« Occasionally, Slashdot's still got it.... | Main | Nokia 3650 Update »

August 23, 2003

More on TypePad vs. MovableType

On 8/22/03 4:25 PM, "Andrew Ostarello" wrote:

> Dear Frank,
> Hi there. My name is Andrew, and I'm a Mac geek
> who's thinking of leaping boldly into 2001 and
> starting a weblog. I ran across your hands-on review
> of TypePad on The Nicest website, and I'm thinking
> that's the way to go. With that in mind, I'd like to
> ask you a few questions:
> 1) You indicated that you used TypePad for your Tour
> de France website. I see you're using movable type
> for your Nicest website. Do you have any preference
> either way?
If you like twiddling with stuff, go with MovableType. You have much more freedom to integrate server-side scripts, etc., since you are managing the server (I presume). You also have much more responsibility: to download and build MT's source, to keep up with updates, monitor your disk usage, etc. With TypePad, all the server stuff is their problem. It's kind of like the difference between running a Linux box and OS X -- most of the stuff underneath is similar, but someone has actually figured out sensible defaults and applied some style to OS X and to TypePad.

I come down on both sides of the equation, which is why, despite using the notd.blogs.com domain, I haven't moved Nicest of the Damned over there yet. NotD is hosted via MovableType over the DSL in my home office, and runs on an AMD K6-2 450 with perhaps 384 megs of RAM.

TypePad seemed like the way to go for the Tour site because a) I wanted to see what it could do, b) it includes built-in support for Amazon affiliates links (the TdF page has already brought in $8.20 :-) ), and c) it made it really easy to customize the look of the site, both overall, and with things like the marginalia -- recent posts, recent comments, archives, blogroll, etc. On NotD, my blogroll and book links are pretty sour, since I don't like having to edit them in the raw source of the index page through the MT template browser. The interface to this is so much nicer in TypePad that I found myself building lists just to see how they would work and look.

> 2) Which TypePad plan did you opt for for your Tour
> de France website? Just browsing through it, I think
> it's about the level of complexity (pictures + type)
> that I'm looking for.
As a beta-tester, I got to use all the features in Pro. There's really only one pro-level feature I currently use, and I'm not sure I need it. That's 'advanced templates', where you can manually change the way that TypePad's templates work. If I remember correctly, the only place where I'm doing this is to make the calendar go to the daily archive instead of an individual story from that day, and (since I raised the issue during the beta test), that may be an option in the Plus level, as well.

That said, I still signed up for Pro :-). I think I'll use the multiple author stuff at some point, as well as the multiple roles for different authors, and I could easily see running more than 3 weblogs at a time on the service.

Even the basic level of service could build a page of exactly the complexity of my Tour site (possibly with the exception of the calendar links to daily archives mentioned above).

> 3) In your review, you indicated that you had the
> ability to give a discount to people you referred to
> the service. If you think TypePad is the way to go
> for a new blogger, do you have any discounts left?
I still have a few left.

If you want it, your discount ID is:

Removed for reasons of national security -- Ed.

It's a lifetime 20% discount; the email they sent with the codes suggests:

Be sure to let your friends know that they should enter one code in the
"Promotional Code" field when registering.

> 4) Any problems getting TypePad to work with Safari?
I had a little problem with bookmarklets at one point (a bookmark link that uses JavaScript to pull some information from the page you're on, then post that information in a weblog entry ready to be edited in MT/TypePad), but I used this hint or one very much like it, and life has been good:


I also noticed a few people complaining about problems connecting to the server, as here:


I have never seen this error, and have posted 300+ times to TypePad, all from Safari, and many of them while (ugh) dialed up at 22,600 baud.

> Thanks very much for your time. I know you must be
> busy, but I appreciate any info you can give me.
We're all in this together.....

> Take care,
> Andrew Ostarello

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Update 2/12/04: I've reviewed TypePad after 6 months on the service.

August 23, 2003 in Weblogs | Permalink


I am looking for a promotional code for typepad, and your name came up in a google search.
I am interested in creating a sports-related weblog, with hockey as the main theme.
Any assistance would be appreciated.

Posted by: Paul at Sep 15, 2003 1:00:10 PM