MT 3.0 vs. WordPress

Here’s the short version of the story for non-bloggers: Movable Type is the incredibly cool software that lots and lots of blogs use because it works really well. Up until recently there was a pay version for commercial customers and a donorware version for personal use, but with their new version (3.0) MT now charges for personal use beyond a certain point — specifically, if you have more than 3 blogs and/or more than 1 author. This has sent a lot of people into a kerfluffle. Those with the least cause to complain are the ones who just don’t care for the concept of paying for software. The ones with cause are those who host a number of blogs by different authors (like “Michael”: or “Ginger”:, for whom Movable Type jumps from being free to being exorbitantly expensive in an instant — and with a release that doesn’t provide all that much that’s new, to boot.

I find myself in a more annoying situation. Two blogs, two authors. Because Suanna posts on “Cerin Amroth”: once in a while, I have pay $70 if I want to use MT 3.0. The thing is, it’s easily _worth_ seventy bucks. The very worst thing I can think of to say about MT is that, now that the blog has a lot of archives, it can take a little while to reindex after a new post or a rebuild. Other than that it’s worked perfectly.

But. There’s a difference between something being worth $70 and something I can afford to spend $70 on. And “WordPress”: looks pretty darn cool. It’s another piece of blogging software that’s open source (big brownie points there), small, and elegant. I must confess that a big impulse to switch comes from the desire to tinker with something new. (The other day I briefly considered buying a new computer case — not because I _need_ one, but because I thought it would be fun to take everything out of the old one and put it into a new one. Same sort of thing.) And I like the notion of switching to open-source software. But at the same time I feel a little bad because, unlike a lot of folks, I bear no ill will toward the Movable Type folks whatsoever.

Decisions, decisions . . .

UPDATE: WordPress looks better and better the more I look into it. Its big downside is in visual design: MT has a number of very attractive style sheets, and a default template that’s elegant and flexible. MP’s template is less flexible, and the default style sheet is atrocious. So any switch will have to be preceded by a bit o’ CSS tweaking, which is the kind of thing that always takes me a lot longer than I’d like.