Movable Type: Not Just For Blogs

Ian Lurie

Six Apart created the popular TypePad and Movable Type blogging systems.


But Movable Type isn’t just for blogging. It’s also a solid content management system. You can create templates and pages within Movable Type and have them act as ‘normal’ web pages, rather than blog entries. Then the site editor can log in and edit those pages using the system’s intuitive interface (And no, I have no relationship with Six Apart – they just deserve a shout-out here).

I’m tooting my own horn a bit here, but we just launched two sites using Movable Type, and I couldn’t be more pleased:

Lenora Edwards

Fred Janssen

These rollouts were also fast and efficient. And, they didn’t require a development team. Which means my developers get to spend more time building tools, and less building the same stuff again and again.

A few things that made these projects possible:

  1. We kept features to a minimum: We kept the rollout very simple, and minimized system features. These clients need great, usable sites that they could maintain. They do not need news tickers, rotating images or other bells and whistles.
  2. We worked within the system. Movable Type has lots of great tools for content maintenance. Rather than re-inventing the wheel whenever we thought we’d hit a dead end, we put time into researching those tools. We found what we needed, every time.
  3. Built beautiful. We designed these sites to look and work great. Movable Type was built to do the same thing. So it all came together.
  4. Built Social. Each site does have a blog. And each site has an RSS feed. Why not? We also used microformats for cool little gadgets like the ‘add to address book’ feature.

Keep this entry in your back pocket for the next time someone tries to get you to use a humungous, complex toolset for something that seems simple. If you’re looking to build a small-business site but want content management, take a very careful look at Movable Type. I’m a new believer!

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. This sort of easy setup is a great thing for small businesses. Seth Godin pointed out something like this in his post “A memo to the very small” a while ago. It’s so easy to have web space that works for you in basic, informative ways that there’s hardly an excuse to be on the sidelines.

  2. There are so many out of the box tools and ways to keep it really simple these days, I am surprised more people don’t use MT this way.

  3. As one of the above-mentioned benefactors of Portent’s great work using this tool, I can tell you that it is a great solution. Not only did it make last minute changes to content very easy during rollout, I have more control over my site and understand how it fits together (versus a black box…). Also – I just had to fix a small typo I made on one of the content pages and it was a snap!

  4. This is a tool that will make my work more easy, i am a web developer, but last min. changes give a headache. This makes last time Testing and correction less time consuming.

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