Sun, Feb

Important Information About Movable Type

Sun, Feb 29, 2004


So, you've set up a Movable Type blog. You've struggled through the complicated set-up instructions and you've enjoyed months and months of carefree blogging with one of the most robust and flexible software in the business. You're probably feeling quite proud of yourself, aren't you?

But then comes the decision to change webhosts or, if you're an unlucky sap like me, the decision to change webhosts... twice. Chances are, you installed your Movable Type blog on your default settings. Each individual entry in your blog is stored as a file whose name is built from the entry number; 000001.html, etc.

If you're your own blogger and you've blogged straight from the beginning, not putting posts out of order, you should be fine; simply export your blog, set up Movable Type on the new server, create a new blog using your own settings and import the files back in. But what if you're running several blogs at once, or blogs with a bunch of friends from a single Movable Type program? Movable Type imports blog entries and assigns them numbers sequentially, 000001, 000002, 000003, etc. It's very likely that your old entries will be renumbered differently and, if you've linked to previous entries in your blogs (as I do, frequently), your internal links are now out the window.

But don't dispair: there is a way out, if you're smart enough to set it up from the start. When you create a new blog, go to the Archiving section of your configuration menu and, under the individual entry Archive File Template box, type in: <$MTEntryDate format="%Y"$>/<$MTEntryDate format="%m"$>/<$MTEntryDate format="%d"$>-<$MTEntryTitle dirify="1" trim_to="10"$>.html (or whatever extension you are using). For the Monthly archive, type <$MTEntryDate format="%Y"$>/<$MTEntryDate format="%m"$>/index.shtml

This will store your individual entries in directories according to their posted year, month, dates and it will give these entries unique names by the title of their post. Best of all, when the time comes to change servers, this format is repeatable, so you can transfer over your entire blog without blowing out your internal links.

Of course, now that I don't intend to change servers for a while, anymore, this information is a little useless to me. But at least I know that, the next time it happens, I'll be ready!

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