommend buying a license if you use it even casually.
Install, usage, and maintenance are all very well documented and easy for even a novice user.
The application itself is extremely portable: mySQL, Postgres, Berkley DB (file system).
Automatically generated RSS compliant feeds aka ‘spider food’.
Most of the hot chicks I see blogging are using MovableType or Typepad.
Movabletype’s plugin system is very advanced and the community is always pumping out new plugins and widgets for MT based bloggers.
SEO’ing Movabletype takes some tinkering but the rewards are well worth the pain. Here are a couple of my recent rankings for some rather competitive keywords: Sendstudio Review, Aweber Review. Keep in mind this blog is only 3 months old, and I do virtually nothing to promote it.
Right then. I am focusing on my last point and will outline in my opinion the best Movabletype plugins, why I think they are useful, and if needed a small blurb of code to help you along. As of version 3.2, Movabletype comes installed by default with the following plugins: NoFollow, and the 3 Spam Lookup plugs. These guys are fairly self explanatory and well documented in the MT manual pages.
Now for my own personal must have list:
Dashify is based on dirify. What it does is allow for some handy parsing of pretty much any text you want on your blog, for adding your own useful characters. Here is an example to illustrate:
Hover over the title or look at the page title of this entry you are reading and you will see how well my pages are optimized for search: best-movabletype-plugins.php is a much better filename than 289374.php or even best_movabletype_plugins.php – as of this writing Google sees the hyphen as a space but not the underscore. Here is my dashify code for my Individual archive under Settings –> Publishing:%C.phpSimple, yet effective.
Movabletype is not all that scalable right out of the box. In fact, not at all really. If you bust your ass filling your weblog with content, before you know it your category pages are reduced to bandwidth hogging scroll sessions. MTPaginate does what the name says, it paginates any entry or category listing you like into user friendly navigable areas: 1 |2 | 3 or Previous | Next, etc. I would speculate that Stepen Riya’s MTPaginate will eventually be built into MT by default before too long. Here is a code snippet from my own category pages on this site. The tags are covered in full on Stepen’s website, but this will give you an idea.
<!–The next line is what generates the "page navigation" –>
<a href="<$MTPaginatePreviousPageLink$>">Previous Page</a> | </MTPaginateIfPreviousPage_><MTPaginateIfNextPage_> | <a href="<$MTPaginateNextPageLink$>">Next Page</a>
<!– This part determines how many posts will go on the page, I set it to 5 –>
<–! All your MTEntries stuff goes here –>
<– This next line sets the pagination break (in most cases just after your EntryExcerpt or Entry tag –>
Typepad Users: I notice Emily Robbins rants up Typepad’s lack of pagination on a recent blog entry. She raises some very valid points with the MT support staff. Again I think this will be addressed by Sixapart quite soon.
Movalog has too many good plugins to cover here but their Blogroll has long been a favorite of the majority of MT users. A blogroll is an essential tool for building links with other same themed sites as your own. MT Blogroll keeps track of a link’s URL, name, description, relationship, category and more.
Another Movalog plugin Inline Editor allows you to edit your comments and entries via cool Ajax code. Ajax is that nifty new technology that allows you to talk back to the webserver without reloading the page. Catching typos is no longer a 4 click solution.
This is Brad Choate’s well known plugin for performing various text formatting functions. Mt-Textile integrates the Perl Text::Textile module with Movable Type.
BigPapi by Kevin Shay is an extension to the MovableType API allowing users to modify MT’s own interface – the screens you see when using Movable Type to manage your content. If you are wanting to tinker with MT’s control panel, this is worth a look. There is also an growing list of some very useful plugins that rely on the BigPAPI architecture. From the developer:
The BigPAPI plugin doesn’t actually do all that much. It simply overrides a couple of subroutines in the MT::App module that are called whenever a page of the MT CMS is about to be displayed. Before going ahead and building the page, it runs some callbacks. So your plugin simply needs to install appropriately named callbacks for a particular CMS page (or all pages), and you’ll have the opportunity to tinker with the contents of the page before it’s displayed to the user.
There are literally hundreds of movabletype plugins and my short list is by no means the same as another users. My list is focused on getting a movabletype publishing platform ready for spidering. Different tasks require different tools. Props to the various authors and contributors and DO support these people with donations or praise, or we will all be stuck coding these tools ourselves 😉
Sixapart’s main movabletype plugin page – Definitely start here. Sixaparts forum is also essential.
The CheckLinks plugin tries to access all the URLs linked to in your entries (or a subset of your entries), and lets you display a list of the ones it can’t successfully access. Another fine StaggerNation.com creative based on BigPAPI extensions.
FormatList v1.0 – Easy Bullet Lists in Entries. I use this personally and I find it a nice keystroke saver.
Better File Uploader – This one relies on BigPAPI and is a sexier interface for uploading files.