MovableType slowing down and struggling

What a weekend. It’s Filmstalker’s first birthday. Yes it’s one year old and amazingly I’m still managing to keep it going all by myself, and that should be raising some concerns over at MovableType as they press on trying to convince the world that they have a worthy platform for corporate blogging and content management.

Why should that be? Well even just with myself entering content and running the site it’s still struggling under the strain. Today the hosting company and I made sure the system was using FastCGI properly. This will help say MT, this will make things much speedier.

The opposite has in fact happened with over five minutes to save an entry when with background tasks switched on and FastCGI switched off it took moments, and comments are taking over a minute to process. Hence only the strong minded are staying to comment, and then I’m usually getting multiple comments as they press Submit a second time.

So why move to FastCGI and switch off background tasks you ask?


Well, because MT suggests so, and the hosting company were getting a bit annoyed at MT constantly taking over eighty percent of the CPU of their shared server.

Now, you tell me, is that a corporate application? I can tell you that in my organisation it is most certainly not. A system that hogs server resources or is so user unresponsive that it dissuades them from using it?

Yes, I’ve already tried what MT suggest. I only have MTArchiveList mentioned on one index, I have only the necessary indexes set to rebuild automatically, and I’m putting reusable code into widgets rather than copying it all over the site.

The last attempt to try and get things speeded up was by limiting the Archive Types. I’ve removed the Monthly Archive option and remained with Individual and Category, neither of which I can do without.

Then, because most of the entries are under the News category and it’s currently running at 2,500 entries, I limited the template to show title, permalink, date, author and number of comments, taking out the short fifty word entry I had showing for each entry on each category page.

Still it’s running slow and I’m struggling to know what to do. If I could remove the need to rebuild all the category indexes then that would be fine, I could create the category pages I needed as standard indexes, avoiding the intense News category. Yet if you switch that option off you lose the categories and I can’t use the tags in templates.

I thought I could try editing the Category Archive Template to exclude the News category and do everything else. Wrong, there’s not function to do that.

All this said I’m not even sure it’s the fault of the News category, perhaps it’s something else. The main problem is, and this is perhaps the final nail in the coffin for certainly my organisation using the system, the support.

Post something on the forums and hope someone with knowledge reads it and answers, and that might take a while, believe me I’ve tried before.

So part of me can’t help but wonder how they can be pushing MT as a corporate blogging and content management system when even under the small weight of me and Filmstalker it’s struggling.

Perhaps it’s time to consider something like Drupal, however it would mean so much work and I’m heavily invested in MT now. If anyone has any ideas on the MT front then please feel free to pitch in, because I’m stumped.

Update: Here’s a thought, the MT instructions tell you to change four or five of the main scripts to .FCGI, yet there are tons of other .PL scripts which aren’t changed to .FPL. Could this be an issue? One of them is the Spamlookup script which would be called during every comment.

2 comments on “MovableType slowing down and struggling”

  1. Simone Reply

    So that explains the changes I have seen so far. I wish I knew anything about this stuff, I feel useless when I know I cant help on the technical side of things!

  2. Richard Brunton Reply

    Yeah, although there’s some nice changes (like the message and review quotes on the sidebar) so far it’s not so good.

    Saving an entry is now taking over seven minutes. I removed a plugin from the site, physically deleted it, and it’s an hour later and MT is showing it as still there!

    What a complete mess. Just waiting for someone to offer assistance.

    Tellingly no one has commented on the problem on the MT site, and searches on the Internet show similar problems.

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