I’ve been at the blogging biz using MovableType (MT) since April 19, 2003, and along the way I’ve been putting aside some ideas for things I have done beyond the out of the box set up that might help others. Also, since I am still living in the free land of MT 2.661, I have no idea how much transfers to the 3.$$$$ versions.

Quite a good chunk of this is MovableType specific only, but since I have been recommending new bloggers get their feet wet with Blogger.com, I have some ideas that can be applied over there as well (especially the section coming up on Making Better Archives. For quite some time I have seen that every weblog software pretty much considers “archiving” the act of stitching together all posted entries into one long, ever loading web page. There is a better way.

Also, since I spin a lot of content with PHP, I offer some ways to leverage the dynamic features it can offer, again, not for everybody (and certainly not a Blogger.com option). For example, the side bar you see on this posting and all others in the series, is generated by including one template file, so as I add articles, in the include file I can activate links, and then they are updated on all web pages that use it, without needing to republish the content. Also, I aim to show you how to create a dynamic drop down menu like I use at the top of my blog pages to navigate among categories.

In the mix are some suggestions for using MT modules for updating content on many pages, cleaning up and adding to the sidebar, beefing up your style sheets, and making a special style sheet for pages printed from your site, creating RSS feeds for comments, trackbacks, categories, etc.

Well that is the plan– hopefully being at the end of the semester for our system here yet having another week for us non faculty grunts to work, I can squeeze in these new pieces.

Stay tuned.

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