August 06, 2002
My Movable Type installation

... or: Tips & tricks for new Movable Type users to get a future-proof and search engine optimized site up and running:

As I promised after installing MT, here are some more tech details about my installation and configuration:

  • Tool: MT 2.21

  • Hosting: "Advanced Account" at pair.com

  • Security: I use CGIwrap to avoid sharing all my files and the MT database writable for the "world" (useful on a shared webserver)

  • Import: I imported all the entries from my former blogger.com powered weblog (more info here: dive into mark)

  • Archiving strategy: individual postings get a file each with a "dirified" file name. Each day gets a separate subfolder (example /2002/08/06/filename.html). Each post gets header in the <TITLE> tag.

    Howto? set Individual Entry Archive to

    <$MTArchiveDate format="%Y/%m/%d"$>/<$MTEntryTitle dirify="1"$>.html

    Why? To make URLs intuitive for readers wanting to reference them or search for them and to ideally to influence the "Googlejuice" of each posting. It seems clear, however, that using underscores isn't the very best option, but so be it... The subdirectories are there simply to avoid loads of files grouped in one massive directory. URLs in Title tags get high priority by search engines.

  • Monthly Calendar: Each Month gets a calendar overview page with links to the entry titles.

    How? See Mark's pages

  • Categories: I've set up categories in MT covering reasonably generic topics I have written about. For each topic, I've created an archive.

    Howto? set Category Archive to

    categories/<$MTArchiveCategory dirify="1"$>/index.html
    (example: the Movable Type-archive).

    The Category archive pages just display the headers and the Excerpts of each article to drive traffic to the individual posting pages.

    Why? It's practical for the readers looking for other, similar articles, and many search engines like it...

  • Crosslinks crosslinks crosslinks: All individual articles have links to the "previous" and "next" (chronological, default in MT) plus to the 5 most recent postings in their primary category.

    How? Install the MT Related Entries plugin (sufficient instructions available on the homepage).

    Why? It's all about the reader's experience and the "Googlejuice"...

  • Keeping track of referrers: I downloaded this script and modified it to run on my server (including running under CGIWrap). You can also just run it on his server if you don't feel like tweaking any more than you've done above already ;-)

    What does it do? It makes every article link back to anyone who links to it. Disenchanted pioneered this a long time ago.

    Why? Because it's fun to see if someone links to your pages or how people end up on your site (what did they search for etc).

    Alternatives: You can program something in PHP or you can also use the yaywastaken hosted referrer script.


More background information about site optimization: Google Under the Microscope, Google Research.

Good luck! Please leave a comment if you have suggestions for improvements or additions!

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Comments

So does this mean that I won't have to check your old blog anymore?

Posted by: ThomaZ on August 6, 2002 04:31 PM

That's correct, Thomas :-) Movable type is really impressing compared to blogger, which I used to use... Just looking at the above should give you an idea about the flexibility in this powerful tool?

Posted by: Anders on August 6, 2002 04:37 PM

Look forward to see how this develops ;-)

Posted by: ThomaZ on August 6, 2002 05:21 PM

I have a question: how did you get MTArchiveDate to work in the Archive File Template for an Individual Archive? Shouldn't it be MTEntryDate?

Posted by: girlie on August 7, 2002 02:18 AM

Thanks for the question, Girlie! I browsed around the documentation to figure it out. My config is excactly as mentioned above.

FYI I ran into a similar problem with setting up the categories: I HAD MTEntryCategory dirify="1" but it gave errors. Thanks to Kristine at the movable type support forum, I changed it to MTArchiveCategory and now it works like a charm...

Next project: creating a new style sheet & front page layout... :-)

Posted by: Anders on August 7, 2002 10:52 AM

Two things are not clear to me: 1) what does "Each post gets header in the <TITLE> tag." mean? That isn't clear to me; and 2) it isn't clear to me how you are setting the default URL on archives when MT does not let you determin an "output" file for the archive templates, only link to the template you want to use.

Posted by: Bill on August 8, 2002 10:17 PM

Hi there, Bill, and thanks for your comments:

First: the <TITLE> tag is the one that defines what you see in the browser window "title bar" and it's also what shows up to reference your page in search engines. By making this tag contain the headline of your posting, search engines are more likely to find it.

Second: in MT you can define the default URL of archives by following the description I gave above. More information is available at this URL:

http://www.movabletype.org/docs/mtmanual_blog_config.html#archiving

Good luck!

Posted by: Anders on August 8, 2002 10:50 PM

Nice

Posted by: d on November 30, 2002 01:52 AM

Hi there,

I just cannot get the script right.
Is there a way ( by paying ) to find someone who does the script for me.

Please contact at: friedrichz@yahoo.com

Thanks!

Posted by: Zettl Friedrich on April 9, 2003 11:30 AM

Zettl, check out this service offered by the MT Guys:

http://www.movabletype.org/pay_installation.shtml

Posted by: Anders on April 9, 2003 12:55 PM

I am a designer, and I wanted to know how to go about customising the look and feel of the MT index page. Can you help me?

Posted by: Bhooshan on June 6, 2003 12:42 PM

does the trackback on moveable type only include other sites which use moveable type?

Posted by: غاصب يهودي on September 10, 2003 07:37 PM

Wonderfull to visit your site.I wwas wondering how is Anders Jacobsen's site comes so often for blog search on google.It's impeccably designed i guess.

Posted by: Wireless SEO on September 12, 2003 04:26 PM

Could you please elaborate on the tweaks needed to get this to run under the cgi wrapper? I duly tweaked the downes script, but it somehow fails to write any data to the data directory....

Posted by: MF on March 17, 2004 03:53 AM

Well first of all thanks for the Tips. I'm kind of stumped at the moment. I've gotten some of this to work.

I'm getting the <Title to pick up part of my post.
But Its also showing up on the page itself as Title.html

I even got rid of the _underscores and replaced them with -hyphens on a tip from another page.

THe Url is also not showing up as a date, but something like this :
http://www.jesustribe.org/blog/archives/005478.html
As you can see the date is not showing up right.

Do I just need to move the tags in my individual archive template to make this work right?? Or do you have another suggestion?

I just changed hosts, and domain names. So I'm trying to get my site recognized once again on Google. Actually more recognized that the first time. Peace!!

Thanks

Posted by: Michael Paul on April 22, 2004 04:03 AM

You should go to the Weblog Config menu, and changing your individual
archiving settings to

<$MTArchiveDate format="%Y/%m/%d"$>/<$MTEntryTitle dirify="1"$>.html

this should not be set in the template itself.

Give me a shout if it doesn't solve your problem.

Cheers

Anders

Posted by: Anders on April 22, 2004 11:37 AM

It's great and useful. I look forward to coming back here often.

Posted by: i spy camel toe on July 12, 2004 09:06 AM

This is a 2 years old post. Is there something new added to this?

Posted by: connect on October 2, 2004 10:07 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- The murder of a second defense attorney in the trial of Saddam Hussein and other former Iraqi leaders Tuesday raised doubts about the trial's future and calls from legal experts for the court to be relocated outside of Iraq.
small business plans

Posted by: grants on November 8, 2005 11:29 PM

Nice site! Keep up the good work!
avenged sevenfold

Posted by: briand on January 21, 2006 11:42 PM
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