Installing Movable Type 5 OS

This site runs on Movable Type 5 OS. The key benefit about Movable type versus all other blog platforms and CMS (content management systems) is that Movable Type creates static HTML (hypertext markup language) pages.
What Wordpress calls a static page is not really static. Wordpress creates that page from a database when you load the page into your browser. There is a static page plug-in to Wordpress, but plug-ins are notorious for causing problems in any software platform.

In 2011 I installed Movable Type 5OS, the open-source version of Movable Type. I had tried it with a different site I hosted on 1&1. As soon as I got a long post and a few entrees, I would get "500 internal server error". Forums explained that 1&1 starves their servers for resources and that is what causes these errors. So when it came time to move my rako.com domain to a new server, I chose Dreamhost, which is supposed to be much better at running Movable Type.

As with any software product over 35 lines, Movable Type is complex to the point of being evil. The misery was exacerbated on the 1&1 server because the Movable Type installation wizard does not work. On Dreamhost the wizard works fine, but it is still important to know what is going on when things inevitably break. I should also mention that the Movable Type database you install to store all the information on the site has hard-coded path-names of your web-server, so that makes the installation completely non-portable. You can't just copy the database to a new server and copy the install to a new web server and expect it to work. It is easier to rebuilt the whole site from scratch if you haven't done a lot of work on it.

You will need to create a database that Movable Type will use to store all the information and relationships and locations of your website. A database is what overpaid software geeks call a table or form. To create a database you use the web panel of Dreamhost or whatever host you are trying to suffer with. You will need four critical pieces of information. 1) The database name. 2) the database host. 3) the database user and 4) the password.

To install  Movable Type you download a big zip file from their site. Expand the files. Move the mt-static sub-directory out from under the mt top-level directory. (Yes this is retarded that they just didn't build the zip file that way.) You will have to change the file permissions for all the .cgi files to 755. I did this with FileZilla ftp program after I transferred them to the host website. I assume you could change the permissions before you transfer them. Once you get the directors mt and mt-static installed in root of your website, the next thing is configuring the mt-config.cgi file to contain the path-names and database user and password. If the wizard works, it will do this automatically. Type www.yourdomain.com/mt/mt.cgi into your browser. It should walk you through the wizard if you are lucky.

Otherwise you will have to modify the mt-config.cgi-original file by hand, change the name to mt-config.cgi and move it to the mt directory. There really is not that much information in the mt-config.cgi file, but you can spend hours learning that sometimes they want a trailing slash in a path and other times they don't. Suffer bitch.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Paul Rako published on May 15, 2011 1:07 AM.

Architecting a site with Movable Type is the next entry in this blog.

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